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No ‘beef’ with chicken’s popularity

January 22, 2014
Weirton Daily Times

What came first - the chicken or the egg? Does it really matter when they both cook up into interesting and tasty dishes?

Chicken is fast catching up with beef in people's eating habits, so different ways to prepare the protein that comes in two colors, light or dark, meat are needed.

Chicken has family friendly appeal and who doesn't like a barbecued chicken leg or a crisp-crust chicken breast?

Article Photos

CAN’T GO WRONG WITH CHICKEN — Nothing says lovin’ like a chicken dinner, no matter what the side dishes. Try it grilled, roasted, breaded, fried or made into pulled chicken sandwiches. It is good.
-- Esther McCoy

A brochure from "Secret Recipes by the Recipe Detective Gloria Pitzer" has a recipe she worked out after many tries to resemble a famous recipe. See if you know which one I mean.

Fried Chicken

3-pound fryer chicken

2 beaten eggs

Milk

2 packages Good Seasons Italian Dressing mix

1 tablespoon seasoning salt

2 teaspoons poultry seasoning

2 cups self-rising four

Hot oil

Cut chicken into serving size pieces. Thin out the beaten eggs with a bit of milk. Combine the Italian Dressing mix, seasoning salt, poultry seasoning and flour. Dip chicken parts in the egg mixture and roll in the flour. Let pieces dry and brown in 1-inch hot oil on both sides in a heavy skillet. Transfer to baking pan in single layer. Seal in foil and bake at 375 degrees for 20-30 minutes. Remove foil. Brown for a few minutes uncovered until thick pieces are tender, determining this by cutting into the center of a thick piece.

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There were gyros from the Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church delivered to our office recently as part of the monthly sale by the church's Philoptochos Society, and they seemed to be enjoyed by all.

These gyros are made with sliced meatloaf made with half ground chicken and half ground round, and have some of the same condiments added to the sandwich. It is from Family Circle magazine.

Chicken Gyros

7-ounce container 2 percent fat Greek yogurt

2/3 cup reduced-fat crumbled feta cheese

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 chicken meatloaf sliced

6 whole wheat pita breads, warmed

6-ounce bag spinach

2 cups shredded iceberg lettuce

1 cucumber, peeled and thinly sliced

2 Roma tomatoes, thinly sliced

Small red onion, thinly sliced

In a small bowl, combine yogurt, feta cheese and lemon juice. Set aside.

Gently heat meatloaf slices in microwave on high for 1 to 2 minutes. Assemble by placing pitas on individual serving plates. Top with spinach, meatloaf slices, lettuce, cucumber, tomato, onion and yogurt mixture.

Note: This gyro is 459 calories with 15 grams fat. Regular meatloaf can be used for the meat as well. This will just raise the calorie and fat count.

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This recipe for pulled chicken sandwich could come in handy for Super Bowl Sunday. It is from Cooking Light and is 325 calories per sandwich with 9.7 fat grams.

Pulled Chicken

Sandwiches

Chicken preparation:

2 tablespoons dark brown sugar

1 teaspoon paprika

3/4 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon ground chipolte chile pepper

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

1/8 teaspoon salt

2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken thighs

Cooking spray

Sauce:

2 teaspoons canola oil

1/2 cup finely chopped onion

1 tablespoon dark brown sugar

1 teaspoon chili powder

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon ground mustard

1/4 teaspoon dry mustard

1/4 teaspoon ground all spice

1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper

1 cup ketchup

2 tablespoons cider vinegar

Remaining ingredients:

8 hamburger buns, toasted, 1 1/2-ounce size

16 hamburger chips

Preheat grill to medium high heat. To prepare chicken, combine first six ingredients, through salt, and rub evenly over chicken. Place chicken on a grill rack, coated with cooking spray; cover and grill 15 minutes or until a thermometer registers 180 degrees, turning occasionally. Let stand for 5 minutes. Shred with two forks.

To prepare sauce, while chicken grills, heat canola oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add onion; cook 5 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally. Stir in 1 tablespoon sugar and next five ingredients, through ground red pepper. Cook 30 seconds. Stir in ketchup and vinegar; bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes or until slightly thickened, stirring occasionally. Stir in chicken; cook 2 minutes. Place 1/3 cup chicken mixture on bottom half of each bun, top each with two pickle chips and top of bun.

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This recipe is from "The Best of Bridge Slow Cooker Cookbook." It is simmered on low for 5 to 6 hours or on high for 2 1/2 to 3 hours. A secret ingredient in the chili is canned jellied cranberry sauce.

Pantry Raid Chicken Chili

8 boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut into bite-sized pieces

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

Large onion, finely chopped

3 cloves garlic, chopped

2 teaspoons ground cumin

14-ounce size chipolte barbecue-style beans

1 cup canned whole tomatoes with juice

1/2 cup tomato-based chili sauce

1/2 cup canned jellied cranberry sauce

2 teaspoons chili powder

1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 red or green bell pepper, chopped

Salt, optional

Shredded Tex-Mex cheese bland or cheddar cheese

Place chicken in a 3 1/2- to 4-quart slow cooker. In a skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion, garlic and cumin. Cook, stirring occasionally for 3 minutes. Stir in beans. Pour over chicken. Add tomatoes, chili sauce and cranberry sauce, breaking up tomatoes with a spoon; stir well. Cover and cook on low for 5 to 6 hours or 2 1/2 to 3 hours on high, until chicken is tender. In a small bowl, combine chili powder and lemon juice until smooth. Stir into slow cooker. Stir in red pepper. Cover and cook on high for about 20 minutes, until red pepper is tender. Adjust seasoning with salt, if desired. Serve sprinkled with cheese. Serves four to five.

Note: If the chipolte barbecue-style beans cannot be located, use regular beans in tomato sauce and substitute about 1 teaspoon chipolte chile powder for the regular chili powder or not if you do not like hot seasonings.

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Chicken stew and dumplings is something that my grandmother and mom could make to perfection. Their dumplings were high and fluffy, and the veggies and gravy was very tasty with the cubes of chicken.

This comes from "Best of Bridge Slow Cooker Cookbook" and is billed as "Just like mom used to make, but you are not chained to the stove."

Chicken Stew and Dumplings

Stew:

2 carrots, chopped

2 stalks celery, chopped

2 potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes

2 bay leaves

8 skinless bone-in chicken thighs

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

2 onions, chopped

4 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

Salt and pepper

1 tablespoon cider vinegar

2 tablespoons flour

2 cups chicken broth

Dumplings:

1 1/2 cups flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

1 egg, lightly beaten

2/3 cup 2 percent or whole milk

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

Place carrots, celery, potatoes and bay leaves in a 5- to 6-quart slow cooker. Arrange chicken on top. In a skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add onions, garlic, thyme, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Cook, stirring for 5 minutes. Stir in vinegar and cook for 15 seconds. Stir in flour. Whisk in broth and bring to a boil. Pour over chicken. Cover and cook on low for five to six hours or on high for 2 1/2 to three hours, until juices run clear when chicken is pierced. Discard bay leaves.

Dumplings: In a bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt. In another bowl, combine parsley, egg, milk and oil. Pour over flour mixture and stir until just combined. Drop batter by heaping tablespoonfuls onto stew. Cover and cook on high for about 20 minutes, until dumplings are no longer doughy on the bottom. Serve immediately. Serves four to six.

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This is another old-fashioned dish, something made each Sunday for a big family dinner, roasted chicken. I know it was a standard meat in our house many Sundays.

This recipe is from "Family Favorites," which notes that the chicken smells delicious while it is roasting and is something that can be put in the oven in early morning and be done when the family comes home from church.

Mother's Roasted Chicken

3-pound chicken

2 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon paprika

3/4 teaspoon pepper

1/2 teaspoon onion powder

1/2 teaspoon thyme

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

1 cup chopped onions

Thoroughly rinse inside and outside of chicken. Combine seasonings and rub on outside of chicken. Place in a plastic bag and refrigerate overnight. Before roasting, stuff the cavity with chopped onion and roast uncovered at 250 degrees for five hours.

(McCoy can be contacted at emccoy@heraldstaronline.com.)

 
 

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