Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Mom's "FAMOUS" Russian Chicken

This is by far my favorite thing I make!  This recipe stuck with me since I was a kid obviously because it was super YUMMY!  So here's the backstory, when I was a kid my mom cooked chicken all the time, I was sick of it and even it was one of the reasons why I became a vegetarian for 4 years---no longer one, as you can see.  But this recipe always made the house smell mouth watering.  When I moved out and after my vegetarian years, I asked my mom for the "Famous Russian Chicken" recipe she had always made.

Later, I found out that her Famous Russian chicken was super popular and it wasn't her own recipe, but hey it's still freaking awesome!

So I tend to use Skinless Boneless thighs when I cook this, but it's totally up to you and what you enjoy.  In addition to that you need,
Apricot Marmalade
Red Russian Dressing
Lipton Onion soup/dip Mix

 Now I've messed this up when I first started making it because I confused apricot marmalade with orange or my dad bought the wrong russian dressing so take a look at the picture and clarify any of the confusion ya'll have!

After all the times I've made this, I find myself mixing the marinade first so I can coat the bottom of the chicken pan before I lay it in there--you know, you need to have the flavor everywhere!!
So, I used about...

  • half the jar of Apricot marmalade (6oz)
  • about 1/3 to 1/2 of Russian dressing
  • 1 package of Onion mix.  

Mixing it all together I then spread a thing layer at the bottom of the pan before laying down the chicken.

Now having 6 thighs, I still use a small glass pan probably 6"x10".  The chicken is usually overlapping but it still cooks, so I'm not to worried.  After the chicken is clean, I just plop it down in the pan and pour the marinade all over it.  Making sure the top of each piece is coated generously.  ***Warning, although it looks like a lot of marinade or a lot is on each chicken.  It thins out in the oven and you have a lot of juice left over to add on your mashed potatoes or pilaf or whatever side you chose to enjoy it with :)

Next throw it in the oven, middle shelf @ 350 and let it cook.  Depending on if you have bone or not, cook it as if you would any other chicken.  I cook my 6 boneless thighs for about 30 minutes.  (maybe that's a little longer since I do have overlapping chicken) but each chicken is their own..Ha!

While the chicken is cooking, my family usually makes mashed potatoes or rice pilaf and a
 vegetable.  Perfect amount of time for me to  *cough* heat up my mashed potatoes and cook my veggies.  I love me some broccoli or asparagus and even carrots with this chicken.

--For my broccoli I just boil it in water till I find the right tenderness I like and for asparagus, I roast it stove top with some salt and olive oil.

Don't mind my asparagus, they weren't cooked enough with me being sidetracked due to the salt that decided to explode.....

*And an extra plus with this recipe is that with all the stuff for this one meal you have enough to make it another time!

Good Luck and Enjoy

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Gettin' Nutty in the Kitchen

I'm sure everyone has been going pie crazy with Thanksgiving in just two days but my baking had nothing to do with Turkey Day and this pie won't even see the rest of the family.  But again, Pinterest recipes caught my eye and mini pecan pies it was!!  ..I figured mini pies weren't as scary as a normal 9".  And for some reason, I don't know why, but making a pecan pie has always scared me!  Not to worry, everything turned out just dandy.....

So when I started out, mini pecan pies were the plan and then my pops got involved and of course he wanted to make both, minies and a normal size pie! WHAT!?  We opted to make a 9" instead just because I had the wrong muffin pan :(
      Downside of having 2 kitchens, half my baking pans are at my apartment instead of my house...Wamp wamp

BUTTT, after looking at a few recipes and finally picking one based on reviews, it was pretty simple.  Who would've thunk!?

Brown sugar, corn syrup (Karo), eggs, butter and vanilla and wahlaa..just needed to add the pecans and  it's that simple!
*Ok so one thing I did change was the fact that the recipe calls for dark brown sugar, we only had light brown sugar and after *cough* extensive *cough* research, I figured light brown wouldn't do much harm.  Only difference is the amount of molasses in it..all depends on your personal preference and taste buds.
       And for the pecans, I made my dad break up the pecans into halves.  That was his specific job Hehe.  As any of my friends know, I'm a tough cookie to be in the kitchen with since I totally believe in having to many cooks in the kitchen does no one any good..so needless to say he had his minor rules in this process.  But in actuality, this pie was super simple and probably the easiest pie I've ever made.

We ended up using store bought pie crust just because me and crust don't do well together.  I don't have time for that stuff, OK I do but I rather not.  So mix the ingredients together then add the pecans and pour them into the crust and into the oven it goes.  **I added a handful of chocolate chips to half of it because I was curious of how it would turn out. (Long story short, years ago I tried this chocolate pecan pie it was one of the yummiest desserts I've ever had...never found out who made it and never had it again, sad day for all)

I was also a little nervous after having it all mixed it because it really didn't look much filling.  Pouring it into the pan it came to be a little more than half filled.  (sorry for no picture) but once it was in the oven, as my dad guessed, it did rise and filled out beautifully.

Now let me tell you, the smell of a pecan pie cooking----Wooo Nelly, it was scrumptious!!  45 minutes later @ 350....

..... and a skype session later the pie was cool enough to try and it was deliciouso!  Totally worth adding chocolate chips too!! As my dad said, we sadly didn't have any vanilla ice cream to pair it with like he did when he was a kid, but don't worry, he still ate every little bit without it.  And absolutely better still warm, our microwave is broken and it's definitely not the same 2nd time around.


>>>>Here's the site I got it from and a few suggested variations in the reviews..totally worth checking out!    Original Pecan Pie Recipe!

Baking more pie tomorrow so who knows what will turn out but should be cooking up some more fun stuff this weekend since my boyfriends in town for a visit so check back for more home trials..

Sorry for the lengthy chronicle of this adventure but lesson learned, no need to fear the classic Pecan Pie..it most likely is going to be one of your easiest pies to make.  Curious to see how it worked out for others if you decide to try it out!

Happy Thanksgiving and Black Friday shopping to all!

Monday, November 4, 2013

Start of Something New

Hopping back on the saddle and trying a new blog dedicated to food mainly but things I find on Pinterest that I try and just want to share.  I love trying new crafts or recipes but what's the fun if other people can't see or taste how yummy or awesome it is?  Here's my Pinterest if you wanna follow >> http://www.pinterest.com/laurelrosee/

So here's a little about me, nicknamed LuLu since I was a kid and now I'm getting ready to graduate college and start figuring out what to do with life other than being a part time comedian amongst my friends.  Lover of basketball, movies, playing around with makeup and SourPatch Watermelon.   I am definitely a home body but have an obsession with decorating for holidays/planning parties, making nifty crafts and organizing things.  I've recently moved into an apartment with my two childhood best friends.  Now they say never live with your friends because you don't want to ruin your friendship but what my problem is, is our old, yucky, broken stove. Now mind you this was before me and the ladies moved in...
Better/Updated pic coming soon!

  BUT coming from a house where my grandfather cooked delicious Italian food, my dad grilled and my mom would let me bake whatever I wanted - having a crap stove is one of the most annoying things EVER!  I've had the apartment since the summer but have only cooked a few times.  I tried to make an apple pie and within 10 minutes my smoke alarms were going off and the crust was burnt to a crisp.  My brownies were uneven and somewhat burnt and my pizza crust was extra crispy.   To put it lightly, I HATE THIS STOVE and miss baking.  Cooking things isn't as bad but when you just want to make a cake or brownies and can't, life is rough.  So most of my cooking is done when I go home to visit my dad and make dinner or suck it up and cook when my boyfriend comes to visit.  My landlord is promising a new stove soon, so fingers crossed :)

I plan on posting most of the dinners I make when my boyfriend comes for a visit or plan a dinner at home, that's really when the cooking creativity gets flowing.  Pinterest "Food and Drink" is my best friend the week before.  

My true love definitely is baking desserts.  I used to want to go to culinary school but still have a secret dream of owning my own bakery.  Every time I see a bakery I have to go in just to look at the cupcakes, because unfortunately cupcakes always look better than they taste, right?! 

So hope you enjoy and bare with me, I've got a lot to say and love to share so here we go!

Honey Chicken

From the start, I was questioning this recipe since it was kind of open ended.  I found it on Pinterest but without the link connected to it--Don't you hate that?!  But I found a way and it came out delicious!

Here's the Pinterest link to check it out

But I don't know about you, but I first go by picture and then click to see if I have most of the ingredients already and if it seems easy enough.  I love to cook and try new things, don't get me wrong but I'm not trying to be the next Iron Chef playing around with new ingredients.

Anywho,  I started the typical chicken process by cleaning the 8 Skinless boneless thighs.  The batter asked for:
1/2 cup Flour
2 Tbsp. Black pepper
2 Tbsp. Salt 
2 Tbsp. Paprika

I just eyeballed it and whatever looked good, I went with.  I've never been much of a breaded person whether it be eggplant, chicken or veal the oil always gives me a headache and it's just not my thing.

*One tip I definitely will follow next time is to put in a large enough pan the chicken is not overlapping!

Put the battered chicken in the oven @ 400 for about 10 minutes.  While that was cooking I mixed the liquids:
1/2 cup Honey
1/2 stick Butter
3 Tbsp BBQ sauce
1/3 cup of Lemon Juice

Honey is a pain in the butt to get out unless you heat it up, I definitely recommend that!  I also didn't have enough lemon juice so I used whatever I had and then the rest of white vinegar (found on google that white vinegar was a good substitute).

I mixed all that up and just poured it over the chicken when it came out.  I cooked it all for another 20 minutes.  I took it out with about 5-10 minutes left and spooned the marinade over the top of the chicken where it looked dry.  I love me some Honey BBQ!

I served it with mashed potatoes and peas.  I find that any chicken with a good juice marinade is best paired with mashed potatoes or pilaf so that yumminess mixes in and doesn't go to waste :)  I do the same for my famous Russian Chicken which I will post later..It is my absolute favorite dish that stuck with me since I was kid, other than Kraft Mac n Cheese of course!

Now sit, relax and enjoy!

**Possible Readjustments:  Try without batter (I definitely will next time) and a little less lemon juice/vinegar.  I scraped off most of the breading but the chicken still held the flavor and I like my marinade a little thicker than juicier.