Monday, October 25, 2010

0 to Dinner in Three Hours!

I know that doesn't sound all that impressive but I thought it was. The menu consisted of the following:

Fried Chicken (boneless breast)
Baked macaroni and cheese
Green bean casserole
glazed carrots

The bulk of the work definitely was the chicken and macaroni and cheese. The green bean casserole was the standard recipe on the side of the fried onion container and the carrots were cooked in butter and then sweetened with brown sugar. Easy Peasy.

For the macaroni and cheese, I adapted my recipe from Delilah's 7 cheese version. I shredded, using my handy food processor, velveeta, mozzarella, fontina, cheddar, smoked gouda (secret ingredient) and asiago cheeses, in whatever proportions looked ok based on what I had on hand. It was a LOT of freaking cheese, trust me on this. I debated adding pepper jack but opted not to this time around. To this I added a mixture of 5 beaten eggs, 2 sticks melted butter and a mixture of heavy cream and 1/2 and 1/2 that probably measured in around 4 Cups. Yeah, this ain't health food folks! Every thing was mixed into a HUGE bowl along with 2 pounds cooked pasta and some salt and pepper until all components were incorporated evenly. I put this in a baking pan and cooked it at 350 for about an hour. I topped it with crushed cheez-its crackers during the last few minutes of baking. I chose to use a disposable pan for this because I only have one oven rack and the pan had to be small enough to share oven space with the green bean casserole but deep enough to hold all that macaroni. It turned out to be a really smart move because it made clean up a hell of a lot easier! BONUS!

For the fried chicken I prepped the chicken breasts the night before and soaked them overnight in buttermilk. When it came time to bread them I seasoned a mixture of cornstarch and flour with salt, pepper, paprika, garlic powder, celery salt, basil, thyme and oregano. Each chicken piece was dipped in beaten egg, dredged in the seasoned flour and set on a rack to "get gummy" before cooking. Once the rack was full I heated the vegetable oil and deep fried the pieces, returning them to the rack to drain when done. (yes I washed the rack to prevent cross contamination). The resulting chicken was delicious! And as a feather in my cap, I managed to get it all done and on the table in about three hours without completely trashing my kitchen! YAY! With DH helping me, clean up was a snap and we got to spend some time afterwards with our dinner guests. Perfect!

No comments:

Post a Comment