3 Recipes 2 Make Your Dinner Easier
Chicken is the number one food that’s served for dinner in America, did you know that? I’m not surprised I guess; it’s widely available, reasonably priced and easy to cook. Come listen to me, my Chickadee, we can make it even better than that.
When it comes to food, I love my thighs, not specifically MY thighs; I pretend those don’t exist, but chicken thighs, now you’re talkin’ dinner.
I buy chicken thighs because they have more flavor, they won’t dry out, they’re cheap and incredibly easy to disassemble. There is only one bone and once the chicken is cooked, it pops right out. I like legs too, I guess I really do go for that dark meat.
White meat dries out and has very little flavor. I don’t want to hear about your cholesterol, the difference in fat between the two meats is miniscule, don’t believe the hype. America really does seem to be a country obsessed with breasts. However, only flavor breeds satisfaction.
I think Murray’s is the best tasting chicken. Look for it in your supermarket, the skin is snow white, as it should be and the flavor is delicious. No, chickens are not supposed to have yellow skin. They’re not born that way naturally, it’s an additive they put into the feed to make them that color. Chicken skin is naturally white. Some genius a long time ago decided that golden yellow skin would be aesthetically pleasing. Schmuck. And yes, Murray’s does taste different from Perdue, sorry Frank.
I like to buy a lot of chicken at one time and put ½ in the freezer. Chicken defrosts very quickly. And since I get caught with my pants down a lot, I have to be able to pull it together very quickly. Chicken saves dinner, and face for that matter.
Preheat your oven to 420°.
You’re going to be using French salad dressing for this recipe. I don’t want you buying any of that “light” garbage. It won’t work, it’s too watery, don’t waste your time. You’re looking for that deep, rich red color. Sometimes it will be called “Country French” or “Catalina”. If you can find it, I like Milano 1890 French dressing. America’s Choice and Ken’s are great choices as well.
Give your thighs a good rinsing and pat down with paper towels. Lay them in a shallow baking dish, such as Pyrex. I think the results are better when the chicken fills the pan but isn’t crammed in.
Put the uncovered chicken into the preheated 420° oven and set the timer for 15 minutes. What you’re doing is prepping the skin for the sauce. After 15 minutes in the oven, the sauce will adhere to it, that’s the trick. If you try to put any sauces or marinades onto chicken before you put it into the oven, when the skin starts to cook, it gives off water. And the sauce runs right off the sides. It works that way on the grill too Fellas.
When it’s time, remove the chicken from the oven, pour the dressing all over the chicken. And I mean ALL over. Put the baking dish back into the oven and set your timer for 25 minutes. Check it. Do YOU have a digital probe meat thermometer? Nice job! You, the one shaking your head, Thanksgiving is coming Einstein, go to Bed Bath and Beyond or Linens and Things and get yourself one! Polder makes a really good one. Make sure you’re buying the one that’s made for in-oven cooking.
You’ll know that the chicken is ready when the skin is tight and nicely coated. All ovens are different. And remember it is very hard to dry out thigh meat so don’t worry about over cooking. Always check with chicken, better safe than sorry. Perfect internal temperature for dark meat in this dish is 180˚ – 185˚.
The sauce will have reduced and it will look as if the pan is filled with red oil. Don’t panic, you’re going to pour it off. All the oil rises out of the dressing, making it easy to discard. It doesn’t soak into the chicken. What you’re left with is the yummiest, gooiest, stickiest sauce you’ve ever had. It’s delicious. Better stock up on that French dressing!
After you’ve poured off the oil and removed the chicken, use a soft spatula to scrape the remaining gravy into a small bowl for dipping.
Mushroom Chicken & Rice
Preheat your oven to 350°
You wanna talk about easy Babe? This is it. Got soup? Good, go find yourself a good ol’e reliable can of cream of mushroom. You’ll need rice too, I like Basmati, but the standard classic is perfect.
You need to rinse and dry your thighs. Set them aside.
Take the baking dish and empty the entire soup can into it. Then fill the same can with rice. Pour it in and make sure you get it all out of the can. Grab a whisk or fork and thoroughly mix the soup and rice together.
Now fill the can with water and stir well until the mixture looks well, for lack of a better word – soupy.
Lay the chicken on top of the soupy mixture, skin side up. The chicken will sink in a little, don’t worry about it. But I will tell you that what is above sea level does get crispy.
Sprinkle the entire dish with Rub All Over – We’re giving away free samples; just send $2.00 shipping and handling to IIMK PO Box 181, Crompond, NY 10517. We’ll get it right out to you. If you can’t wait until your free sample comes, you can try Paprika, Garlic Powder and Kosher Salt. And no, I didn’t just give away my secret recipe. Me and the Colonel, we got our secrets.
Cover with HD foil and put it in the oven for 45 minutes. After the 45 minutes, uncover it and keep it in for 15 minutes more. You will see bubbles coming up around the edges of the baking dish.
You have no idea how yummy the rice is going to be, that’s my favorite part. The rice underneath the chicken gets so moist. It’s a good trick to spread the thigh meat and skin out as wide as possible, the more coverage you have, the richer the rice will be. This dish really is comfort food, and it takes almost no prep time. What, maybe 10 minutes? It doesn’t take long to rinse, pour and stir.
If you have all your ingredients in front of you when you start, you’ll jam through any recipe. We waste more energy, momentum and our place on the page, when we have to stop and find the vanilla. Do it with utensils too. Remember something, Murphy is alive and well and applying all his annoying little laws to your kitchen. Cover your ass.
What’s nice about this dish is that you can prep it in advance. Set it up in the morning and keep it in the fridge. All you have to do than is warm up the oven. C’mon, how much easier can it get? You can prep this dish so far in advance, that you can freeze it. I like cheap disposable tins for that. Keep it wrapped tightly in a few layers of HD tin foil. And preheat your oven to 350° when you’re ready to take it out.
Sharpies are really usefull here. I write the cooking temp and time on the top. I don’t know about you, but when I’m rushing around, little details seem to escape me. Again with the “cover your own” theory.
Take the dish out of the freezer and let it sit for a bout 20 minutes. Keeping the dish covered with HD tin foil, put it in a 350° oven for 1 hour. Check it, the dish will probably need 10 more minutes covered and 15 uncovered. So allow for the extra time. Meat thermometer into the chicken is good here. And this time, a digital probe is not necessary, (see, I told you the day would come). The standard stick it in and check the temp is perfect here. 185°
Believe you, me, there is noting better than sticking dinner in the oven and dinner being done. Now, where did I put that magazine?
Slam dunk, comes out perfect every time. You need a whole chicken – again, Murray’s. Take out all the insides and keep them on the side. Rinse the bird and pat it dry on the outside with paper towels. Get either a roasting pan or a shallow baking dish. You can always go disposable.
Preheat your oven to 420°
Place a bag or two of baby carrots to the bottom of the pan, place the chicken on top. Add the giblets – even if you have no intention of eating them. They’re good, lots of people eat them. They’re so good because they have a lot of flavor. Discard the liver, don’t put that in unless you like it. I do, I fry the little bugger up in bacon fat and eat it as soon as it’s not burning my fingers anymore.
Drizzle the bird and the carrots with Magic Oil. Then lightly sprinkle the whole thing with Sticks & Buds, Rub All Over and Kosher Salt.
Roast the bird, uncovered, without opening the oven door for 1 hour. The skin will be tight, crispy and golden brown. And wait until you taste those carrots. Do not forget to let the bird rest for 10 minutes before carving.
We’re offering free single serving samples of our of Magic Oil and our special Ivey’s In My Kitchen Seasonings; Sticks & Buds, Rub All Over and Kosher Salt. If you would like the sample package of all 4, please send $5.00 Shipping & Handling to:
If you would like a free sample of our individual seasonings, you may send $2.00 for Shipping & Handling. Allow 2-3 weeks for delivery.
Ivey’s In My Kitchen, Inc.
PO Box 181, Crompond, NY 10517