Friday, September 27

Crunchy Tarragon Chicken: Winner Winner Chicken Dinner

So in my adventurous quest to try to do 30 new Rachael Ray recipes in 30 days I have found recipe number 6. This is my winner winner chicken dinner. Crunch. Crunch. Crunch. This tasty Tarragon Chicken recipe was an overnight success at my house! I just like saying that word Tarragon. Its sounds so fancy. I don't think I will be cooking chicken any other way for quite a while. It was easy, flavorful, and (my favorite part) I was able to use a whole chicken cut up (which is a good for sustainable eating than only buying chicken parts).  It feels good to use a whole chicken and even a bit thrifty since I was able to use the chicken bones to make some chicken stock for my freezer. 

Look how beautiful and golden brown this chicken is when it comes out of the oven. The only thing that could've made it better was baking it on a sheet pan with a rack instead of my glass casserole dishes for that extra crunch factor. 

I made some changes from the original recipe, taken from. Rachael Ray's October 21012 issue of Everyday but I kept it to a minimum because I really wanted to see if it would work with chicken AND fish. Its like the game of Clue. Did you ever play that growing up? Clue is a board game where you had travel around the board asking questions to find out who killed whatever his name was, in which room, which what weapon.  I found the best way to throw people off your trail, or really confirm your suspicion about a room/weapon/or person you have to isolate different factors. So with this recipe I am isolating the breading changes so I make sure it works with chicken before I try it with fish. We are big fish eaters in my house. Although there will always be a place in my heart for a piece of crunchy chicken that stays moist on the inside! 

Crunchy Tarragon Chicken
Serves 5-8 (8 pieces of chicken) 
prep + cooking time: 25-30 minutes

1 whole chicken cut up into 8 parts
1 egg yolk
1 Tbs dijon mustard
3 Tbs fresh Tarragon
1/2 cup of grated or shredded good parmesan cheese 
(not the fake kind in the green container) 
1 cup of panko breadcrumbs
1 cup of olive oil
1/4 tsp pepper + 1/4 tsp pepper + 1/4 tsp pepper (divided)
1/2 tsp salt + 1/2 tsp salt + 1/4 tsp salt (divided)
half of juice from a lemon approx 1/2-1 Tbs
1 tsp of old bay seasoning

1. Preheat your oven to 450 degrees

2. Pat your chicken dry and sprinkle it with 1/2 tsp salt, old bay seasoning, and 1/4 tsp pepper. 

3. In a bowl create a homemade mayo to dip the chicken into for glue for the crunchy breadcrumbs.  Combine: mustard, chopped tarragon, lemon juice, 1/4 tsp pepper, 1/4 tsp salt, and the egg yolk. I found by whisking these together and then SLOWLY adding in a cup of olive oil it thickens a bit faster. Also throwing it in the fridge for 2-3 minutes, covered with plastic wrap, makes it firm faster into a mayo-store bought sauce consistency. 

4. In a large bowl or flat dish combine panko, shredded or grated parm, and remaining salt and pepper. This part was kinda comical in my house because I was working from a triangle piece of parmesan cheese and didn't want to take the time to shred/grate it with my food processor so I actually diced it into fine pieces... seemed to work okay although I wouldn't advise it if you didn't have to - ie... weren't being lazy like me. 

5. If you are using a casserole dish - spray it with nonstick spray before you start getting your hands messy. Create an assembly line with the the seasoned chicken first, mayo second, breadcrumb mix third, and a baking sheet or casserole dishes at the end. So you are spreading, dipping, or dunking your chicken into the yummy wet homemade mayo, then rolling each piece in the seasoned breadcrumbs, and placing each piece of chicken on the pan or in a casserole dish to be baked. Try to give each other a little room - use two baking dishes if necessary to let the heat and air circulate in the oven so everything gets crispy and not damp from being crowded and steamed. 

6. Bake for 20-25 minutes until juices of chicken run clear. Everything should be crisp and golden brown. 

7. Serve & eat with your favorite veggies. As seen below, we had green beans sautéed with shallots & butter, and some homemade rolls I had so smartly tucked away in the freezer for a quick easy side. I love it when I am able to make just a tiny bit extra of rolls or bread and put in it in the freezer to just complete a meal a week, two or three weeks later :)  

Enjoy some crunch with this fun 
Rachael Ray recipe 
From my kitchen to yours

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