Saturday, March 8, 2008

Almond-Crusted Oven-Fried Chicken; Cranberry Walnut Bread

Saturday is Pancake Day and today we had a real winner—Oat Pear Hazelnut Pancakes. This was a doctored buttermilk pancake mix concoction, but the finished result was unexpectedly spectacular.

1 ¼ cups buttermilk pancake mix

½ cup old-fashioned rolled oats

¾ teaspoon baking powder

¼ teaspoon baking soda

water (or whatever the mix calls for)

1 tablespoon canola oil

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3 tablespoons toasted chopped hazelnuts

Blend dry ingredients together in one bowl, wet in another. Add wet to dry, mix lightly; fold in hazelnuts.

Let stand for 10 minutes before cooking.

I should get back to making large batches of my healthier pancake mix, but it’s so easy to use the premade buttermilk mix and add to it. :)

Today, while we ate these wonderful pancakes, we watched the weather trifecta. First rain, then sleet, then before our very eyes, snow. And as hard as it snowed, we probably received only an inch. A bit disappointing, considering the dire warnings that had been broadcast since yesterday.

It is pretty darn cold, though, and to warm up the kitchen a bit before dinner I made a loaf of cranberry walnut bread. Every time I make it I tweak the recipe somewhat, but my handwritten notes say (in red, no less) do not change! this is great!!!. Okay, I believed myself. I made the bread, and I agree-- it is really good. Chock-full of walnuts, tart cranberries, and not too sweet.

* Exported from MasterCook *

Recipe By: Vicci

Servings: 14

Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method

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1 cup all-purpose flour

3/4 cup oat bran

3/4 cup granulated sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup walnuts -- coarsely chopped

1 large egg

1 large egg white

2/3 cup plain low-fat yogurt

2 tablespoons canola oil

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 1/2 cups cranberries -- fresh or frozen, chopped

Preheat oven to 375F. Mix dry ingredients (flour through salt) in a large bowl. Stir in walnuts; set aside.

Whisk eggs in a medium bowl; add yogurt, oil, and vanilla and mix well.

Pour wet ingredients into dry, stirring until just combined. Lightly fold in cranberries.

Scrape batter into an 8"x 4" loaf pan coated with cooking spray. Bake for 50-55 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in pan for 10 minutes; remove to cooling rack and cool completely.

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Per serving: 152 Calories (kcal); 5g Total Fat (1g saturated); (30% calories from fat); 4g Protein; 24g Carbohydrate; 14mg Cholesterol; 207mg Sodium

Food Exchanges: 1/2 Grain(Starch); 0 Lean Meat; 0 Vegetable; 0 Fruit; 7 Fat; 1/2 Other Carbohydrates


I had wanted to make a soup or stew, but Jack asked for something more substantial (I wish I could get him to accept soups and salads as a main course for dinner, but after 25 years I’ve given up).

After looking through some blogs this afternoon, I found myself hungry for fried chicken. Thanks, Nikki! But I haven’t fried anything in many, many years. The last “real” fried chicken I had was at my Gram’s about 8 years ago. So I decided to make oven-fried chicken. I don’t know where this recipe comes from, as it was Xeroxed from a book and there is no identification, but it is awesome. Not the same fried chicken that Gram made (and who could duplicate it, anyway); hers had a flour coating. This one is covered with a mix of wheat breadcrumbs and almonds and, when baked on a rack in a hot oven, is nice and crunchy. Again, not Gram’s (and I’d give a lot just to have her cook some for me again) but better for my waistline and cholesterol levels.

And I just had to have mashed white potatoes and gravy. And peas. Almost like Sunday dinner at Gram’s, except that this is Saturday…

* Exported from MasterCook *

Almond Crusted "Fried" Chicken

Servings: 2

Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method

---------- ---------- ----------------------------------------

1/3 cup whole wheat bread crumbs

1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese

2 tablespoons chopped almonds -- (chop finely)

1/2 teaspoon paprika

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

pinch dried thyme

pinch ground black pepper

10 ounces boneless skinless chicken breast -- (2 pieces)

1 tablespoon olive oil

Preheat over to 400F. Spray a baking pan with cooking spray, the place a rack inside the pan and spray that also. Set aside.

Mix crumbs through black pepper on a plate. Place chicken on another plate, rub on both sides wih olive oil. Place chicken on the crumb mixture, press; turn and press down. Coat both sides with the crumb mixture, pressing down as necessary to get the crumb mixture to "stick". Place on the rack, keeping plenty of room between.

Bake for 20-25 minutes until coating is golden and juices run clear when poked in the thickest part with a fork.

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Per serving: 352 Calories (kcal); 15g Total Fat (3g saturated); (38% calories from fat); 38g Protein; 15g Carbohydrate; 84mg Cholesterol; 287mg Sodium

Food Exchanges: 1 Grain(Starch); 5 Lean Meat; 0 Vegetable; 0 Fruit; 2 1/2 Fat; 0 Other Carbohydrates

As I sat typing into my laptop, I saw a movement out of the corner of my eye. A cardinal had landed in the bush outside of the window, trying to find shelter from the snow.


Karen said...

Hi Vicci!
Thanks so much for checking in with me. The ankle is unfortunately the same. I haven't moved off the couch in a week. I'll probably know more about how it's healing by my next doctor's appointment in 10 days. For now, I'm getting plenty of rest and going out of my mind! I know you can relate!! I hope your recovery is going well.

Yes, the pantry is diminishing fast. We're eating a lot of cold salads with beans and cheese. Nothing too ambitious. He got frustrated last night using the food processor for the first time and literally walked away with his hands up in the air. Poor guy. He hasn't made so much as a scrambled eggs in over a year and now I'm asking him to saute, simmer and braise. Well, at least he knows how much work it is :-)

All the best,

Nicolette (Nikki) Miller-Ka said...

Vicci, your chicken looks great! What brand breadcrumbs did you use? I've just discovered Ian's Whole Wheat Panko Breadcrumbs and I use them on EVERYTHING. Even salad instead of croutons.

Your pancakes, sadly I'm allergic to nuts, but they sound very nutritious and filling.

Kitchen Queen Victoria said...

Karen, amazingly, your husband has had more experience in the kitchen than mine! I agree with you on your last sentence-- I've heard him talking to his friends and he now realizes that it's not that easy to put a meal together. We just make it look that way!

Nikki, I had no idea that ww panko crumbs existed! I'll have to keep a lookout next time I take a trip to Whole Foods or TJ's. I save the ends of my bread, pitas, etc. and make my own crumbs. But I love the texture of panko-- thanks for the tip!