If you’re looking for a delicious, easy-to-make recipe that’s guaranteed to get you in the summertime mood, then look no further than this impressive recipe for cajun-brined fried chicken from Louisiana Cookin’.
Fried chicken is a staple of American cooking, and it’s sound reasoning to expect that every Cajun chef should have a recipe for a spicy fried chicken dinner in their back pocket. Now, while frying chicken might appear to be deceptively easy to make, it can also be extremely easy to screw up, as using the wrong brine can leave your fried chicken found wanting.
Luckily, this recipe’s reliance on cajun-brining your chicken for at least 8 hours but preferably overnight is a sure-fire way to assure that your fried chicken dinner is delicious, delectable, and always on the menu.
Then, you’ll begin whisking your remaining ingredients in a large bowl. Whisk together your remaining 1/4 cup of salt and 1/3 cup of Cajun seasoning with your black pepper, flour, and cayenne pepper. Then, In another large bowl, combine your buttermilk and hot sauce.
When ready to dredge and begin cooking, remove your chicken from the brine and pat it dry. Then, using one of your 8 chicken pieces at a time, dredge your chicken in the flour mixture while shaking off any excess flour, dip the floured piece into the buttermilk mixture, allowing for the excess to drip off into the pan, and then dredge it in the flour mixture once more. Shake off any excess, and place the pieces onto your prepared pan.
Cook the chicken in batches, turning it occasionally, until each piece is golden brown on all sides. This takes about 5 to 8 minutes in total. Throughout the frying process, you might need to adjust the Dutch oven’s heat as necessary to maintain 350 °F.
You’ll begin this recipe by starting with preparing the tomato sauce. You’ll do this by heating your extra-virgin olive oil in a large Dutch oven, or alternatively, you can use another heavy pot over medium heat. After the oil is heated, you’ll add your onion and 8 cloves of garlic and begin to cook them while stirring often. Continue this just until the onions and garlic are softened but not browned (about 5 minutes), at which point you’ll add in your tomato paste and red pepper flakes. Continue to cook and stir until the paste is slightly darkened in color. In fact, the paste should begin to fry in olive oil.
Add in your tomato purée, salt, and sugar, and bring it all to a simmer. Then, partially cover the pot with a lid in order to avoid splattering, reduce your heat so that the sauce is kept at a very bare simmer, and cook it while still stirring occasionally until it’s slightly thickened. This should take approximately 40-50 minutes.
Next, you’ll begin the chicken assembly by placing 1 chicken breast at a time onto a cutting board so that a short side of the chicken is facing towards you. Then, as you hold a chef’s knife parallel to the breast, slice along the middle of a long side of the chicken in order to make a slit. Continue to slice until you are about ½” away from the other side. Then, open up the chicken breast like a book and place it between two sheets of wax paper or plastic wrap. You’ll then pound the breast with a meat mallet or rolling pin until the chicken is about ⅓” thick. Ensure that the chicken is super thin so that it will keep from overheating. Repeat this step for the remaining chicken breasts.
Combine your five garlic cloves, lemon juice, and olive oil in a large baking dish. Then, season your chicken cutlets all over with salt; you can use about ¾ teaspoons of Diamond Crystal or a ½ teaspoon of Morton koshersalt per cutlet. Afterward, add the cutlets to your marinade while turning the chicken over to fully coat. Then, let them sit for at least 20 minutes but not longer than 1 hour.
At this point, you’ll make a dredging station, for which you’ll whisk your eggs, garlic powder, salt, and about 2 tablespoons of water in a large shallow bowl such as a cake pan or pie plate. Then in another large shallow bowl, place your panko breadcrumbs, and place your flour into a third. Whisk the remaining salt into the flout, mixing it together.
As you work with one chicken cutlet at a time, take a cutlet out of the marinade and let any excess drip off. Then, dip the cutlet into the egg wash, dredge it in panko (pressing firmly to adhere), gently shake off the excess, and place the cutlet onto a rimmed baking sheet. Repeat this process for the other cutlets, and chill for at least 20 minutes but not longer than 8 hours.
Then, set a wire rack inside a second large rimmed baking sheet, and grate your mozzarella on the large hotels of a box cheese grater into a medium bowl. Add some Parmesan cheese, and toss to combine. Next, you’ll pour your vegetable oil into a large high-sided heave skillet so that the oil comes up 1” on all sides. Heat the oil over medium until an instant-read thermometer registers at 400°F.
Working in batches to avoid over-crowding the pan and returning the oil to 400°F after each batch, you’ll very carefully lower the cutlets into the skillet with tongs and cook them until they’re each golden brown. This should take approximately 2 minutes per side. Afterward, transfer the cutlets to the prepared rack and season each with salt.
Now you’ll heat your boiler and arrange the cutlets so that they are sitting side by side in 2 large baking dishes.Generously spoon some sauce over each cutlet and put the remaining sauce into baking dishes around the cutlets. Cover them with your cheese mixture and broil just until the cheese is melted, bubbling, and browned in spots. This should only take about 4 minutes- at which point you’ll remove this chicken from the broiler, let them cool slightly, and sprinkle with parsley before serving.
Notes for Chicken Parmesan:
You can make the tomato sauce up to two days ahead of time. Follow steps 1-2 above, let it cool, transfer the sauce to an airtight container, cover, and chill until you need it for the chicken.
When your chicken cutlets are marinating, the lemon juice will turn the chicken flesh opaque, but that’s to be expected.
This recipe was penned for EatingWell Magazine by James Beard Award-winning cookbook author Virginia Willis. Willis commented on the misconception that gravy automatically categorizes a meal as unhealthy by saying, “I love gravy; in my mind, there are rivers of it in heaven! Using a minimum amount of oil to make the roux reduces calories. The result is good, country-style cooking—always welcome on my weight-loss plan.”
Ingredients for the Smothered Chicken:
1 pound of boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed
Now, you’ll add in your onions, the remaining 1 tablespoon of extra-virgin olive oil, ½ teaspoon of salt, and ⅛ teaspoon of pepper to the pan and reduce the overall heat to medium. Cook the contents of the pan while stirring occasionally. Continue cooking just until the onions are a golden brown color, which normally takes approximately 5 to 7 minutes total. Once they’re browned, add in your minced garlic and cook until the pan’s contents are quite fragrant, which usually takes approximately 45 to 60 seconds.
At this point, you’ll take the remaining flour mixture that you used to dredge the chicken breasts earlier, and you’ll tip the remaining mixture into the onions while stirring to coat them in the flour. Add the chicken broth to the pan and increase your heat to medium-high, bringing it to a complete boil while stirring often.
After the pan is boiling, adjust the heat so that you’re maintaining a simmer. At which point you’ll add in your reserved chicken, any and all juices that have accumulated, thyme, and your bay leaf. Position your chicken so that they’re nestled into the onions, and turn them to fully coat them.
For some cooks, the most daunting part of any new cooking adventure is imagining the pile of dishes that will be left afterward. But, thanks to this recipe from Food52 that has you preparing a delectable arrangement of bacon-wrapped chicken, dates, arugula, and blue cheese all in a single skillet, you’ll have more time to enjoy your meal and notice how single-pot cooking really blends the flavor profiles of different ingredients together.
Begin this recipe by arranging an oven rack approximately 6 inches away from the broiler. Preheat the oven to 400°F or 375°F on a convection oven.
Remove your chicken from the packaging and pat them dry with a paper towel. Then, mix your paprika and coriander together in a small bowl and evenly rub that spice mix on both sides of all chicken breast pieces. Afterward, season both sides with salt and pepper.
Starting at the bottom of the thickest end of a chicken breast piece, wrap 1 slice of bacon around the breast working toward the middle and ending on the bottom of the piece. Take another slice of bacon, and continue wrapping until the chicken is completely wrapped. It’s okay if your bacon pieces are slightly overlapping at the ends of the two slices. Just ensure that your bacon seams are on the bottom, as the bacon will stay intact better this way. Refrigerate the bacon-wrapped chicken for up to 8 hours in advance, then remove from the fridge 10 to 15 minutes before using.
Heat 2 tablespoons of your olive oil in a 12-inch (or larger) ovenproof skillet over medium heat. Once the skillet is properly heated, arrange the chicken breasts with the bacon seam side down in the skillet, and cook them undisturbed for about 4 minutes. Cook them just until the bacon starts to render its fat and begins to brown on the underside. You can check the bottoms by gently lifting the chicken breasts with a spatula to make monitoring easier. Then remove the skillet from the heat.
Meanwhile, mix your maple syrup and chile sauce in a small bowl. Taste it, and add more chile sauce according to your preference. Brush the top sides of each chicken breast with the maple-chile sauce. In the skillet, nestle the 8 Medjool dates around the breasts so that they’ll roast in the pan sauce. Just be sure not to place any dates on top of the chicken.
Transfer your skillet to the oven and roast it for 10 minutes, baste the chicken with the pan sauce, and check the internal temperature. You’re going to want to continue to roast it until the thermometer registers between 150°F and 165°F, which typically takes less than 5 minutes or closer to 20 minutes depending on the thickness of the pieces. For additional flavor, baste your chicken each time you check the temperature. Remove the skillet from the oven, baste again, and transfer your dates onto a cutting board.
Transfer the chicken to your cutting board, let them rest for 5 to 10 minutes, and then slice each breast to your preference. Alternatively, you can leave them whole.
Meanwhile, make your vinaigrette in the skillet by whisking the vinegar into the pan sauce. Taste it, add more vinegar and/or salt until you find the perfect balance of salty, sweet, and tangy flavors.
In a medium bowl, toss your arugula (or other tender greens) with just enough of the vinaigrette to lightly coat the leaves, and then add in your dates and cheese, and toss it all again. Divide the salad and chicken among plates, spoon a little extra vinaigrette over the chicken prior to serving, and enjoy.
When selecting the chicken breasts, you’ll want to not only choose breasts that are roughly equal in size and weight, but you’ll want to aim for about 1 ¾ to 2 pounds in total weight.
Excellently-roasted chicken that’s properly seasoned and cooked with herbs is the perfect hearty dinnertime meal for this time of year, and this particularly delicious recipe from Food 52 hits the savory and sweet spot needed for the fall or winter season.
You’ll begin this delicious recipe by patting your bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs with a dry paper towel, so as to soak up any excess juices from the packaging. Then you’ll set the chicken thighs on a small tray or plate and season them all over with salt. Then set them aside as you prep the other ingredients.
At this point, open your oven and position one rack in the center and one in the top slot. Preheat the oven to 425°F.
Place your garlic heads (with each head’s top third sliced off) on a rimmed sheet pan alongside your peeled and cut carrots. Drizzle this garlic and carrot-filled sheet pan generously with olive oil, season it with salt and pepper, and toss it all together to coat fully. Lastly, turn the garlic so that the cut-side is facing downward.
Next, finely chop enough sprigs of rosemary to yield 1 teaspoon. Transfer your chicken thighs (with the skin-side facing upward) to the sheet pan with garlic and carrots. At this point, you’ll carefully peel back the skin on the chicken thighs and evenly spread the lemon curd on the top of each thigh. Next, evenly sprinkle your chicken with the chopped rosemary and follow it by sprinkling the urfa biber or red pepper flakes. Smooth the skin back over the lemon curd and season your thighs with salt and pepper. Lightly-drizzle the thighs with oil, place the remaining rosemary sprigs onto the sheet pan, and add your lemon halves with the cut-side facing downward.
Roast this filled sheet pan on the center rack for 25 minutes. Throughout the cooking process, rotate your thighsand shuffle the ones near the edges of the sheet tray toward the middle and vice versa. Flip over your lemon and garlic heads after the initial 25 minutes are through, and then continue roasting for 5-7 more minutes. You should be sure to keep a watchful eye on the chicken thighs and roast them until the skin is golden. If you want extra crispy skin, you can place the sheet pan under the broiler for 30 seconds to 1 minute.
Lastly, to finish things off, you’ll bring your sheet pan to the table, set it atop a trivet, divide the pieces among three plates, and sprinkle it all with flaky salt. Squeeze the roasted garlic from its papery sheaths and spread it onto the sourdough toast. Squeeze the lemons all over, and enjoy!