Since I’m going back to basics, I decided to share another one of the first recipes I learned. This was a few years ago, at the height of the bruschetta craze. You know, when it seemed like almost every chain served bruschetta as an appetizer, even if they weren’t Italian. Plus, I needed a break from all this holiday eating. Bruschetta chicken is super easy to make. The ingredients are affordable, remember, I made this in college. It calls for breadcrumbs, but I used panko, it gave it the extra crunch I needed.
Bruschetta Chicken- from Taste of Home Magazine
1/2 cupall purpose flour
4boneless skinless chicken breasts
1/4 cupgrated parmesan cheese
2lage tomatoes, seeded & chopped
3 tbspminced fresh basil
2garlic cloves, minced
1 tbspolive oil
1/4 tsp pepper
* Place flour and eggs in separate shallow bowls. Dip chicken in flour, then in eggs; place in a greased 13-in. x 9-in. baking dish. Combine the cheese, bread crumbs and butter; sprinkle over chicken.
* Loosely cover baking dish with foil. Bake at 375° for 20 minutes. Uncover; bake 5-10 minutes longer or until a meat thermometer reads 170°.
* Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the remaining ingredients. Spoon over the chicken. Return to the oven for 3-5 minutes or until tomato mixture is heated through.
First of all, I have to say that I get a kick out of seeing a place known for its fried chicken next to a restaurant that’s known for healthier fare. It makes me smile. Yes I’m easily amused.
Honey's Kettle storefront
Honey’s Kettle is a small restaurant and was almost to capacity when we arrived for an early dinner on a Saturday. The restaurant was kept fairly clean and fluorescent lighting was all over the place. The staff was accommodating but nothing over the top. The menu included baked goods such as cakes, cookies, pies, and biscuits, fish, and sandwiches but the star was the fried chicken with a menu similar to KFC offering different size combos. One of the more popular items was the Family Pac which included 8 pieces of chicken, 4 biscuits, fries and salad. While many diners were devouring this popular item, it simply was too big for the both of us!
Chicken and Pancakes
I ordered the hotcakes & chicken which did take some time to prepare. Once the order was ready, I was glad with what I saw: golden crisp chicken and fluffy pancakes. Yes, I’m a health conscious eater but I can cheat every now & again. I’m a sucker for fried chicken. The workers were definitely butter & syrup happy as I got so many packets of both that it would make the pancakes swim in the stuff.
The pancakes were very fluffy and had a sweet taste to them, even before I put the syrup on. They really had a homemade southern feel to them. The chicken was crispy and slightly oily but not too overwhelming. The meat was also pretty juicy which is a change from dried chicken I’ve had at other fast food places. It definitely wasn’t a combination that I thought would work but thankfully I was wrong. I really can’t describe but the two went together pretty well. Both equally comforting and would be great hangover food!
I also ordered an orange soda which was served in a classic glass bottle which I thought was a nice touch & went along with the theme of a throw back to a simpler time.
There is a parking garage around the corner from Honey’s Kettle so it’s not too much of a hassle. I would go to this restaurant during the off peak times because it does get pretty full pretty fast. Average menu price is $10.
Here’s another easy recipe: chicken with almonds. There’s really no fuss here at all. It was hard to get an appetizing picture of this. I really do need to take some beginner photography classes at some point! Anyways, enjoy!
4 chicken breasts
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1/2 cup sherry
1/4 c sharp cheddar cheese
3 tbsp grated onion
2 tbsp worcestchire sauce
1/2 c slivered almonts
salt & pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.Salt & pepper chicken, place in baking dish. Combine soup, wine, cheese, onion & worcestshire sauce; pour over chicken. Place almonds on top, cover with foil. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.
On Saturday, a friend & I braved the rain (read: drizzles) and had a girls night out to catch up over one of my favorite activities: eating! Our first stop was Lala’s Argentine Grill on Melrose. The rain wasn’t really an issue to me, but it was still cold either way you look at it. That’s why I was shocked when the hostess asked us if we’d like to sit outside. That was a unanimous no! Sure the patio was screened in & heated but a cool breeze could still be felt in the restaurant. So much so we requested to sit as far away from the patio doors as possible so as not to catch a cold. We were there to eat and it would be highly more enjoyable if we still had feeling in our limbs!
Our server was very pleasant as she was taking our drink and food order. She even asked us if we’d like the chicken skinless which was a good move considering how health conscious everyone is getting these days.
While we waited for our food, the obligatory bread basket was dropped off at our table. They clearly didn’t skimp on bread, as we both had 4 pieces each. The bread was accompanied with a dipping sauce of olive oil, garlic, and cilantro which I thoroughly enjoyed.
After waiting for close to 20 minutes, one of the bussers dropped off my Pechuga de Pollo which is a chicken breast marinated in an orange and lemon sauce. Alongside that was a very large salad with a citrus dressing. It was a rather large portion of a salad. I’m not used to seeing a restaurant serve a portion so big.
This chicken dish looked highly appetizing and of course very healthy at first glance. Sadly, the taste was nothing like it looked. The chicken breast was very dry and bland. Not a trace of orange or citrus could be sensed at all which was a huge disappointment. Thankfully we still had left over dipping sauce from the bread. Slathering the chicken with the dipping sauce completely saved the dish. The salad on the other hand was very tasty, there were no complaints on that end. This dish was literally hit or miss to say the least. The server barley checked on us during the meal. She did offer us dessert but the menu didn’t seem too appetizing to me.
Average menu price: $10
My rating ** out of 5 stars
After a less than scintillating dinner, we decided to head somewhere else to dessert. We ended up at Susina’s.
Susina’s reminded me of Porto’s but on a much smaller scale. I liked the warm colors of the dining area and the bright lamp fixtures. Even during the evening hours, the pastry case was chock full with numerous cakes, tarts, pies, and cookies. The selection was very appealing so it was hard to make a decision! I ultimately decided on the Americano cake and a vanilla latte.
The Americano cake was made of espresso liqueur, chocolate mousse, and chocolate sponge cake. The chocolate taste was rich but the airy sponge cake balanced that very well.
The vanilla latte was a little bit strong for me. It was only a single shot but I felt like it was a double. It could have used a little bit more sugar but it was also refreshing to get a non Starbucks coffee. The latte and the chocolate cake paired very well. After a less than stellar dinner, it was nice to end the evening on such a good note. The bakery stayed pretty busy as the night went on, a good sign.
Continuing my trend of quick & easy affordable meals is Spicy Baked Chicken. This recipe takes practically no time at all and is affordable for those of you in college! This was adapted from Hungry Girl by Lisa Lillien.
1 lb boneless skinless chicken breast fillets
1 cup Fiber One cereal
1 cup hot sauce
Preheat oven to 375 degrees
Grind the cereal to bread crumb texture in a food processor, blender, or fill in a ziploc bag & use a rolling pin to crush the cereal.
Place crumbs, and sauce in two separate bowls.
Coat the chicken with the hot sauce, then the crumbs.
Place chicken on a nonstick baking pan coated with cooking spray.
Cook chicken for 10 minutes on each side in a 375 degree oven.
This recipe was given to me by my friend Shawn who has always been a good cook. This was one of the first recipes that I learned when I was in college. It’s quick and easy and great on a summer day, or for any occasion!
6 boneless skinless chicken breast halves
1/3 cup white wine
1/4 tsp salt
3 kiwi pared & sliced
1/4 cup butter
1 1/2 tsp chopped rosemary
1/8 tsp pepper
Cook chicken breast halves in butter in a 10 inch skillet. 5 minutes on each side
In a small bowl, mix wine, rosemary, salt, and pepper. Pour over chicken
Heat to boiling, reduce heat. Cover and simmer for 10-15 mins or until chicken is done
Remove chicken, keep warm
Heat wine mixture to boiling. Add kiwifruit, heat until warm
Return chicken to skillet, spoon kiwi and sauce over chicken
When I first moved to Tallahassee for college, I didn’t know anyone. I started watching the Food Network and became intrigued in the world of cooking for the first time. I wanted to share one of the first dishes I learned how to cook back in college. This recipe is from Cooking Live with Sara Moulton that aired back in the fall of 2001. I have altered the recipe slightly as the original recipe calls for beets & coriander, which I don’t care for. Please enjoy nonetheless!
For the salsa
1/4 cup plus 2 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
1/4 Tbs fresh lime juice
2 garlic cloves, minced & mashed to a paste
4 cups fresh corm (from 8 ears)
1/2 cup fresh coriander (or 2 Tbs dried cilantro)
2 cups diced, peeled mango
1/2 cup finely chopped scallions
2 whole boneless skinless chicken breasts, halved
salt & pepper
1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tbs unsalted butter
Make salsa: In a bowl, whisk together 1/4 cup oil, lime juice, and garlic paste. Season to taste with salt & pepper.
In a non stick skillet, heat remaining 2 tbs oil over med-high heat until hot but not smoking. Add corn & saute, stirring frequently until deep golden, about 4 mins. Add corn & remaining salsa ingredients to bowl & combine well.
For chicken: Pat chicken dry & season with salt & pepper. On a plate, stir cornmeal, paprika & cayenne. Press chicken into mixture, coating both sides.
In skillet, heat butter over moderately high heat until foam subsides and saute chicken until golden and cooked through, about 5 mins on each side. Serve chicken with salsa.
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