Tag Archives: easy meal

Healthier Buttermilk Fried Chicken

It’s been a minute since I’ve written a blog post and put my fingers to the keyboard and craft a recipe but I am BACK. Our sweet boy is already 4.5 months and just tried oatmeal for the first time yesterday – to say he devoured it up is an understatement. As a devout foodie this boy is in for it when he starts solids and eating the foods we eat for dinner. I’m so looking forward to having my sous chef in the kitchen with me, taste testing new recipes, helping me remake my grandmother’s Cream Cheese Rugelach (which I’m hoping to get on the blog this Fall), and create memories in one of my favorite places to be.

Who doesn’t love fried chicken? The crispiness of the skin, the breaded and dredge, the juiciness and brine of the chicken paired with greens, potatoes, and MAC. It’s a perfect comfort food and I’ve definitely had my fair share in eating it. I purchased some Organic Valley buttermilk thinking I would make buttermilk pancakes which, still, needs to be tested; instead, I threw chicken thighs into a bowl of buttermilk, salt, pepper, and decided “what the hell, let’s try frying some chicken.” Of course, this recipe wouldn’t be complete without my favorite cassava flour from Thrive Market, which as of July 31st you can get a $20 shopping credit when you purchase a 1 year membership – use the banner on the right! Additionally, I choose to use Avocado oil when I fry chicken cutlets and used it for this dish too because it not only provides a creamier texture due to the fats in the avocado, but avocado oil has a safe and high cooking temperature, whereas other oils when heated over 400* can burn and become not so healthy #themoreyouknow *cue rainbow and theme song.*

Here’s what you’ll need for this delish recipe:

  • 1 pkg chicken thighs or breasts (I used thighs, but I definitely recommend breasts with this too)
  • 2-3 cups avocado oil
  • 1 cup cassava flour
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • Salt
  • Pepper

PRE-SOAK YOUR CHICKEN OVERNIGHT! This will help the buttermilk soak into the chicken and marinade it!

In a deep frying pan or 4-5 qt pot, add in the oil and begin to heat it until it gets to 375* (I recommend getting a cooking thermometer for this). Add the chicken to the cassava flour and coat well. You can do a double dredge for thicker breading but I just did a single dredge. Add the chicken to the oil slowly and cook until each side is a golden brown. Remove from the oil and let drip over a cooking rack or dry with paper towel.

Pair with veggies, mac and cheese, potatoes, or your favorite side! This is such a fun take on the traditional fried chicken, and buttermilk makes it that much more delicious.

Tostada Tacos

Time is flying, and we’re still at home. Weather is getting nicer, and we’ve fired up the grill several times already this summer. While my creative juices are beginning to flow again, I find myself gravitating towards easier, more simpler dishes and recipes, given that my husband and I are still navigating parenthood with a 3.5-month-old.

We initially bought flour and corn tortillas to make crunchwrap supremes, then realizing the flour tortillas were too small opted for cheesy gordita crunches. Upon opening the flour tortillas, we noticed they went moldy *Sigh*. Ultimately, we decided to just make tacos, but I had already poured avocado oil in a pan to fry up the corn tortillas. I decided to stick with frying the corn tortillas up a bit and made them into traditional tacos, with a tostada twist.

These were so easy to make, and I used Siete Foods brand Taco seasoning, which was INSANELY delicious. How have I not had this before? You can find this seasoning online at Thrive Market (my go-to for a lot of products and groceries) or at Whole Foods.

Step 1: Pour oil of choice into a shallow frying pan just enough that it coats the bottom of the pan and then an extra 1/4″.

Step 2: Heat the pan on medium and add two tortillas at once. Let them fry for about a minute or two on each side, or until you see them start to bubble and lightly brown on the sides.

Step 3: Let sit on a paper towel-lined plate to absorb excess oil. Assemble as you would tacos with all of your ingredients: tomatoes, lettuce, cheese, sour cream, taco meat, hot sauce. Enjoy!

The texture of these tacos is a little crisp with a perfect bend in the tortilla, mixed with the mildly-spicy Siete Foods taco seasoning, I’m already anticipating making these again next week; NOMaste and stay safe!

French Onion Burgers

The weather is officially changing. Lawns are getting mowed, people are power-washing their homes, and opening up their pools. Yep, it’s almost summertime. That means lots of BBQ meals and dinners outside, except we have to socially distance and wear a mask. Honestly, after a few weeks it’ll feel more “normal,” even though everyday there’s more sadness with lives lost and more confirmed cases. Nevertheless, we persevere and continue to stay at home and cook – so I decided to make burgers!

Something about making burgers puts a smile on my face. Handcrafting the patties, choosing my own seasonings, and throwing them on a grill or a hot skillet gets me in the best mood – and I think we could all use some mood boosting recipes amirite? This burger has four seasonings to it and is donned with some classic caramelized onions and provolone cheese, sandwiched between a hearty potato bun. I had the last of them this afternoon for my lunch because they were THAT good. Also, a side of homemade fries and roasted squash isn’t too bad either. (working to perfect the fries so that’ll come sometime soon!)

Here’s what you’ll need for these burgers:

  • 2 lbs ground beef
  • 2 large onions sliced
  • Package of potato rolls
  • Arrowroot or cornstarch (to thicken onions as they caramelize)
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • Onion salt
  • Garlic powder
  • Onion powder
  • Adobo
  • Red pepper flakes
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Take your ground beef out approximately 20-30 minutes before handling, you want any meat to be relatively room temperature before manipulating. Add to a bowl and add in the seasonings, remember to be generous here as you want the burgers to be juicy and flavorful. Form patties by grabbing a fitsfull of meat and gently pressing into a circle, you don’t need a perfectly shaped patty and you want them to be loose (not super compact). Place on a plate and set aside.

Slice your onions and add to a pan with melted butter. Let them sweat and become aeromatic, stirring and letting the butter marinade into them. They will begin to soften and turn brown around 5 minutes, lower the flame and add arrowroot or cornstarch (arrowroot is a substitute from cornstarch and is less of an allergy than corn, plus it’s considered a healthier alternative and less processed). Continue to cook the onions on a low flame until they become super soft, holding their shape but are a golden brown. Turn off flame and set aside.

Use a non-stick skillet or even a cast iron (I was lazy and didn’t feel like taking mine out) and heat on medium high heat. Spray the pan with some cooking spray and add the burgers (I did three at a time). Cook for 3-4 minutes or your desired doneness. Flip and add the provolone to melt, another 3 minutes. Layer onto the buns and add some onions on top and voila, French Onion burger. Not so bad right? Get that grill going and crack open a White Claw – or a regular beer – and enjoy!

Classic Breaded Chicken Cutlets

There’s nothing like simplicity in a time like this. Staple ingredients, basic recipes, and home cooking somehow taste so much better and flavorful than complicated and obscure meals sometimes. I can get a little too over-complicated sometimes when it comes to cook, and ESPECIALLY baking, so I am always working to reflect on what I’m doing: how many swaps did I implement this time? What was the measurement of this ingredient? How long should I bake or sear it for? How do I remedy too much salt? Too liquidy? These are some of the questions I am always asking myself when in the kitchen, but with classic recipes like chicken cutlets, the measurements and taste somehow always come out perfect.

I’m not diagnosed with celiac or gluten intolerance, but I just feel better when I don’t eat a whole ton of bread or gluten. Sure, I can take down a massive french toast, or a large hero sandwich from a deli, but 9 times out of 10 I feel like garbage afterwards, largely because of the bread. That’s not to say I don’t indulge, but I am mindful, and that’s why a lot of my cooking and baking is directed toward gluten-free. However, I will N E V E R say no or turn down a good chicken cutlet. Who doesn’t love a tender, juicy, crispy on the outside piece of delectable chicken?

If you’re a novice cook in your kitchen, this is THE recipe for you. It’s incredibly simple, with standard ingredients, and once you’ve mastered the chicken cutlet, you can ramp it up with chicken parm, chicken cutlet wraps, chicken cutlet salads, and even chicken pasta bakes! Let’s get started…

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, rinsed and filleted
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 cups breadcrumbs
  • 4-5 tbsp olive oil, and probably more to coat the pan
  • Cast iron skillet or deep frying pan
  • 3 dinner plates
    • one for the breadcrumbs
    • one for the breaded chicken
    • one for post fried chicken to sit on paper towel
  • Salt
  • Pepper

To start, get your “assembly line” together, meaning: arrange your plates and bowl for the egg-wash. You’ll have a plate (or I use a cutting board) of the filleted chicken breasts, bowl of egg wash (Just cracked and whisked eggs), plate of breadcrumbs, and extra plate to put the breaded chicken before you fry it.

  1. First, rinse and pat dry your chicken breasts. Lay flat on a cutting board and fillet them: you’ll place a hand on the chicken breast, take a slicing knife, and cut the chicken breast horizontally in half from one side to the other, this will make one chicken breast into two thin sliced breasts. Repeat for all pieces (if you have four large breasts, you’ll end up with eight!). Then, season with salt and pepper.
  2. Crack your eggs. Whisk them together and leave as is.
  3. Take your cast iron skillet or your deep frying pan and place onto the stove. Pour enough oil to coat the bottom of the pan, and add another two tbsp. You want enough oil in the pan so that there’s minimal splatter, and so the oil crackles/fries the chicken enough without sticking to the bottom of the pan.
  4. Begin to make the cutlets. Take a piece of chicken, dip into the egg, then into the breadcrumbs, coating both sides evenly. Place on plate and repeat until all chicken is breaded.
  5. Heat your skillet/pan on medium heat. You may need to play around with the heat so that the cutlets do not burn. Layer two or three pieces of chicken into the pan and let them fry for 3-4 minutes per side. Overcooking the chicken will burn the breading and will also dry out the chicken – our goal here is a golden crust with a juicy bite!
  6. Place the fried chicken cutlets on a plate with a paper towel to absorb the excess oil. Repeat this step until all the chicken is cooked.

I swear by this method, and it is pretty standard from what I understand, but I wanted to add this recipe here for anyone who is venturing into the cooking world, for anyone who has attempted cutlets but forgot how much oil or how to fillet a chicken. This recipe will become your backbone of cooking and will virtually take you anywhere when it comes to being in the kitchen. Have fun, stay safe, and happy frying!

Roasted Chicken Thighs with Fingerling Potatoes and Tomatoes Skillet

I guess there’s no better time than the present to start getting creative in the kitchen, and becoming way more comfortable with simple, easy recipes with ingredients found in the kitchen or pantry. It’s a struggle to find onions, chicken toilet paper (still) and obviously cleaning products, so I write this blog entry with gratitude that I have been lucky enough to snag delivery windows for groceries. I pray that this pandemic is over sooner than later, and that we don’t return to normal – because that wasn’t working. I hope we come back to a space of kindness, thoughtfulness, awareness of what we have taken for granted in the past, and eternal respect for our heroes in scrubs, in grocery stores, delivery uniforms, and classrooms. With that being said, I present to you one of the most delicious chicken skillet dinners I’ve ever made. Like, ever.

One of the beautiful things about using a cast iron skillet is that everytime you cook with it, it absorbs the seasoning from the previous use, and it adds a different dimension of flavor to the dish. I had the skillet out on the counter, drying from use for a bolognese (link to that recipe here) and decided to use it again for chicken. I may need to get a few more of these skillets because I am slowly becoming obsessed. Cast irons, when thrown in the oven, help with overall crispiness to the dish and helps with even cooking. It’s safe to say I was very pleased with how this recipe came out, especially with the fingerling potatoes and tomatoes.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1 lb or package of bone-in and skin-on chicken thighs, rinsed and patted dry
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes, sliced
  • 1.5 cups fingerling potatoes, rinsed and sliced
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 tbsp Chili Lime seasoning from Trader Joes – (or chili powder, onion salt, garlic powder, paprika.)
  • Dried basil
  • Dried Rosemary
  • Garlic powder
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Preheat the oven to 375*. Rinse and pat dry the chicken and put into a bowl. Pour your seasoning into the bowl with the chicken (chili lime, garlic powder, dried basil, salt) and toss to coat – be sure to massage the seasoning into the chicken. Pour one tbsp of oil into the bowl with the chicken and mix again, then place the chicken into the skillet. Rinse the fingerling potatoes and tomatoes and slice in half. Throw the vegetables in a separate bowl with salt, pepper, and dried rosemary. Pour the remaining olive oil into the bowl and toss to combine.

Pour the vegetables into gaps of the skillet, and assemble around the chicken as shown below. Bake in the middle rack for just over an hour (65-70m is perfect). Serve as is or add a side salad 🙂 A delectable meal, perfect for staying at home; stay safe and well friends!