Category Archives: Baking

Crispy Oven Fried Chicken

One of my favorite meals of all time has to be fried chicken, mashed potatoes, and corn. Hands down. Typically this type of meal is only served in the cooler months of the year as it is my true comfort food, but lately I COULD NOT RESIST MAKING IT. I’ll admit, I broke down and could no longer tolerate my craving for this meal. However instead of frying it in a cast iron skillet, I decided to take a spin on it and go for an crispy oven fried chicken. The name itself doesn’t really make much sense as there is no frying involved, however, the result is everything you would expect in an awesome fried chicken, without cooking it in oil, and a lot less cleanup as well.

Crispy Oven Fried Chicken

This is pretty much a classic way of preparing fried chicken and it’s super easy and pretty much hands off, which is great during a busy work week.

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 1 whole fryer chicken, cut into pieces
  • 1 quart buttermilk
  • 1/2 tbsp cracked black pepper
  • 1/2 tbsp seasoned salt
  • 1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup corn starch
  • 1 tbsp additional seasoned salt
  • 1/2 tbsp additional cracked black pepper
  • Cooking spray

Start by adding buttermilk to a large sealable bag, or large bowl. Add in 1/2 tablespoon of the cracked black pepper, along with 1 tablespoon of seasoned salt.  Stir. Add in the chicken pieces (breasts, wings, thighs, drummies), and make sure all is coated.

Place in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours but preferably overnight.

Next, add the flour, additional salt and pepper to a brown paper bag, or large sealble plastic bag. Shake well.

Remove the chicken from the buttermilk and place in the bag. Seal, and shake the crap out of it. Make sure all is coated.

Remove the chicken from the bag, shaking off any excess, and place on a rack, and let the flour mixture mellow a bit on the chicken.

How to make crispy oven fried chicken

During this time, preheat your oven to 425 degrees.

Lightly spray the cooking spray on each piece of chicken, and place the rack onto a baking sheet.

Cook in the oven, for about 45-60 minutes, or until golden and crispy and the chicken registers 165 degrees.

Plate and serve with your favorite sides, and well, in this case you know what I served mine with.

If you are looking for a no fuss, non-oil, crispy style fried chicken, this is the one. It’s crispy, it’s juicy, and well, it’s just darn delicious. Hope you enjoy!

Bruschetta

We are up to our ears with fresh tomatoes, and that is never a bad thing. What I love about planting tomatoes, is really the excitement I see when I bring a large bowl into the kitchen and watching my wife’s expression. See, she is really the one who loves tomatoes. I stepped in my grandfather’s shoes where I’m not the biggest fan, but I do eat them. It took me years to actually love eating tomatoes, and when I say that, I mean in my late twenties when my wife and I were together. She is the one who gave me the nudge, and I probably started to really enjoy them when she turned me on to serving sliced tomatoes with a bit of soy sauce, and cracked black pepper, along with rice. With that said, we are sitting on a load of tomatoes, and it has been my goal to create recipes with them. That’s where bruschetta comes into play.

Bruschetta Recipe

I know people who simply love bruschetta, pronounced as Brusketta, and it is some of the simplest and pure things to make. Perfect for this time of year when you have an abundance of tomatoes. You can go as far as you want when making bruschetta, but to me, it’s the simple route. Tomatoes, a bit of basil, garlic, salt, and pepper, all topped on a crostini.

I am not adding amounts here as you basically want to have a substantial amount of tomatoes on each crostini. You could make 3 or you can make 20 if you know what I am saying. I fed a party of 8 adults and used about 12 small tomatoes, and 5 leaves of fresh garden basil.

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 1 Italian loaf of bread, sliced into 1 1/2 inch rounds
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 12 whole medium sized tomatoes, diced, seeds removed
  • 5 leaves of fresh basil, torn
  • salt, to taste
  • cracked black pepper to taste
  • Parmesan cheese, optional

Start by heating a skillet on low heat. Add the butter, olive oil, and garlic. Melt and simmer on low heat for about 15 minutes. The goal is to infuse the butter and oil with great garlic flavor. Now you can skip this step if you want, and simply rub some of the toasted bread with fresh garlic, but I really enjoy the butter and oil combination, with just a hint of great garlic.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

To a parchment lined baking sheet, add the sliced bread. Brush both sides with the garlic butter and oil mixture. Sprinkle with some parmesan cheese. Place in the oven and toast for about 12-15 minutes, or until lightly golden.

How to make bruschetta

During this time, quarter the tomatoes, and then chop into a small dice. Add the tomatoes to a bowl, and add in the torn basil, not chopped basil. Season with a pinch or two of salt and pepper, and stir. Cover and place in the refrigerator for about one hour.

You will notice juices extract from the tomatoes. That’s fine. Reserve that if you want and use it in some sauce, or bloody mary’s. Your call.

Take a crostini, and using a slotted spoon, add the tomato and basil mixture on the top of each crostini.

Plate and serve.

The result is nothing more that pure greatness. It’s simple. It’s fresh, and delicious, and you get everything you could ever want in fresh garden ingredients. Are you a fan of brushcetta? Do you ever change it up from the basics? Hope you enjoy!

How to Make Homemade Butter

Homemade butter? Yes, and trust me on this that it might change your take on butter. My oldest kid uses butter on a regular basis to sear up ham and buns, yep, he is into that and I don’t mind as he is exploring in the kitchen and cooking on his own. After watching a recent Vimeo video of this guy’s passion of making bread and butter, I decided that I was going to make my own butter. If you have never made butter before, try it. It was super simple, and you know what you are getting when you are making it yourself, and that is the beauty of it all.

Homemade Butter Recipe

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 2 pints of Organic Heavy Cream
  • KitchenAid with Whisk attachment or a large mason jar with lid
  • 2 cups of ice cold water
  • Salt, optional
  • Cheese Cloth, optional

Yep, that’s how butter is made. Way to simple.

I used a KitchenAid, however rumor has it that you can shake the crap out of the cream in a large mason jar. I support KitchenAid, so I went that route.

Start by adding the heavy cream to the KitchenAid bowl. Place in the mixer, and spin on medium to medium-high spin for about 10 minutes, keeping an eye on it along the way.

After about 10 minutes, possibly sooner, the cream begins to curdle and separate. It’s cool, it’s really cool. Once it separates, turn off the mixer. Strain the liquid from the solid. You can reserve the liquid should you desire. Once the liquid has been strained, return the solids back to the mixer. Add in the ice cold water, and continue to mix until you have a tight, solid mixture. Drain the excess water.

how-to-make-homemade-butter-ingredients

Once you think the liquid has been strained, it has not. Use a large wooden spoon and press the butter against the bowl. Lots of liquid will come out, trust me. Continue until you know that all of the liquid has been removed. I ensured this by placing the butter into some cheese cloth and tightening it until all of the liquid was removed.

Now you can add salt if you desire. I added about half of a tablespoon of course Kosher salt. You could add Sriracha salt as well. Give a gentle stir, and save in a sealed tight container, in the refrigerator.

The end result is a great, really great butter. I haven’t seen my wife spread butter on a bagel in some time, and she was all over that. We spread it on corn, as well as seared up some ham sandwiches. Give this a shot if you want some really good product, and remember, use organic, I think that makes a huge difference.

Blueberry and Ginger Pie

So I entered a pie contest this past Fourth of July. If you have known me long enough, you have probably figured out that I am not a baking kind of guy, nor am I one that is big into desserts. However, my kids are all about the desserts, and my daughter in particular is one who is really into fruit, and fruit pies for that matter. So it was last year that we were up at our local festival and that is when I found out there was a pie contest. A friend of ours actually came in first place, and that is what drove me this year to submit one. I’ve really been into blueberries lately and use them quiet extensively when I juice, so I figured that would be my pie, or the base of the pie that I would submit.

As a side note, my pie did not win and I’m fine with that, but what I did notice is that I had a line in front of my pie, full of people just dying to try it. My pie was gone in a matter of seconds. I felt like a winner after all.

This blueberry and ginger pie was so good my daughter asked me to make another one a few days later, and so I did, but taught her how to make it. I was winning again.

Blueberry and Ginger Pie

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 3 pints of fresh blueberries, rinsed
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 1 lemon, zest and juice
  • 1 tbsp fresh ginger, grated
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1 generous pinch of cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp additional sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp water
  • 2 pie crusts, store bought or homemade
  • 1 tsp course salt

The great thing about this pie is that it is so simple to prepare. I will also admit that I included a couple of other items in my pie submission and I will keep those a secret until I win next year.

Start by preheating your oven to 385 degrees.

Next, add your cleaned  berries to a large bowl and add in the ginger, lemon zest, lemon juice, sugar, cinnamon, and cornstarch. Gently mix to get everything incorporated.

I used frozen pie crusts with my daughter, just thought I would let you know.

How to make blueberry and ginger pie

Take one frozen pie crust, in its pan, and add in the blueberry mixture. Carefully place the other pie crust on top of the blueberry mixture, then using a fork, crimp the edges to seal the pie.

Mix the egg and water in a small bowl. Lightly brush the egg wash mixture onto the pie crust. Cut a few slots with a sharp knife on the middle of the pie dough to allow steam to escape.

Sprinkle the course salt and additional sugar on the top of the pie. Place on a baking sheet (as the blueberry mixture will escape), and cook for about 50-60 minutes. Once nice and golden, remove from the baking sheet and place the pie tin onto a plate to let cool.

I like to place my pie into the refrigerator to let cool overnight. Obviously my daughter (and wife) could wait no longer.

When you are ready, slice and serve. The pie just hits the spot. Maybe it is that bit of salt that cuts the sweetness along with the zip from the lemon. Whatever it is, this pie is special, and super delicious, especially on a hot summer day. Enjoy!