COUNTRY CHICKEN & GRAVY

COUNTRY CHICKEN & GRAVY

1/2 cup all purpose flour
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
2-3 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts or tenders
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 small Vidalia onion, chopped
2 stalks celery, diced
1 cup baby carrots
3 cups chicken broth (preferably homemade)
1/2 cup heavy cream
chopped Italian Parsley for garnish
Prepared mashed potatoes

  • Combine flour, salt, paprika and pepper in a large Ziploc bag.
  • Coat chicken pieces in flour mixture and reserve flour mixture for later.
  • In a deep skillet melt butter over medium heat.
  • Add chicken and cook 2-3 minutes per side until lightly browned.
  • Transfer chicken to a plate and set aside.
  • Add onion and celery to pan, sautéing 2 minutes.
  • Add remaining flour to pan and whisk until all flour is absorbed.
  • Add chicken broth, stirring well.
  • Add chicken, cover and simmer 15-20 minutes until cooked through and fragrant.
  • Taste and adjust seasonings as necessary.
  • Stir in cream and cook 2 minutes.
  • Serve over mashed potatoes.
  • Garnish with parsley.

TARRAGON VINAIGRETTE

TARRAGON VINAIGRETTE

1 cup tarragon vinegar
1 cup avocado oil
1 tablespoons mayonnaise
3 cloves garlic, finely minced
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
1 tablespoon FRESH minced thyme or 1 teaspoon dried
2 tablespoons FRESH minced tarragon or 2 teaspoons dried
2 teaspoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon sugar

  • Combine ALL ingredients and blend well.
  • Refrigerate.
  • Shake well before using.

HARVEST APPLE CAKE & PINEAPPLE VANILLA RUM SAUCE

One of the things I look for when we’re antiquing is old recipe boxes. Not just any old recipe boxes, but old recipe boxes FULL of handwritten recipes. This recipe came from one of those boxes. I have no idea who owned the box, just that MANY of their recipe’s were in the same handwriting and referenced Mrs. Gibson who must have been an excellent cook based on the recipes I’ve tried so far!

HARVEST APPLE CAKE & PINEAPPLE VANILLA RUM SAUCE

CAKE
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup CRISCO*
2 eggs, unbeaten
1/3 cup WHOLE milk
2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 heaping teaspoon QUALITY cinnamon
4 cups peeled, cored and chopped apples
1/2 cup golden raisins

  • Preheat oven to 375°.
  • Cream together the sugar and crisco, it will be a bit grainy.
  • Add milk until smooth.
  • Add in the eggs until well blended.
  • Sift together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt.
  • Blend flour mixture into the creamed mixture.
  • Fold in apples and raisins.
  • Pour into 9×13 baking dish and spread even.
  • Bake 60 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.
  • COOL to lukewarm before pouring sauce over top and serving.

SAUCE
1 stick (8 tablespoons butter)
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon pineapple vanilla
1 teaspoon Malibu pineapple rum
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup heavy cream

  • In a small saucepan melt butter.
  • Whisk in sugar until dissolved.
  • Whisk in remaining ingredients until smooth and heated through. DO NOT BOIL.

NOTES:

  • Based on the age of the recipe card and style of writing I decided whole milk and PURE vanilla extract were a MUST for the texture and flavor of this recipe to be best.  Her original recipe was extremely flavorful, but also extremely dense.  The milk helped lighten it and made it fluffier too.
  • I use the crisco sticks.
  • The cinnamon, raisins, flavored rum and flavored vanilla are MY additions and I sometimes alternate them with craisins for even more oomph in flavor.

CREAMY ROQUEFORT DRESSING

CREAMY ROQUEFORT DRESSING

I truly LOVE adapting old historical recipes to a modern day scratch versions. Many times I already have a version of the recipe in my own stash.  But, using the older recipe as a guide I can pick and choose ALL of the best  ingredients to make an even better recipe.

I “adjusted” the recipe to include actual amounts and specified ingredients as the recipe card is vague.  I left the ingredients with approximate amounts to account for personal tastes.  I highlighted my adaptations in blue so you can see the differences from the original recipe.

3/4 cup Duke’s Mayonnaise
scant 1/3 cup crumbled Roquefort cheese
1/3 + cup WHOLE milk
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon Garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon white pepper

  • Whisk mayonnaise, milk, Worcestershire sauce, salt, pepper and garlic powder together.
  • Fold in crumbled cheese.
  • Chill.

NOTE:

  • Hubby loves the larger crumble of the cheese, while I prefer a smoother dressing. Adjust the instructions to use a small food processor if you too prefer the smooth version. 😀
  • Add additional milk as necessary for desired consistency.

PAN SEARED CHICKEN IN LEMON WINE SAUCE OR ala PRESSURE COOKER OR SLOW COOKER

I found this recipe in a Taste Of Home magazine and it was written for the new and improved pressure cookers of today, but I find it works great in an older “regular” pressure cooker too. It can also be made in a slow cooker or insta pot quite easily.  I especially like it pan seared using boneless, skinless chicken thighs.  The best part is that it is incredibly FULL of flavor!

PAN SEARED CHICKEN IN LEMON WINE SAUCE OR ala PRESSURE COOKER OR SLOW COOKER

6 bone-in chicken thighs
1 cup FRESHLY sliced mushrooms (I like Beech mushrooms)
4 tablespoons, butter, divided
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
1/4 teaspoon Italian seasoning blend
1/4 teaspoon sweet paprika
1/3 cup flour
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup white wine
Juice of 1 lemon
1 shallot, sliced thin
1 small bunch green onions, sliced
1 tablespoon FRESH chopped thyme

PAN SEARED

  • Heat butter in skillet and cook 3-4 minutes until tender.
  • Remove mushrooms from pan.
  • Add remaining butter.
  • In a shallow bowl whisk together the flour, paprika, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper.
  • Generously season chicken thighs.
  • Dredge chicken thighs, shaking off any excess.
  • Brown chicken thighs on both sides.
  • Transfer chicken to platter and keep warm.
  • Add shallots and cook a few minutes until soft.
  • Add wine, lemon juice and broth to skillet, cook 2-3 minutes scraping up any browned bits from the bottom.
  • Return the chicken and mushrooms to skillet.
  • Add onions.
  • Turn chicken to coat and cook 5 minutes until sauce slightly thickens.

PRESSURE COOKER

  • Heat butter in bottom of slow cooker over a low flame.
  • Add mushrooms and cook 3-4 minutes until tender.
  • Remove mushrooms from pan.
  • Add remaining butter.

 

  • In a shallow bowl whisk together the flour, paprika, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper.
  • Generously season chicken thighs.
  • Dredge chicken thighs, shaking off any excess.
  • Brown chicken thighs on both sides.

 

  • Add wine and broth to pressure cooker, cook 2-3 minutes scraping up any browned bits from the bottom.
  • Return the chicken and mushrooms to the pressure cooker.
  • Add onions.
  • Lock lid and cook over medium high for 10 minutes.
  • Allow pressure to dissipate naturally, about 10 minutes.

NOTES: To make as a SLOW COOKER recipe, cover and cook on low 3 hours until chicken is tender.

CREAMY CHILI CHICKEN

CREAMY CHILI CHICKEN ala SLOW COOKER or STOVE TOP

Avocado oil
2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1/2 cup all purpose flour for dredging
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper, to taste
1 large shallot, diced
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup chili sauce
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon cornstarch

STOVE TOP

  • Heat avocado oil over medium-high heat in a heavy or cast iron skillet.
  • Dredge in flour and generously season chicken pieces.
  • Add chicken pieces to pan searing 4-5 minutes until crisp.  Flip and sear second side.
  • Transfer chicken pieces to platter and keep warm.
  • Add shallot pieces and garlic to pan, sautéing 2-3 minutes.
  • Add wine and cook until almost evaporated, 5 minutes or so.
  • Add broth, chili sauce and bring to a simmer.
  • Whisk together the heavy cream and cornstarch.
  • Cook 5 minutes until thickened.
  • Adjust seasoning and and serve over chicken and a side of mashed potatoes, rice or prepared noodles.

SLOW COOKER

  • Heat avocado oil over medium-high heat in a heavy or cast iron skillet.
  • Generously season chicken pieces.
  • Add chicken pieces searing 4-5 minutes until crisp.
  • Transfer chicken pieces to slow cooker.
  • Add shallot pieces and garlic to pan, sautéing 2-3 minutes.
  • Add wine and cook until almost evaporated, 5 minutes or so.
  • Add broth, half of chili sauce and bring to a simmer.
  • Pour around chicken in slow cooker.
  • Cook on low 4-6 hours.
  • Transfer chicken to platter and tent to keep warm.
  • Turn slow cooker to high.
  • Whisk together the remaining chili sauce, heavy cream and cornstarch.
  • Add to slow cooker and cook 15-30 minutes until thickened.
  • Adjust seasoning and and serve over chicken and a side of mashed potatoes, rice or prepared noodles.

AVOCADO RANCH SALAD DRESSING with HOMEMADE CASHEW CREAM

9 times out of 10 I make our salad dressings from scratch. The basic base formula for non-cream dressings is one part acid, such as citric juice from lemon, lime, orange or a vinegar like apple cider, champagne or balsamic to 2 parts oil, olive, walnut or avocado plus seasonings of choice. Then there are dressings that need seriously dressed up with flavor like this one!  This makes a creamy thick dressing full of flavor that coats everything!

AVOCADO RANCH SALAD DRESSING – makes 1 1/2 cups

1 cup cashew cream (mayo works too)
1 avocado
1 cup unsweetened coconut milk
Juice of 1 LARGE lemon
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon FRESH chopped dill
1 tablespoon FRESH chopped chives
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper, to taste
PINCH smoked paprika

  • Whisk all together well.
  • Chill well.

CASHEW CREAM makes 2 cups
1 1/2 cups raw unsalted cashews
3/4 cup filtered water, plus more for soaking
juice of 1 LARGE lemon
1/2 – 1 teaspoon kosher salt

  • Place the cashews in a bowl and fill with filtered water at least an inch above the cashews.
  • Allow the cashews to soak for 30 minutes or up to overnight.
  • Drain and rinse the cashews well.
  • Place the cashews, filtered water, lemon juice, and salt in a high powered blender or food processor.
  • Blend until desired consistency.

NOTES: Your cashew cream will last in the refrigerator for 3-4 days and can be frozen for up to 6 months. If you choose to freeze it be sure to run it through the blender really quick after you defrost it to eliminate any lumps.

ASIAN SESAME VINAIGRETTE

ASIAN SESAME VINAIGRETTE

1/3 cup avocado oil
2 tablespoons sesame oil
1/4 cup champagne vinegar
2 teaspoons sesame seeds
2 teaspoons QUALITY honey
1 teaspoon creamy horseradish
1 clove garlic, minced
FRESH ground sea salt, black pepper and crushed red pepper, to taste

  • Combine in a dressing cruet and shake vigorously.
  • Chill at least one hour before serving.
  • Shake before serving.

PORK TENDERLOIN with BOURBON PEACH SAUCE with PARSLEY SLAW

PORK TENDERLOIN with BOURBON PEACH SAUCE with PARSLEY SLAW

TENDERLOIN
1 pound pork tenderloin
2 tablespoons avocado oil
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
2 cups sliced peaches
2 tablespoons QUALITY bourbon
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon QUALITY honey
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

  • Heat oil over medium high heat.
  • Generously season the pork tenderloin.
  • Add pork to skillet and sear on all sides until completely browned and cooked to 140°, about 5-6 minutes per side.
  • Transfer to a plate and keep warm.
  • Add peaches to pan, stirring 2-3 minutes to cook through.
  • Whisk together the bourbon, vinegar, dijon and honey. Add to peaches, stirring 5minutes until slightly thickened. Remove from heat and stir in butter.
  • Plate pork and top with peach sauce.
  • Add a generous side of slaw and enjoy!

PARSLEY BROCCOLI SLAW
3 cups broccoli sticks bag mix
1/4 cup chopped flat leaf parsley
2 tablespoons chopped FRESH thyme
1/3 cup toasted almond slices
1 tablespoon avocado oil
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon Quality honey

  • Toss together the cabbage, parsley, thyme and almonds.
  • Whisk together the oil, vinegar and honey.
  • Drizzle dressing over slaw mixture and toss well.

HAM STEAK with RED EYE GRAVY

HAM STEAK with RED EYE GRAVY

1 1/4 pound bone-in ham steak
2 slices bacon, chopped small
2 tablespoons finely chopped onions
1 teaspoon Wondra flour
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 tablespoon maple syrup
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces and chilled VERY cold
2 teaspoons instant espresso powder

  • Cook bacon in a large skillet over medium high heat until well rendered and crispy.
  • Pat ham steaks dry and season well.
  • Add to hot grease and brown well, about 4 minutes.
  • Flip and sear the second side about 2 minutes.
  • Remove ham pieces to a platter and tent with foil while you prepare the gravy.
  • Add onion to skillet and sauce a minute or so.
  • Add flour and whisk to combine 15-30 seconds.
  • Whisk in broth and maple syrup. Bring to a simmer and cook until reduced and slightly thickened, 5-6 minutes.
  • Remove from heat and whisk in espresso powder and COLD butter.
  • Season to taste.
  • Pour off any residual ham juices on serving platter.
  • Top with gravy and serve immediately.

NOTE:  The main use of the bacon is to create the grease to cook the ham and gravy in so chopping extra small I find works really well in order to not need to find another use for the bacon pieces. I just leave them in the gravy 😀

HERB SALAD with BROILED TOMATOES & CREAMY CUCUMBER VINAIGRETTE

HERB SALAD with CREAMY BROILED TOMATO CUCUMBER VINAIGRETTE

MAKE THIS STEP 1-2 HOURS BEFORE YOU NEED THEM!
PICKLED ONIONS
1 teaspoon avocado oil
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
FRESH ground salt and pepper
1/2 SMALL red onion, cut into rings

  • In a medium skillet heat avocado oil over medium-high heat.
  • Add onion pieces and saute’ for a minute.
  • Add vinegar, tossing to coat and remove from heat.
  • Transfer onions to a small plate and let stand 1-2 hours.

“SALAD”
2 tablespoons FRESH chopped Italian Parsley
1 tablespoon FRESH chopped dill
1 tablespoon FRESH chopped basil leaves
1 tablespoon FRESH chopped tarragon
1 LARGE English cucumber or 2 small cucumbers, peeled, seeded and diced
1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
1 bunch beech mushrooms, cleaned and separated
1 small bunch green onions, sliced thin
1 small red onion, chopped

  • Toss all together in large salad bowl and set aside until needed.

VINAIGRETTE
Reserved cucumber peels
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 small shallot, minced
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
1/4 cup sour cream
1/4 cup buttermilk
1 tablespoon avocado oil
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper, to taste
pinch cayenne pepper

  • In a small food processor blend reserved cucumber peels, garlic, shallot, vinegar, sour cream, buttermilk, oil and seasonings until smooth.
  • Pour over salad and toss gently.
  • Let stand 15-20 minutes and allow flavors to meld.
  • Adjust salt and pepper as necessary.

BROILED TOMATOES
4 LARGE Roma tomatoes, halved or quartered

  • Preheat broiler.
  • Place tomatoes on baking sheet skin side down.
  • Season well with FRESH ground salt and pepper.
  • Broil 2-3 minutes until browned and bubbly.

ASSEMBLY

  • Place a large spoonful of salad mixture in bowl or on plate.
  • Drizzle with vinaigrette.
  • Set 2 broiled tomato pieces next to salad.
  • Top with pickled onions.**
  • Serve immediately.

NOTE** I often toss the pickled onions with the salad mixture JUST prior to serving.

SLOW COOKED COUNTRY CHICKEN & GRAVY

SLOW COOKED COUNTRY CHICKEN & GRAVY

Slow cooked Country Chicken and Gravy is TRULY what easy comfort food is all about!! It is  absolutely ahhh-mazing!

2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 packet DRY chicken gravy mix
1 packet DRY Good Seasons Italian Dressing Mix**(see notes)
1 – 10 oz. can cream of chicken soup**(see notes)
1 3/4 cups water or chicken broth**(see notes)
FRESH ground black pepper

  • Empty the gravy packets, cream of chicken soup, water and pepper in a slow cooker.
  • Whisk until the gravy is smooth.
  • Add chicken breasts in a single layer if possible.
  • Cook on low for 3-4 hours.
  • Serve over rice, pasta or mashed potatoes

NOTES:

  • You can interchange this packet for just about ANYTHING and get an entirely NEW dish. Try Hidden Valley Ranch, Pioneer Peppered Gravy or Lipton French Onion soup.
  • Try changing out the soup flavor also for a new and inventive flavor combination. Use cream of potato or cheddar cheese…
  • The chicken is so tender you can fork shred it into the sauce and make an entirely different dish!  Try adding some carrots or peas for color.
  • I usually have homemade chicken broth around and I prefer that over water. If I use broth I change this to 2 cups as the homemade broth has more body than store bought.
  • You can also add a quick cornstarch slurry at the end if you need to thicken up the sauce.