Monday, May 25, 2020

Chicken… how many of us serve this dish on Friday night?  Probably  thousands of you.

We oftentimes prepare the same old chicken dishes but yet, some of us hesitate to to try something new.  Well, don’t be chicken to try new chicken!!!

When making breaded chicken, I often dip the cleaned and skinned chicken in BBQ sauce and then roll in crumbs.  This gives the chicken a zest and is so delicious.  I spray the pan, and bake.  I find with all my chicken to be served on Friday night, it is best to prep it on Wednesday or Thursday, and try to bake as close to Shabbos as possible.  Then I am assured it will not be dried out.

When cleaning chickens, I use a very good pair of scissors made for cutting chickens (keep your eyes out for them and buy them when on sale) and paper towels.  I use the paper towels to pull off the skin.  My new tip, however, uses a washcloth; the grip is so good and the skin comes right off!!!!  I use the scissors to make smaller pieces.  Of course, first I clean the chickens while they soak in boiling water.

You may want to try different crumb toppings for your chicken.  I have used pretzels, which were crushed.  The chicken was fabulous.  I have used peanut butter and then rolled the chicken in potatoe flakes or crumbs.  If you love peanut butter, this is the way to go!!!

If I am low on traditional bread crumbs, I will mix together whatever I have around; i.e., wheat germ crumbs, matza meal, cornflake crumbs, any parve cereal.  Especially before Pesach, this is the time to use it all up.  I have also dipped the chicken into coconut flakes.  This is awesome, especially on cutlets

It is very rare that I buy a precooked chicken, but if I do, I will pour on some duck sauce to assure that when I warm it up, it will keep in the moisture.  No one likes dried-out chicken.

To save on cholesterol intake, I use an egg substitute to dip the chicken in before putting on the crumbs.  I also like to use up all the smidgens of salad dressing that are on my refrigerator door.  So, I take out all the bottles, dump all of them into a bowl and use this concoction for my pre-breading mixture!!! This uses up all the bottles that take up so much space.

When I have leftover chicken or soup chicken, I do many things with this.

Most of the time, I just put it into a plastic bag made for freezing and collect until I have a good amount.  Then, depending on my mood, I sometimes use this for eggroll fillings, salad fillings.  Last week, I had soup chicken which I knew my family would turn up their noses to.  I defrosted it, shredded it into pieces, added soy sauce, threw on some scallions and topped it with snowpeas.  I then served this on a bed of rice.  I called it Chinese Chicken.  Boy, was it a hit!!! Use your imagination; don’t be afraid.

Gail Hochman is a resident of Bergen County NJ. She has been blessed with many grandchildren.

By Gail Hochman