Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Ranch Style Chicken

I've been wanting to make this dish for a while.  I love chicken and tend to get in a rut, like most of us I guess, when it comes to making it.  I thought that this was pretty easy to make, and would have been even easier if I had taken the chicken out of the freezer with enough time to properly defrost.  Oh well.


Ranch Style Chicken:
(Pioneer Woman)

6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Thick cut bacon
Bacon grease
½ cup Honey
½ cup Dijon or Country/Grainy Mustard
Juice from ½ a lemon
½ teaspoon paprika
½ teaspoon salt
Crushed Red Pepper (optional)
Sharp Cheddar Cheese
Canola oil

Mix together 1/2 cup Dijon or country/grainy mustard with 1/2 cup honey. Add juice of 1/2 lemon, 1/2 teaspoon paprika, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Sprinkle in some crushed red pepper flakes or cayenne if you like things a little spicy.  Whisk it together until smooth.

Place one chicken breast between two sheets of waxed paper.  Place one chicken breast between two sheets of waxed paper.  With a mallet or a rolling pin lightly pound the chicken breast so that the thickness is uniform. It should be around 1/2 to 3/4″ thick.  Add all the chicken to the bowl with the marinade. You’ll want to cover this with plastic wrap and let it marinate in the fridge for at least an hour.

Fry up some bacon while the chicken is marinating.  Reserve 1/4 cup of the bacon grease, and go ahead and clean out the skillet. Otherwise, it’ll get too smoky.

When you’re ready to prepare the chicken, preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Remove the chicken from the fridge and pour off excess marinade into the sink. Heat half of the reserved bacon grease with an equal quantity of Canola Oil in the clean skillet over medium-high to high heat.  When the grease is sufficiently heated, add a batch of chicken to the skillet. Don’t overcrowd the skillet, just 3 pieces is usually enough.

Watch the chicken, and when it starts to get brown/black on one side flip it to the other side. Cook just until brown/blackish areas appear. Each side should cook for a maximum of 1 to 1 1/2 minutes.

Repeat with all the chicken breasts, then set them on a large baking sheet. Go ahead and throw the pan of chicken into the hot oven for about ten minutes to continue cooking. Then remove the pan from the oven and place a couple of pieces of bacon on each piece of chicken.

Next, grab some grated sharp cheddar and sprinkle it over the top as generously as you’d like.  Return the pan to the oven for an additional five minutes, or until cheese is melted and bacon is sizzling.

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