Sunday, December 21, 2014

Chinese Rice Soup (Jook)

Oh the wonders of hindsight! This was my first Thanksgiving away from my family and Thanksgiving is not complete without some jook! I took the turkey bones from my fiance's family dinner and decided to make my first attempt!

Jook is Chinese porridge rice soup. In my family we serve it after dessert - around the time when lots of families are having some left over turkey sandwiches.

Once the turkey is served the bones are thrown into a pot withe some rice and cooked in that broth until thick. This is served with some green onions, crispy noodles, and some of the left over meat.

What I did:
Picked most of the meat off the turkey bones. Put the bones into the largest pot in the kitchen. Filled the pot with water until it was covered and then added in 3 cups of rice. This made a TON of soup. I ended having to take some out of that pot and starting a second pot. Once the rice was tended and mushy the soup was done. Carefully pick out all the bones and then we eat!

Next time:
I will make the broth first. Put bones in a large pot, cover with water, let simmer 30-40 minutes. Strain the broth with a sieve to catch all the bones, bone parts, and weird floating things. Pour the broth back into the pot and then add the rice to the broth (1 cup rice to 3 cups broth). Let it simmer until thick, approx 20-30 minutes. Then add the turkey meat and serve!

Update: The steps for "Next Time" worked great!

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Homemade Shake n' Bake Chicken

Need a dinner idea? This ended up being a crowd pleaser and I will make this again. I was going to purchase store brand Shake n' Bake or Oven Fry but both use High Fructose Corn Syrup. Since it was mostly breading I figured I would try and make it at home and I would also save some money!

I decided to use this recipe from The Black Peppercorn. I did make a few changes based on what was available in our house. I omitted the onion flakes, reduced the sugar to 1 tsp and reduced the black pepper to 1/2 tsp. Instead of a mix of parsley, basil, and oregano I used 2 tsp of Italian seasoning. I did use the 1/2 tsp cayenne but I would use 1/4 tsp or omit next time. It was ok, but the kids commented that there was a bit of spice (not that it stopped them from eating it).

Instead of shaking the chicken in a plastic bag I used a glass pie plate and dipped the chicken.

I used almost all of the seasoning on 6 flattened chicken breast so I estimate that the full amount of seasoning made below would coat 8 chicken breasts.

I served this with mashed potatoes and Oven Roasted Broccoli. I cooked the broccoli for about 15 minutes while the chicken was baking.

Homemade Shake n Bake Seasoning 
3 cups Panko bread crumbs
¼ cup vegetable oil
just under 1 tbsp salt
3 tsp paprika
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp garlic powder
½ tsp black pepper
¼ tsp cayenne pepper
2 tsp Italian seasoning

Mix all ingredients in a large bowl until evenly mixed and the bread crumbs are no longer 'clumpy' from the oil. Pour jar or plastic container and store in the freezer for 1-2 months.

Shake n Bake Chicken
  • Preheat oven to 400F. 
  • Pound chicken breast to about ¼- ½ inch thick. 
  • Rinse chicken in cold running water. Let excess water drain off.
  • Place chicken, one piece at a time, in the bag with a couple cups of the shake n bake.
  • Seal and shake the bag so that the chicken is totally coated in the breading.
  • Remove the chicken from the bag, shaking off excess breading.
  • Place on a cookie sheet lined with aluminum foil or on a silpat mat
  • Bake boneless chicken for 20-25 minutes.