I used to enjoy cooking a lot more. I’d find exotic recipes that sounded interesting & delicious, and maybe have a few oddball ingredients, like coconut milk or something, but that didn’t deter me. Sometimes these dishes would take a couple hours to prepare. In a way, it was fun to make a mess of the kitchen, all for the sake of trying something new.
Then I had kids.
For obvious reasons, I don’t quite have the time that I did in the past to devote to culinary exploration. That, and there’s usually at least one little person hanging on an extremity while trying to cook over a hot stove. Not to mention, they just don’t care that freshly shaved ginger root adds a much better flavor than the powdered alternative. It’s just yucky.
So began my quest for quick and easy, stripped of all flavor, get it on the table before someone has a meltdown, meals. Usually our repertoire consists of spaghetti, breakfast for dinner (brinner if you watch SCRUBS), fish sticks, and fries. Anything else at this point is a crapshoot.
Most nights I don’t plan ahead, and last week I had some chicken that I was clueless as to what to do with it. Something made me look on the back of my box of cornstarch, and I saw a recipe for “Crispy Fried Chicken”. Now, usually I steer away from any recipe that has more than, say, five ingredients, because nowadays our pantry is usually pretty bare, and I just can’t be bothered (yes, I am lazy like that). While this recipe breaks my 5 ingredient rule, I think I was intrigued by the claims of “crispy”, since I’ve never really mastered the breaded chicken thang. I scanned the recipe, and thought, “This is never going to work, how do you get crispy fried chicken from a mushy mess of glop?” But, do you know what? It worked, and it was awesome! Even the kidlets ate it, and they are chicken nugget elitists. So here, friends, is the recipe, from my box of corn starch:
12 precut chicken pieces 1/4 tsp black pepper
1 egg 1/4 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp vegetable oil 1/4 c water
2 tsp soy sauce 1/2 c all purpose flour
1 tsp salt 1/4 c corn starch
1 tsp sugar 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp poultry seasoning vegetable oil
Wash & cut chicken. Mix together egg, 2 tsp veg oil, soy sauce, salt, sugar, seasoning (I used fajita seasoning), pepper & garlic powder in a large plastic freezer bag. Put chicken in the bag & shake, coating each piece. Place bag in fridge for 1 hour. Add water to chicken. Mix flour, corn starch, and baking soda together and then place the mixture into the bag with the chicken. Shake the bag, again coating each piece (this is the globby mess I was referring to). Heat oil in skillet & fry pieces until light golden brown, turning occasionally. Drain on paper towels. Enjoy the awesomeness!
Another favorite of mine I have come to refer to as “Lazy Cookies”. We just made these yesterday, and I have to say, this recipe even surpasses my 5 ingredient rule by only having 3 ingredients. And clean-up couldn’t be easier. As long as you like/can eat peanut butter, this one is a no-brainer:
1 c sugar
1 c peanut butter
Beat egg & sugar together until smooth, add peanut butter & mix. Drop by spoonfuls onto cookie sheet about 2″ apart, and flatten with a fork. Bake at 375 for 10 minutes until golden brown. Makes about 2 dozen. Yummy!
We just happened to have white chocolate chips on hand, so we threw them in, too. Talk about instant gratification- these were so easy & delicious, and were done fast enough that I was able to keep the wee ones distracted while they baked.
Cookies + super easy = WIN/WIN