Thursday, October 27, 2011

Rice Pudding, Baked Potato Casserole, Chicken & Gravy

Last night, after we got home from a COLD soccer game (47 degrees). They tied 4 to 4.

And while the youngest boy was at band practice.

I made chicken in gravy! It's my mom's recipe and super yummy.

Mine's not as good as hers is, no matter how close I follow her directions.

It's a mom thing.

I cut the chicken in smaller pieces, one breast into 2 or 3 pieces, depending on size. It cooks quicker and is easier to dish up. Kids tend to take an extra piece, too.

I then dredge them in a mixture of flour, salt, pepper, Lawry's seasoning salt (or Emeril's) depending on what seasoning you like and then lightly fry the outside in a small amount of oil. I happened to have some buttermilk on hand, leftover from my cupcakes last weekend. I soaked them in that for a bit before dredging in the flour mixture.

After they all were browned up, it doesn't matter if they cook all the way, I transferred them to a 9x13. That's cause I have 6 in my family and we like meat.

I mixed up some of the leftover flour, milk and water with a fork and added it to the hot, browned skillet. It sizzled and the flour thickened the mixture. I had to add more water and more water/flour mixture until I got enough gravy and until the consistency was right. Then I salted for flavor. If you're making gravy and it doesn't taste right, or just bland, salt it baby! 

Gravy requires a lot of salt. Come on, you already knew it wasn't healthy...

I then poured the gravy over the chicken and baked at 375 for 35 minutes.

If your gravy doesn't cover much chicken, that's ok, I didn't think I had enough either, but the chicken is juicy and the juices combine and add more fluid.

 I also made baked potato casserole. I mashed up potatoes, margerine, milk, sour cream. I don't measure, folks, sorry. When I bake mashed potatoes, I add a little extra milk because baking it dries it out a bit. Not much, just a tad wetter than normal. I also stirred in a bit of cheddar cheese, and plopped it into a baking dish.

I sprinkled the top with cheddar cheese and bacon bits.

And baked for 400 for about 15 min.

The top was all crunchy and yummy with the inside creamy and good.


And green beans. Can't forget the veggie.

Then, since it was cold outside, I made rice pudding.

I made a slightly larger batch, you can adjust as needed, but the base remains the same. 5 cups of liquid, I use 2 1/2 water 2 1/2 milk. Add more milk for creamier consistency. 2/3 cup rice, 1/2 cup sugar, 1 tsp cinnamon.

If you like nutmeg, add it, if you want more or less cinnamon, change it. Vanilla stirred in at the end would be wonderful as well. But not before, as vanilla can burn.

Typically, my mom always baked this in a casserole. It takes 2 hours. Also, the pan is a NIGHTMARE to clean. I cannot stress this enough. Burnt sugar lining the casserole.

I tried a different method last night. Sorry Mom.

I ended up with 8 cups of liquid and a little over a cup of rice. You can adjust your sugar ratio as well if you like more or less sugar. There is no egg in this and you can taste it!

I mean you can taste the uncooked pudding, not that you can tell there's no egg in it.

Make sense? Thank you.

I put a lid on it until it boiled and then took it off and let it simmer for about 30 minutes.

You should stir occasionally so that the rice doesn't clump up. I did notice that before I stirred, it was starting to form a skin, like it does when you bake it slowly. I just don't know how clumpy it would get if you didn't stir it, but you could play with this if you like the skin.

You will be able to tell it's ready when the rice has absorbed most of the liquid, but not all. I personally like a little pudding around my rice.

Oh, and I like rice pudding warm. Some people like to chill it first.

And any refridgerated rice pudding tends to absorb more and there is less pudding sauce.

We don't normally have leftovers, so no biggy.

See? Poifect.

I settled down with a cup of coffee on the couch and relaxed for a few minutes as kids showered and the livingroom was quiet for a few minutes. And read a few pages of the book I'm reading, The Daily Coyote.
Yum! You couldn't tell that I skipped the 2 hour baking time, except that there wasn't any lovely brown skin on the top. Which I do sorta kinda love.
But the biggest plus? No scorched sugar. I literally rinsed and soaped.


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