Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Comfort Food Night - Bisquick Chicken and Baked Mac & Cheese

Maybe it is the 2 feet of snow we got on Wednesday or the fact that it was -11 F when I left the house yesterday morning for work but I have been craving comfort food ..... and not the Weight Watchers approved version. So taking the everything in moderation mantra I decided to indulge.
Baked breaded chicken just isn't the same without  the skin on but here is my dilemma, Warren and Nick don't like to eat chicken off the bone. I can easily find boneless, skinless chicken but the only place I can find boneless chicken with the skin still attached is Whole Foods. But I was too lazy to drive to South Hadley and to cheap to pay the $3.99 per pound for boneless skinless chicken thighs. I decided to try to bone thighs myself. Since I do not have a boning knife, I sharpened my paring knife and bought 4 pounds of chicken thighs at $1.59 / lb. After reviewing Chef Paul Prudhommes' instructional video on how to de-bone a chicken leg. I gave it a try. It was amazingly easy. I think it would have been easier with a boning knife since they have a longer, thinner and more flexible blade, but I succeeded none the less. I think I should drop a hint since my birthday is coming.
Oven Baked Bisquick Chicken (right off the box)
1 Tbsp butter
2/3 cup Original Bisquick mix
1 1/2 tsp paprika
1 tsp salt or garlic salt
1 tsp Italian seasoning, if desired
1 cut up whole chicken (3 - 3 1/2 lbs)
Heat oven to 425F. Melt butter in 13x9 glass baking dish in oven.
Sir together Bisquick mix, paprika, salt, Italian seasoning and pepper; coat chicken. Place skin side down in the heated dish.
Bake 35 minutes. Turn chicken; bake about another 15 minutes longer or until the juice of the chicken is clear when the thickest piece is cut to the bone (170F for breasts; 180F for thighs and drumsticks).
Because I was using boneless chicken thighs I reduced the time to 20 minutes, turn over and then another 10 minutes.
Baked Macaroni and Cheese, adapted from Alton Brown
1/2 pound elbow macaroni , cooked according to package directions
3 Tbsp butter
3 Tbsp flour
1 Tbsp powdered mustard
3 cups milk
1/2 cup yellow onion, finely diced
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp paprika 
1 large egg, lightly beaten
12 ounces sharp cheddar, shredded
1 tsp kosher salt
Fresh black pepper
3 Tbsp butter
1 cup panko bread crumbs
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Melt the butter. Whisk in the flour and mustard and keep it moving for about five minutes, making sure no lumps develop. Stir in the milk, onion, bay leaf, and paprika. Simmer for ten minutes and remove the bay leaf.
Add a small amount of the milk mixture into the egg (tempering - otherwise you will end up with scrambled eggs). Stir in 3/4 of the cheese. Season with salt and pepper.
Fold the macaroni into the mix and pour into a casserole dish. Top with remaining cheese. Melt the butter in a saute pan and toss the bread crumbs to coat. Top the macaroni with the bread crumbs. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and rest for five minutes before serving.
Remember to save leftovers for fried Macaroni and Cheese. - I told you it was not Weight Watchers approved.

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