Midwestern fried chicken & Swiss chard with honey-roasted garlic

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The kids love fried chicken, and so do I. The last time I made it, using an Alton Brown recipe, it took 3 long messy hours of active cooking. Ugh. The one I used last night was a lot easier. It’s from Amy Thielen’s cookbook Midwestern Table (she also recently made it on her Food Network show, Heartland Table). And it has a secret ingredient.

You marinate the chicken in buttermilk, thyme and garlic all day (or overnight) then roll it in a mixture of flour and — the secret ingredient — pulverized Ritz crackers. The butter cracker meal gives the chicken a crispy exterior and golden color. The chicken pieces are fried in an inch of Canola oil for about 10 minutes, then finished in the oven. Apparently, that’s the “Midwestern” way. I didn’t know there was another way to do it! It’s still a little bit of a production so I wouldn’t make this weekly. But so good…

I also made Amy’s Swiss chard with honey-roasted garlic.

It was a nice change from spinach, asparagus, the usual. You start by cutting a whole head of garlic length-wise, drizzling it with honey and olive oil and roasting it in a bundle of tin foil. The chard is sautéed in butter and pine nuts, then the honey-garlic cloves get squeezed in (along with the juice in the bottom of the tin foil bowl) to make a dressing of sorts. Next time, I’ll double this. The chard wilts down pretty significantly. I almost skipped the pine nuts because they’re so pricey. But Grandpa Jon happened to bring some over on Christmas Day. So glad because they’re critical.

Click here for the recipes on Food Network.

 

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