Sunday, September 19, 2021

What’s for dinner? Spicy, tangy chicken with gouda and cheddar mac!

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Bailey Woodean
I have been a freelance writer for more than 4 years, a mom for more than 2 years, and a wife for just under a year. I am currently a student in a cooking and catering program with the intention of expanding my knowledge of the culinary business. I then plan to take this knowledge to properly write about and critique restaurants and food. Writing to you from Niagara Falls, NY, thanks for joining me on the ride!
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This is one of my favorite dinner recipes. I don’t make it too often due to it not being the healthiest dinner, but I serve it with a salad to try to make it healthier.

dinner

My half fried, half baked spicy chicken with my Gouda and Cheddar Mac recipe

Chicken ingredients

  • 2 chicken breasts, cut into strips
  • 1-2 cups of whole wheat flour
  • 1-2 cups of panko bread crumbs
  • 2 eggs slightly beaten
  • 2 tablespoons of Frank’s extra not Red Hot Sauce
  • 2 tablespoons Garlic Hot Sauce
  • Oil or bacon grease for frying

Macaroni and cheese ingredients

  • 1 16ounce box of pasta (I chose penne)
  • 2 cups of smoked gouda cheese, shredded
  • 2 cups of sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 4 cups of whole milk
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Garlic and herb mixture to taste
  • Parsley flakes for garnish
chicken breast
  1. Cut chicken breasts into even strips
  2. Lightly beat eggs with hot sauces and any additional spices you may want to incorporate
  3. Set up three bowls (one for whole wheat flour, another for egg and hot sauce mixture and a third for panko bread crumbs)
  4. Dress each strip individually in the above bowl order
  5. Place dressed strips in the oil in a hot pan
  6. Repeat for all strips
  7. Fry each strip on all sides until golden brown and toasty
  8. Remove strips from the pan and place on a cooling rack on a cookie sheet
  9. Once all strips are fried and placed on the rack, insert the rack, cookie sheet, and chicken in the oven
  10. Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for about 20 minutes
  11. Boil the pasta as directed until noodles are tender
  12. In a separate pot, melt the butter
  13. Add about 2 – 3 tablespoons of flour to make the roux
  14. Mix well
  15. All to cook about 30 seconds before slowly adding milk, continue stirring
  16. Allow milk mixture to warm (not boil) before adding salt, pepper, and other desired spices
  17. Slowly add the cheeses, alternatively
  18. Continue stirring until all cheeses are well incorporated
  19. Drain pasta and put back in cooking pot. Combine cheese with pasta until well mixed. Sprinkle parsley flakes on top for garnish.
  20. Remove chicken strips from oven when done. Plate and serve with a dipping sauce of your choice (I used ranch dressing), macaroni and cheese and a side salad.
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My notes

This time making this dinner I used leftover bacon grease that I had in the fridge to cook my chicken in. I don’t always make my chicken spicy with the hot sauce and I even left two smaller pieces spice-less for my son. I recommend using a cooling wire rack on top of a cookie sheet when baking the chicken in the oven to ensure your coating stays intact and is entirely crispy. Sometimes placing the chicken directly on the cookie sheet can make the bottoms soggy as the cooking grease dredges the bottoms. I didn’t season the panko bread crumbs this time around, but I have in the past. I usually sprinkle some salt, pepper and garlic powder into the panko mixture.

The cheese sauce can be adjusted per your preferred taste. I often tweak my sauce as I make it and more often than not I just experiment and “wing it”. Sometimes it turns out well, sometimes it’s a lesson to learn from. I have added garlic, onion, roasted bell peppers, and various other items to my sauce in the past and they have generally turned out well.

Overall, the chicken turns out moist on the inside and crispy on the outside. The coating was not as spicy as I had intended it to be but it was plenty spicy for my palate. If you prefer extra hot chicken then I would increase the hot sauce in the egg mixture as desired and use a spicy dipping sauce.

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