Daddy’s Day Southern Fried Chicken

DSC_0237Well, I would say summer is officially here in the south.  My car thermometer registered 107.  Summertime also means Father’s Day to me.  I want to make my Dad’s favorite thing to eat and that is none other than Southern Fried Chicken.  My brother and I would tease my Dad for not leaving one piece of meat on the bone of his chicken.  He told us this story of why he couldn’t leave any meat on the bones.

During special occasions, all the family (my grandfather was one of 12 children) would come over for supper.  The adults would go first to get their plates.  They would get the larger pieces of chicken.  When it was finally time for the children to get their plates, the only chicken that was left was the wings and drumsticks.  This was during the depression and food was scarce.   They killed their own chickens and they grew their own vegetables.  Some of those habits of those who lived during that time do not die-hard.  My Dad doesn’t like to throw anything away and this story is 60 something years old.

I would branch out and say all of us have opinions based on what we grew up experiencing, good or bad.  Politically my Dad and I don’t always see eye to eye.  In fact, I think he may be absolutely wrong and bases his opinion from fear of an unknown.  There aren’t many people in the world that I love more than my father.  We can have different political views and still have a respect and love for one another that supersedes politics and power.  Sometimes we choose not to talk about it.  We have gotten down right “hot” with discussions over plates of fried chicken.  However, I know that discussing and connecting over meals eases tension and brings joy in our hearts no matter our differences.  If he would just pretends to listen and agree all is well!

I believe that all anyone wants is to be respectfully heard.  That may seem to simple but it seems to me to be the only place we can start.  At the end of a political season, these moments of laughter and togetherness will be what matters in times of differences.  I hope you too will enjoy my recipe of Southern Fried Chicken and it brings you the same joy and togetherness it brings to me, especially in the heat of the moment.  😉

Southern Fried Chicken

Ingredients

4 Chicken breasts

2 cups buttermilk

2 cups panko bread crumbs

1 cup flour

1 tablespoon kosher salt

1 tablespoon pepper

1/2 cup canola

Directions

Soak your chicken breast in the buttermilk for at least an hour or overnight.  When ready to fry, mix your panko, flour, salt and pepper in a shallow bowl so that you can dredge your breasts into the mixture making a thick coating.  The black pepper is a key ingredient.  If you feel up to it, add more!  After each breast has been coated, heat your oil in a cast iron skillet or fry pan.  When the oil is hot, add the breast making sure not to crowd them.  If you need to, do two batches.  Fry each side about 3-5 minutes watching to make sure the oil doesn’t get too hot and burn.  When your breast are browned, put in a pre-heated oven of 350 degrees fahrenheit.  Finish the chicken off in the oven for about 10 minutes or until cooked through.  Southern Fried Chicken is great with corn on the cob and watermelon or slice your chicken and put on a garden salad.  The  cooked chicken is great refrigerated and later packed in a cooler for picnics at the pool or amusement parks.

Happiest Father’s Day to all the Dads, enjoy and I wish you the happiest of summers!

 

 

 

 

 

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Through Thick and Thin

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Pasta with Pesto and Chicken

My girlfriend called me early Saturday morning.  I knew something was up because she doesn’t usually call on the weekend.  She was crying.  I had never heard her like this.  My heart sank- what was wrong?

Her son had a melt down about doing a Saturday activity.  He didn’t want to go.  The whole family was rushing around to get the son to his boy scout commitment and the daughter to her soccer game.    The temper tantrum had affected the whole family, negatively.

As my friend continued talking and crying, she said “I lost it, I cursed at him”.  I couldn’t help it and I started laughing.  She is one of the best mom’s I know.

She began laughing too.  We as Mothers carry the weight of the world on our shoulders to be perfect even when our little angles are not.  I do not have enough fingers and toes to count the countless mistakes I have made as a mother.  I sometimes feel like I have won the worst mom award.  But, I haven’t.  I make a mistakes, apologize, and my daughters and I learn a good lesson.  We make mistakes, recognize them and move on, trying really hard not to make the same mistakes again.  We are human, with human emotions.

That was the beautiful lesson in this.  They did go to the boy scouts event and they both apologized for their behavior.  The mother to the son and the son to the family.  We are not perfect with our emotions.  And that is the perfect lesson to ourselves and those we love.  We will act certain ways in life.  People may not like it but those that truly love us will continue to love us unconditionally.  I believe, and I know not everyone does, that yelling and getting angry when someone has hurt you is healthy.  What is not healthy is a continual hurt and a continual yell.  I know there is a huge difference.  There is that word again that comes up in my life a lot…balance.

So, for dinner with my family, I decided to throw some pasta on the stove.  The greatest comfort food in the fall, if you ask me.  I didn’t have a lot in the fridge so, I used what I had – some grape tomatoes, some capers in a jar, some kalamata olives in a jar, left over pesto, and frozen chicken breasts.

I thawed the chicken and sautéed them.  I then added all the other ingredients minus the pesto to the pan and put a lid on it while all the flavors cooked together.  I added cooked penne pasta and the pesto and mixed it all up.

Viola!  Our dinner was served and, we sat at the table this particular night-  all of us, talking about our day, eating our meal, and living one day at a time through thick and thin, loving each other, unconditionally.