Pecan-Crusted Chicken

After one bite of this chicken Savannah let me know that it was the best chicken she had ever had.  I made it one night last week and she’s talked about it a number of times since.  It was quite delicious, and a recipe that I’ll make again sooner rather than later.  It’s a good thing we had a good pecan year!

I found this Emeril recipe on abcnews.com.  It calls for Emeril’s Essence which has cayenne pepper in it.  We loved it, but if you have little kids or you are heat sensitive you may want to make your own and simply cut back on the cayenne.  I’ll give you the recipe for Emeril’s Essence below the Pecan-Crusted Chicken, as I found it on foodnetwork.com.

The recipe calls for a 3 1/2 lb. chicken.  I used boneless skinless chicken breasts so I had to cut the cooking time by about 15 or 20 minutes.  Also, my crust did stick to the pan a little bit so be very careful when you turn your chicken half way through the cooking time.   Also, I marinated the chicken for 4 hours.

 

Pecan-Crusted Chicken
 
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Ingredients
  • 1 c. buttermilk
  • 3 tbsp. Emeril's Original Essence
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • One 3½ lb. chicken, cut into 8 pieces (or 8 chicken parts of your choosing)
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • ¾ c. pecan pieces
  • ¾ c. bleached all-purpose flour
  • ½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
Instructions
  1. Combine the buttermilk, 1 tbsp. of the Essence, and 1 tsp. of the salt in a 1-gallon plastic storage bag. Add the chicken pieces, seal, and gently squeeze to coat the chicken evenly. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour, or up to 4 hours.
  2. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Grease a heavy baking sheet with the olive oil and set aside.
  3. Pulse the pecans in a food processor or blender until finely chopped into a meal.
  4. Combine the ground pecans, the flour, the remaining 2 tbsp. Essence, 1 tsp. salt, and the pepper in another large plastic bag.
  5. Remove the chicken from the buttermilk mixture. Add the chicken one piece at a time to the pecan-flour mixture, and shake to coat evenly. Put the chicken skin side down on the prepared baking sheet.
  6. Bake the chicken for 30 minutes, then turn it. Return to the oven and bake until the juices run clear when pierced with a fork, about 30 minutes. Serve hot, or let cool to room temperature.

Emeril's Essence
 
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Ingredients
  • 2½ tbsp. paprika
  • 2 tbsp. salt
  • 2 tbsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp. ground black pepper
  • 1 tbsp. onion powder
  • 1 tbsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1 tbsp. dried oregano
  • 1 tbsp. dried thyme
Instructions
  1. Combine all ingredients thoroughly.

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Key Lime Pound Cake

Greg and I celebrated Valentine’s Day on Saturday night.  We had a wonderful dinner at Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse in Savannah and went to Sam’s.  No, it may not scream “ROMANCE”…but after 25 years of marriage and years of raising kids with no nights out, a night out together is nice, even if we do walk around Sam’s Club.  I didn’t even take my cell phone!  Greg had his just in case the kids needed us, but I left mine at the house.

My friend, Suzy, is now selling Origami Owl jewelry.  I had a showing at the house for her on Sunday and several friends came over to see exactly what it was.  Here’s my first necklace and I love it!  I chose to put charms that represent some things that I love…Greg and my kids birthstones, a cross, a coffee cup, a camera, and music notes.  Go to her website to check out all they have to offer at suzydesignsoo.origamiowl.com. Tell Suzy that Amye sent you!

I made this Key Lime Pound Cake for Sunday.  However, when Greg and I returned home on Saturday night the picture above is how I found it.  Wes had decided to help himself, despite the “Do Not Eat” note on it.  I couldn’t get too mad though because when I asked him about it he said it was GREAT.  Everyone at the house yesterday seemed to enjoy it too.

 

 

Key Lime Pound Cake
 
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Ingredients
  • 1 c. butter, room temperature
  • ½ c. shortening
  • 3 c. sugar
  • 6 lg. eggs, room temperature
  • 3 c. all-purpose flour
  • ½ tsp. baking powder
  • ⅛ tsp. salt
  • 1 c. milk
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp. lime zest
  • ¼ c. Key lime juice (I used Nellie and Joe's)
  • Key Lime Glaze (recipe follows)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease and flour a 10-inch tube pan (12-cup), set aside.
  2. Beat butter and shortening at medium speed until creamy. Gradually add sugar, beating at medium speed until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating just until blended after each.
  3. Stir together flour, baking powder, and salt. Add to butter mixture alternately with milk, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat a low speed just until blended after each addition. Stir in vanilla, lime zest and lime juice. Pour batter into prepared pan.
  4. Bake at 325 degrees for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in pan on a wire rack 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from pan to a wire rack.
  5. Prepare Key Lime Glaze and immediately brush over top and sides of cake. Cool completely.

Key Lime Glaze
 
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Ingredients
  • 1 c. powdered sugar
  • 2 tbsp. Key lime juice
  • ½ tsp. vanilla extract
Instructions
  1. Whisk powdered sugar, lime juice and vanilla extract together until smooth. Use immediately.

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Broccoli with Garlic Butter and Almonds

I hope everyone had a a very happy Valentine’s day.  I also hope you felt loved, even if you weren’t able to spend time with the ones you love.  Greg made our “Valentine’s” reservations for this weekend, so I cooked a special meal for the family.  We had steaks, roasted potatoes and broccoli.

My family loves my Steamed Green Beans recipe that is found on Not Just Sunday Dinner.  So, when I found this broccoli recipe, that looked very similar to the green beans, I had to give it a try.  It was fabulous and like all the recipes I love it was really easy too!

 

Broccoli with Garlic Butter and Almonds
 
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Ingredients
  • 1½ lb. fresh broccoli, cut into serving size pieces
  • ⅓ c. butter
  • 2 tbsp. brown sugar or Splenda brown sugar blend
  • 2 tbsp. soy sauce
  • ¼ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ⅓ c. slivered almonds, toasted
Instructions
  1. Place the broccoli in a large pot with about 1-inch of water in the bottom. Bring to a boil and cook until tender-crisp. Drain and arrange broccoli in serving bowl or platter.
  2. While the broccoli is cooking, melt the butter in a small skillet over medium heat. Mix in the brown sugar, soy sauce, vinegar, black pepper, salt, and garlic. Bring to a boil, then remove from the heat. Mix in the almonds, and pour over the broccoli. Serve immediately.
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Molten Lava Cakes

I always cook the recipe that I’m posting and I always use my photos when I blog.  The above picture if my photo, but honestly, it’s not a picture of the Chocolate Molten Cake recipe that I’m going to give you today.  This was a new recipe and it was awful!  I have a recipe that I love, but I found a new one that only made two cakes.  I thought that would be a nice treat for Valentine’s day and decided to try it ahead of time so that I could share it with you.  It was not successful!  Don’t you just hate it when that happens?  You read all the reviews on the Internet, it’s from a trusted chef…you do everything right yet it’s still terrible!

So much for us enjoying Molten Lava Cakes as an early Valentine’s treat.  However, here’s a tried and true Paula Deen recipe that I’ve made several times.  It is delicious and the one I’ll be making for Greg tomorrow.  I’ll bet your sweetheart would love this decadent chocolate dessert for Valentine’s Day too!

 

Molten Lava Cakes
 
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Ingredients
  • 6 (1-oz.) squares bittersweet chocolate
  • 2 (1-oz.) squares semisweet chocolate
  • 10 tbsp. butter
  • ½ c. all-purpose flour
  • 1½ c. confectioners' sugar
  • 3 lg. eggs
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. Grease 6 (6-oz.) custard cups. Place on a large baking sheet and set aside.
  3. Melt the chocolates and butter in the microwave, or in a double boiler. Add the flour and sugar to the chocolate mixture. Stir in the eggs and yolks until smooth. Stir in vanilla extract. Divide the batter evenly among the custard cups. Place in the oven and bake for 14 minutes. The edges should be firm but the center will be runny. Run a knife around the edges to loosen and invert onto dessert plates. Serve with vanilla ice cream if desired.
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Bananas Foster for Mardi Gras

Hello everyone…I’m back…I think.  I’m feeling much better and have starting to cook again.  I have missed cooking and blogging more than I would have imagined.  I think I’m a little “rusty” at the whole posting thing though.  I had my Mardi Gras beads out to use in my above picture but didn’t remember the beads until everyone was deep into their desserts.

My mom made this quite often when I was growing up (minus the rum).  Way before I ever heard of Mardi Gras I was loving this treat.  It has always been one of my favorites and it doesn’t hurt that it’s super easy.

Bananas Foster for Mardi Gras
 
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Ingredients
  • ¼ c. butter
  • ⅔ c. brown sugar
  • 3½ tbsp. rum (optional)
  • 1½ tsp. vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 3 bananas, peeled, cut in half lengthwise and crosswise
  • 1 handful of pecans, coarsely chopped
  • Vanilla ice cream
Instructions
  1. In a large skillet melt butter over medium heat. Stir in sugar, rum, vanilla extract and cinnamon. When mixture bubbles stir in pecans. Add bananas and gently stir until bananas are heated through.
  2. Spoon over ice cream while warm and serve immediately.
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