Wednesday, September 8, 2010

ranch chicken and an obsession

I'm not going to lie to you I have many obessions, knitting for example, also I'm kind of obsessed with collecting recipes, as the little pie chart representing free space on my hard drive would indicate. I also happen to play favorites with a few food celebrites. Alton brown is one of my heros as is Ina Garten but the food personality that I want to be most like would have to be the Pioneer Woman.

I heard about her through my cousin. After I visited her site a few times I was hooked. I loved her cooking style and the way she wrote her entries. She always sounds so down to earth and I love that she can own up to her flaws. It makes her very accesible. All of these things really helped me feel like I could handle writing a food blog. So today I'm paying tribute to Ree Drummond with her most sinful creation, ranch chicken. It's a delicious combonation of honey mustard marinated chicken breasts, sharp cheddar cheese, and bacon. It is amazing.

Ranch Chicken
adapted from the pionner woman

½ cups Dijon Mustard
½ cups Honey
½ whole (juice Of) Lemon
½ teaspoons Paprika
½ teaspoons Salt
Crushed Red Pepper (optional To Taste)
6 whole Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts
1 pound Thick Cut Bacon
Bacon Grease
Sharp Cheddar Cheese, to taste
Canola Oil

In a large bowl mix together Dijon, honey,lemon juice,paprika, and salt and whisk until smooth. Sprinkle in some crushed red pepper flakes or cayenne if you like. Set aside.
Next, rinse the chicken breasts, place on a sheet plastic wrap and fold it in half over the chicken then pound to around ½ to ¾ inch thick with a mallet. Next, add the chicken to the bowl with the marinade, cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for between 1 to 3 hours.
While the chicken marinates, fry up some bacon. When finished cooking, reserve ¼ cup of the bacon grease and clean out the skillet.
When the chicken is done marinating, preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Remove the chicken from the fridge and pour off excess marinade. Heat half of the reserved bacon grease with an equal quantity of Canola Oil in the clean skillet over medium-high heat. When the grease is nice and hot add two or three pieces of chicken to it. Cook until brownish/blackish, about 1 to 1 ½ minutes per side. Remove chicken to a large baking sheet. If cooking many pieces of chicken, repeat skillet process and remove finished chicken to baking sheet. Place chicken in preheated oven and cook for about 10 minutes. Remove from over.
Lay a few pieces of bacon over each chicken breast. Sprinkle shredded sharp cheddar cheese over the top of the chicken as generously as you like. Return pan to oven for an additional five minutes until cheese is melted and bacon is sizzling.

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