Thursday, July 31, 2014

Answering your food questions

Posted on March 17, 2013 at 1:00 a.m.

Mary Ann Lienhart-Cross

Food & Nutrition

There are several items that I have shared through my column that I need to give more information on.

I will begin with the puffed rice chicken; I have appreciated learning that I was not the only one who had not experienced this way of preparing chicken. I had shared that I would try preparing it with the skin on the chicken and the skin removed. I have found that the chicken is just as delicious with the skin removed as with it on, so when the skin is removed some of the fat is also removed, making the chicken better for you.

To make the skinless version, I dredge the chicken in flour, then in an egg and buttermilk mixture, and then it is coated with the seasoned puffed rice cereal and baked. Several of the recipes I found online had you melt butter or margarine and then pour it over the chicken before baking. I see no reason to add all that fat; the chicken is moist and golden brown without adding the fat. The last time I baked the chicken I used the cast-iron skillet and I really liked the flavor and rich golden brown color. This chicken is also really good warmed up.

The second food experience that I want to finish is the oven-roasted corned beef, vegetables and cabbage. Many of you had more questions. Yes, I cover the corned beef. Another question is about the added liquid. I have added 1 to 2 cups of water depending on how much corned beef and vegetables I am roasting. Another thought is about the liquid to use. I think I will try some dark Irish beer. I have had some incredible beef stew made with dark Irish beer and also some great whole grain bread.

One last thought on this roasted corned beef and vegetables: plan to let the roast rest 10 to 15 minutes before you slice it. Letting the meat rest will produce nice slices and not crumble or fall apart. While the meat is resting, make a mustard glaze or sauce to pour over it once it is sliced. You can be creative and come up with your own combination. You might start with cracked mustard and add some honey and a little water and stir, or it could be mustard and some peach or apricot jam. The flavor of the mustard with the sweetness of the sauce is delicious with the roasted corned beef.

One food experienceswe have had in our kitchen was roasting chicken for chicken rice soup for a staff meal. In the past I would have browned the chicken and placed it in the crock pot with lots of veggies and cooked it until the meat was falling off the bones. I don’t care what method I have used, I don’t like trying to get all the bones out of the broth.

So I decided to work smarter not harder. I left the skin on the chicken and placed it in a covered casserole and roasted it in 325-degree oven for over an hour. There was just chicken in the casserole dish but the aroma was wonderful. I was ready to eat roasted chicken.

Once the chicken was done to the point that the leg bone pulled out, I removed it from the oven, and let it set for 15 minutes or so. Then I took tongs and removed the skin and discarded it, and began removing the bones from the meat. The roasted chicken went into the crock pot with the sweated onions, celery and water to create the broth for the soup and simmered for hours.

A few hours before serving I added frozen mixed vegetables and then about an hour before I add cooked long grain rice. This was the best pot of chicken soup that we have ever made and we sure won’t go back to the traditional way. The richness of the broth from the chicken being roasted was the best. I am sure there are many cold damp days left in March and April so I am suggesting that you make some roasted chicken vegetable rice soup.

Mary Ann Lienhart-Cross is county extension director and extension educator in health and human sciences at Purdue Extension Elkhart County. Contact her at 533-0554 or lienhart@purdue.edu.