Surviving a Recession w/ Bourbon Pecan Chicken and Banana Pudding

Yes, I said the “R” word.

I think there has been enough media fear mongering to scare most of us half to death.  Times are tough–I know, I know– but who isn’t ready to hear a little good news?  Heck, half the time I wake up with one eye open and one eye closed for fear that my childhood nightmare has come true, and the sky has finally fallen.

A few weeks ago,  I decided enough is enough.   I can keep listening to talk of the sky falling, or I can get on with  my life.  No use sitting around whining and complaining about how bad things are and how much much worse they might get.  If I want to put living in the moment into practice, then the time is NOW.

Cooking, baking, decorating, sales, and nurturing are just a few of the skills I’ve honed over the years.   The first thing I decided to do was to invite the kids over and cook up a southern supper–complete with banana pudding for dessert.

The Menu:

Bourbon & Pecan Chicken

Mashed Potatoes

Collard Greens

White Cornbread

Homemade Banana Pudding

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Above: Homemade Banana Pudding (best when served cold!)

pecan

ABOVE: Bourbon Pecan Fried Chicken

Next, I opened up Angelnina’s Cottage Etsy Shop–my first sale was made within a few hours, and I’m happy to report, the woman who bought my first item is one of the sweetest women you can ever hope to do business with.  We have so much in common, I feel like I’ve made a new friend!

I truly enjoy hunting for vintage wares–especially kitchen ware.  Sometimes when I walk into an estate sale, I feel as if I’ve walked into a museum.  One thing I’ve discovered is that some things were just made better when my grandma was growing up, and I would rather use a well made item than a flimsy item that might look fancy, but simply doesn’t do what I want it to do.  I also prefer the retro tablecloths–the designs seem more cheerful and happy.  I have many more things to load into my shop, and soon I’ll have it stocked well.

I’m still finding my way around Etsy, and I’ve found they really do have a lot of great artists!

mebakingsix3

One more thing–I found this photo of my sister and I, when I was six years old.  I can’t remember if we were living in Boise, Idaho, Los Angeles, California, or Colorado Springs, Colorado.  I just remember living in several different states at that age.  It might even be New York.  In any case, I am cooking, and my sister, Karla is watching me with a very confident look on her face.  My sister has always been supportive of my cooking and baking ventures.  I remember her telling me I made good oatmeal when were little kids.

I’d love to have the vintage canisters in that photo.  It is no wonder I love all the retro and vintage kitchenware.  It looks like those are the tools I learned with.

The dress I’m wearing is one my Italian grandmother made for me.  It had simple snaps that held the dress together.  I wore it to school one day and played chase with the boys.  I’ll never forget tripping over the dress– the snaps came completely undone, and one boy stared at me in shock and said, “Ican  see your underwear!”.  I was completely and utterly horrified.  Well, as completely and utterly horrified as a six year old girl, with her panties hanging out for all the world to see, could be.

RECIPES?  CLICK BELOW…

Homemade Banana Pudding

3/4 cup sugar, divided
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
Dash salt
3 eggs, separated
2 cups milk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 vanilla bean

45 Vanilla Wafers, divided

5 ripe bananas, sliced (about 3 1/2 cups), divided
Additional NILLA Wafers and banana slices, for garnish

1. Mix 1/2 cup sugar, flour and salt in top of double boiler.
Blend in 3 egg yolks and milk. Cut open and scrape seeds from vanilla bean into mixture.  Save pod for vanilla sugar OR just drop the doggone thing in the custard and don’t forget to fish it out before serving.

Cook, uncovered, over boiling water,
stirring constantly for 10 to 12 minutes or until thickened. Remove
from heat; stir in vanilla.

2. Spread small amount of custard
on bottom of 1 1/2-quart casserole; cover with a layer of wafers
and a layer of sliced bananas. Pour about 1/3 of custard over
bananas. Continue to layer wafers, bananas and custard to make
a total of 3 layers of each, ending with custard.

3. Beat egg whites until soft peaks form; gradually add remaining
1/4 cup sugar and beat until stiff but not dry. Spoon on top of
pudding, spreading evenly to cover entire surface and sealing well
to edges.

4. Bake at 350°F in top half of oven for 15 to 20 minutes or
until browned. Cool slightly or refrigerate. Garnish with
additional wafers and banana slices just before serving.

Makes 8 servings

Angelnina’s NOTES:   I don’t care for this warm–it tastes much better after chilling in fridge for at least 6 hours.

Make sure you use ripe bananas, as unripe bananas can make this bitter.

Bourbon & Pecan  Chicken

2 boneless skinless chicken breasts,split into halves, flattened to 1/4″ thickness

1/4 cup bourbon

1/2 c pecans

1/2 cup dry bread crumbs

1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp Parmigiano Reggiano

1/4 c all purpose flour, spread on a plate

1 lg egg, lightly beaten, in a shallow bowl

8 ounces (1 cup) clarified butter or 4 ounces (1/2 cup) unsalted butter mixed with 1 cup peanut oil

Seasonings:  Tony Chachere’s Creaole Seasoning, garlic powder, Old Bay seasoning, and a little bit of salt)

1 lemon, cut into 8 wedges

Flatten breasts to 1/4″ thickness.  Place breasts into shallow glass or stainless container that will marinate them in one layer and pour bourbon over them. Set aside and marinate for 30 minutes to one hour.

Grind pecans in food processor, being careful you do not grind them into butter–they should look like course meal.  Transfer to a shallow bowl and mix in bread crumbs and parmesan cheese.

Prepare another shallow bowl (I use pie plates) with egg and 1 Tbsp water mixed in, and a third plate with the flour.

Drain marinade from the chicken breasts, roll them in the flour, shake off the excess, dip them in the egg.  Allow the egg to drip back off into the egg bowl, and then roll the chicken in the crumb mixture, one at a time, patting mixture well into all sides.  Lay each breaded piece onto a clean plate or wire rack.  Set aside for at least 15 minutes to set the breading.

Put your clarified butter or unsalted butter and peanut oil into a skillet that will hold all of the chicken without crowding–I use two skillets.  Turn on heat to med-high.  When the butter is melted and foaming subsides, add chicken to pan.  Fry until bottom is golden brown about 3 minutes, turn and continue frying until chicken is cooked through and uniformly browned, about 3 minutes more.  Serve hot with lemon wedges.

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9 thoughts on “Surviving a Recession w/ Bourbon Pecan Chicken and Banana Pudding

  1. DWitch: I couldn’t agree with you more. I wonder if it ever occurs to folks that the news has to keep it negative for ratings?

    Lauren: Thanks! I found that in a pile of old photos.

  2. Thank you sooooo much for the boost toward getting on with life rather than buying into the mood of the doomsayers. I get a magazine called Ode – The magazine for intelligent optimists. They also send me a daily email entitled “And Now For the Good News.” Having people like you in my sphere is just what I need to stay on that optimistic track!

  3. Anita, I spotted those canisters and the bread box- straight away- and thought- I bet she wishes she had those. The next line- you said those very words.

    I love pecans. My Mama has two trees and keeps me stocked with bags of Paper Shells. I can’t wait to try the chicken.
    My Grandma is 96 and I think she still makes banana pudding with vanilla wafers on Sundays. She cooks each Sunday ands waits for her children to visit. That’s waht she calls them- the children. My mom is 74. LOL They always know there’s a meal waiting at Grandma’s.
    Love the meringue! I’ll check out your Etsy site. Well done, you! Once again.

  4. LEIGH: YES! Me too. I need to get that magazine!

    TAMARA: I can’t believe your mama has two pecan trees!!! MY OH MY! I added a little extry bourbon–it was a 6 ounce night ;). I love that your 96 year old Grandma calls her 74 year old daughter her children. I look at pictures of my son and think, yes, he sure does look all grown up, but he’s still my kiddo–ya know what I mean?
    I found a new banana pudding recipe I want to try!

  5. Are you sure you didn’t post a picture of my little sister and I, circa 1960 in my mom’s kitchen in Oregon? I couldn’t believe this picture! It’s great. Everything about it is so familiar–the table, the chairs, the bangs on the girls (these are what I call “cut by my mom bangs”) Thank you. Thank you.

  6. I think if I caculated it correctly by the date on the pic Oct 1971, we may have been living on Vera Lane in Boise. We went to Valley View Elementary school by Capitol High School. Grandma Vi came to visit us and we drove to Idaho City. I would have been in third grade that year. I am pretty sure I went to third grade in Boise and Avon.

    Love Karla

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