Thursday, May 24, 2012

Orange You Thankful for Chicken?

I made this recipe for the first time approximately six weeks ago. I remember it very clearly as it was later that same week that I came down with the worst case of the flu that I have ever experienced. While I remember this dish as being very delicious, I also remember the flu when I look at it, hence the lapse in time between making it and blogging it. Just couldn't bring myself to think about it. The coating on this chicken is absolutely delicious though I'm certain the next time I prepare it I will use chicken breasts instead of thighs. I picked thighs, not just because they were on sale, but also because I remembered a tri-athlete friend mentioning that chicken thighs have some specific quality that is beneficial for runners. Now...I don't consider myself a "runner" proper...more of a jogger who occasionally indulges in a moment of insanity and signs up for a 5K and honestly, when I bought the thighs and planned this recipe, I must have thought that simply eating chicken thighs would somehow inspire a run - something I hadn't done in several weeks. I was wrong.  Nonetheless, these were delicious and will land on our table again in the near future. 

Orange Crumb Chicken Bake
2 Tbs. orange juice
2 Tbls. Dijon mustard
1/4 tsp. salt
2/3 cup cracker crumbs
1 Tbs. grated orange zest
1/4 cup chopped white onion
1/4 tsp. black pepper
4 boneless skinless chicken thighs or breasts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly butter a 9x13 baking dish. Combine orange juice, mustard and salt in a cup. In a shallow dish, combine cracker crumbs, orange zest, onion, and pepper. Brush mustard mixture on both sides of chicken, then coat with crumb mixture - give a good firm press to ensure the crumbs stick to the chicken. Place chicken in baking dish and bake 15 minutes, turn chicken and bake about another 20 minutes until cooked through. The recipe is easily doubled and highly recommended. Enjoy!


Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Did You Feel The Thunder?

I have lived a total of 17 years in the state of two different segments, but still - that's half of my life. Wowza. Not only was the Music Man born and raised in Oklahoma, but several milestone moments in my life happened there as well: college, the births of two of my four children, my first home purchase, the list could go on... Many of my oldest and dearest friends reside there. This funny shaped state is one of my favorite places to live (tied only with Michigan) and holds a huge piece of my heart. Oklahoma has consistently maintained a spot on the list of "top ten best places to live in America". Oklahomans are strong, confident, loyal, genuinely kind and humble. I am so grateful that I married one of them. Oklahoma is often short-changed as that state-that-sits-on-top-of-Texas, swallowed up by the big oil and bigger ego's (oh yes, I said it) of their southern neighbors. Northeasterners don't really know where Oklahoma is...just somewhere before California. That's okay though...after all, "the meek shall inherit the earth". Oklahomans have survived bombings and tornadoes, pulling together to re-build like one, large, unending family. They were always on the map, but now we know it. So kudos to the Okies who've been there all along, well before anyone was paying attention...your NBA team simply exemplifies what many of us already knew..."baby, you got what it takes".