Never in a million years did I think about writing ….. well anything. See I am a numbers person and always have been. I spend my days hunched over a computer trying to get numbers to tell my story. I have always envied people who could vividly describe a scene through words. Bear with me as I try to improve my writing skills.
Just a bit about me, I live in the Milwaukee suburbs and have been married to my husband, Steve for almost 20 years. Like many people, Steve and I have demanding jobs and we would always struggle with making dinner each night. We got into the habit of ordering out food a couple times a week. When we did cook, I would get in a rut and make large quantities of one thing to have multiple times during the week.
Then Covid happened and we had to cook all meals from home. That seemed daunting at first but I soon turned to social media for some inspiration. I started doing one new recipe each week. I was invigorated and really began to explore different dishes and ingredients. Some turned out very good and some not so much. But I really enjoyed searching the web for new recipes and exploring other blogs to find new foods to try. These posts will tell my journey and share blogs and recipes I found interesting.
One of my favorite blogs was written by Tieghan Gerard at Half Baked Harvest. The site has been around since 2012 and contains recipes, photos of her farm and some home décor items. She also has a large presence on Instagram and produces step by step videos of her recipe creations. We have tried many and most everything has been fantastic.
The latest attempt was Southern Hot Honey Chicken. I have been looking for a recipe that attempted Nashville Hot Chicken after ordering some from a local restaurant. I really enjoyed the crispy texture of the chicken offset with a spicy and sweet sauce. The chicken was so good, tender and with a kick from the Cayenne pepper.
Ingredients for chicken:
2 pounds boneless chicken breasts or thighs
1 cup buttermilk
2 teaspoons kosher salt
3 cups finely crushed corn flakes
3 tablespoons whole wheat flour
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
extra virgin olive oil, for brushing
Ingredients for hot honey sauce:
6 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons honey
2-3 teaspoons cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
First, prepare the chicken and marinade in buttermilk. I used boneless, skinless chicken breast for this dish. I decided to cut the chicken in half and pound them a bit thin. This allowed maximum ratio of topping to chicken which always makes me happy. Put the chicken in a plastic bag with the buttermilk and try not to make a mess like I did. Mix well and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to overnight. I marinated the chicken for about 4 hours.
Preheat your oven to 425 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Now onto the crunch topping: combine the crushed cornflakes, flour, thyme and salt. Mix well. Hint: make sure the corn flakes are really finely smashed. My first attempt, which you can see below, was not fine enough and make breading the chicken a bit of a challenge. As a result the corn flake taste was prominent in the end product. I used a rolling pin for my next attempt which worked much better and the taste was more balanced.
Next take the chicken out of the buttermilk marinade and dredge it in the cornflake mixture. Be sure to lightly press the mixture into the chicken. Place the chicken on a parchment lined cooking sheet. Make sure to not crowd the chicken or the chicken will not be as crisp. Lightly brush each piece with olive oil and put the pan in the oven.
Evidence of our first attempt where I did not mash the corn flakes enough.
Cook the chicken for 15-20 minutes, flip them over and cook for another 10 minutes. The Chicken should be golden brown and crispy at this point.
While the chicken is cooking, make the hot honey sauce. Combine all the ingredients in a saucepan: butter, honey, cayenne, chili powder, paprika, garlic powder, and a pinch of salt. Melt over low heat until well combined. We decided to go with only 2 T of cayenne pepper to keep the heat down a bit (we are wimps 😊). Special shout out to my brother-in-law, Brian for sharing his home-grown honey. It brought the perfect balance of sweetness to the sauce.
Once the chicken is done cooking, generously spoon the hot honey sauce over each piece of chicken and serve immediately. We have paired this with sautéed corn or with mashed potatoes or with a large salad. All three combinations have been successful.
Outcome of second batch, we enjoyed a nice dinner outside.
This is one of many recipes we have tried from Half Baked Harvest. A couple others ….
Our absolute favorite: Korean Bulgogi BBQ Chicken which introduced me to one of my new favorite ingredients Gochujang (Korean chili paste). We have tried this many different ways and will share this in a future post.
Summertime treat: Blueberry Lemon Thyme Cake which out neighbors really enjoyed. This is a nice balance between sweet and tart which makes for a refreshing spring/summer treat
Biscuit: Jalapeno Cheddar Biscuits. I went through a search for the best biscuit recipes. The flavors of this recipe was really good, however I am still trying to make a successful biscuit. More for another time.
Healthy treat: Dark Chocolate Chunk Oatmeal Cookie Bars. This was a quick and tasty treat.
Thank you for taking the time to look through my first post and hope you give this chicken a try.
Let me know how it goes by adding a comment!