Southern Cooking Chicken
Chicken ala Southern Cooking “It’s not home without chickens” Attie Hamrick
When I was growing up on the farm we had at least 2 dozen chickens at all times. These lovely creatures clucked around happily all day, scratching the soil as they went. When it was time to kill one for dinner (we’re talking Fresh now), my mom would do the dastardly deed. She had two options: wringing its neck, or chopping the head off. Her method of choice was always chopping. This was done out by the feed house on a chopping block of sorts. Next the bird was doused in very hot water to release the feathers so they would be plucked. This left some very small fuzz-like hair that then had to be singed off. When we had the wood-burning stove, this part was quick and easy as she just lifted the lid of the hot stove and twirled the whole chicken around quickly - rotisserie style, passing rapidly over the flames. Any pin feathers were then plucked off and voila - a clean bird.
Next came the cutting up/dissecting of the bird. She would have put Julia Childs to shame here. The knife flew in expert hands as she cut it up in parts for the dish she had in mind.
Here’s the important part: these free-range chickens Never had any gobs of yellow fat we see in chickens today (excluding free range). Nosireeee, these birds had exercised sun up to sun down. When I started homemaking myself, and bought chicken in the grocery store, I thought what in the world is wrong with this bird? Now I know; their claws have never touched the ground. Fortunately, we can purchase free-range chicken. Albeit more expensive, but worth every penny. Try this recipe. You’ll like it!
One of my favorites!
I use the very best in this dish - free-range chicken breast
2 small free-range chicken breasts
Fresh red, yellow and green bell peppers
Fresh half of a medium onion optional
With 1/4th cup Italian Dressing
Salt and pepper to taste
1) Place chicken breast in sturdy plastic bag with the dressing and parsley. Pound to about 1/4 inch thick. This can be done with a pounder (see photo) or using a can of vegetables. This makes it a quicker to prepare and also makes it tenderer. As you know, chicken breast can be dry if it’s the least overcooked.
2) Heat 2 T olive oil in skillet over medium heat. Add pounded chicken breast. Cook for 4 minutes on either sides. Turn only one time. (I prefer an iron skillet.)
3) While chicken is cooking sauté vegetables in 2 T oil, just until they are barely limp. Add a little Italian Dressing and heat.
ready to turnready to serve