Thursday, September 12, 2013

Ranch Style Chicken

Ranch Style Chicken

So, I watch the E! show "Total Divas" now. I decided to just say it and get it out there since this is...how shall I put it? Oh yeah, very, very embarrassing. Last week I made the mistake of telling my sister that I liked this show. She laughed at me. My own sister, who watches "16 and Pregnant" and "Teen Mom" actually laughed at me upon learning this news. Then, she started referring to it as "my show"

As in: Krysta, your show is on. 

I'll admit, it's strange that I like this show. I'm not a WWE fan, but I admit I've succumbed to watching The Bachelor in recent years, and I do occasionally keep up with the Kardashians - although mostly because it comes on before E News and my exposure to that little five minutes towards the end was enough to eventually get me to watch a full episode without shame. Or maybe we watched a whole episode because Jeremy had so many questions about Bruce Jenner. Like, has he had a stroke? Or what happened to his face? Had he been burned in a fire? I promise these were legitimate questions we had. My sister laughed when I asked her those things too. Hard. Mostly because I was serious and concerned. When I learned the truth, that he had done this to himself, I googled what Bruce used to look like before plastic surgery. And then I got sad which involved me even more. And then I watched another episode. Hook, line and sinker.

Ranch Style Chicken

I don't watch every episode of these reality shows because I don't like to be addicted to such things. I like to keep my distance if you will. Trash in - Trash out, you know? Up till now it's never really been a problem. But I'll be damned if I am not jonesing to watch this Divas show every single time it's on. It's so strange. I almost missed out on it too. I had been nursing the baby to sleep and unable to reach the remote control for three nights in a row when "Total Divas" aired. I was forced to watch and was so bummed the first two times it happened. I rolled my eyes and pouted in my head but had no choice. I was not going to jeopardize the baby waking up just to change the channel. After I got to know the characters by the third viewing, it was all over. I was hooked. I told Jeremy and guess what? He laughed at me too! It so doesn't seem like a show I would watch. Now he makes fun of me, calling it my "favorite show"

As in: Krysta, your favorite show is on

I'm sort of mortified.

If watching Total Divas is a guilty pleasure, this Ranch Style Chicken is definitely one of them too.  Every so often, we eat meat in this house. Organic, grass-fed meat, that is. This chicken is top notch, the bacon is nitrate free, and when it's marinated and grilled in a honey mustard-esque sauce and topped with melty good quality cheddar it's awesomesauce. I used an aged cheddar and loved the tangy flavor. If you use mild cheddar the cheese might get lost to the robust, sweet chicken which would be a shame. If you're going to eat this way make sure the food you are using is top quality, that's my advice anyway. I mean, how could you go wrong? It may not qualify as health food but it sure is good. Everything in moderation, right?

So, I guess that means I can't watch the Bella Twins in my "favorite show" tonight since I've watched at least an episode a day for the last week and that would not be moderate. That's it, I'm officially cut off. Unless the remote "accidentally" gets left on the other side of the room during nursing time tonight...

Ranch Style Chicken


Ranch Style Chicken
adapted by The Pioneer Woman, Ree Drummond
serves 6

1/2 cup Dijon or county/grainy mustard
1/2 cup honey
The juice from 1/2 a lemon
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon salt
Crushed red pepper
6 whole boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 pound thick cut bacon
Sharp cheddar cheese, to taste
Olive oil

To begin, make the marinade. In a large bowl mix together the Dijon with the honey, juice of half a  lemon, paprika and salt and whisk until smooth. Sprinkle in some crushed red pepper flakes or cayenne if you like things a little spicy. Set aside.

Next, rinse the chicken breasts, place between two sheets of wax paper (or in a clear ziplock bag) and pound to around 1/2 inch thick with a mallet. Next, add the chicken to the bowl with the marinade, cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for 1 to 3 hours.

While the chicken marinates, fry up some bacon. When finished cooking, reserve 1/4 cup pf the bacon grease and clean out the skillet.

When chicken is done marinating, preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Remove the chicken from the fridge and pour off excess marinade. heat half the reserved bacon grease with an equal quantity of olive oil in the clean skillet over medium-high heat. (I only needed the bacon grease for this. It cooked nicely and didn't burn). When the grease is nice and hot add two or three pieces of chicken to it. Cook until brownish/blackish, about 1 to 1 1/2 minutes per side. Remove chicken to a large baking sheet.

Lay a few pieces of bacon over each chicken breast. Sprinkle shredded sharp cheddar cheese over the top of the chicken as generously as you like. Place pan in the oven for five minutes until cheese is melted and bacon is sizzling. Serve immediately.

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