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During the vlog this week, I mentioned nostalgia brought on by tasting food. The movie I was referencing was Ratatouille. For those of you who don’t know what the premise of the movie is, it’s that anybody can cook, even if you are a mouse. It follows the narrator, Remy through his journey from the Parisian countryside to ending up in the heart of Paris at the restaurant Gusteau. The scene I was referencing comes toward the end, where this critic Anton Ego is coming to the restaurant and they bring him out a plate of ratatouille. He studies it almost sceptically and then takes a bite. The next thing that happens is that we are taken to a glimpse of his childhood. He’s standing in the kitchen looking like he’s just been beaten up. The scene cuts to the young Ego sitting at the table, his mum handing him a bowl of what looks like ratatouille and he tucking in, a smile forming on his lips before we’re taken back to present day.

Take that whole scene right there, and that’s essentially what good meals from my Grandmother and Mum do for me. I could be having one of the most rotten days, where nothing is going right, but the ability to come home to a meal from mum’s kitchen is heavenly. Take my mum’s spaghetti and meatballs, or even my grandmother’s bisquick chicken. The latter is eaten around the table with whoever went to dinner over my grandmother’s house. She always says that it’s not that hard to make, but she makes it in such a way that even after the most exhausting of days, everything feels better. It’s comfort food at its finest and I’m still trying to perfect making it.

Yesterday was the perfect day to try my hand at making the bisquick chicken. It wasn’t cold, but it looked like it was about to rain at any point and the temperature was dropping as it got later into the afternoon. After a quick run to the grocery store, I set up camp in the kitchen to make the chicken.

Some of the ingredients-
Back, left to right: Bisquick pancake mix, Grands layers biscuits, chicken gravy
Front: 3 golden finn potatoes
Not pictured: four chicken breasts, mayo, parmesan cheese, and chili powder. But we’ll get to that.

Because the chicken I was using was frozen, I immediately got it into the microwave to thaw out. If you know me, you know I hate thawing chicken by means of the microwave, but it was a necessary evil. While the chicken thawed, I set about scrubbing the potatoes and getting them chopped up.

Because they’re going to get mashed anyway, it doesn’t matter if they’re not precisely the same size.

After cutting up the potatoes, I got them into a pot of cold water and let them sit while I waited for the chicken to finish defrosting.

Once the chicken finished defrosting, I made sure the oven was empty and started heating it to 375 degrees. I don’t know if it’s ever happened to you, but when I leave a pan in the oven and start heating it up without meaning to, it always sucks. I nearly burnt myself last week when we did that with mum’s good skillet while we were making coffee cake. But I digress, because the chicken was done defrosting, I gathered the stuff I would need to make it.

The formula for moist, flavourful chicken-
Left to Right: parmesan cheese (I’d use the fresh stuff if I could), a touch of chili pepper, bisquick mix, and mayo.

I whisked the cheese, chili powder and bisquick together in a shallow container before realising that it was too small to dip the chicken into.

Just another dish that I would end up washing while dinner was cooking.

I’ve never made chicken by means of coating it in mayo and then in some kind of breading so this was new for me. I wasn’t sure how I should go about it and ended up with an assembly line, kind of.

Step one-
Make sure you’ve got your chicken and your mayo handy.

I washed my hands again and then slathered a fair amount of mayo on them. For the record, I’m not big on mayo, so having it between my fingers while I rubbed it on the chicken breasts wasn’t my favourite part of making this. But it was well worth it.

The next thing I did was invert the breading mix onto a plate.

From here, I’m surprised my pictures came out as well as they did, I was taking them with my right hand because I was using my left to coat the chicken in the mix.

If your hand doesn’t look like this, you’re doing it wrong:

After washing my hands of the chicken, I got them into the oven and strained the potatoes.

This is completely optional, but I’ve always found that the potatoes never boil over if I strain off the excess starch. Dunno where I learned it, but it hasn’t failed me yet.

With the potatoes strained, I got them back into a covered pan on the stove. If I had timed this correctly, everything would be done around the same time. While I waited for everything to cook, I did the dishes.

With a little over ten minutes left for the chicken to cook, I put the biscuits in on the top shelf of the oven. I was going to grab a picture and then was sidetracked.

After 35 minutes in the oven:

Just as I was getting the chicken out of the oven and moving the biscuits to the middle rack, the timer for the potatoes went off.

I strained them…

…Then added milk and butter…

…And then whipped them nice and fluffy…

I’d never ventured outside of using russet or Yukon potatoes to make mashed potatoes before and I’m happy that I did. The golden finn potatoes were great, even with their skin on.

Just after I finished whipping the potatoes, I realised I still had biscuits in the oven. Needless to say, they were a little past golden and on their way to burning.

Finally, I assembled the plates. It was funny because Josh’s mum had been outside taking care of something and when she came in, she said she could smell the chicken from down on the deck. She said it had smelled so good and she couldn’t wait to try it.

The finished product-
bisquick chicken, fluffy mashed potatoes and gravy, and a biscuit on the side.

I sat down at the end of the table and looked out the window while we ate. From where I sat, the view of the tree with the leaves turning was perfect against the gray backdrop of sky. There was a slight breeze coming in from the sliding door and  each bite of chicken was delicious. I was pleased to notice that the chicken hadn’t dried out and found the potatoes were delicious when delicately spread on to nibbles of biscuit. This was comfort food as I had grown up experiencing it. Josh said he loved it, mainly because he loves potatoes, but he had never seen chicken done so well from the oven. That’s the trouble with breast meat, it dries out unless you know how to cook it. I was a little mad that I had forgotten about the biscuits, but a friend told me that I can’t always be perfect.

~Recipe: Comforting Bisquick Chicken~

Yes, you can find a bisquick chicken recipe on the side of the box, but I do it a little bit differently. After all, what’s a recipe but just a theme? 

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 4 chicken breasts
  • ~1/3 cup mayo
  • 1 cup of bisquick mix
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
  • 2 tsp chili powder

Special Tools:

  • 9×13 baking dish

Method:

  1. Heat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit
  2. Mix together bisquick, cheese and chili powder on a plate and set aside.
  3. After washing your hands, rub mayo on them and then rub the mayo onto the chicken breasts, transferring them to a plate when you’ve finished.
  4. Either coat your baking pan in cooking spray, or put down non stick foil.
  5. Coat the chicken breasts one at a time in the bisquick-cheese mixture and transfer to the pan. Repeating until all of the breasts have been coated.
  6. Bake at 375 for 35 minutes, turning halfway through.
  7. Serve with potatoes/rice and enjoy.

Xx Steffanni

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