Uncle Eric’s Dinner

As a relatively recent tradition, my family has started visiting California every summer- picking a new city to explore each time we go. My uncle joins us and we have a fun week of rude jokes and adventures. He makes a chicken and salad dish and eats it every night for the past 3 years. That’s right. Every day. I don’t blame him; it is wonderful in its simplicity and has a clean taste. I’ve already asked for it twice this week. To round it out, we added my Mom’s recipe for roasted potatoes.

Each part of the meal has its own ingredients and directions, so you can make individual parts, although I recommend making it all together. The portions depend on how much you can eat, but it is easily saved for leftovers the next day (or two). Also, the measurements are estimates, so you may need to play around with the recipe to suit your own tastes, oven, and altitude.

Breaded Chicken

Total Time: 1 hour and 30 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 8 Chicken parts (breast, wing, thigh, or leg), bone and skin on
  • 1  1/2 Cups plain bread crumbs
  • Black pepper
  • Salt
  • Crushed red pepper
  • Cayenne pepper (if you like it hot- use only a pinch)
  • Dried dill
  • Dried oregano
  • Dried basil
  • Dried rosemary (don’t overdo the rosemary)
  • 1 Egg

Directions:

  1. Set the oven to 350°. Line a deep pan with foil.
  2. Put the bread crumbs in a medium mixing bowl. Add the spices to the bowl. Spices are based completely on your own personal taste; I would recommend starting with 1/2 teaspoon pepper, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper, 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper (if you choose), 1/4 teaspoon dried dill, 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano, 1/4 teaspoon dried basil, and 1/4 teaspoon dried rosemary.
  3. Scramble the egg in a shallow dish. Dip the chicken in the egg to thoroughly coat. Dredge the chicken in the bread crumb mixture and place in the pan.
  4. Place the chicken in the oven and cook for 1 hour and 8 minutes. This time is for a gas oven, so depending on your particular oven, the time may be longer. Check the temperature with a meat thermometer; the chicken is ready at a minimum temperature of 165°.

 

Roast Potatoes

Total Time: 45 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1  1/2 Pounds baby or small gold, red, or purple potatoes
  • 1/2 large yellow onion, diced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400°.
  2. Cut the potatoes into bite-sized pieces.
  3. Place potatoes in a roasting pan. Add remaining ingredients and toss to coat.
  4. Place pan in oven and cook for 30 minutes. If potatoes are not soft when pricked, roast for 5 more minutes and check again.

 

Salad Dressing

Total Time: 5 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Black pepper, to taste
  • Salt, to taste
  • Juice of 2 small or 1 large lemon
  • 2 large dollops plain yogurt, reduced or low fat

Directions:

  1. Mix all of the above ingredients together. Serve with your favorite lettuce, tomatoes, carrots, and cucumbers.

 

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