Family Chicken

Recipes float around the web, many of them trendy, some retro, and others really off-beat. Trying new ones can be risky. Have they been tested? Is the developer strong on the write-up, but weak on delivery? You can put all those questions to rest with this recipe. Found in a cookbook from 1899, it has been in Mom’s family for decades, and cooked so many times that it has come to be known simply as “Family Chicken.”

I ask you- Can a recipe this well-loved not be delicious?

In my whole life, I don’t think I’ve ever made one batch at a time of this marinade. People love it so much that we usually make 4-6 times the recipe, and then hope that we have a few pieces leftover to eat cold out of the refrigerator the next morning (many of our favorite way to eat it).

It only takes a few minutes to whip this together. Probably you have all of the ingredients already in your pantry. Here they are, so you can get started…

Who knew oil, vinegar, black pepper, salt, eggs and poultry seasoning could be so magical?

First, measure out the oil into your bowl…

If you’re worried about the amount of oil in this recipe, don’t be. It’s a marinade, and very little of it will be absorbed.

Next, dump in the vinegar…

It’s best with apple cider vinegar, but we didn’t have any. Rice vinegar will also work, in a pinch.

Then add salt…

Again, please don’t be concerned about the amount of salt in this recipe. Most of it will not be absorbed by the chicken. No matter how much you’re tempted, resist cutting down the salt from the prescribed amount. People have asked for this recipe in the past, and then complained that it didn’t taste like ours. When asked if they cut the salt, they always admitted that they had.

Next add pepper…

…poultry seasoning…

…eggs…

…and then whisk ingredients together…

until thoroughly combined.

Now grab a container of some kind (we used large jars, because they fit well into our fridge, held a lot of chicken, and kept all the pieces covered in marinade), and fill it up with chicken pieces.

Ladle marinade over the top…

…until all the chicken pieces are covered.

For the life of me, I couldn’t get a straight shot of this chicken. You’d think I was on a ship, not a balcony overlooking the river.

Make sure to marinate an abundance of chicken, and try to prepare it at least two days in advance, so it has plenty of time to soak up all that great marinade flavor.

We made four jars worth, to accommodate one of our large Sunday night crowds.

In passing, I think every ridiculously large mayonnaise jar secretly dreams of being filled with family chicken, don’t you? :)

As I said before, it’s best if you make it two days in advance, but you should at least let it marinate overnight before you cook it. We find that the chicken is best if it’s cooked outdoors and has that nice char-grilled flavor. However, it’s also acceptable to bake it in the oven until it’s golden brown.

You could serve it on your balcony overlooking the river, or you could do what we did and serve it to these friends…

…plus these friends…

…in addition to these friends…

…for Sunday dinner. Our friends here all love family chicken, and it’s hard to make enough so that we have a little left over to eat cold for breakfast. :) We’re glad to be able to share this special treat, passed down through Mom’s family, with our China family now. Maybe you should make some for your family this week!

Family Chicken-

1/2 cup oil

1 cup vinegar (preferably apple cider vinegar)

2 tablespoons salt (don’t scrimp!)

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1 egg

1 1/2 teaspoons poultry seasoning

Chicken pieces (I just realized I have absolutely no idea how much chicken 1 batch of marinade covers. Maybe 8 pieces? I’ve never made that little.)

Directions

Mix marinade ingredients together and whisk well. Place chicken in container and cover with marinade. Store in refrigerator for 2 days, shaking occasionally to redistribute ingredients. Bake or grill until golden brown and cooked through. Be sure to make plenty, because this chicken goes fast!

Mmmm- here’s a plateful of tangy, juicy, crispy perfection. Come on, join the family; make some Family Chicken for your loved ones! :)

Seven Layer Chinese, a.k.a. Hawaiian Haystack


Since our food blog is called “Our Daily Rice,” I thought it only fitting that we post something that actually has rice in it. Depending on who you ask, this dish is called Seven Layer Chinese, or Hawaiian Haystack. Our pastor’s wife in Texas used to make it, and we’ve adopted it as something that almost everyone likes to eat. Each component is in a separate bowl, so people can add or not, as they like. Even the pickiest eaters are pleased.

Much to my chagrin, I realized that if I was going to write for a food blog, I needed to have recipes! While that is no problem with baking, I fear it will tax my usual “throw in some of this and some of that until it looks about right, mix together, then cook until done” method of preparing old standbys. I am also accustomed to cooking for a large family, and confess to not having fully adjusted to our smaller group of only six. What I’m saying here is, if you fix it, I hope you indeed like it, because you might be eating it a while! :)

Assembling Seven Layer Chinese requires great skill. Start with a scoop of rice. Beware, too much rice at the beginning, and the serving will quickly mount to monumental proportions.

Spoon chicken gravy over the bed of rice.

Layer three is key, and I believe it makes the whole dish. Add a dollop of crushed pineapple, including some of the juice.

Then sprinkle on celery…

…green onion…

…almonds…

…and fried wonton strips (you can also use chow mein noodles).

Drizzle soy sauce over the top, and enjoy the savory, sweet, tangy, crunchy, satisfying combination. Make it tonight, and add a new family favorite to your repertoire. Bonus- use the crockpot and avoid heating up your kitchen!

Here’s the recipe-

Seven Layer Chinese

3 cups steamed rice

4 pieces of chicken (I recommend using bone-in thighs for flavor, but boneless thighs or breasts are easier)

2 cans cream of chicken soup

1 can chicken broth

1 large can crushed pineapple (or you can use fresh, and chop it finely)

2 stalks celery

Small bunch green onion

1 cup almonds (I recommend slivered, but chopped or sliced will do)

Fried wonton strips (or you could use chow mein, but fried wontons are so yummy!)

Directions: Place chicken, cream of chicken soup, and chicken stock in crock pot, and cook for 3-4 hours, shredding chicken once it is cooked through and returning to sauce. If necessary, add a bit more chicken broth (or water and chicken bullion) at the end.

Steam rice using any method you like. We use a rice cooker, since the sticky rice it produces is perfect with chopsticks.

Chop pineapple (unless you’re using canned), celery, green onion and almonds. Cut wonton wrappers into thin strips and fry them in hot oil until crispy. Put out bowls of each ingredient, and allow your family to assemble their own. Use chopsticks to make it feel more “authentic.” :)

Serves four.

P.S. Two young ladies who are staying with us, Alyssa and Lacy, specifically requested that I post this recipe and tell their parents to make it a.s.a.p. I think they liked it!