CHEW THIS! Chicken Parm Patty

Chicken Parm Patty

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The following “Chew This!” column has been reprinted from “The Courier-Times”, Sunday, June 2nd 2019 edition. By: Blaise Doubman

A new twist on a new recipe…
Blaise Doubman

I love chicken parmesan! I must admit that for years I would turn my nose up at it and not even give it a second look. Why? I have no idea, because what is not to love? Chicken, tomato sauce and cheese served as a main dish individually or even placed on pasta! My brother, Damon, loves chicken parmesan and I must credit him for finally getting me to try it. Once I tried it, there was no turning back! He had converted me into a chicken parm lover! Over the years I have tried it individually with extra tomato gravy, on top of buttered pasta and even in between fresh brioche rolls and I have yet to find a way I do not love this dish. However, when I try to make it at home it is messy, time consuming and difficult.

In steps Rachael Ray! She has recently revitalized her show, “30 Minute Meals” and one of the first shows she filmed was all about making chicken parmesan easier for the home cook! Of course, I watched, and instantly loved her take on it! She took ground chicken, formed them into huge patties, baked them in the oven at a high temperature and then topped them with tomato sauce and shredded cheese. Genius! I took her basic recipe and made changes, decided to simplify things by using marinara sauce in a jar and left out some of the spices she used because I found them overwhelming when it came to the final dish. It turned out perfectly! This has become one of my favorite recipes and a recipe I go to when short on time because it is so easy, versatile and not to mention, delicious! I like serving this alongside a salad and garlic bread but feel free to serve as you desire. If the patties are to large for you or your family, feel free to make them any size you desire but be sure to adjust the cooking time.

Chicken Parm Patty

These patties cook in a high temperature oven, 500 degrees, so please be sure to make sure your oven is spotless before attempting this recipe. Otherwise, your kitchen will be filled with smoke. It may be a good idea to raise the kitchen windows and turn some fans on while these are baking, just in case of a smoky fog.

2 pounds ground chicken
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
¾ cup breadcrumbs
1/3 cup milk
1 large egg, slightly beaten
1 cup finely grated parmesan cheese
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1/3 cup parsley leaves, chopped
1 teaspoon fennel seed
Pinch red chili flakes
3 tablespoons olive oil
Jar of favorite marinara sauce
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

Start by preheating your oven to 500 degrees F.

Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a large bowl combine the ground chicken, salt, black pepper, breadcrumbs, milk, slightly beat egg, grated parmesan cheese, minced garlic, chopped parsley leaves, fennel seed, red chili flakes and olive oil.

Mix everything together and, using clean dry hands, divide the meat mixture into four sections.

Place each section onto the parchment lined baking sheets and flatten out each section to form four giant thin patties.

Bake, one baking sheet at a time, in preheated oven for 18 minutes.

Remove and top each patty with some of the marinara sauce and sprinkle each with the shredded mozzarella cheese.

Place back into the oven, to melt the cheese, for about 5 minutes.

Remove, place each patty on large serving plate and top with chopped parsley.

Serve hot alongside a salad and garlic bread.

Ask and Answer: A lot of people have wondered about the upcoming delivery changes with “The Courier-Times” and how my column will appear. After this printed column, my “CHEW THIS!” column will appear in the first and third Saturdays of the month, instead of Sundays. Hope you will follow me to Saturdays and thank you all for the continued dedication and support. I love sharing my life and recipes with you all and I love hearing your feedback.

Grandma Barbra’s Drop Dumplings

I love homemade chicken and dumplings. I have recipes for the rolled variety and the drop version. Both are delicious. This drop version is a staple in my Grandma Barbra’s kitchen and a personal, and easy, favorite.

Grandma Barbra’s Drop Dumplings

2 cups white all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 cups cooked chicken, diced
64 oz chicken broth
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper

Start by combining the white all-purpose flour, baking powder, salt and melted unsalted butter until a dough forms.

In a large stock pot over medium heat, add the diced cooked chicken, chicken broth, salt and black pepper. Bring to a boil.

Once at a boil, drop tablespoon size amounts of the dough into the boiling broth. Continuously stir, gently, until the dumplings are puffed and cooked throughout, which will take about 25 minutes.

Taste for additional seasonings.

Serve hot and enjoy!

The Best Chicken Salad

This is the best chicken salad! Perfect on buttery croissants. I like a rotisserie chicken for this but also try roasting 2 large chicken breasts, with the bone in and the skin on, in the oven at 375 degrees for about 40 minutes. Before baking drizzle each with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and black pepper.

The Best Chicken Salad

3 cups cooked chopped chicken
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 cup white grapes, halved
1 cup chopped pecans
1/3 cup diced celery

In a large bowl place the prepared chicken.

In a medium bowl whisk together the mayonnaise, sour cream, fresh lemon juice, salt and black pepper until combined and smooth.

Add the prepared grapes, chopped pecans and diced celery to the prepared chicken and stir gently.

Pour over the dressing and stir gently. Taste for seasonings. Refrigerate. Serve.

CHEW THIS! Homemade Chicken Nuggets with Honey Mustard Dipping Sauce

Homemade Chicken Nuggets with Honey Mustard Dipping Sauce

Homemade Chicken Nuggets

The following “Chew This!” column has been reprinted from “The Courier-Times”, Sunday, October 21st 2018 edition. By: Blaise Doubman

Chicken Nuggets are Dressed to Please!
Blaise Doubman

I love chicken nuggets and remember when I was about 12 years old winning a contest to see how many chicken nuggets I could eat! How many did I eat? I will not write about it here because I simply do not want to scare you but let me just say I ate away the competition! Ha! As I grew up and discovered what fast food chicken nuggets really were, not that edible, I decided to see if I could make my own! How hard could it be!? I tried using several cuts of chicken and types of chicken meat and decided that chicken breast was the easiest and tastiest.

When it came to the breading I tried several different “crumb” mixtures but decided I liked the simplicity and taste of the buttery RITZ cracker. When you start adding chicken seasoning, garlic, rosemary and additional kinds of peppers it really takes away from the flavors of the meat. I wanted something that reminded me of my childhood but was updated and at the same time very easy to prepare. Chicken breast, cut with kitchen shears instead of a knife, keeps the work clean and easier. I also prefer the taste of melted butter as a dredging instead of egg because after all, who doesn’t like butter? I really believe these may be the best chicken nuggets I have ever had and the homemade honey mustard dipping sauce that I share below really takes them over the top! Highly recommend that you try these!

Homemade Chicken Nuggets with Honey Mustard Dipping Sauce

You can replace the RITZ crackers in this recipe with regular saltine crackers, but I must warn you that the color and taste will be different. The nuggets will not be as golden, and the taste will not be as buttery. This is the perfect recipe for chicken to get into the kitchen and help! Just be careful and watchful of the sharp kitchen shears.

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 sticks unsalted butter, melted
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons black pepper
3 sleeves Ritz crackers, crushed fine

Start by preheating your oven to 425 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray with non-stick cooking spray.

Cut the chicken breasts into large bite-size pieces. I find that using sharp kitchen shears is the easiest method. Place the bite-size pieces into a bowl.

In a large bowl, pour in the melted butter. Stir in the salt and black pepper.

In another large bowl, pour in the finely crushed Ritz cracker crumbs.

Take a handful of the chicken pieces and dip them into the melted butter mixture. Be sure to coat the chicken well. Shake off the excess butter and place into the crushed RITZ crackers. Be sure the chicken is well coated in this mixture too, followed by shaking off the excess here as well. Place the now coated chicken bites onto the prepared baking sheet.

Continue to do this until all the chicken is coated and on the prepared baking sheet.

Bake in preheated oven for 40 minutes, turning once halfway through cooking.

Remove and allow to rest for 15 minutes before serving.

Serve alongside the honey mustard dipping sauce.

To make the honey mustard dipping sauce simply whisk together ¼ cup honey with ¼ cup mayonnaise, ¼ cup Dijon mustard, 1 tablespoon white vinegar and a pinch of black pepper. If you would like more sauce than what is prepared, this recipe can be doubled or tripled.

Ask and Answer: A lot of local people write to me and wonder what my favorite pizza place is in the area. I love pizza and hate to single any one pizza place out, but I would have to say the “Royal Feast” at Pizza King is hard to beat! I also really enjoy Mancino’s and 1000 Degree Pizza as well. I have fond childhood memories of Pizza King so that also plays into my enjoyment.

CHEW THIS! Lemon and Garlic Baked Chicken Legs

Lemon and Garlic Baked Chicken Legs

The following “Chew This!” column has been reprinted from “The Courier-Times”, Sunday, October 7th 2018 edition. By: Blaise Doubman

TRAIL “blazing” onto a new and different website…
Blaise Doubman

Loyal readers, I am thrilled to announce that my social media problems are over! Now, someone run and knock wood for me! Ha! Seriously though, I am hoping that the problems I had in the past with my accounts being hacked are far behind me. I basically had to completely start over all of my social media accounts, change my phone number, change my email and transfer five years’ worth of work and recipes over to a new website. Talk about stressful! It was a challenging time, not to mention emotional but I did learn some lessons along the way. So, if you would like to follow my new website, called TRAIL BLAISE, please do so at http://trailblaise.com Also follow me on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter all under the username: btrailblaise As always, I thank you for your continued dedication and support.

When I was thinking up a name, I said a silent prayer and told myself that whatever would come into my mind I would use. I had about forty minutes to decide on something, so it had to be fast. I closed my eyes, opened them and typed out “TRAIL BLAISE”. I knew this was it! I looked online to make sure it was not copywritten, it was not, and I immediately registered and bought the name. Some people may wonder where “Blaise the Baker” went and I always tell them that there will always be “Blaise the Baker”! There will always be “Blaise the Baker” cookbooks and recipes. For some people I will always be “Blaise the Baker” and that is fine! I am just no longer using the name in my social media life, but it will always be a part of me, partially because I have bought and owned the name since 2014! Ha!

My new website “TRAIL BLAISE” will combine all my worlds. “Blaise the Baker”, “CHEW THIS!”, along with many other new and exciting things! Speaking of new and exciting things let me tell you about my newest recipe! Lemon and Garlic Baked Chicken Legs are fabulously easy and extremely scrumptious! With only four ingredients, not counting salt and pepper, you are on your way to a healthy and delicious meal that the whole family will love! Try it tonight!

Lemon and Garlic Baked Chicken Legs

This dish needs to marinate for at least an hour but no longer than 6 hours. You can substitute the chicken legs for chicken thighs if you wish but be sure to adjust the cooking time. Do not worry about the lemon seeds falling into the marinate, they will slide right off the chicken when you move it from the dish to the baking sheet. This recipe can also be made using oranges in place of lemon for my recipe for “Orange and Garlic Baked Chicken Legs”.

13-16 chicken legs
6 lemons, cut in half
½ cup pure olive oil
3 tablespoons minced garlic
1 tablespoon salt
2 teaspoons black pepper

Place the chicken legs into a 9×13-inch baking dish.

Squeeze the prepared lemons all over the chicken, not worrying about the seeds and placing in the lemon rind in between the chicken legs.

Drizzle over the olive oil and sprinkle with the minced garlic.

Sprinkle on the salt and black pepper. Remember, we are using a lot of salt and black pepper because this is a lot of meat to season. Be sure to season generously.

Using clean hands, move, roll and rub the chicken legs so that all of the meat gets covered by the marinate. Press everything down, arrange the lemon wedges between the chicken legs and cover with aluminum foil or plastic wrap.

Place into the refrigerator for at least an hour but no longer than 6 hours.

When ready to bake, preheat your oven to 450 degrees F.

Spray a large baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray.

Remove the chicken legs from the marinate and place on baking sheet. Place into preheated oven and bake for 50 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked all the way through. I prefer these a little overbaked, it does something I like to the skin, so feel free to bake an additional 10-15 minutes longer than you may think you need.

Remove and allow to rest for 15 minutes before serving. Leftovers can be kept, covered and chilled in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. This is delicious served cold as well.

Ask and Answer: I heard from a few people who made my “Fluffernutter Fudge” and said they loved it but wanted to know more about the marshmallows and how they were supposed to be in the fudge. If you go back and read my column I clearly state that the marshmallows are not to be melted. They are to stay whole. Melting the marshmallows into the fudge will not only ruin the looks of the overall finished product but ruin the taste and texture as well. It is important that the marshmallows stay whole. The fudge can also easily be doubled.

CHEW THIS! Sharing Recipes

Grandma Mary’s Graham Cracker Treats

Grace’s Cap’n Crunch Treats


Grandma Mary’s Cheesy Chicken Casserole

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The following “Chew This!” column has been reprinted from “The Courier-Times”, Sunday, September 17th 2017 edition. By: Blaise Doubman 

Celebrating Love with Recipes and Memories
Blaise Doubman

I love recipes that have a history of family and memories attached to them. The recipes I am sharing today come to me from a very good friend of mine, Theresa Pierce. We got to know each other by working together a few years ago and have been close ever since. A lot of people know Theresa as a smart, hardworking, caring person who would go out of her way for any of her friends. But guess what? Not that many people know that she is also very talented in the kitchen! Do not let her tell you otherwise, she really is a talented and very creative person in the kitchen! But she is quick to mention that all credit for that would go to her Mom and Grandma. Over the last few years she has gone from not wanting to enter the kitchen much, to baking muffins, cakes and pies! She even made a pumpkin roll a couple years back and ever since I still cannot use cheesecloth without thinking of her. She did, however, say that she would never make another pumpkin roll again… and so far she has kept that promise! Ha!

Over the course of knowing her, I also got to know her family – her husband, Rick; her Mom , Grace and her Grandma Mary. She loves and respects her family and her friends and I really admire that. I’ve admired her for years and even though I have only told her a time or two, I really think she knows how I feel. The recipe I am sharing today comes from her late grandmother, Mary (Matney) George. Even though I never got the chance to meet her, I feel like I knew her very well. She was kind, funny, warm and caring. I loved telling Theresa stories about my latest kitchen adventures, or misadventures, so that she could go and relay them to her Grandma Mary. I think one of Mary’s favorite stories was the one where I was cleaning green beans for the first time and I was using craft scissors to cut them off the vine and to cut the ends and snap their middles. Theresa said her Grandma Mary laughed and laughed over how I got them off the vine! I can only imagine some of the other stories that Theresa told her Grandma over the course of the several years we worked together! Grandma Mary is missed but her recipes, such as the ones I have shared here, will live on. That is what I love about sharing family recipes! Shout out and special thanks to Theresa Pierce for sharing with me her deliciously memorable family recipes for all to share and for all to enjoy.

Grandma Mary’s Graham Cracker Treats
Cover a 17-inch x 11 ½-inch cookie sheet with aluminum foil (Grandma Mary was VERY specific on size). Arrange graham crackers on the baking sheet, filling the sheet fully. Preheat your oven to 325 degrees F. In a saucepan melt 1 stick of butter, 1 stick of margarine and ½ cup sugar. Bring to rolling boil and stir for 3 minutes. Pour over crackers, being sure to cover evenly. Sprinkle with finely chopped nuts – pecans work well here. Bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and remove treats from sheet but leave on aluminum foil. Cool completely and break into pieces. Do not try and make these on a humid day – they will not get crispy!

Grace’s Cap’n Crunch Treats
Theresa’s Mom, Grace, adds broken up pretzel sticks to the following mixture. If using the pretzels add them at the same time you add the cereal and nuts.

16 2 oz. blocks white almond bark
1 box Cap’n Crunch peanut butter flavored cereal
3 tablespoons smooth peanut butter
1 16oz. jar dry-roasted peanuts

Start by lining two large baking sheets with aluminum foil and lightly spray evenly with non-stick cooking spray.

Melt the white almond bark and the smooth peanut butter in a large microwave safe plastic bowl in the microwave on high power for 3 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds.

Stir in the cereal and dry-roasted peanuts. When well mixed, spread evenly between the two prepared baking pans. Allow the mixture to cool and set up for about 30 minutes.

After it has set, break up into pieces and store in plastic food storage bags at room temperature.

Ask and Answer: I have had questions about quick and easy casseroles so I thought I would share a recipe that Theresa’s Grandma Mary would make her frequently. Theresa said her Grandma’s “Cheesy Chicken Casserole” is delicious and whenever it was made she would polish off most of it! Start by preheating your oven to 375 degrees F. Combine 2 cups chopped cooked chicken with 12 oz. shredded cheddar cheese, ½ cup Quaker 100% natural cereal, 1 10 ¾ oz. can cream of chicken soup, 1 cup chopped celery, ½ cup chopped onion, ¼ cup milk and sprinkle of pepper. Spread into greased 8-inch square baking pan. Combine 1 cup Quaker 100% natural cereal with 2 tablespoons melted butter and sprinkle over top of chicken mixture. Bake in preheated oven for 24 minutes. Remove and cool slightly before enjoying.

CHEW THIS! Picnic Chicken Salad

Picnic Chicken Salad

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The following “Chew This!” column has been reprinted from “The Courier-Times”, Sunday, August 20th 2017 edition. By: Blaise Doubman 

Chicken Salad is Perfect Picnic Food
Blaise Doubman

I find that some of the most perfect picnic weather days are those days that are towards the end of summer and the beginning of fall. The weather is not too hot, or sticky. Not too humid or overcast either. The days are getting shorter but there is still just enough daylight time to get what you want to get done accomplished. I find that from about the middle of August until the end of September to be the perfect time, in Indiana anyways, for an outdoor get-together, a reunion or a picnic. Just the word “picnic” gets me thinking about little cucumber and cream cheese sandwiches, fruit salads, lemonade, cold salads and icebox desserts. In my cookbook I have several recipes for cold salads, and more than one for chicken salad. Between my Mom, Darla, my Grandma Deloris and my Grandma Barbra, I am not sure who is the biggest chicken salad fan. Perhaps that is where I got my love for this classic cold salad?

When I was developing this recipe I wanted to make a chicken salad that had the things I like best inside. I am not that big of an onion fan, nor of boiled eggs or celery when it comes to my chicken salads. I prefer green grapes, toasted nuts and a combination of mayonnaise and sour cream. My friend and neighbor Jan Lines said that she preferred diced pineapple in her chicken salad, which does not sound bad! My Grandma Barbra always makes hers with a roasted chicken and my Mom usually makes hers with a mayonnaise combination. My Grandma Deloris uses salad dressing instead of mayonnaise and I have found that I like roasting chicken breasts in the oven to start off my salad. All in all, everybody makes a different salad and there are really no rules when it comes to making it, but the following is my recipe and my rules and I hope you will enjoy and serve this at your next picnic!

Picnic Chicken Salad

I like eating my chicken salad with saltine crackers but feel free to eat your chicken salad on bread, buns or even just a spoon! Tarragon brings out the flavor of chicken in cold salads so feel free to use about a rough teaspoon of the chopped herb in your salad. Also experiment with the type of grape and use red or purple if desired.

2 large chicken breasts, bone in, skin on
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons black pepper
¼ cup chopped walnuts
¼ cup chopped pecans
¾ cup mayonnaise
¼ cup sour cream
1 tablespoon sweet pickle relish
½ cup green grapes, halved

Start by cooking the chicken breasts. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Place chicken breasts skin side up on a large baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and black pepper. Bake in preheated oven for exactly 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly. Remove the skin and cut the meat away from the bone. Chop into large chunks.

In a medium sized skillet, toast the chopped walnuts and chopped pecans over medium heat for about 3 minutes being careful not to burn the nuts.

In a medium sized bowl whisk together the mayonnaise, sour cream and sweet pickle relish.

In a large bowl combine the prepared chicken, toasted nuts and mayonnaise mixture. Carefully fold in the prepared green grapes. Taste. Salt and pepper to your tastes.

Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours. Serve and keep chilled.

Ask and Answer: I received an email from someone asking if I had a recipe for egg salad. I wrote her back and she said the recipe was the best she had ever had. I thought since the theme of this week’s column was picnic – I would share it here! Start with 1 dozen boiled eggs. Mash eggs in a large bowl with a potato masher. Add in 2 teaspoons salt and 2 teaspoons black pepper. Add ¾ cup mayonnaise, 3 tablespoons yellow squirt mustard, 1 tablespoon spicy squirt mustard, 2 teaspoons pickle juice and 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar. Stir to combine. Sprinkle on top combination of smoked paprika, fine sea salt and garlic powder. Store and serve chilled.