Showing posts with label fried chicken. Show all posts
Showing posts with label fried chicken. Show all posts

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Fudge and Fried Chicken as Christmas Traditions by Cleo Coyle

Over the weekend, the Wall Street Journal featured a story on a popular modern Christmas tradition in Japan--fried chicken. And not just any fried chicken. Apparently, Kentucky Fried Chicken is the place many go for their holiday meal. The tradition is so popular customers must make reservations months in advance. According to WSJ, Japan’s "Christmas-chicken tradition" dates back to the early 1970s when a non-Japanese customer came into a KFC store in Tokyo to buy fried chicken as a turkey substitute. 

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For Italian-Americans like my husband and I, the Feast of the Seven Fishes has been part of our Christmas celebration. And so are cookies. Lots and lots of cookies. Many of the holiday treats in our childhood homes were laced with anisette or rum. While I enjoyed those flavors as a child, my husband and his brother were bigger fans of their mom's chocolate fudge. Her recipe was simply the one found on the Marshmallow Fluff jar with a few exceptions. Every year she would vary what was added. Some years there were walnuts or cashews, other years salted peanuts or pecans, and then there were maraschino cherries, raisins, or M&M candies.

Our parents are no longer with us, and the holiday is a little less bright because of it. Naturally, with December 25th approaching, Marc longed for a batch of his mom's chocolate fudge. And since I was scheduled to post a recipe here for Christmas week, I thought I'd combine the two while trying my hand at my mother-in-law's "add-in" tradition. My choice--macadamia nuts.

The results? Marc said the macadamia nuts tasted better than any of the varieties he'd eaten in past years. High praise indeed. 

So let's get that fudge going...

Marc's Mother's Chocolate Christmas Fudge*

*Recipe slightly adapted from a jar of Marshmallow Fluff made by Durkee-Mower, Inc.

Makes enough fudge to fill a 9x9 pan (for thicker fudge use 8x8)


4 tablespoons butter 
2 ½ cups white, granulated sugar
1 (5-ounce) can evaporated milk 
7.5-ounce jar of Marshmallow Fluff 
½ teaspoon table salt 
1 teaspoon vanilla 
1 (12-ounce) package semi-sweet chocolate chips 
1/2 to 3/4 cup finely chopped macadamia nuts (measure after chopping)

(1) First line a 9x9 or 8x8 pan with parchment or wax paper, allowing a little extra to hang over the sides for handles. (You will use the handles to lift the fudge block out of the pan for easy cutting.) Lightly butter the paper to prevent sticking.

(2) In a medium-sized saucepan (non-stick, if possible), over low heat, melt the butter. Then add the sugar, evaporated milk, Fluff, and salt. Stir over low heat until ingredients are well blended. 

(3) Increase the heat until the mixture is boiling. (Not simmering or burping but truly boiling.) Continue to boil while slowly stirring constantly, for about 6 minutes (do not cut this time short). Remove from heat and let cool for about about 2 minutes. (Why? If the mixture is still boiling when you add the vanilla, the intense heat will destroy the extract's full flavor.) Now add the vanilla and chocolate chips and stir until chips are melted and everything is blended. Fold in the nuts. 

(4) Pour the mixture into your prepared pan and let cool at room temperature, uncovered, for at least two hours before cutting. Store the fudge in an airtight container at room temperature for up to ten days. (That's in theory. Ours is always eaten long before then!)

Free Recipe PDF

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Merry Christmas, Everyone!

Eat with Joy to the World!

~ Cleo Coyle

New York Times bestselling author of  
The Coffeehouse Mysteries

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Monday, August 30, 2010

Chicken Parmesan with a Twist

I used to cater (for a brief moment in my life).

It was a way for me to make a little cash during college. I also waited tables, managed a restaurant, and ran the kitchen at a camp. I learned how to make hordes of food for, well, hordes. When I got married, we liked to have a little holiday party. Soon the holiday party became 100 people. At my house. It wasn't a problem. I like a crowd. Expensive, but not a problem. Yes, I'm a little bit weird, I know. Please don't hold it against me. My sister gets nervous having a more than three people over. I get it.

 [My husband and I have since pared our party down to just family again. It's lovely, manageable. I'm growing increasingly sane.]

Anyway, when I catered, one of my specialties was making fried chicken. Oh, how I love fried chicken!!! But because I now have to eat gluten-free, fried chicken is out. No ifs, ands, or buts. No regular flour. So I've learned to be creative. Sure, I could dredge the chicken in rice flour and fry away, but I still want something crunchy. I came up with making my coating out of gluten-free rice cereal.

And then I decided to add cheese. [I know, I know. I'm a little cheese-happy this past year.] I thought if I added cheese to the
mix, it might make the fried crust chewy.

Well, it did!

Here's my experimental recipe.

By the way, it's not just for people who need to eat gluten-free. It's delicious, if I do say so myself.



4 breasts of chicken
½ cup rice cereal
½ cup Parmesan cheese, grated

1 teaspoon basil
1 teaspoon thyme
1 teaspoon parsley
1 teaspoon ground pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1 egg whites

Mix rice cereal, spices and cheese. Spread evenly on 9x13 pan that has ben covered with foil.
Rub chicken breasts with egg whites. Press skin side down on the rice mixture.
Seal the foil and bake chicken in oven for 1 hour at 300 degrees F.
Remove from oven. Turn oven to broil. Open foil and turn the chicken, meat side up. Return to oven for 10 minutes on broil.
Serve warm.
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