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The Old Hen B&B closed May 31, 2014. We recommend The Roaring River B&B 425.888.4834 and The Log Cabin B&B 425.533.8278 for your North Bend get-away. Please stay tuned for Deanna's cookbook plans. Here's to starting from scratch. Talking about The Old Hen online? Our hashtag is #theoldhen .

Strata Florentine With Sausage & Gruyere Recipe

Why settle for flavored mayonnaise when you can have snobby custom-infused aioli?

Why have wine punch when you can refresh with a sassy sangria?

And why have a breakfast casserole when you can have sophisticated strata?

STRATA FLORENTINE WITH SAUSAGE & GRUYERE

Makes about 6-8 servings

Strata Florentine Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 1 pound mild sausage
  • 8 eggs
  • 1 ½ cups milk
  • 1 tablespoons dijon mustard
  • 4 cloves fresh garlic, minced
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1 long loaf of French bread
  • 6 ounces fresh spinach, chopped
  • 6 ounces Gruyere cheese, grated

Preheat oven to 350° F.

Heat olive oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat. Add diced onions and cook until translucent then golden brown. When finished cooking, place onions in a small container and set aside. Add sausage to pan and cook until browned. Remove from heat. It is okay if it is not completely cooked because it will bake in the oven and complete its cooking cycle there. Place eggs, milk, mustard, garlic, salt, and pepper in a large bowl and whisk until eggs are beaten and ingredients are well-combined.


Heat olive oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat. Add diced onions and cook until translucent then golden brown. When finished cooking, place onions in a small container and set aside. Add sausage to pan and cook until browned. Remove from heat. It is okay if it is not completely cooked because it will bake in the oven and complete its cooking cycle there. Place eggs, milk, mustard, garlic, salt, and pepper in a large bowl and whisk until eggs are beaten and ingredients are well-combined.

Add sausage to pan and cook until browned. Remove from heat. It is okay if it is not completely cooked because it will bake in the oven and complete its cooking cycle there.

Place eggs, milk, mustard, garlic, salt, and pepper in a large bowl and whisk until eggs are beaten and ingredients are well-combined. Dice French bread into about 1-inch pieces and then add to egg mixture, making sure each piece is well-coated. Stir in chopped spinach, 4 ounces of cheese, cooked onions, and browned sausage. stir ingredients together.

Coat a 9 X 13 baking pan (or six 16-ounce baking pots) with butter. Pour strata mixture into baking pan/pans.

If making the night before, just cover & place in the fridge and bake in the morning. 

Bake for about 30 minutes.

Top with last 2 ounces of cheese before serving.

Look at you, cook… I mean chef.

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Braised Chicken With Spanish Rice Recipe

I’ve never been a big fan of Spanish rice in a restaurant but homemade? Oh, baby.

Braised Chicken With Spanish Rice

Braised Chicken With Spanish Rice Recipe

  • 3-6 tablespoons olive oi
  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced
  • 6 pieces chicken thighs or legs (or 8 boneless chicken tenders if desired)
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 2 cups Jasmine rice
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon course ground pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 3 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 cup roasted salsa
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese, grated (optional)
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro

 


Preheat oven to 350°F.

Pour a few tablespoons of olive oil into large, oven-safe hot pan. Place onions in the pan. Cook until translucent. Remove from pan and set aside.

Pour a couple more tablespoons of olive oil into the pan and add chicken pieces. Brown on all sides. Remove pan from heat, take the chicken out of the pan and set aside.

Pour chicken broth into pan.

Rinse rice & drain excess water a few times then add to chicken broth in pan.

Stir in seasonings, salsa, and peppers & onion.

Place chicken back into the pan.

Put the pan in the oven and cook for about 45 minutes. Top with cheddar cheese and melt in the oven during last five minutes of cooking time if desired.

Serve topped with chopped cilantro – the confetti, if you will, for a job well done.

 

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Fried Chicken Recipe

 

Today I shall show you how to make perfect fried chicken.

And after that, I shall give you lots of side options, one of which involves kale in case you would like to balance out your deep-fried sins. Hallelujah.

Fried Chicken Ingredients

  • 8-12 pieces of chicken, cut into pieces
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon course ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons garlic powder (NOT garlic salt)
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 tablespoon beau monde
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 tablespoon sage
  • 4 cups peanut oil (or canola or vegetable or shortening will work), for frying

Place chicken pieces in a large bowl. Pour buttermilk over chicken and make sure each is coated with buttermilk. Allow chicken to rest in buttermilk for about 60 minutes. The waiting time is not a must but it will allow the buttermilk to tenderize the chicken and warm chicken up a bit which allows for more even cooking. Set aside.

Place dry ingredients in a medium-large bowl and whisk together until well-combined.

Heat cooking oil in deep fryer to 375°F. If using a heavy-duty pot, just use a cooking thermometer to watch temperature closely. I use both the deep fryer and my thermometer to make sure my oil maintains the right temp.

Remove a piece of chicken from the buttermilk and coat with seasoned flour mixture. Dip in buttermilk again and coat one more time. Set chicken on a baking tray for about 15 minutes. Repeat until all pieces of chicken are double coated.

Finally, when oil reaches 375°F, carefully place 2-4 pieces of chicken in the fryer. The oil of the temperature will drop considerably. Adjust as needed and watch closely so oil can keep at least 325°F during the cooking process. If the oil gets too cool, it will make the breading fall off and drench the chicken in grease.

Line a clean baking sheet with paper towels.

Cook for five minutes. Using tongs, carefully flip the chicken over to cook the other side for about 4 more minutes.

After chicken reaches at least 165F (no less!), place on paper towel-lined baking sheet to drain excess grease and cool a bit.

Enjoy with fries, potatoes & gravy, kale salad, waffles & honey, or cornbread & honey butter. 

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Sweet & Sour Pork

Crispy tempura pork topped with this lovely sauce. Skip the take out box and eat in tonight.

Sweet & Sour Pork

Sweet & Sour Sauce Ingredients

  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup vinegar
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1 – 6 ounce can tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cloves fresh garlic, grated (using Microplane grater)
  • 1 – 20 ounce can diced pineapple with juice
  • 1/2 small sweet onion, large diced
  • 1/2 green pepper, large diced (or red, yellow, or orange bell peppers)
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch

Place water, vinegar, sugar, soy sauce, tomato paste, salt, garlic, and juice from the can of pineapple (set pineapple aside for later) in a large saucepan. Whisk together until cornstarch has dissolved. Heat over medium-high heat until becomes a lovely, thick sauce. Stir in pineapple, onion, and peppers. Set aside until pork is finished cooking. Reheat if necessary before serving.

Breaded Pork

  • 4 cups canola or vegetable oil (for frying)
  • 1 1/2 pounds pork tenderloin, diced into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 cup milk
  • 3 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil
  • 1 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 egg

Pork Tenderloin Tip

Pork tenderloin may come in a large package of 2.5 pounds. If this is the case, just slice the remaining pound and freeze for pork chops later.


Preheat canola oil for frying in a small deep fryer to 365-375°F. If you’d rather, you can heat it in a heavy duty pan and use a thermometer. While waiting for oil to heat up, cut pork into long, thin slices (about 1/4 inch thick) then set aside. Thinner is better because they are able to fully cook during the frying process.

Food Safety Tip

Pork must reach 145°F in the middle to be safe for eating. 

Place milk, 3 T. oil, flour, cornstarch, baking powder, salt, sugar, and egg in a medium-sized bowl. Whisk well. The mixture should be thick but nice & smooth. Allow tempura mixture to sit while oil finishes heating up.

When frying oil reaches at least 365°F, coat a piece of pork with tempura mixture and carefully place in fryer. Repeat with one or two more pieces. Do not crowd fryer because if you do, your pork sticks together during cooking or will cool down your oil too much. Consequently, oil that has cooled down too much will make for soggy breading rather than a lovely crunchy coating.

Cook pork pieces for about 4 minutes. Use a utensil that’s safe in hot oil to move pork pieces around a bit during the cooking process so they are cooked on all sides. The coating should be a beautiful golden brown and the pork inside should be fully cooked.

Of course, you can dice up some chicken and make sweet & sour chicken with this same recipe. Look at talented you!

Tempura is optional. This recipe is just as delicious without the tempura breading. Just cook pork and stir into sauce. 

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Almond Fried Chicken Recipe

I’ll have the almond fried chicken, please.

almond fried chicken

Almond Fried Chicken Ingredients

Gravy

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 3/4 cups chicken stock (or water)
  • 2 teaspoons Chicken Better Than Boullion
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon oyster sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
  • Sea salt to taste
  • 2-3 green onions, chopped
  • 1/2 cup slivered, chopped, or sliced almonds

Heat olive oil in medium saucepan over medium-high heat. When it is hot, first whisk in flour. Cook for a few minutes while whisking. Whisk in chicken stock, Better Than Boullion, soy sauce, oyster sauce, sugar, sesame oil, and some salt.


Cook until gravy thickens into a nice, light brown sauce. Keep warm until ready to use.

Breaded Chicken

  • 4 cups canola or vegetable oil (for frying)
  • 2 boneless chicken breasts
  • 1 cup milk
  • 3 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil
  • 1 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 egg

Preheat canola oil for frying in a small deep fryer to 365-375°F. If you’d rather, you can heat it in a heavy duty pan and use a thermometer. While waiting for oil to heat up, cut chicken breast into long, thin slices (about 1/4 inch thick) then set aside. Thinner is better because they are able to fully cook during the frying process.

Food Safety Tip

Poultry must reach 165°F in the middle to be safe for eating. 

Place milk, 3 T. oil, flour, cornstarch, baking powder, salt, sugar, and egg in a medium-sized bowl. Whisk well. The mixture should be thick but nice & smooth. Allow tempura mixture to sit while oil finishes heating up.

When frying oil reaches at least 365°F, coat a piece of chicken with tempura mixture and carefully place in fryer. Repeat with one or two more pieces. Do not crowd fryer because if you do, your chicken sticks together during cooking or will cool down your oil too much. Consequently, oil that has cooled down too much will make for soggy breading rather than a lovely crunchy coating.

Cook chicken pieces for about 4 minutes. Use a utensil that’s safe in hot oil to move chicken pieces around a bit during the cooking process so they are cooked on all sides. The coating should be a beautiful golden brown and the chicken inside should be fully cooked.

Cooking Tip

If you discover your chicken pieces were too thick and didn’t reach 165°F in the middle, just turn on the oven and cook them at 350°F until they are fully done.

When removing from the deep fryer, place chicken pieces on a baking sheet lined with a couple layers of paper towels to drain the excess oil off.

Serving

Finally, place chicken on a platter or on plates. Top with green onions and almonds. Serve with gravy.

Tempura is optional. This recipe is just as delicious without the tempura breading. Just cook chicken and stir into sauce. 

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Authentic Homemade Pho Soup Recipe

I’m about to show you the pho-shizzle pho-sure. I mean, this recipe is pho-nomenal. You will keep this one handy pho-ever. Un-pho-gettable. Pho-real. No pho-king chicken broth here. Authentic Homemade Pho Soup is the real deal, baby.

Authentic Homemade Pho Soup

You will need cheesecloth to drain your broth, so be sure to purchase before making. This is an all day recipe, so you’ll want to begin around 11am for a 6pm dinner.

Authentic Homemade Pho Soup

Broth Ingredients

  • 5 pounds beef bones*
  • 1 medium yellow onion, peeled and cut in half
  • 5 quarts water
  • 6 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed or cut in half
  • 3 slices fresh peeled ginger
  • 1 star anise
  • 6 whole cloves
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce**
  • Sea salt
  • Freshly ground pepper

Preheat oven to 425°F. Place beef bones and onion on a baking sheet. Bake for 45 minutes.

Place remaining ingredients into a pot and bring to a boil then turn heat down to low and simmer for six hours with lid partially covering pot. Broth will slowly reduce to about half of the water you started with.

Lay about 4 layers of cheesecloth inside of a strainer. Remove large items out of the broth and throw away. Gently pour the rest of the broth over the cheesecloth and into a clean pot.

Soup Ingredients

  • 4 green onions, cut into 1-inch strips
  • 1/2 – 14 oz.  package pad Thai rice noodles AKA rice sticks (preferably wider, fettuccine-like ones)
  • 2-3 pounds London Broil steak, thinly sliced

After broth is finished cooking, add green onions.

For the noodles, bring a pot of water to a boil. Add noodles and boil for as long as package instructs – most likely about 3 minutes. Add a scoop of noodles to your bowls. The benefit of cooking noodles this way, is they will remain a gorgeous white and they won’t soak in all of your broth, leaving you with just noodles. for this same reason, I recommend storing leftover noodles and pho broth separately.

Lay strips of London Broil steak on top of noodles in your bowls. Pour the hot pho broth over your steak and noodles. The hot broth will cook the meat for you quickly. The eat will be a little pink in the center. Add toppings & sauces as desired.

Pho Toppings & Sauces

  • Fresh* or canned** bean sprouts
  • Hoisin sauce**
  • Cilantro (optional)
  • Fresh lime wedges
  • Fresh basil, chiffonade
  • Sriracha sauce**

Everyone can enjoy the toppings they wish on their pho.

There’s nothing like authentic homemade pho soup. Making pho from scratch with make you a pho-natic. Good pho-you!

*Available at Asian markets

**Available at regular grocery stores in Asian aisle

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Homemade Fettuccine Alfredo Recipe

If you’re going to break one’s new year’s resolution with homemade pasta, you might as well add homemade fettuccine alfredo sauce, right?

Homemade Fettuccine Alfredo

Homemade Fettuccine Alfredo Ingredients

  • 4 teaspoons unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 cup (8 oz) fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, grated (or freshly grated parmesan will work too)
  • Sea salt to taste
  • Freshly ground pepper or white pepper to taste
  • Homemade fettuccine pasta (or store bought), cooked
  • 2 chicken breasts, cooked and diced
  • About 6 sprigs fresh parsley, chopped (optional)

Place butter in a medium-large saucepan over medium-low heat. After butter has melted, add cream and cheese. Stir until the cheese has melted.


If making homemade noodles from this recipe, this sauce can be poured right into a large bowl with the pasta & chicken, and the amount of sauce per pasta will be perfect.

You won’t get that special connection with boxed pasta & alfredo mixes, baby. And they say two wrongs don’t make a right.

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How to Make Homemade Pasta With a KitchenAid Mixer Attachment

This homemade pasta recipe is super easy and reliable. Dangerous even… I mean, who needs the ability to make homemade noodles at their fingertips? If you have just started your new year’s resolutions, please avert your eyes, my friend.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

Place flour in mixing bowl. Sprinkle salt over flour. Make a divot in the middle of the flour and place eggs in the divot. Pour olive oil over eggs. Use a fork to begin whisking the eggs until ingredients are well incorporated. Place mixing bowl onto mixer and, using a regular beater, mix until the dough comes together into one large piece. Mix for a few more minutes, then form into a ball and allow to rest for about 30 minutes.


Zzzzzzz.

Next, break dough ball in half, dust with a bit of flour, and roll out to about an inch thick. Pinch the end so the attachment will be able to grab the dough.

KitchenAid Pasta Roller & Cutter Set

Attach pasta sheet attachment to KitchenAid mixer and roll dough through on the lowest (widest) setting. Continue placing through attachment, adjusting the width to a higher number each time until pasta is the size you would like it to be. If pasta strips get longer than you’d like as they thin out, you can cut the sheet in half.

If making fettuccine noodles, be sure it’s wide enough to be cut by the fettuccine cutter attachment. If too thin, the cutting attachment will just mark or score the pasta. The number 4 or 5 setting is best for fettuccine.

Coat pasta with a light dusting of flour occasionally so it doesn’t stick together when you fold it or when it becomes a pile of noodles. If this happens, no worries. You can press it together and start over.

When noodles are ready, set aside and bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add noodles and boil for about 3-4 minutes. Finally, drain right after cooking.

Friend, if you are still looking, these gluten-filled strips aren’t a bad way to break a resolution. Consequently, no one would fault you. You’re welcome. I’m sorry. You’re welcome.

Note: Of course, this pasta can be made by hand as well. Just stir the dough together, knead the dough by hand, roll out as thin as possible, and cut thin strips with a sharp knife. 

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Baja Fish Tacos Recipe

Baja Fish Tacos are very fresh & sassy to share with guests but are super easy to make. I do believe it is time for another game night with friends.

Fried Fish Ingredients

  • Canola or vegetable oil for frying
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 12 ounces of buttermilk
  • 1 3/4 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt (plus more for sprinkling)
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • About 2 pounds fresh halibut or cod, cut into about 4 inch pieces and 3/4 inch wide

Preheat oil in a heavy-duty deep pan or in a deep fryer to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with two or three layers of paper towels.


Make sure the oil maintains this same temperature throughout the cooking process.

Whisk together just until combined:  egg yolks, beer, flour, baking powder, sea salt, onion powder, and paprika in a medium-large bowl.

Rinse the fish with cold water and then pat dry with a paper towel. Coat one piece at a time and carefully drop in the preheated oil. Cook about four at a time for a few minutes on each side.

When done cooking, place fish on lined baking sheet and sprinkle with sea salt right away. Repeat the process until all fish strips are fried.

If you need to keep fish warm while preparing rest of dinner, place on unlined baking sheet in oven at 200°F and cover with a sheet of foil. Watch carefully, though, so they don’t become tough and dry.

Healthier Option: If you prefer, you can just coat a baking sheet with a little bit of olive oil, place fish pieces on tray, sprinkle with sea salt & pepper, and bake in a preheated oven at 350°F for about 10 minutes rather than breading and frying.

Assembling Your Baja Fish Tacos

  • Fried fish
  • 1/4 head green cabbage, thinly sliced in food processor
  • 1/8 head purple cabbage, thinly sliced in food processor
  • 1/4 cup red onion, thinly sliced in food processor
  • 1 carrot, grated
  • 1 bunch cilantro, chopped
  • 1 jalepeno, minced
  • Corn or flour tortillas, your size of choice
  • One recipe of Roasted Salsa
  • Cotija or grated cheddar cheese
  • Sour cream
  • Fresh lime juice

Prepare fish as listed above. Place cabbages, onion, carrot, cilantro, and jalapeno in a large bowl and combine.

Finally, place fish sticks on a tortilla and use desired toppings.

Please pass the dice.

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Louisiana Jambalaya Recipe

Today we’re cookin’ rice the dirty way. The way they do it in the south, baby. No shame and no beads shall be rewarded. Like many things, this recipe actually goes faster than you’d think and is pretty fun and comforting.

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil (more as needed)
  • 1 chicken breast, butterfly cut
  • 1/2 pound andouille sausage, sliced
  • 1/2 pound smoked ham, pre cooked and cubed
  • 1 pound medium shrimp, deveined & tails removed
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 celery stems, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, cored and diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, cored and diced
  • 1 large tomato, diced
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 8 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 – 3 jalapeno peppers, seeded & minced
  • 3 tablespoons worchestire sauce
  • 3 tablespoons Chicken Better Than Bouillon
  • 4 stems fresh oregano, stemmed & chopped
  • 5 stems fresh thyme, stemmed
  • 6 cups water
  • 3 cups basmati rice, rinsed
  • 3 bay leaves
  • Sea salt to taste
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 3 green onions, chopped
  • 1/2 bunch chopped fresh parsley, divided
  • Freshly squeezed juice from one lemon

Place olive oil in very large saucepan over medium-high heat. Placed butterflied chicken breast in pan, salt & pepper, and cook until thickest parts reach at least 165°F (anything under 165°F isn’t safe, over 165°F gets too dry). When chicken is fully cooked, set aside on a large dish.

Heat sausage and ham in same pan and again add to large dish with chicken. Salt & pepper shrimp. Add to pan and cook until pink and opaque. Set aside with other meat. When chicken breast is cool enough, dice into small pieces.

Add butter to saucepan. Add onion, celery, and peppers. Cook until onions are translucent. Stir diced tomato, tomato paste, garlic, jalapenos, worchestire sauce, Better Than Bouillon, oregano, and thyme into pan.

Add water to pan. Bring water to a boil. As soon as water boils, stir rice into pan and cover well. Cook on low for 20 minutes. After rice has fully cooked, stir in meat that had been set aside for such a time as this.

No beads or feeling dirty needed, this dish is almost sinless.

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© Deanna Morauski 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016