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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 .

Chicken Chow Mein Recipe

Chow mein or fried rice? For many years I chose fried rice as my main dish companion when eating out for Chinese food. I was a creature of habit and did not see the error of my ways. And then one day, I tried chow mein and my life changed for the better. And then I learned how to make it at home and my life improved even more.

Chicken Chow Mein Recipe

Chow Mein Ingredients

  • 6 ounces chow mein stir fry noodles
  • 1 /8 cup soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon course ground pepper
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoons oyster sauce
  • 3-4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 chicken breasts, diced
  • 1/2 yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • 14 ounces fresh bean sprouts (or canned, drained)
  • 1 carrot, peeled & grated
  • oz cabbage, thinly sliced
  • About 6 mushrooms, sliced or chopped

Bring a medium-large pot of salted water to boil. Add chow mein noodles. Boil according to instructions on the package. Drain and set aside.


Whisk together soy sauce, sugar, cornstarch, salt, pepper, broth, & oyster sauce and set aside.

Pour olive oil into a large wok or saucepan. Brown outside of chicken then add the diced onions. Continually toss and cook chicken until completely done in middle (165°F). Add celery, bean sprouts, carrot, cabbage, and mushrooms if desired.

Rewhisk soy sauce mixture then add to chicken. Stir in chow mein noodles.

For a vegetarian dish, just leave out the chicken.

And then I took a picture of the chow mein and then I wrote out the recipe for you and, lo mein, all of our lives were saucier and better than they were yesterday. Amen.

 

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Chicken Caesar Salad With Homemade Dressing Recipe

Today we’re going classical with an old favorite, the Chicken Caesar Salad. This recipe boasts homemade Caesar dressing… made by you!

Caesar Salad

Caesar Dressing Ingredients

  • 1 – 2 ounce can oil-packed anchovy fillets
  • 3 cloves fresh garlic
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons Parmigiano-Reggiano, finely grated
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1/4 teaspoon course ground pepper

Place all ingredients in a blender. Blend on low until anchovies & garlic are blended completely

Caesar Salad Ingredients

  • 1 head romaine lettuce, chopped
  • 1 chicken breast, cooked and diced
  • 2 boiled eggs, sliced
  • 1 cup croutons
  • 4 ounces Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, grated
  • 1 recipe Caesar dressing (above)

Divide lettuce, chicken, eggs, croutons, and cheese between two plates and top with Caesar dressing, You can leave the chicken off for a side salad or keep it on for a refreshing dinner.

Dressed to impress. You’re a classical genius.

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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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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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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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How to Roast a Whole Chicken

If you are new to the whole roasting a whole chicken thing, you’re gonna dig this post. Roasting your own chicken isn’t only easier than getting a pre-roasted chicken home without leaking in the car, but it’s oh so yummy. Oh, baby, nothin’ like it.

It only takes about an hour and half of roasting time and a few minutes of prep! So don’t be, well, uh, chicken. Give it a try.

img_4229


Preheat oven to 350°F.

They say not to name your farm animals. But, since her days are over already, we’ll take the risk of becoming too attached and call her Girdie. Here’s what you’ll need…

Ingredients

  • 1 whole chicken (at least 4-5 pounds in size)
  • 1 whole lemon
  • 1 cup dijon mustard
  • Sea salt
  • Pepper
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 10-20 baby potatoes

Remove all loose pieces from inside chicken. They may be in both ends so check thoroughly. If you have no use for these, you can throw them away.

IMPORTANT: Wash hands thoroughly in between steps so no ingredients are contaminated with chicken juices.

Place Girdie in a large oven-safe pan with sides no higher than about 4 inches high. This will allow her to tan (brown) nicely.

Cut lemon in half. Squeeze lemon juices all over chicken while guarding with your fingers so no seeds drop into the pan. Place lemon halves inside Girdie. Poor Girdie.

Smear mustard, sea salt, and pepper all over chicken. Toss a few bay leaves on top of Girdie. May she roast in peace.

Place Girdie in oven to roast for an hour.

Cut potatoes in half or quarters so they are similar sized pieces. Sprinkle with salt & pepper and add to roasting pan with Girdie. Cook for another half hour to 45 minutes.

IMPORTANT: Check chicken with meat thermometer to make sure Girdie has reached 165°F in her most voluminous places. Poultry must always reach this temp before it is safe to eat!

When done, remove roasting pan from oven. Allow chicken to rest for about 30 minutes before cutting into it.

Save and refrigerate loverly broth for other recipes.

Look at you. You did it. Soak in the praise of thy people. You and Girdie make a great team.

 

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Chicken Cordon Bleu Recipe

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In this post we will explore how to cook a perfect chicken breast. We will explore traditional Chicken Cordon Bleu filling and try a new, melty, and delightful alternative recipe. And, perhaps most importantly, we shall splurge and top it all off with a new heavenly cheesy, garlic-y sauce which will change your life forever. Amen.

IMG_2111


Cooking a perfect chicken breast comes from three very important steps:

  1. Lay chicken breast on counter and cut your chicken breast in half. the long way so that when you unfold it, it will look like a butterfly (thus the “butterfly cut”). Then, using a meat hammer, pound chicken until it it pretty much level all the way across. This will promote even cooking which will lesson dry or under-cooked areas.
  2. Soak in buttermilk. Many chicken recipes benefit from being soaked in buttermilk overnight (or around 8 hours) to help make for moist chicken. This isn’t a must, but it is another way to be sure your chicken turns out amazing.
  3. Cook to 165F in the thickest part of the piece of chicken. This is crucial for food safety and for creating moist chicken. Undercook, and that flu you thought your family had is actually food poisoning. Over-cook and you get chicken jerky. Cook to 165F, and you’ll have perfectly moist chicken every time. Meat thermometers can be testy, though, so be sure you get a reliable one. Don’t ask me how I know this. I just do. I find that digital ones seem to work best. My favorite is the iDevices brand but there are less fancified ones you can start with too.

Now that we have explored chicken breast basics, let’s get rolling with this amazing recipe.

IMG_2113

Chicken Cordon Bleu Recipe

  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 4 fresh chicken breasts
  • 4-8 pieces sliced smoked ham (not honey ham)
  • 6 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 8 ounces gruyere, grated (or you can go traditional with swiss cheese)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 small yellow onion, finely diced
  • Sea salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 1 – 5 ounce package croutons, ground (or Panko crumbs)
  • 1 recipe of cheese sauce (this recipe from above is below)

Pour buttermilk in 9X13 pan. Set aside.

Butterfly cut and then pound evenly chicken breasts.

Place cream cheese, grated gruyere (or swiss), minced garlic, diced onion, and a dash of sea salt & pepper into mixing bowl. Mix until well-combined.

Roll about 3 ounces of cream cheese mixture into each piece of ham (or you can use 2 slices of ham per piece if you like to be generous).

Place a ham bundle inside of each chicken breast. Coat all chicken breasts in buttermilk and leave in 9X13 pan covered with plastic wrap in refrigerator overnight. (Chicken is okay to leave in buttermilk for up to about 48 hours if you have delays that change your plans.)

When you are ready to bake, remove chicken from buttermilk, salt & pepper top of each chicken breast, coat with ground croutons (or Panko crumbs), and place in a greased pan. Bake at 350F for about 40 minutes or until chicken reaches 165F in thickest part of breast. Let chicken rest for about 15 minutes before serving.

Cheese Sauce Recipe

  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 8 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, freshly grated
  • 8 ounces gruyere cheese, freshly grated
  • 1/4 cup mustard (regular or dijon work well)
  • 4 cloves fresh garlic, minced
  • Sea salt
  • Freshly ground pepper

Place all ingredients in a medium size saucepan. Stirring continually, cook over medium heat until cheese melts and then incorporates into the heavy cream.

Pour sauce generously over your Chicken Cordon Bleu – reinvented. Breaking the cheese-y rules never tasted so good.

 

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