Sitting down yesterday afternoon I was thinking about what to make for dinner. I was enjoying a day off and I had some time to really apply myself, so I decided to go for the gusto, I was going to make one of mom's best: Cheez it Chicken. Growing up, my mother was famous for making chicken, now I am not saying she was famous for her delicious chicken (don't get me wrong, her chicken was good), but she was really famous for always making chicken, like 5 to 6 nights a week. In order to make chicken 5 to 6 nights a week a person has to be armed with a huge arsenal of chicken recipes and she had them all. We ate salsa chicken (baked chicken with a glob of Pace Picante on top), we ate bar-b-que chicken (baked chicken with a glob of bar-b-que sauce on top), we ate chicken fingers (baked chicken that was then cut into strips and spiced with some pepper and so little salt you had to really try hard to taste it), we ate all sorts of chicken and it was good, but every now and then my mother would completely out do herself and make the most marvelous chicken dish of all; Cheez it Chicken. This dish was what my brothers and I waited for, it may have been the best chicken dish in the whole universe, and last night I dove deep in to the depths of my mind and recalled the recipe in order to prepare it.
From my recollection the making of Cheez it Chicken went like this: take a boneless/skinless breast of chicken and dredge it in yogurt (fat free, plain, and definitely store brand). Then take a box of Cheez it's and pour a healthy amount into a plastic bag, then smoosch them to crumbles with your bare hands. Pour the smoosched up crumbs of Cheez it's onto a separate plate and spread them out with you hands. Take the chicken breast out of the yogurt bath and the coat both sides with Cheez it crumbs. Be generous here, we want a full encrustation. Once encrusted put the Cheez it covered chicken breast into a baking dish and bake at 375 degrees for 27 minutes (actual cooking times may vary). And viola! you have my mother's famous Cheez it chicken.
I made two of these beauties last night and served it just as my mother did, with white rice and a salad. I did take a few more liberties with the salad than she would have (she was all iceberg and carrot coins).
While the chicken was cooking I was wondering what the perfect beer pairing for this culinary masterpiece would be. This dish was going to be mild cheddar cheesey and a little crispy, and definitely not spicy (pepper was spicy for my family) so a hoppier beer would have been the wrong choice altogether (Ranger and Hoptober were out). Fat Tire was going to be a little to malty, biscuity, bready for this meal. I finally decided on Sunshine Wheat (and in a can because we were eating outside). This pair was going to be great, the sweet citrusy Sunshine would accompany the mild cheddar well, and bring out the citrus flavors in the chosen salad dressing (a sesame-tahini with lemon juice). The beer went with two of the three parts of this meal and that spells "winner" to me (it went with the white rice as well (bringing it to a three of three), but really, what doesn't go with plain white rice (counting it would be similar to cheating)).
Take a look:
Mmmmmm. It was really good. So good in fact that I recommend that you go home tonight and make it for your family, they will love it, and you will be a hero.
until next time friends,