ATK Recipe #50-52: Crispy Chicken, Honey Mustard, & Wilted Spinach Salad with Bacon

I’ve actually made the Crispy Chicken twice in the last couple of weeks. I chose it because the ingredients are basic and I had them on hand. This is really just a plain, basic recipe of chicken breaded with breadcrumbs and pan-fried in oil. But I’ve actually never tried to fry anything like this. I’ve always been afraid of frying for some reason. I thought it was funny when my husband came home and saw me getting ready to fry the chicken and he said, “You’re really going to fry something?” in a tone that clearly meant, “You’re about to set the house on fire.”

The first time I made this recipe I used whole chicken breasts, pounded thin, breaded with egg and breadcrumbs. I actually managed to produce crispy chicken and didn’t even set anything on fire. I felt the chicken needed some condiment, so I made the ATK recipe for Honey Mustard Dipping sauce. I couldn’t believe how simple the recipe for the sauce was. Dijon mustard and honey. Wait. You mean honey mustard is really just honey…and…mustard? No fucking way! I’m not being sarcastic; I really thought it would be way more complicated. I didn’t actually follow the amounts in the recipe, since I didn’t want to use a whole half cup of mustard. So I just took a scoop of mustard and added honey until it tasted right. The sauce was certainly thick and good for dipping.

The chicken breast was really well cooked: moist and tender and crispy. The Book mentions that you can use the same recipe to make chicken tenders, so when I had some extra chicken breasts left over, I made some tenders. Unfortunately when I made the tenders they didn’t come out nearly as moist as the breasts. I think I’ll stick with whole breasts in the future.

Since I was serving fried chicken tenders, I felt the need for a nutritious side, preferably green to counteract the oily fried main course. As we all know, it’s acceptable to eat something unhealthy as long as you eat something healthy at the same time to cover for the bad food once it gets to your stomach. So I found a recipe for which I had all the ingredients: Wilted Spinach salad with Bacon and Red Onion. Except I didn’t include the red onion because my husband hates all onions, especially red ones. Instead I chopped some shallot. As the previous wilted spinach salad that I made, the aromatics are sautéed and the dressing built in the skillet and then poured warm over the spinach right before serving. But first I had to cook a whole bunch of chopped bacon. So this is a salad built on bacon fat.

Chicken Tenders and Wilted Spinach Salad

At first I wasn’t wild about the salad’s flavor until I hit the bacon and then it made it work. I actually went back for seconds on the salad. Justin, on the other hand, didn’t like it. He’s decided he doesn’t really like vinegar. I’ve told him there’s a whole salad section to get through and most of the recipes involve vinegar. I probably would make this recipe again if it were just up to me, but I probably won’t because he didn’t enjoy it.

(The dip in the picture is just Ranch dressing from a bottle. I didn’t have time or energy to make the honey mustard again at the same time I was working on the salad.)

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