Simply Julia’s Chicken

In her introduction to her new cookbook, Julia Turshen promises that her recipes are simple. After trying two of her chicken recipes from Simply Julia: 110 Easy Recipes for Healthy Comfort Food, I certainly can attest to that.

First, I made her oriental-inspired Sticky Chicken. It was easier and quicker than some boxed “Helper” meals I would make years ago. I served it with brown rice and steamed broccoli.

Sticky Chicken Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon chili garlic sauce (such as sambal), or your favorite hot sauce (optional; I used hot sauce)
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil, plus more as needed
  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Sticky Chicken Directions:

  1. Place the water and cornstarch in a small bowl and stir well to combine. Stir in the ketchup, honey, soy sauce, chili garlic sauce (if using), and garlic. Reserve the sauce.
  2. Place the canola oil in a large nonstick skillet over high heat. Add half of the chicken to the pan and season generously with salt and pepper (about 1/2 teaspoon of each) and cook, stirring now and then, until browned all over, about 5 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a plate and repeat the process, adding another tablespoon or so of oil to the pan if necessary, with the rest of the chicken.
  3. Return the first batch of chicken to the skillet along with the reserved sauce. Bring the mixture to a boil, then turn the heat to low and simmer, stirring now and then, until the sauce is thick and coats the chicken, about 5 minutes. Serve immediately.

Then I tried her Almond Chicken Cutlet recipe, which features my all-time favorite spice blend — Old Bay Seasoning — and was even simpler to prepare than the Sticky Chicken! Turshen created this recipe for her wife, Grace, who was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. The low-carb recipe uses almond flour rather than breadcrumbs and is baked on parchment paper.

Almond Chicken Cutlets for Grace Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup almond flour
  • 1 tablespoon Old Bay Seasoning (or 1 teaspoon each kosher salt, sweet paprika, and garlic powder)
  • Four 6-ounce boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • Cooking spray

Almond Chicken Cutlets for Grace Directions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper and set it aside.
  2. Place the mayonnaise and mustard in a small bowl and stir well to combine.
  3. Place the almond flour and Old Bay in a small bowl and stir well to combine.
  4. Place the chicken breasts on the sheet pan. Evenly divide the mustard mixture among them and use a spoon, pastry brush, or your fingertips to spread the mixture to coat the surface of each chicken breast. Sprinkle a quarter of the almond mixture evenly over each chicken breast. Spray each one with a thin coat of cooking spray.
  5. Bake the chicken breasts until they’re browned, firm to the touch, and register at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit on a digital thermometer, about 30 minutes. Cut each chicken breast into thick slices and serve immediately.

Other recipes I plan to try include Mustardy Cracker Crumb Fish, Ratatouille & Ricotta Baked Pasta, Roasted Onion Soup, Apricot and Almond Biscotti, Orange & Greek Yogurt Cake, and Lemon Ricotta Cupcakes.

Turshen’s cookbook isn’t just worth checking out for the recipes. She offers five lists of five items each “that make my kitchen an easy, comfortable place for me to cook.” (Old Bay is included in her “Five Things That Are Always in My Spice Drawer” list.) Another chapter is “Seven Lists,” with seven lists of seven ideas each, such as “Seven Ways to Use Leftover Buttermilk.”

Simply Julia: 110 Easy Recipes for Healthy Comfort Food is available upon request at Whitehall Public Library, and through our online catalog, here.

Simply Julia’s Chicken
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