I've developed a few strategies to deal with this time of year. One is to use my crockpot, and another is to make meals that I can prepare earlier in the day and pop in the oven when I go outside to feed, letting them cook while I'm working outside. Lasagna and macaroni-and-cheese would fall into this category, as well as oven-baked chicken.
Oven-baked chicken is one of our favorite and easy chicken dishes. I use the recipe on the side of the yellow box of baking mix from the grocery store, even though I make my own baking mix now. Keep reading to learn how you can make it too.
First, here's the chicken recipe. I boil the potatoes earlier in the day and make mashed potatoes when I come back in the house. Served with a green veggie, it's a delicious, easy meal that allows me time to do evening chores while it cooks.
1 tablespoon butter or margarine
2/3 cup Original Bisquick® mix
1 1/2 teaspoons paprika
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 cut-up whole chicken (3 to 3 1/2 pounds)
1. Heat oven to 425°F. Melt butter in rectangular baking dish, 13x9x2 inches, in oven.
2. Stir together Bisquick®, paprika, salt and pepper; coat chicken. Place skin sides down in dish (dish and butter should be hot).
3. Bake 35 minutes; turn chicken. Bake about 15 minutes longer or until juice is no longer pink when centers of thickest pieces are cut.
Making your own baking mix is quick and easy too. There are many recipes online; some include powdered milk, cream of tartar and other items. This one is basic and is the one that I use. By making it yourself you save money and skip all those additives that keep the brand name product shelf-stable.
8 c. flour
1/2 c. baking powder
3 tsp. salt
8 tsp. sugar (optional)
1 cup shortening
Combine the first four ingredients well in a large bowl. Using a pastry blender, cut in the shortening until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Store in well-sealed container in pantry or refrigerator. Your baking mix will last longer if you store it in the refrigerator.
Used copies are also available at Amazon (affiliate link) and on Etsy. There are a few newer and revised editions of this book, but I've only read the original.
You'll find more of my recipes in my Convenience Foods series. Do you make your own pantry mixes? Please leave a comment and let us know.
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