Bird Dogs

Picture it: Belton 2001. One day when the Marshall Primary School menu for the next week was released everyone’s attention was immediately captured by something we never heard of, bird dogs. None of the other kids knew what it was, and to add insult to injury none of the adults did either. Not even the lunch ladies!

What we got was a total game changer. Bird dogs consist of chicken fingers, bacon, honey mustard, and cheddar tucked into a hot dog bun. When I explain it to people who never lived in Anderson county, South Carolina they never seemed to get it, but honestly it’s so perfect. Somehow the hotdog bun proportions are so much more satisfying than the normal chicken sandwich and I will die on that hill.

Clearly I’m not the only one to think so because these little buns of glory became a cultural icon in my hometown. They worked their way into mom and pop restaurants, sleepovers, and I even went to a banquet where they were served!

If you ever wanted a super obscure southern dish that you can’t even find on Google that doubles as stoner food then look no further! I mean come on, look at that!

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Beer Can Chicken with Kickass Butter

Today we’re definitely putting the redneck in The Fancy Redneck. I mean what’s more country than putting a can of beer up a chicken’s butt, letting it just hang out in the oven for a while, and calling it dinner?

All horrendous visuals aside there is a method to this madness. The beer creates a nice steam inside the chicken that keeps it moist while cooking and gives a subtle eau de beer perfume to the meat. When paired with an ultra spiced compound butter for the baking the result is like a rotisserie chicken that your local grocery store could never.

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Braised Chicken Marsala

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Pretty much every time my brother offers to cook me dinner and ask what I want my response is the same, chicken marsala. For me a good chicken marsala is all about the sweet richness of the sauce. Normally I get so caught up in the sauce and mushrooms that the chicken tends to kind of fade into the background. This time I wanted the chicken to take center stage along with the sauce. I found that the key to that is braising.

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My Mother’s Chicken Parmesan

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I am about to share something very sacred with all of you. Do you recall your first food memory? Maybe something a parent, guardian, day care professional, or nanny made for you? That one special food that always just makes you feel warm, tingly, and loved? This is my version of that. Ever since I was three or four years old I remember my mom making her famous chicken parmesan.

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Recipe Remix: Chicken Piccata

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For tonight’s dinner I decided to take one of the recipes I recently blogged about, chicken piccata, and attempt a new preparation of it. For my last chicken piccata I dredged a boneless, skinless chicken breast in a flour mixture and pan fried it. The fried cutlets were paired with a simple sauce of chicken stock, white wine, lemon juice, capers, and butter. The last preparation was a very classic, on the nose version of this Italian classic. Although the classic piccata is one of my favorite dishes to both cook and eat today I was feeling experimental.

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Cooking With Love

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As you probably already know my blog’s tagline is “where South Carolina meets the south of France.” I always felt like that was an accurate description of my food, soul food combined with rustic French and sometimes Italian cuisine. But what I am about to show you is all South Carolina. One of the most beloved dishes in the American regional south is casserole. Casseroles are great because the only rules to them is that they have to be goopy in the best kind of way, taste delicious, and make you feel warm and loved when you eat them. Outside of those three criteria you can do whatever you want and put whatever you want in your casserole.

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Piccata of the Gaaaaaaawds

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Have you ever seen American Hustle? One of my favorite scenes is when Jeremy Renner’s character takes out the main protagonist played by Christian Bale along with his unstable wife, Jennifer Lawrence to dinner at a neighborhood favorite Italian joint. During this scene everyone is clearly getting drunk and falling out of the booth, but one of the moments that stands out in that scene is when their food arrives. It’s such a small moment, but you hear Jeremy Renner’s wife scream “this is piccata of the gaaaaaaaaaaaaaaawds,” and it made me laugh hysterically. Even though piccata’s been one of my favorite things to cook long before this movie came out I feel like that scene gave me something to aspire to. I always knew my piccata was good, but it was time to go from being good to of the gaaaaaaaaawds.

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