Sunday, April 8, 2012

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Family Recipe: Party Chicken!


Now that I live in the Northeast, I am forced, as a Southern transplant, to endure The Questions:

1. Do you wear shoes?
2. Does your family have teeth?
3. Do you eat fried chicken a lot?

     The answers: sometimes, yes, and no. My family has never heeded the call of the KFC bucket. Our poultry of choice is Party Chicken. People, of course, laugh at the nondescript, yet distinctly Southern name of our signature dish. But once they taste the bacon-wrapped deliciousness, they stop laughing. They're too busy begging for seconds. 

      Instead of baking a ham on Easter, my grandmother always made Party Chicken by the panful. It takes an agonizing 4 hours to cook, so my childhood Easter Sundays were often spent rocking on the glider on my grandma's front porch, tormented by the savory smell of dinner. By the time Party Chicken comes out of the oven, I've always conveniently forgotten that I don't eat beef. (In fact, when no one's looking, I steal the dried beef from the piece of chicken next to mine.) It's that good. 

What you need
8 half boneless, skinless chicken breasts
8 slices bacon
1 carton sour cream (8 oz)
1 jar dried beef
1 can condensed cream of mushroom soup
½ cup water 

Put it all together

  1. Preheat oven to 250°F. 
  2. Soak dried beef in boiling water for 2 or 3 minutes. Chop beef, then place in the bottom of a 9x13" baking dish. 
  3. Wrap each chicken breast in bacon. Place on top of beef. (To ensure more even cooking of bacon, you can also simply drape the chicken with bacon.)
  4. Mix the sour cream and condensed soup with water. Pour over chicken. Cover baking dish with aluminum foil. 
  5. Bake for 3 hours, then uncover and bake for another hour. 


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