Lemon Chicken + Cheater Potatoes + Bacon Green Beans

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Hi y’all, I told you I would be back tomorrow yesterday, and I swear I am! According to WordPress it’s September 1 already, even though here in Columbus, OH it’s 9:30, so, I believe, legally, I still have a couple of hours. Don’t hassle me.
I told you I would give you something delicious for your tummy, and believe me, this dinner won’t disappoint!

One of my Aunties, on my Mama’s side, makes the most amazing Lemon Chicken I have ever eaten. I often use her use recipe, because it is perfection, I think she stole it off a restaurant chef… Buuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuut, it’s a little labor-intensive. And I get lazy. So I made up my own Lemon Chicken recipe that can be made in about half the time of the deluxe recipe. It doesn’t involve any chicken pounding, cheese grating, or double-dredging. It DOES result in juicy, flavorful chicken breast pieces that will be inhaled off your serving platter. Just for fun, I decided to share the sides I made with it that night, which are also really tasty. A note: I call the potatoes ‘cheater’ potatoes because of the dressing mix; I try very hard to stay away from too many processed foods, and spice mixes are usually high on my list of unnessesaries, but they is just something in there that makes your potatoes sweet and sour and salty and crunchy and soft and all the good things potatoes can be rolled into one tiny piece.

Is that your mouth watering? I’ll get to it then.

Lemon Chicken
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, halved
2 lemons
1 large egg
3/4 cup panko breadcrumbs, crushed
3/4 cup all purpose flour
1 tbsp garlic powder
1 tbsp salt-free seasoning mix (like 21 Seasoning Salute or Mrs. Dash)
1 tbsp Italian Seasoning
1 tbsp salt
1/2 tbsp ground pepper
2 tsp granulated sugar
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup butter

Pat chicken dry, set aside. Zest lemons, reserving for future use. Juice lemons, being sure to strain out seeds. Mix juice of 2 lemons with the egg in a large bowl, add chicken pieces, cover, and set aside.

Combine crushed breadcrumbs, flour, garlic powder, seasoning blend, Italian Seasoning, salt, pepper, and sugar in a separate large bowl.
Place olive oil and butter in large cast iron or heavy bottomed skillet, set on medium heat. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.

One piece at a time, remove chicken from lemon/egg mixture and allow excess goo to run off. Toss in flour mixture until evenly coated, shaking off excess breading. Repeat with all other pieces. Set aside.

When the butter is melted, test the oil by tossing in a speck of your leftover breading mixture. It should immediately bubble and begin to color. Gently add chicken to the HOT skillet, and very carefully jiggle pan to prevent sticking (Be careful to avoid oil splatters! They hurt!). Cook chicken on each side 7-10 minutes or until golden brown, only flipping once.

Remove done pieces to a metal rack over a sheet pan, place in oven for an additional 10 minutes. Let rest for 5 minutes, then enjoy!

Cheater Potatoes
1 1/2 lbs red potatoes
1 packet of Italian Dressing mix
1/4 cup olive oil
salt and pepper, to taste
Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees. Clean and dry potatoes, removing any eyes, cut into 1 inch pieces. Coat in olive oil, and toss with Italian Dressing mix, salt, and pepper.

Spread potatoes out in a single layer on a large baking sheet. Bake for 30-35 minutes, stirring/turning often, or until golden brown and fork tender.

Let cool for a few minutes before serving to allow the ‘crust’ to set.

Bacon Green Beans
1 lb fresh green beans, cut in half (or smaller)
1/2 lb bacon
Seasoned salt, seasoning blend, and pepper to taste

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees. Crisp bacon in a skillet over medium-low heat, being sure not to burn the rendered fat. Remove bacon from pan to paper towels, and remove pan from heat.

After a few moments to cool down, add green beans to rendered bacon fat, stirring to coat beans. Cover, let cook over medium-low for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Meanwhile, crumble cooked bacon. Season beans liberally with seasoned salt, seasoning blend, and pepper, then transfer to a baking dish. Top with crumbled bacon, and bake for 15 minutes or until outer-edge beans start to darken.

Now you have something to make for dinner. I bet you already have most of the stuff in your house. I think a squeeze of lemon on the beans would be lovely, and I’m going to try a zesty version sometime soon.
I am actually not a veggie eater, much to my dismay, and I thought loading some bland green beans up with bacon would push me over to the light side… I only had a couple bites of these holiday-worthy green beans, but Boyfriend and our roommate loved them, so I will definitely make them again. They’re salty and a little smokey, but still too… Bean-y.
You must promise to report back here if you whip up my Lemon Chicken, I’m sure you won’t be disappointed, but I want to know what spin you put on it! And if you have a preservative-free solution to my Cheater Potato problem, you’d better spill it. You can tell me here, or on FacebookPinterest, and Twitter.