, , , , , , ,

To my eternal good, my husband’s first wife discarded her marriage vows for greener pastures.  But liking my husband’s last name so much, Cathy wore her first married name through two subsequent marriages and divorces.  While I don’t know what subsequent husbands thought about her last name souvenir, I can report that husband number one simply shrugs his shoulders and laughs;  Mr. West is glad she found something about him worth keeping.

Thankfully, when wife number one vacated my husband’s life, she left behind a few recipes worth keeping.  This baked chicken recipe is one.  It takes less than an hour to prepare from start to finish, which makes it a perfect meal to whip up after a day at work or school.  We keep it just as simple with the sides — a package of Lipton’s Butter Noodles and maybe some green beans or English peas.

All our kids enjoyed this meal. My husband began preparing it in our early days of marriage, before the boys came along.  Since hubby beat me home from work by an hour, he’d have supper on the table when I walked in the door.  Ohhhh, the memories.  It was a fine arrangement but for the girls; they were use to my cooking, such at it then was.  And being kids stuck in their comfortable groove, there was much gnashing of teeth about their new step-dad’s exotic style of cooking.  To their way of thinking, it was a scary world of Crab Quiche and dishes with ucky mushrooms compared to Mom’s kid friendly fried bologna sandwiches and fried potatoes.  So it’s saying a lot that my girls love this baked chicken recipe from their first bite — well, once my man got smart and ditched the mushrooms.

The meal grew to become our oldest son Bryan’s favorite meal — and when O.U. housing asked all the parents of  incoming freshman for their child’s favorite taste from home, this is the recipe they got from us.  With a grin, I think I called it “Bryan’s Savory Chicken.”  I figured the first Mrs. West wouldn’t mind since she’d taken the same liberties herself, when she wrote the recipe out for her own use way back when.  Our copy of the recipe still lives in a little home-made green binder that my husband received as his parting gift; in Cathy’s long hand written on notebook paper, there at the top of the page, bigger than Dallas, it says:  Cathy’s Savory Baked Chicken.  In parenthesis underneath Chicken, is the name (Brenda C——-.).  In Cathy’s life, it looks like some names were ditched while others are forever hitched.

And who knows but maybe you’ll want to hitch your own name to this recipe.  From my life — in a leftover sort of way — to yours.

Savory Baked Chicken

Serves 3 to 4      Preheat Oven to 400 degrees
1 pkg of chicken breasts ( three halves), sliced in half, leaving six thin cutlets
1/2 cup flour
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 tsp basil
6 Tbsp butter

Melt butter and add to 9×13 pan.  Combine dry ingredients in a bag or sack, and one cutlet at a time, coat chicken by shaking it until well coated.  Lay chicken in pan, than turn butter-side up for baking.  Bake for 30 mins at 400 degrees.

Meanwhile, make a sauce to cover chicken, for final 20 minutes of baking time:
4 Tbsp butter
4 Tbsp flour
2 cups hot water with 4 tsp. chicken bullion (can use chicken broth and add salt to taste)
Optional:  Cooked sliced mushrooms, fresh chopped tomatoes and green onions)

In a skillet, melt butter over medium heat.  Stir in flour until bubbly.  Add hot chicken broth and cook until thickened.  After 30 minutes of baking, remove chicken from oven to cover with sauce.  Add vegetables if desired and return to oven for final 2o minutes of baking.   Can serve over rice.