Family is a word without a definition. Now, before you pounce on me saying that it isn’t true, let me explain. Though there is technically a definition for family, if living in the 21st century has taught us anything, it’s that the word is certainly more complicated than its definition.
For me, family is much more like a feeling. By this, I mean that there are many different families in my life that might not feel equally important, but certainly are important. Take my husband and kids for example: seeing my husband play soccer with my 4 kids on a brisk fall weekend morning will always make me feel warm inside. There’s something about this feeling that makes me feel like I’m home. This can also be felt at the holidays, when our entire group is gathered around a Christmas tree. I get the same feeling when I see my husband come home after a long day of work—it is not a specification of a group, but rather the feeling that brings them all together.
The funny thing is, I also experience this feeling when I’m with friends. Being able to join my friends every other week for a game of poker feels similar to when I’m able to spend time with my husband and our kids. You see, after we’ve all put the kids to sleep, then we’re able to get together for a rousing game of poker, gossiping about what has been going on in our lives lately and giving us an opportunity to let off some steam. It might seem like this produces a competitive atmosphere, but it’s all genuinely amicable. Sometimes we talk about our hubbies, kids, and even life, all with the context of a nice game of poker providing a focal point to the conversation.
Since all of us are full-time mothers, it can be good to have a few hours every other week to turn off our parenting brains and just be ourselves. Besides, a little poker every now and then doesn’t hurt! For the 11 of us who gather every other week, these poker games have become a tradition that greatly reflects the feeling I feel when I play with my children or hang out with my husband: the undeniable feeling of home that can only be found in a community. The only tangible difference between the poker group and my husband/kids is that the latter is related by blood, but I don’t believe this matters. Instead, both are defined by what they have in common, providing a sense of unity between people.
Another thing they have in common is food. My kids and I eat together every night of the week, but on Saturdays and Sundays they have full reign to go where they want, whether it be to eat at the movies or go to a friend’s house for dinner. Because my husband works lomg during the week, one of the most reliable times we can all get together to have dinner at the same time is Friday night. As a result, Friday night dinners at our household have become something of a tradition, a chance to embrace the aforementioned feeling of unity and indulge in some delicious food.
In a similar manner, all 11 of the girls are asked to bring food to each poker game we have, making each get-together just as exciting as it is delicious. This potluck of sorts also brings out the best in conversation, showing that good food can really bring out the best in people.
Every once-in-a-while, though, whether it’s a Friday night dinner or a poker game with the girls, I bring out my amicable secret weapon: my easy Chicken Cream Chop/Fried Chicken Recipe. This recipe in particular consistently gets rave reviews from both my husband, children, and friends, often being the star of the party.
I’ll never forget the many nights that I’ve been cooking the chicken in preparation of a poker game, only to have my kids repeatedly infringe about how it isn’t Friday and they would love to eat some too. In situations like this, I usually make a second portion and serve it to both parties, but it’s worth mentioning as a testament to this recipe’s versatility.
It also really steals the show at the poker games, being the center of attention no matter what is brought to the table. Friends, kids, my husband will often gather around, making sure to get the most out of the plate before it’s all gone.
In fact, when we’ve had other relatives join us for Friday night dinners, they often leave with a copy of this recipe! This is because it’s just that good. It’s incredibly flexible, working just as well for a cold winter’s night or a warm summer afternoon.
Because of the roaring success surrounding this chicken recipe, I thought I’d bring it to you so you can also bring your best cooking to the table in the most unique way! Check it out below.. Also, don’t forget to check out the YouTube video!
This recipe is why I cherish so much those moments where I can get my husband, children, or girlfriends in one place. It is a constant reminder to me that there is so much more to familial relationships than blood ties. Though I do prioritize my husband and kids over anything else, it’s refreshing to hang out with my girlfriends and be reminded of the beauty there is in the many different connections we make in our lives.
To the same effect, it’s also very important to recognize the focal point of food in all of these interactions. Many of the times I have shared laughs and love with my husband, children, and friends are all contextualized by this wonderful Chicken Cream Chop/Fried Chicken Recipe. In sharing this recipe with you, I hope you’re able to open the door to many different positive interactions with people you care about and let it remove any tension that might infringe upon a good time. I hope it also opens the door to meeting so many new people and connecting with others in the same way it has done for me.
Oh, also, I hope you think it’s delicious! Because I sure do. Enjoy!
What did you think of this recipe? Did you enjoy it? Let us know what you think!
Ingredients for Cream Chop/ Fried Chicken:
- Chicken breast, 6
- Milk, 2 cups
- Italian dressing, 1 cup
- Steak sauce, A1 (1 tablespoon)
- Season salt, 1 tablespoon
- Lemon pepper, 1/4 teaspoon
- Garlic powder, 1/4 teaspoon
- Dried parsley, 1 teaspoon
- Salt, 1 teaspoon
- Bread crumbs, 3 cups
Ingredients for Vegetables:
- Onion, 1
- Red bell pepper, 1
- Eggplant, 1
- Potato, 1
- Zucchini, 1
- Garlic, 2 cloves
- Season salt, 1 tablespoon
- Olive oil, 1/2 cup
Directions for Chicken cream chop/ Friend Chicken:
- Rinse 6 chicken breasts in cold water and pat dry with a paper towel.
- Place a sheet of wax paper or saran wrap and pound the chicken breasts with a meat pounder/ tenderizer. It should measure a uniform 1/2 inch in thickness.
- In a large bowl, add two cups of milk.
- Add one cup of Italian dressing.
- Add one tablespoon of steak sauce. I like to use HP sauce or A1 steak sauce. They are both great.
- Add one tablespoon of season salt.
- Add 1/4 teaspoon of lemon pepper.
- Add 1/4 teaspoon of garlic powder.
- Add one teaspoon of dried parsley.
- Add one teaspoon of salt.
- Mix everything together.
- Add the chicken to the mix and refrigerate for 24 hours.
- In a large bowl, put 3 cups of breadcrumbs. I like Italian bread crumbs because they are seasoned but plain breadcrumbs work just as good.
- Take the chicken out of the refrigerator. Take one chicken at a time and dip into the breadcrumbs then set aside.
- Do that for all of the chicken breasts.
- Freeze the chickens for 24 hours.
- Take them out and fry them after 24 hours.
- In a large skillet, add 3 tablespoons of olive oil and fry the chicken about 3 minutes each side. Enjoy!
Directions for roasted vegetables:
- Roughly chop one onion and put it in a bowl.
- Roughly chop one bell pepper and add it to the bowl.
- Cut up one eggplant in about 1/2 inch chunks/cubes.
- Cut up one red potato in about one inch chunks/cubes.
- Cut up one zucchini in about 1/2 inch chunks/cubes.
- Using a garlic smasher, add two fresh cloves of smashed garlic.
- Add one tablespoon of season salt to the bowl.
- Add half cup of olive oil.
- Mix everything together by hand or spoon/fork until everything is coated by the garlic, season salt and olive oil.
- In a medium pyrex place all of the vegetables flat and set them in the oven 375 for about 20 minutes.