After a restful night of dreams about Sunday dinners at my grandparent's house, I woke up the other morning to the familiar aroma of days gone past still in my nostrils. Although it was only for a second, the delectable smell made me hungry. It also made me feel a tad bit lonely for those lazy afternoons spent grazing with family and friends in Grandma Iva's kitchen.
Grandma Iva, for those of you who might not have read some of my earlier postings, was a real hoot with a saucy mouth. An incredible cook who believed time spent with family was a blessed gift from God; my grandmother is greatly missed in our family.
Some of my earliest memories are of her scurrying around in the kitchen wearing a very unique hand-made apron she made for herself.
Looking back with 20/20 hindsight, that crimson apron with the frilly red and white checkerboard trim and a little devil wearing a chef's hat and carrying a spatula embroidered on the pocket summed up her personality.
I loved her zest for life and unwavering love of family.
I miss her terribly.
However, she left most of her recipe collection in my care.
One of her Sunday staples was a recipe for oven-baked chicken that made its own gravy while cooking.
Although it does require a few steps to bake, this recipe is well worth the time and effort.
The shopping list for this recipe is as follows:
4 pounds of frying chicken pieces
¼ cup of flour
¼ cup melted butter
2 cups of sliced onions, half red the other half white
¼ pound of sliced fresh mushrooms
2/3 cup undiluted evaporated milk
10.5 ounce can of cream of mushroom soup
1 cup of grated processed American Cheese
½ teaspoon of salt
¼ teaspoon of pepper
dash of paprika
Rinse and pat dry the chicken before coating with flour. Pour melted butter in a 13x9-metal baking dish and arrange pieces in a single layer with skins down. Bake uncovered in a 425 degree preheated oven for 30 minutes.
Turn the chicken over and bake 15-20 minutes until brown and tender. Remove the dish from the oven and drain off excess fat, reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees.
Add mushrooms and onions to chicken.
Combine evaporated milk, soup, cheese and seasonings in a bowl and then pour over the chicken. Lightly sprinkle the paprika over the top and return to the oven to bake an additional 15-20 minutes.
Serve this over noodles, mashed potatoes or rice for a hearty reminder of those Sunday dinners spent with family and friends