So last Thursday, I dove into Nanny’s mystery file and happened upon a chicken recipe from 1991. And I bet you’re wondering how exactly I know it is from 1991? Well. My super sleuth Sherlock deduction skills note that it seems to be cut from a newspaper- and on the back of the recipe there are grocery ads- you know the Wednesday insert type of ads that have coupons? Well, this just happens to have a coupon that expired September 21, 1991. While I’d love to give credit to the original author of this recipe, Nanny left out all the details when she clipped this little gem from the paper so a nod in their direction is about all the citation you’re gonna get.
This is the summer before I was a senior in High School and I can tell you all sorts of stuff going on in my life right about then, but Nanny? Nanny was living in a cute little house in a subdivision that was built in the 40s and all the streets were named for Pacific Islands: Guam, Manila, Nassau etc… I believe she told me that back in the day those houses were for military families. By 1991 though, it was a bit of a run down neighborhood and she was always griping about one or another of her neighbors. Especially the one across the street whose cat kept coming and using her flowerbeds to… well you get the picture. She kept a BB gun next to her front door that I’m sure had this cat’s name etched into the barrel. I thought for sure we would get a call to come bail her out of jail for assaulting the neighbor’s cat but either she never actually hit the cat or never got caught. I’m betting on the latter because from what I understand she was quite handy with her Smith and Wesson, which btw weighed more than she did. That’s another story.
We had many a family gathering at this little house- all of us crammed into her 10×12 livingroom, eating on our knees, laughing and trying to talk over whatever football game was blaring from the television. My cousins and I would be running in and out of the house or playing in her spare bedroom while trying not to break anything (again) and most likely listening to a boom box with some bubblegum boy band from the day- most likely NKOTB. Every once in a while we would kick the boys out of the room with a door slam- get yelled at by one of our aunts- or worse- Nanny… and then giggle and turn up the music. Nanny’d be in the kitchen with my mom and aunts in attendance cooking up a storm while the uncles watched TV. She made the usual: pork roast with sauerkraut, mashed potatoes, and field peas. I don’t remember her cooking a whole lot of other meals when we were all together besides our big Christmas dinners and those were an exception in her everyday fare- I think one Easter we had fried chicken- but I’m pretty sure that came from Albertson’s.
Other than pork roast, Nanny liked chicken- but never whole chicken breasts- she hated big hunks of meat so she bought the chicken breast tenders, I know this not because I grocery shopped with her (that’s a story for another day…) but because when we cleaned out her freezer, she had endless Zip-lock bags of field peas, muscadines, catfish, foil wrapped mystery meats (probably another pork roast), about four different kinds of ice cream, and chicken breast tenders. How she cooked these tenders remains a mystery- my guess is baked on a cookie sheet with only salt and pepper- but she has several varieties of chicken recipes to choose from in her expand-a-file even though I seriously doubt she ever cooked anything from this file. As you now know, even though we are quite similar in our paper hoarding tendencies, I actually USE my recipes. This little nugget from 1991 was going to make a come back… as long as I didn’t have to make a Walmart run.
With my ever-present sunshiney optimism… I looked in my cabinets and lo and behold I had all the ingredients for this recipe. Score!
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See? Easy as pie!
I served this with mashed potatoes and steamed green beans because that’s one of the only green things my kidlets will eat.
Can I just say YUM?! Yes. YUM. Sweet and tart with just a hint of spicy from the pepper flakes. My kids-even the picky one- loved it. Cleaned their plates. Asked for more. Thank you, Nanny!