Recipe 23: Fruited Chicken from Better Homes and Gardens (1979)*

*Slightly modified based on available supplies

What makes this chicken recipe so special are the two ingredients, soy sauce, and pineapple, that add an Oriental touch to the tender chicken pieces. A perfect partner for oven-baked Chicken is a casserole dish full of rice…

Better Homes and Gardens Recipe Card 15G 1979

If the picture of the recipe or the fact that the recipe came out of a recipe card box that is straight out of the 1970’s doesn’t make this recipe feel like it came from another time, the use of the term “Oriental” reminds us that we are definitely cooking in the past.

I selected this recipe because (again) I had all of the ingredients readily available and it seemed fairly simple to make. I did not have nearly as much chicken as the recipe requires, so I just made the chicken extra saucy, which actually made it much better.

The recipe is as follows:

3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon celery salt
1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 2&1/2- to 3-pound broiler-fryer chickens, cut up
1/4 cup butter or margarine
1 20-ounce can pineapple chunks
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1/3 cup soy sauce

In paper or plastic bag combine the 3/4 cup flour, the salt, celery salt, garlic salt, and nutmeg. Add 2 or 3 chicken pieces at a time and shake to coat pieces evenly. In a large skillet melt butter or margarine. Brown chicken on all sides. Place chicken in a 13x9x2-inch baking dish, reserving drippings. Drain pineapple, reserving 1 cup syrup (add a little water, if necessary). Sprinkle pineapple over chicken. Stir the 3 tablespoons flour and the sugar into butter remaining in the skillet. Add reserved pineapple syrup and soy sauce; cook and stir till mixture thickens and bubbles. Spoon evenly over chicken and pineapple. Cover and bake in 350 degree oven for 1 hour. Makes 6 to 8 servings.

The first step is to combine the flour, salt, celery salt, garlic salt, and nutmeg.

Next, add 2 or 3 chicken pieces at a time and shake to coat pieces evenly. I only had 2 or 3 chicken pieces anyway (I used chicken breasts as I did not have 6 pounds of broiler-fryer chicken laying around the house and this is what I preferred to eat), so this was a simple one-step process.

Again, this part is pretty easy.

The next step is to melt the butter or margarine (I had butter) and brown the chicken on all sides. I did not realize this recipe called for an ENTIRE STICK OF BUTTER.

My husband was quite pleased with this.

Next, brown the chicken on both sides:

After that, place the chicken into a baking dish. I did not have the one specified in the recipe, so I modified it and used what I had. It worked out very well anyway.

Use 1 large can of pineapple chunks (20 ounces) and drain it. Reserve the juice and put the pineapple all over the chicken.

The final step is to make the sauce. I mixed 3 tablespoons of flour and sugar into the frying pan, then added the liquids (pineapple juice and soy sauce).

Once it all thickens, pour over the chicken and pineapple, then cover and bake in the oven for approximately one hour (mine cooked for about 40 minutes because my chicken was much, much smaller).

This is the final result:

It was so good! I was afraid the sauce was going to be too overpowering because the chicken to sauce ratio is so much different than the original recipe (less chicken in this one). As with the Chicken Dijonnaise previously, the fact that I had more sauce than the original recipe actually made it better in my opinion. Sauce is always good!

(I wish I had better descriptions of these recipes but look, I’m a pharmacist and not a food critic. There are only so many ways I know to say, “It tasted good!” and “I liked it!” without being repetitive.)

Time Travel Experience: Look at that recipe card and the recipe box! How retro can you get! That, plus using an entire stick of butter in a recipe really does seem like something from another decade.

Overall Experience: I’ll be honest, I burned the crud out of this the first time I made it and had to start again from scratch. The food was good, especially when combined with the rice, but it took a long time to get it right (incompetence on my part, not the recipe’s fault).

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