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Jen Bruce, What Are You Eating?

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Jen Bruce

The singer, songwriter and piano and guitar player for Tempe band Honey Pistol plays with the band at Teakwoods in Phoenix December 18.

What'd you eat for dinner last night? Airplane food: delicately rubberized chicken chewy/dry sandwich.

Favorite food: Grandma's Fried Chicken and white gravy with a Honey Pistol twist

Least favorite food: Airplane food!

Favorite dessert: This question is torturing me. I can't pick one favorite. I won't do it! Next question!

Favorite local restaurant and meal to order there: Masa Sushi in Gilbert, Boston Roll (see picture of the happiness on my face as I engulf a roll!)

Favorite local bar and cocktail to order there: Zipps in Scottsdale, New Belgium Hoptober on draft. I guess beer isn't a cocktail, so if that's the case, Crowne Royal on ice.

Favorite thing to cook at home: Brown sugar glazed salmon

Favorite memory involving food: Every time I go home to visit my grandma, right before I get on the plane, I stop by to say goodbye, and she always has her famous fried chicken in a Ziplock bag for me to take on the plane--along with her famous chocolate chip cookies. Last year when I went home for a visit, she taught me step-by-step for 3 days straight how to make her fried chicken and homemade white gravy. Can you tell I'm infatuated with Grandma's Fried Chicken yet?

Recipe or food tip to share: Grandma's Fried Chicken with a Honey Pistol Twist
Soak bonless chicken breast in salt water for 30 minutes to 1 hour
Drain and let chicken dry completely
In a large Ziplock bag, put approximately 4 cups of flour for approximately 4-8 chicken breasts
To the flour, add salt/pepper/canyenne pepper (any other flavors you like: lemon pepper, Mrs. Dash, etc.)
Place chicken breasts in ziplock back and shake to coat chicken
In a large skillet, coat bottom of skillet with 1 inch of cooking oil; turn stove onto medium-high heat
Do not put chicken in the pan until the oil is ready: to check if oil is ready, take a pinch of flour and throw in pan. If it sizzles and dissolves immediately, it is time to add the chicken
Place the chicken in the skillet, do not overcrowd
Let cook on medium-high heat for approximately 5-7 minutes (when the chicken is deep golden brown, it is time to flip)
Flip the chicken and let cook on medium-high heat for approximately 3-5 minutes, then reduce heat to medium-low and cover with a lid
After 1-2 minutes, take the lid off and add 2-3 tablespoons of water and immediately cover again (the steam will soften the chicken but keep the crispiness, also)
Check to see if the chicken is cooked through by cutting into the thickest part of the breast to check for white and clear juices
Glaze the chicken with honey while it is still in the pan
When the chicken is cooked, take it out of the pan and place it on a plate and cover with tinfoil to keep warm while you make the gravy
White gravy: While letting the chicken cook, mix a packet of powered milk and water in a separate bowl (for 4-8 pieces, use about 4-5 cups of water to 1 packet of milk.) The powdered milk is used so that the milk does not curdle while making the gravy (if you do not have powdered milk, mix 2 cups of milk with 3 cups of water.) Now in the pan you just cooked the chicken in, turn up to medium-high heat. There should be bits of chicken and oil in the pan. Add about 2-3 tablespoons of dry flour to the pan and scrape the bottom of the pan, then slowly add the milk mixture and start whisking fast! Add salt and pepper to taste.
This may take a few tries but is well worth the effort!

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