A Recipe from Betty Crocker’s New Dinner for Two Cook Book (1964)
About the Recipe
Chicken is a staple in our household, but even our favorites can start to get old. I had some chicken breasts in the freezer so I went on a search through my books! Betty Crocker (almost) never fails, and this recipe looked simple enough for a Friday evening. Fair warning though – it takes 2 hours to bake! The cook time on this in total is about 2.5 hours all told.
I made a few adjustments on this one – I substituted olive oil for the shortening and used fat free half and half instead of proper cream. Removing all of the fat from this dish meant getting rid of some of the richness. We ended up with a (more cholesterol friendly) baked chicken, rich in flavor but not in fat. Oh – and as with most recipes, the amount of onion and garlic is just a suggestion. Go to town, with Betty’s blessing I’m sure.
About the Book
I found this book in a giant antiques mall in Virginia on a recent road trip with the husband. There was a whole section just of antique and vintage books and I was in heaven! If you’re in the area (or even just slightly out of the way), the Factory Antique Mall in Verona, VA is well worth the trip.
All of the Betty Crocker books in this time period and format are worth the purchase. The mid-century illustrations are so fantastic, and the recipes, for the most part are excellent. This one is dedicated to small families or “the career girl enjoying her first apartment.” In particular, this recipe comes from the section dedicated to when company comes. The recipes and menus feel like they’re adapted for when you were planning for two… and then surprise! company comes. All in all, this book is wonderful. Snag it if you find it.
2 whole chicken breasts (about 2 lb.)
3 T shortening
1/3 cup chopped onion
1 small clove garlic, minced
3/4 cup chicken broth
3/4 cup cream (20% butterfat)
1 1/2 t salt
1/8 t pepper
2 t Worcestershire sauce
2 T fat
2 T flour
1 cup liquid (water, meat stock, or bouillon cube broth)
Heat oven to 300*F (slow). Cut chicken breasts in half crosswise, making four serving pieces. In a heavy skillet, brown breasts in shortening until golden. Add remaining ingredients. Cover tightly. Bake about 2 hr. or until tender. Just before serving, remove chicken from skillet; keep warm while making Pan Gravy
Remove meat to warm place. Pour off clear fat (not drippings); measure amount needed into small saucepan. Measure liquid into roasting pan; stir and scrape all of brown drippings loose from pan — heat mixture if necessary; set aside.
Add flour to fat in saucepan; stir together until smooth. Cook over low heat, stirring steadily until it is bubbling.
Take pan off heat. Gradually stir in liquid and drippings from roasting pan. return pan to heat; bring to boil, stirring constantly. Boil 1 min. Season and serve.