Somebody Else’s Mom – Lorraine’s Chicken

lorraine chicken 2

Lorraine’s recipe –

Chicken cutlets
Mozzarella cut in slices
College Inn Chicken Broth
Flavored bread crumbs
Jar garlic

Bread cutlets and place a slice of mozzarella on cutlet and roll it.
In a pan saute tsp of garlic and 3/4 stick of butter. Add can of chicken broth and cook for 5 minutes.
Add mixture to pan of cutlets. Cover with foil and bake at 400 degrees for 40-45 minutes. Uncover for
the last 10-15 minutes.

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My recipe of Lorraine’s recipe after I prepared it at home –


4 large boneless chicken breasts
8 to 12 ounces of mozzarella
3 eggs, beaten
chicken broth, 14 ounce can or homemade
Italian bread crumbs
1 to 2 teaspoons of jarred minced garlic
4 to 8 tablespoons butter

1. Slice chicken breasts very thin, try to get 3 cutlets out of one large breast.
2. Dredge chicken cutlets in egg and then bread crumbs, set aside.
3. Slice mozzarella into even slices per chicken cutlets, (ex., if you have 13 cutlets, cut mozzarella
into 13 slices). Place one slice of mozzarella onto a breaded cutlet and roll. Place the cutlets
into a 9 x 13 pan to fit tightly.
5. Oven to 400 degrees.
6. In a medium frying pan, add 6 tablespoons butter. Add minced garlic to butter and sauté. When
garlic tender, add chicken broth and cook 5 minutes longer or until heated through.
7. Pour garlic chicken broth mixture over cutlets in pan.
8. Cover with foil and bake for 40 – 45 minutes. Uncover and continue to cook 15 minutes more.
9. Serve immediately, over pasta or on the side. Serves 8.
10. ENJOY – Chicken and cheese – please!

We met my husband’s cousin, Ricky, and his wife, Lorraine, way back in the day when Tom and I got married over 30 years ago.  Lorraine, Ricky, and their daughter, Melissa, lived together in a two family house in Rockland County with Lorraine’s parents. I always envied and admired their lifestyle; it was all about family. They lived side by side, sharing meals and laughter, all reminiscent of my own childhood in a two family house with my aunt, uncle, cousins, and grandmother. When Tom and I visited, we would join her mom’s dinner table, seated amongst several generations of family.

Fast forward to the present, and the family ties and traditions still hold fast. Lorraine and Ricky now live in a two family house with their daughters, Jennifer, and Amanda and her family. We recently celebrated their granddaughter, Savannah’s, first birthday party with them, and shared a meal and laughter with their extended family. The birthday party was in the backyard, and home cooked dishes were served, including this recipe from Lorraine. The envy and admiration of this close knit family living arrangement still tugs at my heartstrings. To have your children and grandchildren living in the same house together is a very special blessing.  Lorraine is a cook’s cook. Some of the best cooks I know don’t always have a recipe in front of them. They are artists! I believe that you can take liberties with anyone’s recipe and make it your own to suite you/your family’s specific tastes, all without insulting a good cook such as Lorraine.

When I prepared her chicken dish, I cut the butter amount to 4 tablespoons, instead of her suggestion of 6 tablespoons, but then I felt her chicken was juicer and mine could have been a bit more moist, but it was still delicious. In retrospect, I should have paid more attention to Lorraine’s recipe in the first place when it came to the butter, and I will the next time I prepare it. As far as the jarred garlic was concerned, I questioned using it rather than using fresh garlic. Lorraine said she only uses the jarred garlic for this recipe, and fresh garlic for everything else. Go figure…..but that was a good enough answer for me, and jarred garlic it is.

Looking forward to the next family gathering and some home cooking at Ricky and Lorraine’s…..BIG HINT if you are reading this, Lorraine)!

Chicken Skewers

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Chicken Skewer

  • Difficulty: easy
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Chicken thighs, skin and bone removedDSC04687
Japanese Yakitori sauce
Bamboo skewers

1. Soak bamboo skewers in a pan of water. Rinse and set aside.
2. Cut chicken thighs into bite size pieces
3. Cut scallions into bite size pieces.
4. Skewer chicken bits and scallion bites alternating.
5. Pour Yakitori sauce over skewers.
6. Grill skewers on medium heat, turning a few times, serve immediately.
7. ENJOY – Is this really cooking?

©  This recipe courtesy of

My good friend and neighbor, Charlie, prepared this chicken appetizer for us one hot summer evening. I loved these chicken skewers. I couldn’t get enough of them. The next time Charlie and Laurie, my other good friend and neighbor, came to our house for dinner, I made these chicken skewers. Of course, Charlie’s tasted better. Why, you may ask? Because Charlie is the ultimate cook and will travel near and far for the best ingredient for any recipe he is preparing. Charlie went to a Japanese food store to purchase his Yakitori sauce, whereas I purchased mine at the local food store. There is a difference. The extra trip to the Japanese food store to buy an authentic Yakitori sauce was well worth the trip in taste. The morale to this story is you get what you yen for, a good Yakitori sauce!


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1 to 1 ½ pounds chicken cutlets
6 to 8 tablespoons butter
2 eggs
2 cups flour
Salt and pepper
8 ounces mushrooms, sliced
2 to 4 sprigs fresh parsley, chopped
3/4 cup white wine
Lemon, 4 slices

1. Slice 4 large chicken cutlets in half.
2. In a large size frying pan, add 6 tablespoons butter and melt.
3. Beat eggs in shallow dish. Mix flour with salt and pepper and sift together in another shallow dish. Coat chicken cutlets with beaten egg and then
dredge in flour mixture.
4. Place four cutlets in butter and cook a low to medium flame, till both sides are golden. Remove cutlets to dish, add another 2 tablespoon of butter
if needed and cook the remaining chicken in pan.
5. When all cutlets are thoroughly cooked and removed from pan. Add wine, mushrooms and parsley and cook for about 15 minutes. Scrap the bottom of the
pan while cooking.
6. Return chicken cutlets to pan and add lemon slices on top. Continue cooking everything on a low flame, till everything is heated through. Serve hot
over pasta immediately. Serves 6.
7. ENJOY – The chicken dish loved by all!

You have to share! That is my motto when going out to breakfast, lunch or dinner.

I really don’t know when it started, but I believe it goes back to the first year of my marriage. My husband, Tom, was 20 and I was 19. We had an apartment, we paid our bills, but other than that, we had very little money to spare. Let me say first off, that I never felt we were deprived of anything. We made do with what we had. The first year of marriage is an adjustment for everyone. You have to learn to share with the other person. I fondly remember us eating pasta out of one pot together, sharing the last bowl of cereal another time. You learn as you go along how to food shop for two and prepare meals ahead of time, all this while working, going to college. But it still is a learning process. Until you learn and grow as a married couple, including food shopping, budgeting and cooking, we improvised with what we had. That was the beginning of the sharing. When all there is to eat is one bowl of cereal, you share it together.

To this day, I always want to taste what Tom orders off the menu, when when we go out to a restaurant. One, because as the years went on, we shared our dishes less and less, and I guess I liked that little gesture we had between us of sharing one dish. Secondly, it is the cook in me that is always curious about figuring out what ingredients were used to cook something served in a restaurant. I try to wait to see what he is orderingf irst, so I can order something different. At weddings, we usually ordered different dishes also, to share sometimes.

But as I said, Tom doesn’t like to share as much as he used to. That is where my youngest daughter, Mia, comes into the picture. Besides being one of the easiest going people I know, Mia isn’t a big eater, so she is happy to share with me.

Wheneverwe go out to an Italian restaurant as a family, I am sure that Mia and I will be sharing the Chicken Francese dish as one of our entrees. She chooses one dish and I choose another to dish to share between us and usually chooses Chicken Francese. When I prepare Chicken Francese at home, everyone relaxes because there is no sharing, just the joy of eating from your own dish and that makes everyone happy, especially Tom!


1 32 ounce jar of hot cherry peppers
12 chicken parts (legs, thighs and wings)
1 onion, sliced
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 – 6 garlic cloves
salt and pepper

1. Oven to 325 degrees
2. In a large baking pan add olive oil, chicken parts, onion, garlic, salt and pepper. Toss together well. Then pour half of the hot cherry peppers and juice from the jar over the chicken. Bake uncovered for 45 minutes.
3. Turn chicken parts over. (At this point, if you like a very spicy dish, pour the other half of the jar of hot cherry peppers and juice over the top of chicken.) Cook another 30 minutes. (Don’t forget to turn your chicken to brown all sides.)
4. Turn the chicken again and cook for the remaining 30 minutes. Serves 6 to 8 persons
5. Options: Add sausages for variety.
ENJOY – Slow cooking is sooo good and sooo easy.

How about starting the New Year off with a bang! If you like it hot, then you gotta try my friend Jean’s Hot Cherry Pepper Chicken. Jean has had some awesome parties over the years, and I’ve experienced her delightfully delicious chicken several times….it’s a party favorite. This dish practically cooks itself, giving you time to whoop it up with your guests. Why stress out this New Year’s Eve or Day – whip up Jean’s chicken and get ready for the compliments!

New Year’s Eve used to be one of my favorite nights out, a reason to celebrate a good year or distract oneself from a not so good one. Up until about 5 years ago, my husband and I have been welcoming the New Year by going out with family or friends to dinner and sometimes dancing. It is the one night that I looked forward to because it gave me an opportunity to buy something new and shake it on the dance floor!

As we age, we’re not so inclined to put up with the craziness that accompanies those parties, and we appreciate the more subdued atmosphere found in home soirees. One year we were invited to 3 different friends’ homes. Believe it or not, to avoid disappointing anyone, we had appetizers at one house, dinner at another and ended the evening with dessert at the last house. Everyone seemed happy with us making the effort to stop and spend some time with each of them, and we enjoyed them and the fruits of their labors!

For years and years, I had a New Year’s Day Open House. I would make an invitation and put it in everyone’s Christmas card. I tell you, no one turned it down. You could find at least 50 people in my home, and the wonderful food, drink and desserts that they brought with them. It was a lot of work but also a lot of fun.

Several years ago I had the flu during the holiday season, and I had to cancel my Open House. Everyone was so disappointed. Somehow, life started getting super busy and the parties stopped.….

Now I’m thinking about Jean’s Hot Cherry Pepper Chicken again and kicking the year off with a houseful of friends. How about you?


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5 chicken thighs, skin off
5 chicken legs
3 tablespoons maple syrup
1 /2 cup soy sauce
1 /2 cup white wine
1 /4 teaspoon pepper
1 onion, sliced thin
3 garlic cloves, minced

1. Mix in a marinating dish, syrup, soy sauce, wine, pepper, onion and garlic. Mix well.
2. Place chicken parts in marinate. Turning and coating each chicken piece well. Marinate in the morning for dinner or at least 1 to 2 hours before cooking.
3. Preheat your grill to 350 degrees. Place chicken on grill and cook for 10 to 15 minutes. Turn each piece of chicken and continue cooking for 10 more minutes. Keep hood of grill closed. If no hood, chicken may take a little longer. Repeat this until chicken cooked on the inside. Check by cutting fattest part of chicken with knife for doneness and for clear juice coming from chicken. ( If bloody, chicken may still be undercooked). Some grills are hotter than others. So, stay near the grill and keep an eye on your chicken. Brush marinate on chicken every time you turn it.
4. ENJOY – Tap that maple tree for some chicken marinate!

Happy Memorial Weekend! Kick off the summer with this chicken dish made on your grill. Let the fun begin!

This recipe came about because I was trying a recipe for honey soy chicken, and I discovered I didn’t have any honey left in the house. Out of necessity to have dinner ready on time, I opted to substitute maple syrup for the honey ingredient. It was delicious and a new chicken recipe was born.

Sweet and sour go very well together. There are many recipes that only required two ingredients for this combination. A friend of mine makes sweet and sour hot dogs by heating one jar of currant jelly with one jar of Guldens brown mustard. When the two are well blended, add mini hot dogs and serve with toothpicks. Another two-ingredient recipe is for honey barbecue chicken. Combine equal parts of honey with a favorite barbecue sauce, blending it together well. Then roll chicken parts in it until well coated. Barbecue or bake your chicken, whichever you prefer. Be a little creative with your cooking and try putting two tastes together without going overboard on experimenting.

Many fruits go well in meat dishes. The next time you cook pork, try adding some apricot preserves or apple slices to your ingredients. Pineapple and cherries are toppings usually added with brown sugar to baked hams. This is too sweet for me, but the kids love it. Lemon juice and olive oil dressings give salads a certain zing that is very refreshing and light. While visiting my husband’s cousin, she served us a salad for lunch with roasted sweetened almond slices in it. It was a nice change of pace from the regular tomato and cucumber salad.

You don’t have to be so crazy when you want to dress up a salad, chicken or a pork roast. Just think about what you love and try combining a few of those foods together and see what you come up with. It may be your own version of maple and soy chicken or something totally new and exciting. Let me know what you discover in your kitchen today!


dsc071626 Chicken Breasts
1 tablespoon olive oil
Garlic powder

4 cups herb stuffing
1 onion, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
4 tablespoons butter
1 and 1 /3 cup chicken broth

Optional – 1/ 2 cup spinach, drained and sauté

1. Oven 350 degrees.
2. Put butter into a medium frying pan. Add onions and celery.
Saute until tender.
3. In a medium bowl, add stuffing and slowly pour in chicken
broth. As broth goes into bowl, keep fluffing stuffing to
absorb liquid. Add sautéd onions and celery with the butter
in the frying pan into the stuffing mixture. Sprinkle in some

Optional – At this point add the spinach to the stuffing
mixture for added flavor.
4. On a large edged baking sheet, line aluminum foil. Take a
chicken breast and with your fingers, lift the skin, making a
partial opening. Take a fistful of stuffing and push it under
the chicken skin. Repeat until the whole top of the breast is
stuffed under the skin. When all breasts are stuffed, place
on the cookie sheet.
5. With a pastry brush, brush the whole chicken breast with
olive oil, lightly.
6. After all breasts are coated in olive oil, sprinkle paprika and
garlic powder.
7. Bake for 65 to 75 minutes. Cut into a breast with a knife to
check for doneness.
8. Serves 4 – 6.
ENJOY – Get “Stuffed” from eating a stuffed Chicken Breast!

Today is a day like any other day. I get up, go to work, come home, prepare dinner, clean the house, go to bed and start over again. There is one chore that drives me crazy and that is deciding what to make for dinner. After thirty something years, the phrase, “What do you want for dinner?”, is enough to make me feel like a robot. Just tell me what you want and I will cook it. But do they tell you? No! You get the following same answers repeated over and over again. “Whatever you want to make.” “I don’t know.” “Don’t ask me now, I’m not hungry.” “I don’t care”. Of course, no one cares because they are not having a mental breakdown trying to figure out a menu for every night of the week. Do not ask this question to anyone under 21. Otherwise the answer will be pizza, McDonalds, Chinese food or anything that you do not actually cook but you are lucky enough to pay for. There is no concept of living on a budget for a family. Buying take-out dinner for a family of 4 or more people could wipe out your wallet for the week.

So, that leaves you with preparing meals with those 3 food groups – meat and fish, bread and cereal, and fruits and vegetables. What falls under that first group? Meat, which can be expensive if it is beef. Fish; also is an expensive protein. That leaves us with chicken. Chicken is the least expensive protein to feed your family. Believe me, I have tried to prepare chicken each and every way I can. We have a standard in my house and I found in most houses across America. It’s called chicken cutlets. We have this for dinner at least 3 times a month. The beauty of this dish in my house anyway, is that everyone loves it. My husband prepares about 3 pounds of cutlets. He likes to make them the way he likes them. Fine with me. Word of advice to any newlyweds out there, if you husband wants to cook something, let him. One less thing you have to worry about. I told him he made the best chicken cutlets the first year we were married, and I haven’t had to cook them since. I hate frying food anyway. Well, that leaves me with preparing chicken 10 or 12 different other ways for the rest of the month.

I actually was served this stuffed chicken breast for dinner at a friend’s home years ago. I have made chicken and I have made stuffing before but I never thought at that time to put them together. If you think you make less mess in your kitchen, forget it. You still have to prepare your stuffing ahead of time. I make this dish with variations on occasion. The last time I prepared this I had some leftover sautéed spinach in the refrigerator that I added to the stuffing mixture before placing under the skin of the chicken. It was definitely an added delight. With the spinach added all the food groups were taken care. I might just always make it with the spinach added from now on. I have told my friends that do not like to cook to use any brand of instant stuffing to save time. I really like to make my own stuffing with real onions and celery but I understand that not everyone loves to cook.

This recipe is a hit with the family and it will be for your friends too. Next time you don’t know what to make for dinner, don’t ask, just make stuffed chicken breasts and everyone will be happy,
including you.