Savory and simple: Prep sweet tea chicken, garlic meatloaf

Tired of your standard dinner staples? Try adding a twist to your entrees, recipes courtesy of Sunny Anderson. The Food Network star makes favorites from her new cookbook: sweet tea chicken, spicy garlic-studded meatloaf and kale in coconut milk.

Fried sweet tea chicken

Makes 4 servings


  • Brined chicken

    • 4 cups sweetened tea
    • 1/2 cup kosher salt
    • 1 lemon, halved
    • 1 chicken, 4 1/2 to 5 pounds, cut into 10 pieces
  • Syrup

    • 2 cups sweetened tea
    • 1/2 cup sugar
    • Grated zest of 2 lemons
    • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
    • Kosher salt
    • 3 or 4 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves stripped and gently chopped
  • Coating

    • Peanut or vegetable oil
    • 2 eggs
    • 2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
    • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
    • 1 cup all-purpose flour
    • 1/4 cup cornstarch


Baking Directions:

For the brine:In a large bowl, whisk together 2 cups water, the tea, and salt until the salt dissolves. Squeeze the lemon halves into the pot, add the halves and the chicken pieces, submerge, and soak for 2 hours at room temperature.For the syrup: In a medium pan over medium heat, combine the tea, sugar, lemon zest, and lemon juice. Simmer until reduced and thickened like syrup. Taste and add a pinch of salt. Stir in the thyme.Prepare to fry. In a large pot, heat 6 inches of oil until a deep-fry thermometer reaches 325 degrees Fahrenheit. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, cayenne, a pinch of salt, and a few grinds of black pepper. In a paper bag, shake together the flour, cornstarch, a pinch of salt, and a few grinds of pepper. Drain the chicken from the brine and pat dry. Dust the chicken in the flour and shake off excess. Dip each piece in the egg, then back in the flour to coat. Set on a wire rack to let the coating sink in for 15 minutes.Fry the chicken. In batches, fry the chicken until golden brown on both sides and cooked through,15 to 20 minutes, depending on the size of the piece. Remove from the oil and set on a paper towel–lined plate to drain. Drizzle with the sweet tea syrup.

Spicy garlic-studded meatloaf

Makes 6 to 8 servings


  • Garlic

    • 12 garlic cloves
    • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
    • Kosher salt
  • Spicy ketchup

    • 1 1/2 cups ketchup
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
    • 2 tablespoons Sriracha hot chili sauce
  • Meatloaf

    • 1 egg
    • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
    • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
    • 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
    • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
    • 8 to 10 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves stripped and chopped
    • 1/2 cup chopped Vidalia or sweet onion
    • 1 scallion, minced (white and green parts)
    • 1 pound ground beef chuck (80% meat, 20% fat)
    • 1 pound ground dark meat turkey
    • 3 slices potato bread, lightly toasted and cut into 1/4-inch cubes


Baking Directions:

Prepare the garlic. Trim a thin sliver off each end of the garlic cloves and discard. In a small pan over medium heat, melt the butter with a pinch of salt. Add the garlic and cook on one side until golden, then flip to cook the other side. (You get extra points if you do the curved side!) Each side should take about 3 minutes. The goal is not to cook them through, just give them color. Remove from heat. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.Prepare the ketchup sauce: In a medium bowl, stir together the ketchup, vinegar and Sriracha. Set aside. Blend the meatloaf seasoning: Whisk the egg in a large bowl, then whisk in the salt, pepper, and paprika until smooth. Add the Worcestershire, thyme, onion, scallion and ½ cup of the ketchup sauce. Stir to combine.With your fingers, gently crumble both the chuck and turkey. Add half the crumbled chuck to the large bowl, then some bread, then half the turkey, some more bread, and repeat until done. Adding this way will make mixing easier and lighter for a juicier loaf. Add the reserved garlic and, with one hand acting like a pitchfork, gently mix the meatloaf, bringing the egg mixture from the bottom to the top while turning the bowl with the other hand until everything is gently combined. Transfer the meat to a 9x5-inch loaf pan and flatten the top. Pour the remaining spicy ketchup sauce on top and spread evenly.Cook the meatloaf. Bake the meatloaf uncovered for 50 minutes. Remove and rest for 10 minutes.Over the sink, tilt the loaf pan slowly to one corner to drain the excess fat and juices. Don’t worry, the meatloaf will still be juicy because you let it rest! Slice 1-inch-thick portions and hope for a double-clove slice!

Kale in coconut milk

Makes 4 to 6 servings


    • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
    • 1/4 pound slab bacon (fatback), sliced, then cut into small 1/2-inch-thick rectangles
    • 1/2 cup chopped Vidalia onion
    • 1 bunch kale (11/2 to 2 pounds) ribs discarded, chopped
    • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
    • 1/2 cup coconut milk
    • 1 cup beef broth


Baking Directions:

Crisp the bacon. Put the butter and bacon in a large pan and cook over medium heat until the bacon begins to crisp and renders most of its fat. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a plate (no need to line with a paper towel).Cook the veggies. Add the onion to the pan and cook until softened, 5 to 8 minutes. Add the kale and season with a pinch of salt and a few grinds of pepper. Cook, tossing, until it wilts, about 5 minutes.Finish and serve. Add the coconut milk and broth and continue to cook until the kale softens, another 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add the reserved cooked bacon, toss, and serve.