Since many people across the country are staying home for longer periods of time due to the current global health crisis, celebrities and chefs have been taking to social media to share their go-to "quarantine" recipes.
Halle Berry, a longtime devotee of the wildly popular low-carb ketogenic diet, recently shared one of her favorite protein-packed dishes that can made with minimal ingredients. The versatile recipe can be scaled down if you're just cooking for yourself, or easily scaled up if you need to feed a family.
As part of her self-titled “quarantine kitchen” series on Instagram, Berry shared step-by-step instructions for a dish she calls one of her favorites: cheesy, bacon-ranch chicken.
“It’s got bacon, creamy cheese, spices, scallions, salt … all those things I love,” the actress explained in her Instagram story before she got cooking.
Berry also noted that this recipe is perfect those who might find themselves without their usual ingredients, saying it's “especially for all of you who don’t have a lot of supplies. I’m trying to figure out what things I can make with what I have in my kitchen."
To make Berry’s recipe, you need boneless, skinless chicken breasts, thick-cut bacon, shredded mozzarella, chives or scallions, crema Mexicana — a cultured sour cream prepared with pasteurized milk — salt and spices, including garlic, pepper, dill weed, parsley and onion powder. But if you don't have those exact spices on hand, most blends will likely work well.
First, like many keto recipes, you need to fry up some bacon. “There is nothing better than the smell of bacon cooking," Berry said while her slices sizzled away.
Next, take the chicken breasts, season with salt and pepper, then put them in the same pan used for the bacon.
“You’re going to cook the chicken breast in the same fat from the bacon. That’s going to make it super yummy,” Berry said. “Cook it six to eight minutes on each side."
Al Roker also loves cooking other proteins and veggies in bacon fat, too.
Once the chicken is cooked, add your toppings, starting with the crema Mexicana.
“When the chicken is done, put a coating of cream on top then take a mixture of all your spices…and you’re going to sprinkle that over the top. This is going to get your ranch flavoring,” Berry said.
Once you’ve got the crema and spices sprinkled on the chicken, layer a generous handful of mozzarella cheese on top.
“After the cheese kind of melts … sprinkle some scallions on top, then, more of my favorite thing — sprinkle little bits of the bacon on top that you cooked and sort of diced up,” Berry said.
To seal in all the flavors and melt the cheese even more, Berry put a lid over the skillet to cover the meat and seal in the heat. In about five minutes, the dish is ready.
“You can put this with a nice salad, some cauliflower mash or sweet potato mash … any vegetable will work," Berry recommended.
While the keto diet might not be for everyone, this delicious dish certainly seems like a winner that plenty of people could easily make at home.