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Tim Woodard Recipe: Smothered Chicken and Grits

22 Apr


On Sunday, Tim Woodard from Little Easy Express showed Oxford Beer Fest attendees how to prepare his simple and rustic smothered chicken over grits. He says it’s also perfect over rice or potatoes accompanied by crusty bread and a salad. For his beer pairing, Tim coupled the dish with Shipyard Brewing Co. Monkey Fist IPA.

Smothered Chicken and Grits from Tim Woodard of Little Easy Express Lunches and Catering

Baked Cheese Grits

  • 4 cups water
  • ¾ cup long-cooking grits, uncooked
  • ¼ teaspoon salt (optional when cooking grits)
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 cup (4 oz.) shredded cheddar cheese
  • ¼ cup buttermilk
  • 2 tablespoons margarine
  • 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder (optional)
  • Dash red pepper sauce or ground red pepper

Heat oven to 350 F. Grease 1-1/2 qt. casserole or baking dish. Prepare grits according to package directions. Add small amount of grits to beaten egg to temper. Return grits mixture to pan and add remaining ingredients. Cook over low heat an additional minute or until cheese is melted. Pour into prepared casserole and bake 30 to 40 minutes or until top is set and lightly puffed. Let stand 5 Minutes before serving.

Smothered Chicken

  • 6-8 medium-sized chicken thighs or a small whole chicken fryer cut up (a 4 lb. bird)
  • Salt, pepper, garlic, cayenne pepper (to taste)
  • 1 medium-sized onion
  • ½ cup of flour plus a small amount for dusting chicken
  • ½ cup of margarine or ¼ cup each of butter and vegetable oil
  • 3 cups water or low-sodium chicken broth (slightly more if needed)

While the grits are simmering on low heat, melt the margarine in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Season chicken pieces with salt, pepper and garlic powder. Lightly dust chicken in additional flour, place in skillet and brown on all sides. After the chicken is brown, add flour and onion and cook for 5 minutes on low heat. Once the mixture is a caramel color, add the water or chicken broth and blend well. Season with cayenne pepper and bake in the oven at 350 degrees F for 45 min to 1 hr until chicken is tender and juices run clear. Remove from oven, adjust seasoning, and serve over baked cheese grits.


The Oxford Beer Fest’s VIP Chef/Beer Pairing area was organized by EatingOxford.com. If you’d like information on how to hold a similar event at your venue, contact Liz@EatingOxford.com.

New Comfort Food Spot

3 Feb

Tim Woodard, owner and chef of the new Little Easy Express Lunches and Catering at 3 CR 215, HWY 30 E (inside Littlejohn’s Quickmart) tells EatingOxford.com that he was inspired to open his restaurant because he “wanted to provide reasonably priced, high-quality plate lunches for those who are too busy to cook or spend half of their lunch breaks waiting on mediocre food to be prepared.” He says that, oftentimes, as a working professional in higher education for the past 10 years at the University of Mississippi, he didn’t have time to cook his favorite comfort foods, and nowhere to buy a reasonably priced meal. “I’m a self taught cook, and before working at the University of Mississippi, I worked at Danvers, Cedars, and Panini The Oxford Catering Company; over the years I’ve catered many events for personal friends.”

Little Easy Express Lunches and Catering is open Monday through Saturday, serving freshly prepared plate lunches, soups, salads and desserts. Most items on the menu are made from scratch, and Tim says that he buys local whenever possible. In addition to the restaurant, Little Easy offers catering for business meetings, office parties, family reunions, tailgating and more.

The current menu can be found above, which will be available for the next couple of weeks. Future menu items will include grits and grillades; jalepeno cheese grits; gumbo; red beans and rice; and heat-and-serve meals.

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