There's nothing like a roasted chicken Sunday dinner. This recipe is so easy, but it does require a bit of planning ahead. The chicken needs to brine for 5 hours and then sit in the fridge and crisp for at least 4 hours.
4 quarts water and / or apple juice
6 T. kosher salt
2 T. granulated sugar
1/2 large onion, diced
1 small carrot, diced
Other leftover veggies and bits
1/2 head garlic
Fresh or dried herbs of your choice
Chicken and Gravy Ingredients:
1 whole chicken
Tarragon or oregano
1/2 stick butter
2 springs rosemary
1 cup white wine
1 cup chicken stock
4 T. flour
1 cup apple juice or cidar
Combine all of the ingredients for the brine in a large container. Add the chicken and let it brine in the refrigerator for at least 5 hours.
Remove the chicken from the brine and pat it thoroughly dry with paper towels. Combine the herbs, and butter in a small bowl. Season, to taste, with salt. Work the butter under the skin of the chicken and massage it into the breasts and the legs. Massage the butter on the outside of the skin as well.
Put the peach, leek, and rosemary in a roasting pan and season with salt. Arrange the chicken on top of the veggies and refrigerate uncovered for at least 4 hours. This will help the skin dry out and become really brown and crispy. After refrigerating, the chicken is ready to go in the oven.
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Put the wine and chicken stock in the bottom of the roasting pan. Slather a bit of olive oil on the chicken -- like putting suntain oil on a 70s beach babe. Roast the chicken in the preheated oven until the skin gets really nice and brown, about 30 minutes. Lower the oven heat to 350 degrees F for the remainder of the cooking time. Baste the chicken every 20 minutes or so. Cook about 12 minutes per pound. Once it gets to the proper color, tent the chicken with aluminum foil to prevent it from getting too dark.
Remove the chicken from the oven when an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the chicken registers 160 degrees F. When the chicken has reached the proper temperature, remove it from the roasting pan to a cutting board and let it rest for at least 15 minutes. Cover loosely with aluminum foil.
While the chicken is resting, make the gravy. Strain all the veggies over a bowl to separate them from the stock/mixture. Discard the veggies. Skim off the fat and add it to the roasting pan. This is the fat for the roux. Put the roasting pan over 2 burners and over a low heat and whisk in the flour. Cook until the mixture looks like wet sand, about 4 to 5 minutes. Slowly whisk in the pan juices and the apple juice/cidar. Cook until the mixture has thickened and reached a gravy consistency. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Pour into a serving pitcher or bowl.
Here's link that shows how to carve a chicken: http://www.finecooking.com/articles/how-to-carve-roast-chicken.aspx
I don’t care for anything made with mayonnaise, except perhaps aioli. I decided to experiment with my own, mayo-free version of a chicken salad.
2 cooked chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized cubes
4 basil leaves
½ c vanilla yogurt –OR–½c sour cream and 3 T. honey
Salt to taste
1/3 c. chopped pecans or walnuts
1/3 c. chopped dried cherries or dried cranberries
Mix all ingredients in large bowl. Make sandwich with toasted bread or bagel; add dressed salad greens if desired.
Grown Up Mac and Cheese
This is a recipe from the Neely's on Food Network. I just love them!
Gina: Pat, can you give me a little sugar for these peaches?
Pat: Honey, I'll give you sugar any time you want it.
Gina: (giggling) That's my man!
The only ingredient change I've made is to substitute gouda cheese for the blue cheese, as it tends to aggravate my allergies. But here is the original ingredient list:
4 ounces thick-sliced bacon
2 cups favorite shaped pasta: elbow macaroni, cavatappi, conchiglie, lumaconi, etc.
1 1/2 cups milk
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
4 ounces Gruyere cheese, grated
3 ounces extra-sharp Cheddar, grated
2 ounces blue cheese, such as Roquefort, crumbled
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 slices white sandwich bread, crusts removed
2 tablespoons freshly chopped basil leaves
Cook the bacon until crisp but not overdone. Transfer the bacon to a plate lined with paper towels and crumble when it is cool enough to handle.
Drizzle oil into a large pot of boiling salted water. Add the macaroni and cook according to the directions on the package, 6 to 8 minutes. Drain well.
Meanwhile, heat the milk in a small saucepan, but don't boil it. Melt the butter in a medium pot and add the flour. Cook over low heat for 2 minutes, stirring with a whisk. While whisking, add the hot milk and cook for a minute or 2 more, until thickened and smooth.
Off the heat, add the Gruyere, Cheddar, blue cheese, 1 teaspoon salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Add the cooked macaroni and crumbled bacon and stir well. Pour into 2 individual size gratin dishes, or as I have done, a 8x10 casserole dish. Place the bread slices in a food processor fitted with a steel blade and pulse until you have coarse crumbs. Add the basil and pulse to combine. Sprinkle
the bread crumb mixture over the top of the pasta.
Bake for 35 to 40 minutes in a preheated 400 degree oven, or until the sauce is bubbly and the macaroni is browned on the top.
4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves - cut into 1/2 inch cubes
2 tablespoons milk
2 cups crushed potato chips
lollipop sticks from a craft or party store, or wooden skewers
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a baking sheet or line with parchment paper.
2. Crush potato chips onto a plate. In a large bowl, whisk together egg and milk. Dip the chicken cubes into the egg mixture, then coat well with potato chips. Spread the nuggets onto the baking sheet.
3. Bake for 10 minutes. Turn nuggets over, and bake for 10 minutes more, until golden brown. Remove baking sheet from oven, and insert a lollipop stick into each nugget.
3/4 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts
1/2 lb rigatoni pasta
2 carrots, sliced
1 cup 2% low-fat milk
1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 1/2 tablespoons flour
3 tablespoons fresh grated parmesan cheese
PInch teaspoon white or black pepper
1/8 cup prepared pesto sauce
Pinch teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 garlic clove, crushed
1/2 tablespoon olive oil
Salt to taste
Cook the rigatoni according to package directions, boiling the carrots with the rigatoni. Drain, place back in the pot, and stir in the olive oil (to avoid sticking).
Grill the chicken breasts on an indoor grill, 6 minutes per side or until juices run clear. Cut into strips.
Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Slowly whisk in the flour until smooth and the consistency of wet sand. Add milk gradually, whisking well after each small addition, then until no clumps can be seen. Heat over medium, whisking constantly, until heated and thick (sauce will thicken the more you cook it).
Add the pesto sauce and mix well. Sprinkle the parmesan in, and whisk. Add the crushed garlic, pepper, and
red pepper flakes. Remove from heat, and add salt to taste.
Pour over rigatoni and carrots, mix and serve.
Sweet Kate, my best friend. I have made this pizza kit for you. Xoxo
1 Whole Foods pizza crust
2 T. Alfredo sauce
2 Slices of bacon, crumbled
½ cup of cooked, cubed chicken
Instructions: Assemble all, mozzarella last. Cook directly on oven rack for 12 minutes.
To make this chicken, which you should absolutely do immediately, preheat your oven to 450ºF. Then, mix together 1/2 cup of Dijon mustard, 1/4 cup of maple syrup, and 1 T of red wine vinegar.
Put a 1 1/2 pound package of chicken thighs into a foil-lined, oven-proof baking dish. I used boneless, skinless thighs. Six came in my package, which made enough to serve 3 people. Then, salt and pepper the thighs. Pour your maple mustard mixture over them, turning the thighs in the mixture so they are fully coated.
Put the chicken thighs into the oven, and let them bake for 40 minutes or until a meat thermometer reads 165ºF. Baste the tops of the chicken with more sauce half way through. Let the chicken rest for 5 minutes before serving. Plate the chicken, making sure to spoon some extra sauce over the top. Sprinkle over some fresh rosemary or thyme.
1 to 2 tablespoons vinegar, like cider, balsamic, or red wine
2 to 3 teaspoons dried herbs, like thyme, oregano, or crumbed bay leaf
1 to 2 tablespoons mustard, whole grain or Dijon
1 to 2 teaspoon garlic or onion powder, optional
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast, each about 6 ounces
Put the vinegar, herbs, mustard, powders if using and oil in a large re-sealable plastic bag. Close the bag and shake to combine all the ingredients. Open the bag, drop in the chicken breast in the bag. Close and shake the bag to coat evenly.
Heat a grill or grill pan. When the grill is hot, place the chicken on the grill and cook for about 4 minutes per side, or until cooked through. You can also bake the thawed chicken in a 375 degree F oven for 15 minutes, or until cooked through.
Note: Can freeze pre-made recipe for up to 2 weeks. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight.
Weight Watchers: 5 PPs
It’s Clean-out-the-Fridge Friday, and I found two kinds of tortillas, gouda and mixed cheddar cheeses, a browning avocado, a tiny bit of cucumber slices, homemade salsa and chicken breasts. It’s been a while since I’ve made flautas, I thought, and they would make a great dinner for movie night. (Yeah, Fantastic Mr. Fox!)
Flautas are super easy to make. I grated the gouda and mixed with the other grated cheese and salsa. I steamed 3 chicken breasts and then cut into bite-sized cubes. In a large bowl, I mixed all together with a ¼ teaspoon ground cumin. The chicken mixture is spooned onto the tortillas and wrapped tightly, then secured with a toothpick.
Most flauta recipes suggest heating vegetable oil in skillet, and dipping both sides of the tortilla in the oil. That method DOES make a super flaky flauta, but I’ve found it is almost as good and definitely less fattening to brush the rolled flautas with a melted butter / olive oil mixture.
Bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes, until the tortillas are a little crispy and golden brown.
I served this with a guacamole dipping sauce, made from plain yogurt, salt, garlic, cumin (remember? I found 3 jars in my latest kitchen organization), the leftover cucumber slices, and the avocado. Here’s the result – super tasty with the flautas.
Our family loves Chick-fil-a, I confess. I wanted to try to make a healthier version of those irresistible chicken nuggets, and so I Frankensteined this experiment from several different cookbooks.
I marinated cut chicken pieces in yogurt overnight. In my case, I had a bit of plain and a bit of vanilla yogurt left in the newly organized fridge, so I mixed them together with a bit of salt.
The coating was made from one sleeve of whole wheat saltines, 2/3 cup of sliced almonds (toasted in a pan for a few minutes) and ¼ cup of corn flakes that were all that were remaining of a box in my pantry. I used my food processor to grind up the ingredients for the coating. I refrigerated the coated chicken for 30 minutes, and then baked on a wire rack at 425 for 20 minutes.
Next, need to have some yummo honey mustard dipping sauce. I love this flavor with my nuggets, but the Chick-fil-a sauce is a little too sweet for me. Could I make my own version that was less cloying? Success! Adding a little salt and cumin did the trick.
I was in danger of losing a bowl of fruit, so we had a fruit salad with our meal. We have TONS of basil to use up, so I made a quick syrup from ¼ cup water, 2T. honey, and 4 basil leaves. Microwaved for 30 seconds, let steep, and then poured over fruit with a fine-mesh sieve.
Topped off the meal with the brown rice with olive oil and butter.