We had both The Young One and The G Man last weekend, which meant lots of fun – lots of exhausting, non-stop fun.
My coup of the weekend was getting The G Man, whose idea of breakfast runs the gamut from oatmeal to pancakes (and little else), to eat bacon. I can’t really take credit for that, though; it seems the boy has decided his uncle is the epitome of cool, and if The Young One was eating bacon, G was going to have some as well.
Scrambled eggs and liver are so on the menu the next time I’ve got both of them in my clutches.
At any rate, most of what I made over the weekend was pretty kid-friendly, including this delicious and easy chicken dish which was nommed with much enthusiasm (by my Big Boys, at least, since The G Man had already gone home). The leftovers reheat well, too, but not in the microwave, or the skin will turn rubbery.
In the summer, this would be good on the grill. You could also make it with boneless, skinless chicken breasts, but reduce the cooking time to about 20 minutes.
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Honey-Mint Roast Chicken
3 pounds chicken pieces (legs, wings, thighs)
salt and freshly-ground black pepper
4 tablespoons honey
1 1/2 tablespoon water
2 tablespoons finely chopped mint
1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
Preheat oven to 375 F. Line a large baking dish with aluminum foil.
Sprinkle the chicken pieces liberally with salt and pepper; lay on the foil-lined pan and set aside.
In a small bowl, whisk together the honey, water, mint and zest. Brush the mixture on the chicken, coating the pieces completely.
Roast for 45 minutes, basting the chicken with the drippings in the pan every 15 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through and the juices run clear when pricked with the tines of a fork.
Well, here it is, the day before Thanksgiving, and I’ve been up since 6 a.m. cooking. It didn’t occur to me until some time later that I had a recipe to post this morning, so I’m taking a break for a bit from sweet potatoes and mushrooms and pie crusts.
I know a lot of food bloggers are concentrating on Thanksgiving dishes in the early parts of this week, but I figured if you haven’t figured out what you’re cooking tomorrow, it’s too late for me to help. I suppose if you’re really desperate and are determined to keep your holiday meal reasonably “clean” you can find a list of delicious, autumnal recipes here.
In the meantime, I’ve got a fun and incredibly tasty, kid-friendly recipe for you to file away until after the Turkey Day excesses are over.
This is one of those recipes that I just sort of pulled out of my, um, refrigerator. Beloved and I had come home for lunch one day recently and discovered there were no real leftovers that could be reheated, but I did have 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts in the fridge I’d planned to cook for dinner that evening. Instead, I took some tenderized round steak out of the freezer for dinner and made this for lunch.
Because we ate it for lunch, this is quick and easy. It’s also pretty darn good – we just loved it, and it occurred to me that The G Man would really like it too. I can’t wait to make it for him.
Since I was cooking for just me and Beloved – who inhaled this – the recipe makes 2 servings, but there’s no reason it can’t be scaled to make more servings.
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Cider Glazed Chicken Bites
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut into cubes
1 tablespoon lard or bacon fat
salt and freshly-ground black pepper
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh sage
1 cup apple cider
1 tablespoon honey
Place the cubed chicken in a large bowl and sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper. Add the rosemary and sage and toss until all the chicken pieces are coated.
Heat the lard or bacon fat in a heavy skillet over high heat. Add the seasoned chicken to the pan and cook, turning occasionally, until the chicken is well browned on the outside but still slightly pink in the center. Transfer to a plate and set aside.
Pour the cider into the hot skillet and bring to a boil. Continue cooking, stirring frequently, until the cider is reduced to about 1/4 cup. Stir in the honey.
Reduce the heat to medium and return the chicken to the skillet, along with any juices that accumulated. Continue cooking, stirring frequently, until the chicken is glazed and cooked through, about 5 minutes.
I think I mentioned recently that I’m all about the simple as far as food preparation goes these days. Well, this recipe, which is has been around since the old “SAD” days, is quite simple, and is also quite good. I just love the flavors of turkey and tarragon, and turkey breast is so lean that it really needs the richness of the cream sauce.
I also talked about how when we got our summer turkey this year, we broke it down into all it’s parts, vacuum sealed and then froze them. Recently I’d taken one of the breasts out of the freezer with the vague idea that I’d butterfly it, pound it thin, spread it with a mixture of fruit and nuts, then roll it up and roast it.
Needless to say, that didn’t happen. Instead, I merely sliced it and made this (since I had all of the ingredients on hand), and served it with roasted Japanese sweet potatoes and sautéed bok choy. All in all, a wonderfully quick, easy and delicious dinner.
I realize not everyone has a skinned and boned turkey breast languishing in their freezer (and good for you if you do), so turkey cutlets are what is called for in the recipe; you can find them in the meat section of just about any grocery store. Or, if you prefer, plain boneless, skinless chicken breasts will work just fine.
Note: If you want to go dairy-free with this, omit the butter and sub the half & half and cream cheese with half a cup of coconut milk. I think that would be quite tasty, actually.
Click the image to enlarge
Turkey with Tarragon in Cream Sauce
1 pound turkey cutlets
1 tablespoons lard
1 tablespoon butter
1 cup chicken stock, preferably homemade
1/4 cup fresh tarragon
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup onion, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup half and half
2 ounces cream cheese, softened
Season the cutlets with salt and pepper, then sprinkle with the tarragon.
Sauté the onion until soft and translucent. Add the garlic, and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Increase the heat to medium high and add the cutlets to the pan, frying until brown and done through, about 3 minutes on each side. Remove to a platter and keep warm.
Add chicken stock to the skillet and bring to boil. Continue cooking until the stock is reduced by half; reduce the heat to low, then add the half and half and cream cheese, stirring until cheese is melted. Return the turkey to the pan and heat through.
I came in to work today trumpeting “TGI…T!” One of my coworkers responded with “So Happy It’s Thursday!” which made me laugh. The reason for our good spirits is that our office is closed tomorrow, giving us a 3-day weekend. Yay!
Anyhoo, on to today’s recipe, which can be described in two words: easy and delicious.
I don’t know if there’s a “classic” recipe for Lemon Pepper Chicken because I didn’t bother to try and find one. Faced with some chicken parts, a couple of lemons on my counter, the pepper mill and not a CLUE as to what else I could do with it, I just started winging it.
And pretty much hit a home run – the chicken was juicy and flavorful and lemony and peppery. Pretty much everything you’d want from lemon pepper chicken.
This was great served with roasted Japanese sweet potatoes and Swiss chard sauteed in ghee with garlic, and the entire dinner is Whole30 compliant.
Lemon Pepper Chicken
1 whole chicken, about 3 pounds, cut into pieces
2 medium lemons, juiced and zested (rinds reserved)
salt, to taste
2 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
Preheat oven to 375 F.
Lay out the chicken pieces in a 9″ x 13″ baking dish and pour the lemon juice over the chicken. Sprinkle liberally with salt, then the lemon zest, and finally the pepper, coating the pieces well. Tuck the reserved lemon rinds under and around the chicken pieces.
Baked, uncovered, for 30 to 45 minutes, basting once or twice with the accumulated liquid, or until the chicken is golden brown and the juices run clear when pierced with a fork.
Hello, everyone! I hope you all had a wonderful holiday, whether you celebrate Christmas or not. We had a lovely time, and I received a new toy for the kitchen I’ll be using very, very soon – an 8-quart Fagor pressure cooker. I’m thrilled with it; technically, you can cook with our pressure canner, but it’s so large that it’s not really practical.
Fair warning: be on the lookout for recipes using a pressure cooker in the (very near) future.
Our Christmas dinner was small – just me and Beloved – but suitably celebratory. The centerpiece of the meal was this dish.
I’d never had pheasant before, much less cooked it, but it’s no more difficult than roasting a chicken and the flavor is just out of this world – far richer than even a good pasture-raised chicken. Brined for several hours and glazed with a mixture of fresh lemon juice, local honey and fresh thyme, it is simply outstanding.
This recipe is based on the excellent Glazed Roast Pheasant recipe from Hank Shaw of Hunter, Anger, Gardner, Cook. If you don’t have a roasting pan with a rack, he gives instructions on how to build one with vegetables that can be eaten as a side dish.
Note: Pheasants are not large birds, and the original recipe says it will serve 2. While this recipe also serves 2, we did not eat all of it – there’s at least one more serving left. Pheasant stir-fry, maybe?
Honey-Lemon Roast Pheasant
1/4 cup Kosher salt
4 cups water
1 lemon, halved and juiced
1/4 cup honey
2 tablespoons fresh thyme
1 large sprig thyme
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Whisk together the salt and water in a small stock pot or other large, non-reactive container until the salt is dissolved. Place the pheasant in the brine and cover; refrigerate for 4 to 8 hours.
Preheat the oven to 450 F. Whisk together the lemon juice, honey and thyme in a small bowl until well-combined.
Remove the pheasant from the brine and pat it dry. Allow it to rest on a cutting board while the oven heats, about 15-20 minutes.
Stuff the cavity of the bird with the reserved lemon rinds and the sprig of thyme; sprinkle with the cayenne pepper. Place the bird breast side down on a rack in a roasting pan.
Roast the pheasant for 15 minutes at 450 F, then decrease the heat to 375 F and roast for another 20 minutes. Turn the pheasant breast side up and baste with the honey/lemon mixture. Roast for another 30 to 40 minutes,
basting the bird every 10 minutes, and taking care not to allow the glaze to burn.
When the thigh of the pheasant reaches an internal temperature of 160 F, remove to a cutting board and tent loosely with foil. Allow it to rest for 15 to 20 minutes before carving and serving.