Saturday, June 27, 2009

Kitchen Adventures #4 - All Things Easy

Good Morning Humble Readers... I know I promised this post yesterday, but honestly I just didn't really feel like sitting in front of the computer. So, to make up for it, I'm throwing in an extra recipe. I apologize in advance for the lack of pictures... I must remember to start taking pics of the things I make...

So, first up... one of my Beloved's favourite Sunday dinners... great in the winter or on a rainy day.

Lemon Roasted Chicken
  • 1 medium whole chicken, rinsed and patted dry
  • 1 onion (cut into wedges)
  • 1 bulb of garlic (separated into cloves, but with skin on)
  • 2 lemons (one cut into wedges, the other cut in half)
  • zest of one lemon
  • 1-2 tbsp olive oil
  • dried dill weed
Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees. Stuff the cavities in the chicken with the garlic, lemon wedges, and onions. Place in a lightly greased roasting pan. Drizzle olive oil over the breast and legs, and rub into skin gently. Sprinkle lightly with dill. Cover and bake for 1-1.5 hour (use a good meat thermometer to be sure it's done!), basting at least once. When you baste the chicken, use the lemon you cut in half, just be sure to not let the seeds fall in when you squeeze the juice out. You may want to uncover the chicken for the last 10 minutes or so to let the skin crisp up. Remove from the roasting pan, and allow to rest covered for at least 15 minutes (VERY important). Transfer drippings to a small pot, add lemon zest and up to a cup of chicken stock (to add volume). Bring to a boil and thicken using cornstarch or flour to make an incredible gravy. Serve with mashed potatoes and veggies!

Next are a couple of great, quick pasta recipes. I can't take credit for the basic recipes on either of these (the Kr.aft website and Rac.hel Ra.y respectively), but I have tweaked them a bit. These recipes are both super fast and awesome for weeknight cooking.

Chicken Broccoli Pasta
  • 1 chicken breast per person, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 cup broccoli florets per person (fresh or frozn)
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1/2-1 cup chicken stock
  • grill seasoning/season salt to taste (optional)
  • your favourite variety of pasta
  • shredded parmasean cheese
Fill a large pot with water, and place over high heat. In a large non-stick skillet, brown the chicken. You may want to sprinkle the chicken with the grill seasoning. When chicken is browned, add the onion and saute until translucent. Add garlic and reduce heat to low. Add chicken stock to pan. When water comes to a boil, add your pasta. Most pastas take 8 minutes to cook, so when the pasta has been in the water for 5 minutes, add the broccoli. When pasta is cooked, drain well and transfer to a serving bowl. Carefully, pour chicken, onion, and stock mixture over the pasta. Sprinkle with parmasean cheese and stir gently.

Pretend Pasta a la Norma (real Pasta a al Norma has eggplant, but neither of us like it)
  • 1 whole bulb of garlic
  • 2 pints of cherry or grape tomatoes
  • your favourite type of pasta (I like beef or cheese stuffed tortellini for this)
  • fresh basil
  • olive oil
  • salt & pepper
Pre-heat oven to 400. Carefully, cut the top third off the bulb of garlic. Place in the center of a sheet of foil, drizzle with olive oil, wrap well, and roast in the oven for 45 minutes to 1 hour (this can be done a day ahead the garlic kept in a air-tight container in the fridge). Allow to cool. Spread your tomatoes on a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast for 15 minutes, or until tomato skins have burst. While tomatoes are roasting, squeeze the roasted garlic out of it's skins into a bowl, and mash with a fork. When the tomatoes are done, carefully transfer them to the bowl with the mashed garlic. VERY carefully, mash the tomatoes with your potato masher (go slow, they might spit at you!). Add the basil. Combine in a large serving bowl with your cooked pasta.

And last but not least... a side dish that is great summer or winter. It is especially good with grilled brats or pork chops. This recipe is a conglomeration of things I found on various different websites and taste profiles that I was looking for.

German Potato Salad
  • 1-1.5 lb new potatoes (yellow or red)
  • 4 strips of bacon
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1-2 tbsp white sugar (depending on how sweet you like it)
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2 tbsp grainy mustard
  • balsamic vinegar
  • chopped fresh parsley
Cut potatoes into 1 inch pieces. Place in a pot filled with cold water, and boil over medium high heat until fork tender. Drain. In a non-stick skillet, cook the bacon until very crispy. Remove from pan, allow to cool slightly, and crumble into bits. Reserve bacon fat. Add onion to pan and saute until softened. Add cider vinegar, sugar, water, mustard, and a splash of balsamic vinegar. Allow to come to a slow simmer for 5-10 minutes, until reduced. In a bowl, gently combine the potatoes, bacon and dressing. Sprinkle with parsley for garnish and serve warm.

If you have any questions, let me know! Enjoy!


  1. Wow. That lemon chicken sounds really good. I am getting mega hungry right now, but MrBeep promised Pho. I just wanted to let you know that I nominated your awesome self for the Honest Scrap award on my blogidy blog. Don't feel obligated to pick it up, but I wanted to let you know how much I appreciate you sharing your journey with us all. -Traci

  2. Thank you so much for stopping by! And that chicken brocoli bake sounds divine. I may have to give it a go.

    Glad to hear your recovery is going well. Hope you were able to get some rest with all the road destruction going on outside.

    Take care!

  3. Thanks for visiting my blog!

    I'm loving the recipes. Yum!!!

    ICLW #31

  4. I really love it when you post recipes, I cooked your Easter dinner as part of a Mediterranean extravaganza a few weeks ago, was v.nice.

  5. Thanks for your advice! Your recipies are bringing back some great memories of my mom's cooking back when I was little! I will definitely use these!!! Thanks,


  6. Thanks for sharing the recipes, they sound great! I was just thinking I should try something new, I'll have to print these out.

  7. Sounds delicious! Thanks for sharing!

  8. In the Lemon Chicken, if you replace the dill with mint and oregano, you have Greek Chicken! Viola!

  9. Hmm.. pretend pasta sounds yummy!! Will have to give it a try.


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