Archive for May, 2009

Italian Roast Chicken with Potatoes

May 28, 2009

So the other night I accidentally burned my hand on the oven rack while making this meal for my family, so I’m bloging the recipe to get even.  Or something.

Chicken
Potatoes
Olive Oil
Garlic
Italian Seasoning
Oregano
Basil
Lemon Juice

So as usual, we use the boneless, skinless frozen chicken breasts, but you can feel free to use whatever chicken pieces you want to.

While I defrost them in the microwave, I’m cutting the potatoes, one to two per person, depending on appetites.  You can cut them into thick chunks, but I prefer smaller chunks (an average potato gets cut into about 40 pieces).  Smaller chunks cook faster and have more surface area to absorb (and carry into your mouth) the flavors of the spices.  I dump them into a 9×14 pan, drizzle some olive oil over them, garlic (I use minced garlic from a jar for speed and consistency, but you can use chopped garlic in a jar or – gasp – chop it up yourself) – about two forkfuls, then mix thoroughly.  Sprinkle on the three spices (Italian seasoning, oregano and basil, in our case bought in bulk) very liberally, mix again and stick in the oven that you pre-heated to about 425.  (You did remember to preheat the oven, didn’t you?  Heh, neither did I…)

Ok, while the spuds are starting to cook, I start working on the chicken.  Take the defrosted chicken (or, if yours wasn’t frozen to begin with, take the chicken out of the refrigerator) and coat with olive oil and lemon juice.  Basically, I use a dinner plate, create a small shallow lake of lemon juice and olive oil in just about equal proportions, and coat the meat with it by rolling the chicken in the mixture.  Then I take another forkful of the minced garlic and smear it all over the chicken breasts.  Minced garlic from the jar is about the right consistency for this.  If you aren’t using that, you could pierce the chicken and stuff garlic bits into the meat, or tuck it under the skin if you aren’t using skinless chicken.

Pull the pan of potatoes out of the oven after its been in about 10 minutes or so (being careful not to burn yourself on the oven rack, unlike myself), and put the chicken pieces on top of the potatoes.  Pour the remaining olive oil/lemon juice mixture over the chicken (as long as you don’t drown the potatoes) and sprinkle the three seasonings heavily on the chicken.

Put it back into the oven until the chicken has cooked thoroughly.  Half an hour or so, depending on the thickness of the chicken pieces.  Be sure to cut the chicken to check it is done through before serving.

Enjoy!

Mother Medora’s Magical Toffee (“Watch how fast it disappears”)

May 19, 2009

So my first recipe seems to be a success, despite the fact that I invented the dish whole cloth and had to guess at the right proportions to actually present it to you as a recipe you can use.

This is an actual recipie I got from a comic book called Castle Waiting.  I’ve made a few modifications, but its perfection is otherwise not to be messed with….

Stick and a half butter
Half cup brown sugar
Boil for seven minutes

9×9 pan, lined with foil
Butter the foil
A cup and a half of nuts (recipe calls for walnuts, I use cashews, we like them better)
Dump nuts in the pan

Pour melted brown sugar onto the nuts
Sprinkle (or in my case, pour) semi-sweet chocolate chips over the nuts and warm sugar/butter mixture
Cover with another layer of foil, press down

Let it cool.  Break into pieces, watch it disappear!

In reality, I use a 9×14 pan and double up the recipe, more or less.  Make sure the sugar/butter mixture boils briskly, or the toffee comes out a little soft and sticky, if I remember correctly.

For my first trick…

May 13, 2009

Recipe for meal served at the last AustinMoms Book Club meeting –

Satay Chicken with Noodles (serves 4)

Chicken (2-3 chicken breasts)
Lime (1)
Rice Wine Vinegar
Pasta Ribbons (8 oz)
Bottle of Central Market Organics brand Satay Sauce (10 oz)
Cilantro (to taste)
Green Onions (to taste)
Peanuts (Dry Roasted)(to taste)

We use the frozen boneless chicken breasts, two or three (or four) depending on how big they are, how hungry everyone is, and how much leftovers you want to have for lunch the next day…

I partially thaw them (easier to slice partially thawed), slice into bite-sized chunks, then put them into a container with a tight seal with juice from 1/2 of the lime and an equal amount of the vinegar (enough to coat the meat) and shake.

Dump in a pan and heat in the oven until cooked thoroughly (350 for 30 minutes or so?  I cook more by feel than actual hard timelines.)  Probably, skewering them and grilling them over an open flame might yield excellent results, but I haven’t tried that… yet…

Meanwhile, boil the pasta per the directions on the package.  (Or do what I do, ignore the directions and just boil them.)

Chop up the cilantro and green onion pretty finely.  For four, about a third of a cilantro “bunch” is probably pretty good, but cilantro has a strong flavor and is easy to overdo. We love the green onion, so half a “bunch” is a good start for us.

When its all done, dump the pasta in a large bowl.  Add the bottle of sauce (probably any Satay sauce will do, the one I listed is what’s available at our local store).  If you really like the sauce, more is better, so you may want to have a second bottle on hand (just to be sure).  Mix well.  (Doing this first makes the mixing in of the other ingredients easier)

Add in the cilantro, green onion, and the chicken, and mix.  Garnish with crushed peanuts.

Eat!