Friday, February 27, 2009

Recipe: One Pot Roasted Chicken & Potatoes

This is an awesome one pot meal idea. My boyfriend always yells at me for using multiple pots when I cook (in my kitchen, I cook and he cleans!) so I created this specifically to use only one pot. The chicken is first seared in the pan and then finished in the oven with a liquid. I use beer--but you can use broth if you don't want to use alcohol.
A quick note about chicken--I used boned and skinned legs and thighs for this recipe. You can use any chicken cut that you like, but be aware that the cooking and searing times will be lessened if you use a skinless and/or boneless cut. In addition, white meat cooks much faster than dark meat. So, for example, if you were to use boneless, skinless chicken breasts, you would want to cut the searing and cooking times in half. I would sear the breasts for 1-2 minutes, remove to a plate, cook the veggies as directed for 30 min in the oven, and then add the chicken breasts when you add the flour and cook another 30 min.

- 2 legs and 2 thighs, with skin and bones
-Small yellow potatoes, cubed, enough for about 1-1.5 C
-2 medium to large carrots, cut into sticks
-1 TB olive oil
-2 tsp rosemary
-1 tsp thyme
-1 TB crushed garlic
-1/2 C of beer, an ale, I used Newcastle
-1 tsp salt
-pepper to taste
-1 TB flour


Heat oven to 350˚.

You will need a pan that can be used both in the oven and on the stovetop.

Put the olive oil, salt, pepper, and garlic in a dutch oven on the stove. Turn heat to medium and saute the garlic. Add the chicken pieces skin side down and sear for 5-10 minutes. We want te skin to get nice and crispy!
While the chicken is browning, cube the potatoes and the carrots. Add to the chicken, along with the rosemary, thyme and beer. Turn off the heat. Cover the dutch oven and put in the pre-heated oven for 30 minutes.
After 30 minutes, take out and uncover. Add the flour and stir (as much as is possible, we just want to evenly distribute the flour). Put back in the oven uncovered for another 30 minutes. Take out of the oven, check seasonings, plate, and enjoy!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Recipe: Potato and Kale Gratin

What is kale, you ask?
Kale is a leafy green vegetable that, once upon a time, you would have hated but your mother would have made you eat anyway. Now that you're grown, kale is a leafy green vegetable that is sort of strange (what does one make with kale?) but you keep getting it in your produce box because it is in season. So you have to find SOMETHING to do with it because you are not going to let it go to waste (that wouldn't be very responsible of you) and besides, kale is very good for you. It is leafy, and green. That is almost the definition of "good for you".
If you are anything like me, you take veggies that you are unsure of and turn them into gratin. There is no vegetable that a little butter and cheese will not cure.

2 large potatoes, thinly sliced.
1 bunch kale, stems and inner ribs removed and leaves chopped.
1 medium to small onion, thinly sliced
3-4 cloves of garlic
Parmesan cheese

1 TB butter
1 TB flour
1 C milk
Pinch of saffron
Salt and pepper

A quick note about kale--you have to make sure that you wash the leaves very well. Buggies love to hide in kale leaves. For example, I just had a photo shoot in my bed with my kale bunch so I could get the Still Life with Steffany and Kale shot, above, and now there are bugs in my bed. Boyface is going to be upset. Moving on.


Preheat the oven to 375˚

Chop all of the vegetables and set aside. Melt the butter in a saucepan. Add the garlic and onion and saute around 5 min, until the onion is starting to become soft. Add some ground black pepper. Add the kale and the saffron, and cook until the kale has reduced to about half of its original size. While you are waiting for the kale to cook, line the bottom of an 8x8 in pan with the potato slices, reserving enough potatoes for a second layer.
Return to the kale, add the flour, stir, then add the milk and simmer the entire mixture until thick. Turn off the heat. Sprinkle a layer of parmesan cheese over the potatoes, add the greens, then sprinkle another layer of parmesan. Add the final layer of potatoes on top of the greens, then add more parmesan on top of the potatoes. Cover, and put in the oven. If you don't have a lid for the dish you are using, you can use a cookie sheet or some foil.
Bake for 30 minutes covered. After 30 minutes, uncover, and cook for a final 15 minutes. You want the cheese on top to be browned, and the potatoes to be tender.
Remove from oven and let cool before slicing.


Sunday, February 15, 2009

Recipe: Poached Eggs with Dijon Dill Sauce

I've been really lazy lately--not posting anything, and I haven't taken any pictures in awhile, either. I'm going to try to start posting a new recipe every Friday, but I can't promise I'll have a bunch of pictures to match. I try; but it is really difficult to cook and photograph at the same time!

Poached Eggs with Dijon Dill Sauce, for 2

This is something I invented myself last Saturday morning while I was trying to figure out what to make for breakfast.

2 slices of toasted Ciabatta bread, 1.5-2" thick.
2 slices of honey ham
1/2 C. shredded, steamed chard
2 eggs, poached

For sauce:
1/2 TB of butter
1/4 tsp of flour
1/3 C of half and half
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp honey dijon mustard
A bit of dill, around 1/8 tsp, just a few gentle shakes of the spice jar
Salt and pepper

Toast the bread, top with the ham, and put in a 250 degree oven to keep warm. Prepare the chard by removing the stems and center vein and slicing into ribbons. To steam, put in a pot with 1/2" of water and cook until the chard is bright green, around 5 minutes. Put aside.
Poach the eggs. Fill a pot with water, enough so that the cracked eggs will be completely submerged. Add 1 TB of white vinegar to the water. Bring to a boil. While you are waiting for the water to boil, make the sauce (recipe below). Crack the eggs into the boiling water. Reduce the heat to medium and cover. Cook for 2-5 minutes, depending on how well done you like your eggs. I usually cook mine for about 3 minutes, and I like them slightly runny.

Melt the butter in a small saucepan. Once melted, add the flour and stir to combine. Add the half and half and stir again until slightly reduced. Add the garlic powder, dill, and a little bit of pepper. Turn off the heat and add the mustard, stirring until completely combined. Taste and add salt if needed.

To assemble:
Take the bread and ham out of the oven and plate. Divide the chard evenly onto both slices, top with the poached eggs and the sauce, and enjoy!