• ”my
    Award Winning Recipe Blogs - BlogCatalog Blog Directory
  • myTaste.com
  • Proud member of FoodBlogs
  • Advertisements

    Tuscan Chicken & Vegetable Stew

    I have to say from the outset that there is a lot of chopping going on here. A LOT. It was one of the things that almost kept me from trying this recipe.

    You read – I’ll chop …

    My new dear friend, mentor and cruise ship guru, Chloe, was making this one day while we were working at her home. (CHOP, CHOP, CHOP) Her house was filled with the most wonderful aromas. She assured me that this recipe was easy  … especially if you buy a rotisserie chicken. She gave me the recipe and looking at it, I still wasn’t sold. CHOP, CHOP

    Chop this. Chop that. Chop that other thing. Oh, yeah, and chop that thing over there, as well. And not just the Swedish Chef inspired chopping that I usually do … chopping so things are the same size. UGH! Not my forte.

    The next day, while we were working (yes, I spent a tremendous amount of time at her house), we sat and had this stew for lunch. Well, hush my mouth and pass my chopping knife! You could have added 7 more ingredients to this and I would have chopped away. (Well, not really)

    Chop … chop … chop …

    I acquiesced and tried it at home. This makes a HUGE pot of stew – which is good when you hate chopping neatly as much as I do. The Dear one and I had this for dinner one night and had 3 containers for the freezer. Some toasted bread and a green salad and you’re set on a chilly evening.

    So, Chloe … I went on an interview for a job as a tour guide. I was very content to sit on a tour bus with cruise ship passengers riding around Acadia National Park and Mount Desert Island. Tour over, passengers leave, count your tips, done. Chloe and I hit it off instantly. You know, that rare, kindred spirit vibe you find only a few times in your life, if you’re lucky. During this interview, Chloe mentioned that she wanted to retire after the 2017 season. The next thing I knew – and I’m not quite sure what she saw in me, maybe it was my silliness in actually being willing to take the job – she was training me to take over her job when she retired. (chop, chop, chop)

    It was terrifying at first. So much information. So many moving parts. I would sit next to her, day after day, in utter awe at all the information in her head. Her ease with the most difficult people (myself included) was grace personified. Her innate ability to take the most difficult of scenarios, turn it around and make it seem like there was never an issue.

    I am sure many people who began the conversation all fired up had no idea how she managed turn the situation around, or perhaps didn’t even notice that the situation was turned around. She calls this the “please, pass the butter” voice. (I’m still working on that.) It was inspiring.

    But, aside from training me – mentoring really – adopting a bit – for this job of many facets … wait, I’ll explain. Does anyone remember the old Ed Sullivan Show? There was a fella on the show, quite often actually, who had many thin bamboo poles. He would start spinning plates on these poles and run around the stage, watching the plates, jiggling the poles, spinning plates, keeping all the plates up in the air. That, in a nutshell, is my job.

    Sorry, digressed … aside from mentoring me in this difficult transition, she became a dear friend. She and her darling husband Scott (and the dearest Lucy) fed me, wiped my tears, picked me up from the ground when I was at my lowest, taught me, guided me, became my family, laughed with me, drank wine with me at the end of a frustrating day, sighed with me, and guided me through a frantic summer and fall.

    On one of my worst days – I had made at least a billion mistakes – I had stepped away and there were tears streaming down my face. Scott came over, wiped them away and said, “Do you think Chloe has never made a mistake? Chloe has made more mistakes than this. Learn from them. Make new ones. And don’t let anyone see you crying.”

    I am truly grateful to Chloe for so much … more than I can ever possibly express, more than my heart and head can hold at times. It’s that rare type of symbiotic friendship where words are not always necessary, giggles and laughing are ever present, compassion is a given, forgiveness always there, and life is so much richer with them in it.

    Thank you so much, dear woman, for all you’ve done for and given me.

    Anyway, enough mush …

    Every time I make this soup, I think of sweet Chloe and miss the stuffin’ out of her! Hmmm, maybe I should give her a call while I’m chopping freakin’ vegetables …

    I joke about the chopping, but there is a lot. But once that’s done, that’s really it – jut add ingredients and stir. The apple cider vinegar gives it a layer of flavor that brings everything together.

    • 1 tablespoon oil
    • 3 tablespoon butter
    • 1 medium onion, diced
    • 2 cloves garlic, minced
    • 3 cups chopped carrots
    • 3 cups chopped celery
    • 1 large zucchini, chopped
    • 1 sweet red bell pepper, chopped
    • ¼ cup flour
    • 4 cups chicken broth
    • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
    • ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
    • 1 (19 oz.) can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
    • 1 (28 oz.) can diced tomatoes, undrained
    • 1 cup diced cooked chicken breast (I used rotisserie)
    • 1 cup fresh spinach leaves, chopped
    • 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
    • salt and pepper to taste
    • fresh parsley
    • parmesan cheese

    In a large pot over medium high heat, add the butter and olive oil. Add in the onion, garlic, carrots, and celery and saute for about 4-5 minutes, until tender and fragrant.

    Stir in the zucchini and red pepper and cook for another 2 minutes until slightly softened.

    Sprinkle in the flour to create a roux and cook for another minute. Slowly add 1 cup of the chicken broth while continuously stirring until it starts to thicken and comes together. Then slowly pour in the remaining chicken broth.

    Stir in the Italian seasoning, red pepper flakes, beans and entire can of tomatoes.

    Bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Add the chicken and reduce heat to low and simmer uncovered for 25-30 minutes.

    Stir in the spinach and cider vinegar and cook for an additional 3-4 minutes or until everything is heated through.

    Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve hot with fresh parsley and parmesan cheese, if desired.

    Advertisements

    Perfect Roast Chicken

    DSC_1069

    This is so much less about roasted chicken than it is about chicken in general.

    Really, once you’ve roasted one or two chickens, you have the basics down pat and there isn’t much to change aside from herbs and citrus and, perhaps, what you roast around it.

    My fall back recipe – as I cannot for the life of me keep oven temperatures or timing in my head – is an oldie but a goodie, from the Barefoot Contessa Cookbook by Ina Garten. I admit. I’m boring. I stuff a head of garlic that I cut in half horizontally, a lemon that I cut in half, and whatever fresh herbs I have around inside the chicken. I liberally sprinkle with kosher salt and pepper, and Bob’s your uncle. Potatoes, carrots and onions around the chicken. Completely fix it and forget it.

    As most of you know, I am now living in DownEast Maine – and why is it called downeast Maine? Well, I’ll tell ya! Coastal schooners laden with goods for Portland and other Maine ports would leave Boston, Massachusetts keeping their compass headings generally east or northeast, hoping that the prevailing wind from the westerly quadrants would stay behind them. Hence, they sailed downwind in an easterly direction. Hence, they were traveling down east. Things are very different here.

    And you must be wondering why, if I don’t really use a roasted chicken recipe am I prattling on about roasted chickens and living on an island off the coast of Maine.

    El Dia de la Pollo Muerto … the day of the dead chickens.

    A some of our friends once a year purchase chicks. They’re so very cute when they’re little. We would go over and look at them, watch them grow. I would wonder why, unlike the laying birds that are free range, these chicks were penned. Seems you can have either laying chickens or eating chickens.  They raise a bunch of eating chickens. Once they’ve been tended to and loved and fattened up … well, el dia de la pollo muerto.

    HORRIFYING! I know! Growing up in the big city, while you try to be conscientious about how animals are being raised and what they’re being fed, you don’t necessarily give much though to the in between raising and purchasing/eating.

    Around November, the Dear One and some of our friends get together and – to quote the Queens of Hearts – off with their heads.

    I have been invited to attend this gala event. I have politely declined, trying not to make the squelched up face I’m making as I type. ‘They’ say it’s quick and painless (let’s ask the chicken that!) and rather quick to go from live chicken to ready to eat. I don’t know the actual process, but there are beheadings, and contraptions that look like dryers that do the defeathering, and the descriptions just get worse from there.

    My last conversation with our friend MG went something like this –

    MG: You should come. It’s great. Fascinating to watch.
    ME: Are you kidding? No way, no how, no time.
    MG: Oh, it’s not so bad. Quick.
    ME: Well, what time do you start? But DON’T count on it. And I’m not helping
    MG: ME? No, no, no, no. I don’t go. I can’t bear it.

    Seriously, Dude?

    So I stay home. Thinking good thoughts for the poor little chickens giving so much of themselves for my roasting pan, and convince myself that the chickens going to my freezer are all from the grocery store. You see, the one request with these 8-10 incredible chickens that come into the house … no feet, no heads, no feathers, no guts, and please put them in plastic bags so I can pretend there was just a fantastic sale on chickens.

    I do wonder if the laying hens feel guilty. There they are, well fed, out all day playing in the sun with the turkeys and guinea fowl, goats (meanest little creatures ever born), and the pig, Kevin. Why are they safe? Are they to be next? One will never know the mind of a chicken.

    That being said, these are probably the best chickens I have even eaten. Cooked here only for those deserving, chosen few.

    This past go round, I was honored with a big bag of chicken livers and skin … pate and cracklings … more no that later.

    • 1 (5 to 6 pound) roasting chicken
    • Kosher salt
    • Freshly ground black pepper
    • 1 large bunch fresh thyme, plus 20 sprigs
    • 1 lemon, halved
    • 1 head garlic, cut in half crosswise
    • 2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter, melted
    • 1 large yellow onion, thickly sliced
    • 4 carrots cut into 2-inch chunks
    • 1 bulb of fennel, tops removed, and cut into wedges
    • Olive oil

    NOTE: I skip the melted butter, use whatever fresh herbs I have around, and substitute potatoes for the fennel.

    Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

    Remove the chicken giblets. Rinse the chicken inside and out. Remove any excess fat and leftover pin feathers and pat the outside dry. Liberally salt and pepper the inside of the chicken. Stuff the cavity with the bunch of thyme, both halves of lemon, and all the garlic. Brush the outside of the chicken with the butter and sprinkle again with salt and pepper. Tie the legs together with kitchen string and tuck the wing tips under the body of the chicken. Place the onions, carrots, and fennel in a roasting pan. Toss with salt, pepper, 20 sprigs of thyme, and olive oil. Spread around the bottom of the roasting pan and place the chicken on top.

    Roast the chicken for 1 1/2 hours, or until the juices run clear when you cut between a leg and thigh. Remove the chicken and vegetables to a platter and cover with aluminum foil for about 20 minutes. Slice the chicken onto a platter and serve it with the vegetables.

    Baked Buffalo Chicken Taquitos

    Baked

    All the back and forth in my life, coupled with the Dear One’s travels, make my ability to blog … well, hampered, to say the least.

    This recipe was one I made with my brother, Nick, for a Super Bowl party he was attending. You may remember the other recipe we made together, Buffalo Chicken Bites. Snarky comments aside, the chicken bites were fab.

    These were good, but I think if they were to be made again, I would change these slightly.

    First, canned chicken? It was okay, but if you’re going to cheat, you may as well buy a rotisserie chicken. A poached chicken breast would be best.

    Smaller tortillas, more blue cheese, more hot sauce, maybe some chopped celery.

    But, changes aside, these were easy, taste great, and are good for a Super Bowl party when grab and go food is called for!

    • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
    • 1/8 C buffalo sauce
    • 1 C shredded Monterey jack cheese
    • 1/8 C blue cheese crumbles
    • 1 can (12.5-ounce) Swanson® Premium Chunk Chicken Breast in Water, drained
    • 8 8-inch flour tortillas
    • coarse Kosher salt

    Preheat the oven to 350°F.

    Filling

    In a bowl, combine the cream cheese and buffalo sauce. Mix well. Stir in the Monterey jack cheese, blue cheese crumbles and chicken; mix well.

    Stuffed

    Place 2-3 tablespoons of the mixture down the center of each tortilla and roll up. If needed, microwave the tortillas for about 30 seconds to make them soft and pliable enough to roll. Place on a baking sheet. Spray the taquitos with cooking spray, then sprinkle with coarse salt.

    Rolling

    Bake in the preheated oven for 17-20 minutes, or until golden brown. Serve with blue cheese dressing for dipping, if desired.

    Ready to Bake

    NOTE: These definitely needed more of a kick. Maybe a little more buffalo sauce. Perhaps a few dashes of hot sauce. Maybe a bit more blue cheese. And while I like the 8″ tortilla, I really think the smaller ones would be better.  They would be crisper. And as my pal Sandra would say … I like crunchy!

    Iron Skillet Roasted Chicken with White Beans and Tomatoes

    Ready to serve

    After what seemed like forever, I left New York (again) and went home to Maine (again). The next days were filled with errands, getting the house settled before the Dear One’s return, and breakfast and giggling with my girlfriends.

    But in the evening, I was home alone, and then suddenly you realize just how big the house is and how empty, and you want to have people around you, so then the conversations went something like this …

    Thank you so much for watching the house and picking me up and picking up the mail and packages and turning up the heat. Wanna come for dinner? Sure, but I have a house guest. Bring him. The more the merrier.

    Hey, I’m back in town. Wanna come over for dinner? Sure!

    Okay, dinner for 2 is now dinner for 4. I can do that. Same recipe, just no leftovers.

    Uh, oh, the phone is ringing … we’re going out for dinner, do you want to come. Sorry, can’t, company coming. Oh, well, I’d much rather come to your house. Sure, come on over. GREAT! But I have a house guest. Bring her along.

    Dinner for 2 turned into dinner for 4 and then into dinner for 6. Yipes! Now what!? I trolled through the recipes I have been dying to try and found this recipe that I had first seen in Relish Magazine and then in  Y’all Come Over by Patsy Caldwell and Amy Lyles Wilson. One skillet. Perfect. Lots of great ingredients. Fab! Seriously simple and quick to make. Even better! Turned out to be really easy to double, just switching from a 10″ cast iron skillet to a 15″ cast iron skillet.

    (Heard around the dinner table … hmmm, yum, this is so good. So glad you’re back home. We missed you. Does M know you’re having 4 men over for dinner while he’s away? Answers: thank you, I am too, and me you, and OF COURSE he knows. HEAVY SIGH!)

    As it turns out it was a good thing I fed them all BEFORE the insanity started! See, it seems I live my life like Lucy Riccardo. No, really. Stop giggling, please, I have so little dignity left.

    This group of fellows and my dear friend Lisa were my saviors for the week and a half I was home alone. There were locked doors and dog doors (and snow) and pterodactyls (and snow) and more locked doors and broken windows that needed to be removed and replaced (and snow) and lost spare tires and snow and cancelled flights because of snow and more cancelled flights (can you believe more snow in Maine) and yet more cancelled flights (you know the word that fits here) and a wee bit of emotional upheaval.

    While I realize I have kept them all VERY entertained (when one of them now hears my voice on the phone, he laughs, asks if I’m okay, and then ‘so what did you do’), they kept me very entertained and feeling loved and cared for during my first time home alone trial by fire.

    Give this dish a whirl … you will be making it for company again and again!

    • 1/4 pound bacon, cooked and crumbled (reserve drippings)
    • 1 (3-pound) chicken, cut into serving pieces
    • 1 1/2 t salt, divided
    • 1/2 t black pepper
    • 1/2 C thinly sliced onion
    • 1 can (14-oz) stewed tomatoes
    • 1 t crushed red pepper
    • 2 cans (15-oz) Great Northern beans, drained

    NOTE: I sort of increased this to 1 1/2 of the original above recipe, but using 3 cans of beans and two cans of the tomatoes and 4 1/2 pounds of chicken thighs.

    Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

    Bacon

    Place the bacon drippings in a 10-inch cast-iron skillet over medium heat.

    NOTE: I made the bacon in the skillet I used to make the whole dish and just left the drippings in the skillet.

    Dry the chicken pieces with a paper towel, and season with 1 teaspoon salt and black pepper. Brown the chicken in the bacon drippings, turning once, until the skin is golden brown. Remove the chicken to a plate and keep warm.

    Pour off all but 2 tablespoons of the fat and stir in the onions. Cook until lightly browned, about 5 minutes, scraping up any brown bits.

    Adding tomatoes

    Add the tomatoes, crushed red pepper, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cook uncovered for about 4 minutes or until the juices are thickened. Add the reserved bacon and the beans. Top with the browned chicken pieces, skin side up. Place skillet in the oven and bake uncovered for 40 to 45 minutes.

    Some bread to sop up the sauce, a salad, and you are done!

    Buffalo Chicken Bites

    Ready to Serve

    I’m always way behind the times on my blog. You know, a day late and a dollar short. For days and days before the Super Bowl there were blog posts of fabulous recipes to make for the Super Bowl.  So, you make them, you blog about them, and then make them AGAIN? As a reader of blogs, it’s great for ideas. As a blogger myself …

    I can’t. I just can’t make things for an occasion so far in advance of the day just so I can blog about them (well, with the exception of Valentine’s Day which you will see this Sunday! It needed to be tried in advance to make sure it worked!). I’m much more of a ‘see-how-much-fun-I-had’ and ‘look-at-all-the-yummies-I-made’ kinda gal.

    So it goes with this post.

    I’m on the sofa. In my pjs. Dying. Yes, DYING. I have a cold. Someone, and I won’t mention who, has been sneezing on me, and sniffling on me, and I’m trying my best not to give in to this malaise because I am just a couple of days away from heading home again.

    My brother friend Nick Rick (he’s very protective of his privacy and image, you see) comes to me, laptop in hand, and asks ‘do you think these would be difficult to make’? I says, “Aside from the dough part, no.’ And, no, we don’t have the equipment to make the dough in a machine. And, yes, I can figure out how to do it by hand. And how about these? Yes, we can do those as well. So off we went to the store to pick up a few ingredients needed. This recipe was adapted from my favorite foodie magazine (oh, we miss you so) Gourmet.

    These were a snap to put together (even whilst dying), even using a rolling pin (my downfall in life), and in an ill-equipped kitchen! Two bites of anything is perfect, in my honest opinion. Serve some blue cheese dressing or buffalo sauce for dipping and you’re set for the big game!

    Truthfully, with the exception of the dough, he did all the work, baked them off, and went on merrily to a Super Bowl Party!

    The recipe has the instructions for a stand mixer. I added what I did by hand under each step in my notes.

    • 1 C finely diced cooked chicken breast
    • 1/2 C crumbled blue cheese
    • 2 T shredded cheddar cheese
    • 1/4 C hot sauce
    • 4 T unsalted butter, melted and cooled
    • 2 1/4 t rapid rise dry yeast
    • 2 T brown sugar
    • 1 C warm milk
    • 2 1/2 C flour

    NOTE: Could you use a rotisserie chicken? Yes. Next time I probably would. You could (GASP!) use some pre-made bread dough. But this dough came together quickly and easily, even by hand and was really lovely and pillowy and perfect, so the extra time was well worth it.

    Stuffing

    To make the buffalo chicken mixture, in a small bowl, combine the chicken, blue cheese, cheddar cheese, melted butter and hot sauce; set aside.

    NOTE: We made the stuffing the night before and stuck it in the fridge. While making the dough, took it out of the fridge and come to room temperature.

    Making dough

    Heat the milk and add the 2 tablespoons brown sugar; stir the brown sugar into warm milk until dissolved; place in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook.

    NOTE: In doing this by hand, after I dissolved the yeast in the milk, I sprinkled the yeast on top and let it bloom, then went on to add the flour.

    Add 2 1/2 cups flour and yeast to the stand mixer and mix on low speed until a soft dough forms, adding up to 1/2 cup additional flour, a little at a time, if necessary. Allow the dough to knead in the stand mixer for 5-7 minutes.

    NOTE: I added the the flour 1/2 cup at a time, starting with a wooden spoon and then my hands. From here, I followed the directions in the original recipe.

    Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface and gently knead a few times to form a smooth ball. Place dough into a clean bowl that’s been lightly oiled. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a draft-free place at warm room temperature until doubled and bubbles appear on surface, about 2 hours.

    Preheat oven to 400°F with rack in the middle of the oven. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside.

    NOTE: So, if there’s no kitchen aide, you know there’s no parchment paper. We sprayed the baking sheet with cooking spray and it was fine, just a little messier on the clean up, which I didn’t do!

    Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface and cut into 4 equal pieces. Lightly dust your hands with flour, then gently roll and stretch 1 piece of dough to form a 12-inch-long rope. Flatten dough and arrange so a long side is nearest you, then roll out to a roughly 12- by 4-inch rectangle with a lightly floured rolling pin.

    Cutting

    NOTE: Looks like the drawing from The Little Prince … you know, the snake that swallowed the elephant?

    Gently press one fourth of buffalo chicken mixture into lower third of rectangle, leaving a 1/2-inch border along bottom edge. Stretch bottom edge of dough up over filling and press tightly to seal, then roll up as tightly as possible to form a rope.

    NOTE: I cut the excess dough off in the front and on the ends.

    Cut rope into 12 pieces and transfer to a sheet pan. Make 3 more ropes with remaining dough, filling and cut into pieces, transferring to sheet pans. Let rest at room temperature, uncovered, 30 minutes (dough will rise slightly).

    NOTE: Okay, so I didn’t see the let them rest for 30 minutes until JUST NOW. But they were fine and rose while baking.

    Ready to bake

    Bake buffalo chicken bites in the preheated oven for 5-7 minutes or until the tops are lightly browned. Remove from oven (some cheese may have melted out.) and brush tops with melted butter before serving (optional).

    Veggie Pot Pie

    Veggie Baked
    Cooking. It’s a fine dance, I tell you, and not an easy one.
    In this house there are two meat eaters, one who only eats chicken, and one who eats no meat at all. How do you make ONE meal and make sure no one is horrified and everyone is satisfied? I really, really refuse to become one of those people who makes two, perhaps three, dinners to cater to everyone’s dietary choices.
    I came across this recipe for veggie pot pie and knew I had at least one solution … that is if everyone liked it!
    I  made the filling in one large skillet, poured it into two baking dishes and added poached chicken to one baking dish, then made one and a half of the biscuit topping and plunked them both in the oven.
    It was a hit! Seconds were taken, even! Leftovers were taken for lunch! Hooooooray! I have one gret cold night, comfy, easy dinner now in my arsenal.
    Yes, there’s a lot of chopping, but I have a great helper in the kitchen. Once the chopping is done, this dish comes together really quickly.
    • 2 carrots, diced
    • 1/2 white or yellow onion, diced
    • 2 celery stalks, diced
    • 2 large cloves garlic, minced
    • 2 russet potatoes, peeled and diced
    • 1/4 C flour
    • 1 C vegetable broth
    • 1/2 C cream
    • 1/2 C milk
    • 1 C frozen peas
    • salt and pepper
    • oil
    • 1 T white vinegar
    • 2 T chopped fresh chives
    • 2 T chopped fresh parsley

    NOTE: One request was made for the next time (yes, they want this one again, SCORE!) less peas. A cup sort of overwhelmed the rest of the vegetables. I poached three boneless, skinless chicken thighs, and then chopped them into bite-sized pieces before adding them to the vegetables. Three thighs was plenty for the 3/4 of the recipe that was dedicated to chicken. Also, I chopped up extra parsley and chives to press into the biscuit dough.

    Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

    Veggie Chopped Veg

    Heat 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil in a Dutch oven on your stove top. Add the diced onion, carrots, celery and garlic and cook until translucent, about five minutes.

    NOTE: Because I was splitting this between two baking dishes, I ditched the Dutch oven idea and went for a large skillet. But there’s a LOT of filling so you really need a LARGE skillet.

    After the veggies are translucent, add the diced potatoes. Cook for 2-3 minutes and sprinkle in the 1/4 cup of flour, stirring, making sure you coat everything with flour. Cook for another 1-2 minutes.

    Next, slowly add the broth, cream and milk, stirring as you go. Salt and pepper liberally.

    NOTE: Just when you think you’ve added enough salt and pepper, add more! Really. I thought I had added too much and in actuality, it needed more than what I thought was a ridiculous amount.

    Bring to a simmer. Simmer for about five minutes until the mixture has begun to thicken. Pull the skillet off the heat and stir in the chopped herbs, vinegar and peas.

    While the veggie mixture is bubbling, make the crust.

    NOTE: This seemed like an awful lot of peas, next time I’ll cut this back to maybe to a scant 3/4 cup.

    FOR THE BISCUIT CRUST:

    • 1 C all-purpose flour
    • 2 T shortening
    • 1/2 T baking powder
    • 6 T milk
    • 1/2 t salt

    NOTE: The above measurements are for the straight veggie pot pie. I mixed up one and a half of these to cover both baking dishes.

    Stir together the flour, baking powder and salt.

    Use a fork to cut in the shortening until the flour forms little crumbs. Use your fingers to mix in the milk as you pour it in slowly – the dough should not be sticky, so go easy. If it is sticky, add a little more flour.

    NOTE: Being in a hurry, I put everything into the bowl. Sigh. So the biscuit on the large pie was a little tough. Making the second one, I followed the instructions and it was perfect. And don’t over work it, it gets tough! I had extra chives and parsley, so when I rolled out the dough, I rolled the herbs into the biscuit.

    Roll the biscuit dough into a disc roughly the size of your Dutch oven (or baking dish) and place it on top. You don’t want this to cover the entire surface, leave a little space around the edges for venting.

    Place in the oven with no lid and bake for 30 minutes, or until the biscuit top is done.

    Veggie Ready to Serve

    Basque Chicken

    Ready

    I am loving the recipes from Relish Magazine more and more all the time. I wanted something to use as a main dish with the Baked Orzo with Vegetables. You know, something with similar ingredients and flavors so the meal sort of melded, but also so that ingredients for three recipes could be chopped once and spread across all the dishes. This worked perfectly!

    I must admit that at first I was a little concerned about the smoked paprika! Rather, the amount of smoked paprika – especially after it went up my nose! But the smoked paprika really mellowed in the oven and was delicious with the roasted peppers and tomatoes.

    This was really easy to put together and makes a simple, go to company dish. Add to it a salad, some roasted potatoes or orzo, and bread and you have a feast on your hands!

    When I added more chicken the second night, I started it in a pan on top of the stove. I think I liked this better and will do this in the future. It keeps the skin a  little crisper, which I prefer. Though, due to so many dishes being cooked at the same time and at varying degrees of temperature, the correct, higher temp may have been enough to crisp the skin up. We may need to try this again to be sure.

    • 2 yellow onions, thinly sliced
    • 6 garlic, thinly sliced
    • 3 to 4 pounds chicken breasts, with bone and skin
    • 1 t salt
    • 1 t coarsely ground black pepper
    • 2 T olive oil
    • 1 T Spanish smoked paprika
    • 3 to 4 tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped
    • 1 (12-ounce) jar roasted red peppers, sliced or 2 roasted red peppers
    • 1 C reduced-sodium chicken broth

    NOTE: I did not peel the tomatoes, nope, wasn’t gonna do it. I did take the seeds out. There was enough liquid in the dish without adding more. I also used only chicken thighs.

    Preheat oven to 425F.

    Garlic and onions

    Spread onions and garlic evenly in the bottom of a large shallow roasting pan. Cut each chicken breast in half. Sprinkle chicken pieces on both sides with salt and pepper. Place chicken, skin side up, in pan.

    NOTE: We had people over two nights in a row. Same dinner, twice (how easy is that). I did want more chicken to add into all the saucy goodness from the night before, so sprinkled salt and pepper and smoked paprika over the chicken and added the chicken to a cast iron skillet, with some onion and garlic, skin side down, until skin was nice and brown, flipped them over and plunged them into the oven for 40 minutes, let the new chicken cool a bit and the old chicken come to room temperature, and then added the old chicken, the new chicken and all the sauce into a baking dish to warm up.

    Ready to bake

    Drizzle with olive oil; sprinkle with paprika. Bake 20 minutes.

    Add tomatoes, red peppers and broth. Continue baking 35 to 40 minutes, basting chicken occasionally, until chicken juices run clear.