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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!

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.

Puerco Pibil #SundaySupper #MovieInspiredRecipes

Ready to serve

After watching the Johnny Depp movie Once Upon a Time in Mexico, my son became obsessed with Puerco Pibil. Puerco Pibil was the favorite dish of Sands, Johnny Depp’s character, so much so that he murders any cook who makes it too well.

After watching the movie a number of times and my son asking and asking for me to create this dish for him, I realized that on on the DVD the director, Robert Rodriguez, provides a recipe and video instruction on how to cook the dish. It’s located in the bonus features.

First time I made this, couldn’t find the banana leaves, used the wrong cut of pork, was so spicy that there were scorched throats all around the table … but it is requested again and again, and I have changed it a bit to suit the folks eating – unless of course you have a table of fire breathing dragons and then the original would suit you just fine!

  • 5 pounds pork butt, cut into 2 inch cubes
  • 5 T annato seeds
  • 2 t cumin seeds
  • 1 T whole black pepper
  • 1/2 t whole cloves
  • 8 whole allspice berries
  • 2 habanero Peppers, fresh or dried, cleaned and minced (optional)
  • 1/2 C orange juice
  • 1/2 C white vinegar
  • 8 garlic cloves
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 5 lemons
  • 1 shot of tequila
  • banana leaves (optional)

Blend the cleaned and chopped habanero peppers with the orange juice, vinegar, garlic and salt.

Mix the dry spices with the liquid.

Add the juice of 5 lemons and a nice splash of tequila.

Place the cubed pork butt in a large zip lock bag and add the marinade. Soak 4-6 hours, in refrigerator, turning several times.

Line (8×13) baking pan with banana leaves. Pour in pork along with the marinade. Cover with Banana leaves and seal the pan with foil. Bake in a 325 F degree oven for 4 hours.

Spices

Grind the annato seeds, cumin seeds, whole peppercorns, whole cloves, and whole allspice in a spice or coffee grinder, or use a mortar and pestle.

NOTE: I have a coffee grinder that’s dedicated to grinding spices. I use rice or bread to clean it out in between uses so there’s very little residue to flavor whatever you may grind next.

Blend the cleaned and chopped habanero peppers with the orange juice, vinegar, garlic and salt.

Peppers

NOTE: I used one habanero and one jalapeno. It was still spicy, but much tamer than the first time.

Add the dry spices to the liquid and add the juice of 5 lemons and a nice splash of tequila.

Pork

Place the cubed pork butt in a large zip lock bag and add the marinade. Let it sit for 4-6 hours, in refrigerator, turning several times.

Ready to cook

Line (8×13) baking pan with banana leaves. Pour in pork along with the marinade. Cover with Banana leaves and seal the pan with foil. Bake in a 325 F degree oven for 4 hours.

NOTE: I was lucky enough to find banana leaves in one of the supermarkets near me. If you can’t find them, line the roasting pan with foil and then parchment paper – OH! or use Martha Wrap, foil and parchment in one (Reynolds Wrap makes it as well)!

Serve over a bed of white or Spanish rice, extra limes, lots of napkins, and beer – plenty of beer!

Enjoy!!!

NOTE: BTW, this was my first participation in the Sunday Supper Movement, hosted this week by Heather over at Girlichef. This week’s theme is inspiration from a favorite food movie scene. I owe a big thanks to my friend Lizzie from That Skinny Chick Can Bake. Thank you for mentoring me through this first foray into the Sunday Supper Movement! There are a lot of great participants in the Sunday Supper Movement, stop by their movie scene inspired dishes and have a look!

NOW SHOWING:

Toast (bready things)

No Reservations (soups and salads)

Today’s Special (fish, chicken, beef, and pork)

Forks Over Knives (veggie-heavy dishes and sides)

Udon (pasta and noodles)

Just Desserts (sweet treats)

Bottle Shock (beverages)

 

Turkey Vegetable Chili

Turkey Vegetable Chili

It’s cold.

I’m sick.

Bubonic plague sick.

Oh, no, not the flu. The flu would be too simple. Here’s some drugs, get some sleep, you’ll be better.

I have the energy sapping, can’t keep your eyes open, will not go away virus that is sweeping the nation.

I needed to make something. Something warm. Something healthy. Something that freezes well.

The solution, this wonderful one-pot turkey vegetable chili. Filled with veggies and turkey. It’s hearty without being too much. Best part, it’s a Weight Watcher’s recipe and each one cup serving is only ONE POINT.  Okay, I made my Grandmother’s Biscuits to go with, so it’s no longer one point, but I’m ill and can afford the extra calories, and besides, I’m shooting for filling, healthy and yummy, not diet conscious.

There’s a lot of energy sapping chopping here, but the end result is totally worth it!

  • 10 oz. extra lean ground turkey
  • 1 medium onion diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 2 28 oz cans diced tomatoes (I use mexican style w/ green chiles)
  • 2 medium zucchini – diced
  • 2 medium yellow squash diced
  • 15 oz can black beans – rinsed & drained
  • 2 cans fat free low sodium beef broth
  • 4 celery stalks diced
  • 1 or 2 packages dry chili seasoning or to taste

NOTE: This is the original recipe. I usually use low sodium chicken broth. I use one packet of the chili seasoning.

Ingredients

Saute turkey, pepper, and onion in the bottom of a large stock pot until browned.

Into the pot

Add remaining ingredients and simmer over medium heat until veggies are tender (about 30 minutes).

Cooking

I like to simmer mine for a while longer to help the flavors blend, but it’s definitely not necessary.

Makes approximately 20, one cup servings.

NOTE: When I freeze tis I freeze it in ziploc bags, laying flat, in both one and two cup portions.

Bourbon Apple Pork Chops

So … today’s posting is a tale of woe …

(It’s always something, isn’t it!?)

I normally do my grocery shopping for the week on Sunday. I pick my recipes, see what’s on sale, clip my coupons, gather my bags, and toddle off. I don’t give much thought to what I am going to cook on what night.

UNTIL …

Yesterday, I turn on the oven to bake some lovely orange roughy … Everything ready to go into my preheated oven … that is STONE COLD. Open the oven, thought of sticking my head in, but that wouldn’t really be a solution, where’s the pilot light, the pilot light … no pilot light. Some sort of new fangled electronic ignition that, according to my Google search, breaks constantly.

No oven. F*^K.

The fish was easy. The recipe for the pork chops, not so easy.

And along came my friends at Relish Magazine and Sara Foster’s Southern Kitchen. One pot, on the stove, fabulous and quick! All my favorite things! Served with egg noodles and green beans, dinner was ready before anyone could complain they were hungry!

  • 4  (8-ounce) bone-in pork chops, about 1-inch thick (about 2 pounds)
  • 2  teaspoons sea salt, divided
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2  fresh thyme leaves, divided
  • 1  tablespoon olive oil
  • 2  tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1  shallot, minced (1 to 2 tablespoons)
  • 1  tart apple, such as Granny Smith, Braeburn or Pippin, peeled, cored and sliced 1/4-inch thick
  • 1/2  cup applesauce
  • 1  cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 or 3 T Bourbon (optional)

Rinse, pat dry and sprinkle both sides with 1/2 teaspoon salt, pepper and 1 tablespoon thyme, pressing lightly so seasonings adhere.

Heat oil in a large cast-iron skillet over medium heat until sizzling hot. Add meat and cook 5 to 6 minutes per side, turning only once, to brown. Transfer to a platter and cover loosely to keep warm.

Add butter to pan and heat until foamy. Add shallot and thyme and cook, stirring, until tender, about 3 minutes.Add apple, applesauce, broth and ½ teaspoon salt and pepper to skillet scraping up browned bits. Cook, stirring, until apple is tender and sauce reduces slightly, 3 to 4 minutes.

NOTE: While they suggest to add a glug or so of Bourbon, they didn’t say where, so I punted and added it here!

Return meat, along with any juices that have collected at the bottom of the plate, to pan and cook just until thoroughly heated, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a platter or individual plates and serve warm with sauce and apples spooned over the chops.

NOTE: This was really simple to pull together and really yummy. I thought there would be too much liquid, so I let it bubble away a little bit longer to reduce it more and thicken up.

Chicken with Tomato Herb Pan Sauce

I don’t know about you, but I have PILES of cooking magazines EVERYwhere in my house.

Every once in a while I feel the need to purge the piles. I spend hours upon hours pouring through them, tearing out recipes that I have EVERY intention of making. HA!

These torn out pages then become piles of their own. And then these piles begin to get unwieldy

The next step becomes going through these piles and piles of torn out recipes. I sit there and look at some of these pages thinking to myself, ‘What the heck were you thinking, girl? You are NEVER going to make this!’

Going through these pile I found this recipe for Chicken with Tomato Herb Pan Sauce from an issue of Bon Appetit in July 2011. Yes, it’s been at least that long since I last weeded through the piles!

This was delicious and quick and super easy. Lots of flavor packed into the oregano butter that finds its way into the tomatoes and chicken. I served this with orzo that I saved a tiny bit of the oregano butter to mix into.

Chicken:

  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, butterflied and halved (4 halves total)
  • Salt and pepper
  • ¾ cup flour

For the sauce:

  • 2 tbsp. unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1½ tsp. fresh oregano, minced
  • ½ tsp. sweet paprika
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 tsp. olive oil
  • 2 cups cherry or grape tomatoes (about 12 oz.)
  • 1/3 cup dry white wine or chicken broth
  • 1 tbsp. minced fresh parsley

Season both sides of the chicken breasts with salt and pepper. Lightly dredge both sides of the chicken in the flour, shaking off the excess. Set aside.

In a small bowl, combine the butter, garlic, oregano, and paprika. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

In a large skillet over medium-high heat, melt 1 tablespoon of the oregano butter with the olive oil. Place the chicken breast halves in the skillet and cook until golden brown on each side and cooked through, about 3-4 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate, cover loosely with foil, and set aside.

Increase the heat to high and add the tomatoes to the skillet. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes begin to char and burst, about 5 minutes. Add the remaining butter mixture to the pan.

Crush the tomatoes slightly to release their juices and continue stirring until the butter is melted. Add the wine or broth to the pan, scraping the bottom to loosen the browned bits. Cook for a minute more until well blended.

Slice the chicken, transfer to serving plates, and top with the pan sauce. Sprinkle with parsley and serve.

NOTE: Nothing to change! Totally WOW! Really quick and easy to put together. Great for a mid-week, guests coming over dinner.

Turkey Chops with Mushrooms

Most of you who follow me regularly know about Black Thursday – as we are fortunate enough to still jokingly call it – that was the day we began our paltry poultry journey.  Those of us who are already heart healthy in my house are not as excited about this continuing turn over to life as non-red meat eaters (mostly).

Seems, though, one of us has been cheating on his diet a bit and numbers are a teensy bit higher than they had been.  FOUR WORDS – NOT. ON. MY. WATCH. So we (read I) need to pull the reins a little tighter on what we’re (haha I’m) cooking and he’s eating.

We’ve learned in this process – pork is NOT the other white meat no matter what the pork council tells you; there is MORE sodium in turkey sausage than in pork sausage – 590 mg per LINK (that fact could make your blood pressure go up on its own!); the BOy is still spitting feathers; and turkey and chicken now come in all sorts of interesting cuts, shapes and sizes.

I seem to spend an unending amount of time in the turkey and chicken section of my supermarket. I stand there – staring – hoping for some inspiration. Hoping perhaps one of the items will jump off the shelf, into my cart and tell me how to prepare it. Truth be told, if that were to happen, after I was released from the funny farm, I would never be able to eat poultry again. As it is, I cannot stand chicken or turkey legs. I will not even explain why, it will keep you from eating them as well.

Oh, and please don’t suggest asking my darling husband – Mr. Ambiguous – what he’d like. His answer is likely to be along these lines, “Well, whatever you make would be fine. Turkey would be good. Chicken would be good. Either one would be good.” And then he goes into his Forrest Gump answer, “You could grill it, or saute it, or make soup, or roast it, maybe cutlets, or a whole chicken, which you could flat roast or leave whole, or …” And I just stand there staring at him, open mouthed, thinking to myself, you are the most aggravating human on the planet, and then remembering I go through all of this poultry madness because we were so lucky that he (well, we actually) survived his heart attack.

On one of these shopping trips, staring into poultry cases, I noticed Shady Brook Farms Turkey Chops. These are a cross section cut from the breast. They are the size and thickness of a boneless loin pork chop and can easily fool husbands and sons. I had to try them.

But what to do with them?

  • 1 package of Shady Brook Farms Turkey Chops
  • flour for dredging
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1 T butter
  • 8 oz. package of sliced white mushrooms
  • 1 C chicken stock

NOTE: There are 4 chops in a package. You can sub boneless loin pork chops or chicken cutlets. If you like to slice your own mushrooms then you need a 10 oz. package of white mushrooms. You can make the 1 cup of chicken stock half white wine and half stock, if you’d like.

Season flour with salt and pepper.  Dredge turkey chops in flour shaking off excess.

NOTE: Sometimes I throw a little dried thyme in there.

Heat a non-stick skillet over medium high heat. Spray skillet with cooking spray or add a little bit of olive oil. Add turkey chops. Cook for 3 or 4 minutes and turn. Cook another 3 or 4 minutes. Once done, remove from pan. Cover plate with foil to keep warm.

NOTE: You want these to be golden brown, but they go from done to dry quickly!

Add the tablespoon of butter to the pan. Once melted, add the mushrooms and saute for 4 or 5 minutes until they start to turn golden.

NOTE: I try not to add extra salt here, but you certainly can. Sometimes I sprinkle a little dried thyme here as well.

Once the mushrooms are cooked, add the chicken stock and lemon juice and let simmer for 4 or 5 minutes. Add turkey chops back into pan to just heat.

This recipe serves 4 people or 2 REALLY hungry people. Divide turkey chops among plates, cover with mushrooms, spooning sauce over top.

I usuallt serve this with orzo or brown rice and steamed green beans.