Sunday Baked Chicken Supper

Sunday Roast Chicken - served

Hearty, delicious and homey – Sunday Baked Chicken Supper

When I was a child, nearly every Sunday, my Grandma made a baked chicken. It just wasn’t Sunday without those delicious smells coming from the kitchen and that pageantry of presenting that big meal. As an adult, Sundays felt a little incomplete, or not really official, if I didn’t make a baked chicken. With four children, the craziness of the weekend and just inadequate planning on my part (you do have to plan for making a baked chicken), that tradition fell by the wayside. But on a chilly weekend recently, I just had a hankering and had to make a nice chicken dinner for the family. Drawing on a variety of recipes and methods I’ve collected over the years, I came up with an easy, straightforward recipe I think you’ll love.

Sunday Roast Chicken - herbs and garlic

Herbs, garlic cloves and some lemon, inside the cavity of the chicken, will lend flavor as it bakes.

Sunday Baked Chicken Supper
Serves 6 or 4 with leftovers

Ingredients:
1 5-7 pound chicken, whole
1 onion, sliced
The cloves of one head of garlic, peeled
Roasting veggies of your choice including potatoes, carrots, beats, turnips, parsnips, celery cut into big chunks
Fresh herbs of choice but thyme and rosemary were used in this recipe
1/2 a lemon, cut in half
1 TBS butter, melted
Olive oil
1 cup chicken broth
1-2 TBS flour
Salt & Pepper

Sunday Roast Chicken - raw veggies

We used turnips, beats, carrots, onion and garlic here. But you could use other root veggies of your choice like potatoes, parsnips and rutabagas. See below for why I did not cook the vegetables in the same pan as the chicken (besides space).

Method:
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

1. Make sure you’ve taken out the bag of gizzards and whatnot (I call it the “bag of yuck”) from inside the chicken. Not every chicken comes this way but I didn’t check once and accidentally baked the bag right in. Don’t make that mistake!

2. Place 1/2 of the sliced onion on the bottom of your roasting pan to create a bit of a bed for the chicken. Place the other 1/2 of the onion in a separate roasting pan that will hold the vegetables (more on that in a moment).

3. Pat the chicken dry with a paper towel. Place the fresh herbs and lemon pieces inside the bird. Brush the melted butter over the chicken, then salt and pepper the bird.

4. Place your veggies of choice in the second roasting pan. I keep the veggies separate from the chicken so that they don’t come in contact with the juices of the chicken. While the chicken and the vegetables can definitely benefit from the flavor the other yields, I like to make extra vegetables and then use them with other dishes later in the week. Because they didn’t touch the chicken, they have a longer “shelf-life” and will also go better with other dishes, like beef or pork. The only time I absolutely cook chicken and veggies together is in my Go-To One Pot Chicken and Peppers recipe  which you’ve got to try on a busy night!

5. Drizzle a little olive oil over the veggies and toss them around.

6. Put both pans in the oven, side-by-side, and put on the timer for 45 minutes. At that point, switch the pans around so they are on the other side and rotated to ensure even baking. Stick a fork in the veggies to see if they are done. If so, remove them at this point. If they are not, stir them around and put a lid, or aluminum foil over them to prevent them from drying out and to create a little steaming to hurry along the baking.

7. Depending on the size of the chicken, it will need another 45 minutes, for a total of 1 1/2 hours (maybe more). A meat thermometer stuck in the thickest part of the thigh should read 165 degrees when it is done.

8. Remove the chicken to a cutting board and let it sit for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, make the gravy.

9. Pour the drippings into a small pot and add the chicken broth. Add some herbs like dried basil, rosemary and thyme plus salt and pepper to taste. Make a slurry of the flour and a little cold water in a small bowl and whisk it in to the gravy, boiling the mixture until it thickens a little. Making the gravy is totally optional!

10. Slice the chicken and serve it with the roasted veggies and a drizzle of gravy if desired.

Enjoy!

 

Sunday Roast Chicken - roast chicken

Mmmm, golden brown! You can’t believe how delicious the house smells! Well, you’ll see when you make it!

Sunday Roast Chicken - roasted veggies

Roasting brings out entirely different flavors of vegetables. Onion and garlic tie all of the flavors together.

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Bacon Tomato Tart – A Guest Blog

Lynne Cobb - tomatoes and basil - bacon tomato tarte - meTo me, the best parts of a BLT sandwich are the bacon, tomato and bread. Sorry, lettuce, you just don’t thrill me. So when a fellow blogger, Lynne Cobb, shared her recipe for “My Super-Awesome Bacon Tart,” which combines those three perfect ingredients, I asked her if I could share the recipe with my E.A.T. readers. 

Lynne took advantage of the best of her garden’s tomatoes, basil and oregano when developing this recipe. If it’s too early in the season for a great harvest, try to find the best tomatoes and herbs you can from the market to make this recipe really shine. 

Lynne’s recipe calls for easy-to-find ingredients: 

(Preheat oven to 350 degrees.)

1 unbaked pie crust shell (homemade or purchased)

12 oz of bacon – cooked until crisp. (Reserve a few tablespoons of bacon drippings).

1/2 cup of chopped onion – saute in bacon drippings

6-8 oz of soft mozzarella, shredded or cubed

1 large tomato, sliced thin (Note, I didn’t have large, beautiful tomatoes from the garden so I used cherry tomatoes which worked fine)

A few leaves of basil, cut into thin strips

Crumble the bacon into pie shell. Layer it with the onions and mozzarella; add tomato and basil.

Mix together:

1 cup of milk, 4 eggs, salt, pepper and a few teaspoons of freshly chopped oregano. Pour over ingredients in pie shell.

Bake at 350 degrees for 55-60 minutes. Allow to cool slightly, then slice and enjoy. 

 

Tomato Bacon Tart - Mine - Lynne Cobb

 

 

Thank you Lynne, for sharing your recipe! My family loved it. It was the perfect meal with a nice salad on the side. The leftovers were great for breakfast too! 

 

 

National Men Make Dinner Day

National Men Make Dinner Day – All Year

National Men Make Dinner Day

Peter Reynolds, host of “Father Knows Food” and two of his children, Colt and Dabny.

November 5, 2015 was National Men Make Dinner Day, an attempt to get men who never cook to tie on an apron and get   in that kitchen! Here at the E.A.T. (Everyone Around the Table) blog, we think many days of the year should be Men Make Dinner Day. We also think asking a man who doesn’t ordinarily cook to do so on a weeknight doesn’t make much sense. So we’re going to encourage all men to extend the holiday and do some cooking this weekend (and then, hopefully, many other nights after that.)

Cooking is a very manly thing when you think about it. In the anthropological sense, it’s about being a hunter at its modern finest (and we wanted an excuse to say “anthropological”). You hunt for the ingredients and the pots, pans and cooking utensils you need, aka, your weapons. You bravely take on the task of preparation and, applying fire (or hot electricity), cook up that tasty mastodon for dinner! See? So. Manly.

Man shouldn’t have to brave the frontiers of the kitchen alone so we consulted with one of our favorite men in the kitchen, Peter Reynolds of Father Knows Food, a Colorado dad with his own cooking show on PBS. Peter, a very manly man and a wonderful cook (we’ve tried several of his recipes), suggested we show you two of his YouTube videos. In the first, you’ll see his recipe for grilled lamb chops. In the second, there’s a Strawberry Mess dessert that can be made all year ’round thanks to frozen strawberries. But also check out his website and other videos for loads of great recipes (we’re partial to his shrimp and grits recipe which is fool-proof!). Man, oh man, will you be cooking up a storm, any night of the week and any day of the year!

Chicken Salad

Easy Smoked Chicken Salad

I love it when culinary inspiration strikes. Especially while I’m standing in front of the open refrigerator, wondering what on earth (or in the fridge) I’m going to make for dinner. Last night, I was doing just that, staring at leftovers containers that held mysterious and fuzzy things (it’s my husband’s job to deal with those). I was thinking all was lost when I saw the smoked chicken my husband had made the day before. Then my eyes darted to the mayo and mustard, to the pecans and walnuts I had toasted earlier and to my garden with lettuce greens basking in the late afternoon sun. This is what came of that inspiration. Wing it on all of these ingredients because you know how “mayonnaissy,” “mustardy” or nutty you like things! (Yes, those are words if I say they are!)

Chicken Salad

Sa-mokin’! This flavorful chicken salad can be eaten a variety of ways and with many variations of ingredients.

Ingredients:

Smoked (or baked, grilled, sauteed, rotisserie or fried) chicken
Mayonnaise
Mustard (whatever kind you like – yellow, Dijon or grainy)
Chopped and toasted pecans and/or walnuts

Chicken Salad

Four-ingredient-yumminess!

Method:
Dice the chicken into small, bite-size pieces. If you’re planning on putting it in a sandwich, dice it a little smaller to help it stay together and to make it easier for little hands and mouths to eat.

In a bowl, combine the chicken and enough mayonnaise and mustard to suit your taste and level of creaminess. Start with a little, then taste. I like only enough to add some zing and creaminess but not gloppiness, so I add just a little at a time until it’s the consistency I want. You can always add more mayo but it’s a problem if you have added too much. Yes, I can hear people out there saying “Too much mayo is NEVER a problem.” I feel that way about bacon. And chocolate.

Now, add the nuts to taste and mix it around to distribute the nuts throughout the chicken.

Chicken Salad

Be sure to combine the chicken with the mayonnaise and mustard before adding any other ingredients to make sure the chicken gets the creamy coating.

Variations:
Add diced red onion, grape halves, cherry tomato halves, blue cheese, bacon, diced celery or anything else you think would taste good – but not all of those things all together. That might be a bit much.

Serving suggestions:
I spooned mine over greens from my garden and didn’t even need a salad dressing because of the creaminess of the chicken. But you could also make a sandwich with some sturdy bread, slices of tomato and red onion with lettuce or just spoon it over crackers.

How to reduce waste and stress over family meals

Dinner Reinvented

Yesterday’s dinner becomes tonight’s “reinvented” dinner with the addition of some new ingredients.

I put a lot of pressure on myself to prepare a “real” meal every night. I go for the whole shebang – a proper entrée, lots of vegetables, prepared well and on time.

The end result of all that cooking is that I make too much and we often have leftovers that no one wants.  We end up being like so many Americans, throwing out perfectly good food! Yet to my children,  you’d think “leftovers” meant I’d “left” it outside for a few days to let bugs run “over” it.

Unwilling to continue wasting food, or my efforts, I set about making two nights a week “Dinner Reinvention Night.” Yes, it’s having leftovers, but it sounds better than that and even better than “recycling dinner” which conjures up visions of plastic and cans.

I’m talking about taking bits and pieces of leftover meals and making something completely new with it. It’s working! Here are some examples:

Original meal:  Herb-coated pork chops and cubed, broiled potatoes.
Reinvented meal: Greek Salad – Thinly sliced pork chops plus the potatoes atop lettuce greens, adding feta cheese, Greek olives and a lemon and oil dressing.

Original meal: Baked chicken with roasted carrots, celery and onion.
Reinvented meal: Chicken & Noodles – chop up the chicken and veggies, put it in a pot of chicken broth and, when boiling, add lots of wide egg noodles so that it’s more noodly than soupy.

Original meal: Grilled steak
Reinvented meal: Fajitas – Slice the meat thinly, sauté multiple colors of peppers plus onion. Add things like refried beans, guacamole, chopped tomato and cilantro.

Original meal: Pot roast with roasted root vegetables.
Reinvented meal: Pot pies or Shepherd’s Pie – layer diced meat and veggies (plus additional, frozen veggies) and any gravy you might have made and top with a pastry crust for pot pie or with a layer of mashed potatoes sprinkled with parmesan cheese for Shepherd’s Pie.

This way, I’m really only doing major cooking a few nights and then some “rearranging” of ingredients the other nights.  I’m also using my crockpot or pressure cooker when I can to make even those original meals a little less work.

So far, it’s working. There’s no more waste. The kids see it as an entirely new meal. And I get to feel like I delivered on a good meal for the family with a lot less pressure on myself.

Please share your ideas for making the most out of leftovers by leaving a comment below.

Come, E.A.T. with us!

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Email: ingoodtastedenver@gmail.com

Sick of making the same things for dinner? Get a little help from your friends. By Edan Goode

We all get in a cooking rut. We find a few meals that are relatively easy to make and that the majority of the family will eat without a lot of complaining. And so we fall back on it until we start hearing “that, again?!”  Instead of saying what you’re really thinking, which is usually something like, “Look people, I’m busy all day and do my best to come up with something tasty and healthy for you night after night so don’t give me any of your guff!” try bringing some variety into your kitchen, with a little help from your friends.

Remember, your tired, old, stand-by meals are new and exciting to someone else and vice versa. So consider getting together with a group of neighbors, co-workers or friends to create a cooking co-op. This can take many forms:

1.     Conduct a cooking class: Get a group of people together and rotate cooking at a different person’s house. Have everyone bring an ingredient toward the meal you are going to jointly prepare as well as containers to take them home in (or buy 8 x 8″ foil pans at the dollar store to keep all portions even). Have copies of the recipe available for all and then conduct an informal cooking class. Everyone leaves with a meal ready to cook or just heat up. You could also have participants pitch in money toward the ingredients the host already bought but agree on a per-person budget everyone is comfortable with. Also, set guidelines if needed such as, no peanuts,  low fat or vegetarian. With all of these ideas, provide the recipe so everyone can make it on their own (and thereby add it to their repertoire).

2.  Create an office dinner club: Keep it to a manageable number of co-workers, like four. Every week, prepare a meal to share that people can heat when they get home from a hard day at work. Casseroles, soups, stews or even pasta sauces would work well. Take the food in a cooler if there won’t be room in the company fridge. Bring the food in disposable containers with each person’s name on it.

3.  Host a family dinner for friends or neighbors:  Take turns doing the cooking at your home and invite a small group. Add some wine, a movie for the kids and you have a great evening for everyone. You’ll know that once a week, you’ll get together with friends, get a break from cooking and come away with a new recipe to try. Keep it simple like pizza, tacos, chili or pasta with a few topping choices.

4. Learn how to cook a new cuisine: Ask around the office or in your neighborhood for people who specialize in cooking a certain cuisine. See if they would be willing to come to your house and show you (or others) how to cook one of their specialties. This is a great way to broaden your cooking repertoire and encourage the family to step out of their comfort-food-zone. Then return the favor. That person might be thrilled to learn how to make some American standbys like the roast chicken and potatoes or mac and cheese you take for granted.

5.  Trade recipes: If the idea of involving multiple people is too much, keep it simple. Get together with one friend (who you know can cook) and share favorite recipes with each other.

6. Equal opportunity kitchen time: Cooking isn’t just for women, of course, so get the men involved. All of these tips can include men. In fact, I’m getting visions right now of a group of men gathered in the kitchen, cooking away, while the ladies enjoy a cocktail. Ahhh.

Now, to come up with a way to share in the clean-up!

But what will I do with my cupcake pans? By Edan Goode

In my last blog, I talked about the latest in food trends according to TheFoodChannel.com (scroll down to see). One of the items was small pies which are the new cupcakes. You remember last year, how cupcakes were the new, well, cake, replacing wedding cake with towers of cupcakes?  So now it’s small pies, eh? I really don’t see tiers of small pies gracing any weddings this year, but I could certainly be wrong. Imagine the bride and groom smashing a personal-size cherry pie into each other’s faces!

So if cupcakes are so five minutes ago, what am I to do with my cupcake pans? Being the (food) trend follower that I am, I rushed out and bought the standard size, the jumbo size and the mini size cupcake pans last year upon hearing of the cupcake trend! Not really, but I do have all of those sizes. So what am I going to do with them now? Use them to make pies, of course!

I gave it a go last night by making chicken pot pies in a standard-size cupcake pan. They tasted delicious and were somewhat attractive. But since I am spatially-challenged, I totally misjudged the size of the bottom and top pie crusts. Having learned my lesson (and being shamed by showing you the photos of my mishap here), I provide you with the correct measurements below.

Lopsided but tasty

Give the idea a try with the fillings of your choice – savory or sweet. Turns out cupcake pans make perfectly fine small-pie forms. Make do with this until you just can’t stand it any more and have to follow the trend and buy your own pans.  Even Williams-Sonoma carried an electric pie maker in the holiday catalog. I’m sure others will follow.

The chicken mixture just before filling the crusts

Edan Goode’s Chicken (Cupcake Pan) Pies

Ingredients (I winged-it a bit,  so amounts are approximate):

Three chicken breasts, diced
1/2 cup white flour
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
Two carrots, diced
One stalk of celery, diced
One onion, diced
Three cloves of garlic, diced
One bay leaf
Enough chicken broth to cover all of the above ingredients in a stock pot
1/4 cup cold water mixed with 3 tsp. flour to make a thickener for the mixture if needed
Two pie crusts (pre-made are just fine)

Directions:

  • Put the flour, salt, pepper and cinnamon in a gallon-size zipper bag or in a large bowl. Add the chicken and mix around until the chicken pieces are covered in the flour mixture.
  • In a stock pot, saute the dredged chicken pieces in a little olive oil until browned on all sides, shaking off excess flour from the chicken before adding it to the pan.
  • Remove the chicken and add the onion, garlic and veggies to the pan and saute until the onion is translucent.
  • Add the chicken back in the pan, add enough broth to cover the whole mixture.
  • Add the bay leaf.
  • Let simmer until the vegetables are tender but not mushy.
  • The consistency should start to thicken because of the flour used to dredge the chicken. IF it isn’t the consistency of a thick stew, add the flour/water mixture a little at a time, raise the heat and cook until it is thick enough.
  • Remove and discard the bay leaf.
  • To prepare the cupcake pans, lightly spray the insides and top surface of the cupcake pan.
  • Cut bottom pie crusts into circles 5 1/4″ across and top crusts to 4″ across for standard cupcake size pans.  Adjust to other size cupcake pans by figuring the bottom crusts need to fit within the cup but also extend over by about a 1/2 inch at the rim. The top crusts just need to lay across but also extend by a 1/2 inch.
  • Put the bottom crusts in the cupcake tins and bake at 350 degrees for about 2 minutes, just to take the raw-ness off the crusts. This will prevent the finished pies from having a doughy bottom.
  • Remove the pan from the oven and fill the bottom pie crusts with chicken filling just to the top of the cup. Cover each with their top crust, using a fork to gently seal the top and bottom crusts to each other.
  • Use a knife to make a slit or two in the top of each pie to let steam escape.
  • Put in the oven and bake 7 minutes. If the tops aren’t browned enough, keep checking a minute at a time. You’re really only baking the pie crust, not the filling.
  • Once done, let them sit five minutes. Then use an offset spatula or butter knife to first run around the edges of each pie. Then, carefully lift them out and place on a plate that’s right next to the cupcake pan (so as not to lose any yummy goodness in the transfer).

Finished product. Don't make my mistake - measure your pie crusts!

Now, think of other fillings like scrambled egg/sausage/potato/cheese combinations, veggies, fruit, any of your favorite pie fillings, savory or sweet.

There! You’ve kept your cupcake pans hard at work while being a trend setter!

Send me your “small pie” ideas, recipes and photos. I’d love to see them. (They couldn’t be less attractive than mine).