Rosemary Lemon Roast Chicken

It may be Mother's Day today, but this year my family celebrated mom last week. Mom decided that she wanted to head to Indiana with a friend to spend time at Conner Prairie, a living history museum where people recreate what life was like in Indiana in the 19th century. My mom is a big Civil War reenacter,  and loves all of these kind of things so this is her favorite kind of weekend, and her top choice for where to spend her Mother's Day this year. Her friend's daughter works at Conner Prairie so they are going to dress up in the historically accurate clothes and have a blast. Hope you're having a wonderful Mother's Day weekend mom!

Even though mom was not going to be home on Mother's day this year I still wanted to make her a special meal, as a thank you for being such a great mom. So instead of celebrating today, we got together last weekend for a Mother's Day meal starring this Rosemary Lemon Chicken. It's a simple recipe, but so full of flavor that everyone loved it. I can't think of much else that goes so well with chicken as lemon and rosemary do. The whole thing can be prepped the night before so all you have to do the day you want to make it is stick it in the oven. If you're craving some delicious chicken, but want to make life easy for yourself, this is the recipe you want to make. 

I was inspired to make this recipe after coming back from Paris. One morning there I was walking down the street and passed a butcher who had a big rotisserie outside his shop with a dozen chickens slowly turning on spits. Below the chickens was a big pile of red potatoes, soaking in the juices of the chickens that were dripping down as they roasted. It looked and smelled amazing and I knew I wanted to recreate it at home. Since I don't have a rotisserie, a good roasted chicken was going to have to do instead. Roasting the chicken over a bed of red-skinned potatoes allowed the chicken juices to permeate and flavor the potatoes as everything cooked. While this prevents the potatoes from getting crispy and brown, it does make them flavorful and creamy. 

I love rosemary with my chicken and potatoes, so I threw a lot of chopped rosemary in this dish as well as some chopped fresh thyme because I had some in the fridge, but you can always use whichever herbs you like best, it doesn't have to be rosemary. Don't skip the lemon however. It permeates the chicken and potatoes, brightening everything with its tart acidity. The perfect pairing with the earthy rosemary. This one is definitely a crowd-pleaser. Impress your guests this weekend with this simply amazing roast chicken. 

 
 
 

Happy Mother's Day to the best mother around!!

 

Rosemary Lemon Roast Chicken
Adapted from The Cafe Sucre Farine
Ingredients

  • 2 whole chickens, cut into pieces, bone-in, skin-on
  • 2-3 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 6 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 5 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Zest of 1 large lemon
  • 2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice (do not use bottled lemon juice, it must be freshly squeezed)
  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 1/2 pounds of small red skin potatoes, cut into quarters
  • 2-3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1-2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 lemon sliced in ⅛-inch slices

Directions
The night before you plan on roasting the chicken, or early on the day of, mix the rosemary, thyme, garlic, 5 teaspoons salt, pepper, lemon zest, lemon juice and olive oil together in a small bowl. 

Place the chicken pieces in a large bowl. Pour the oil-herb mixture onto the chicken and use your hands to mix the chicken and the oil mixture together, rubbing it into the chicken and under the skin, coating everything evenly. Cover bowl and place in the fridge at least 4 hours, preferably overnight. 

The next day, preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Lightly grease one or two sheet pans with oil. Combine potatoes, olive oil, the 1-2 teaspoons salt, and the pepper in a medium-size bowl. Toss to coat. Turn potatoes out onto prepared sheet pans in an even layer. Place in oven and roast for 15 minutes.

Remove pans from oven and add the chicken breasts to the pans, skin side up in between the potatoes. Tuck lemons around chicken and potatoes. Roast for about 30-45 minutes longer, or until the breasts reach 160˚F in the thickest part. (If breasts vary greatly in size, you may need to remove the smaller ones 5 minutes before the larger ones.) My chicken took about 38 minutes. 

Remove from oven and cover chicken loosely with foil. Allow to rest for 5 minutes before serving.

Serves 8-10

Chicken Pesto Pizza

I was at the library last week, one of my favorite places in the world, and picked up a pretty looking pizza cookbook, Truly, Madly Pizza by Suzanne Lenzer. As you may or may not know, making pizza at home is one of my all-time favorite dinners. It is always delicious, and if the dough is already made it's actually a really quick and easy dinner. So it makes sense then that I love looking at pizza cookbooks, but usually I just flip through them for inspiration. Something about this particular book however intrigued me. Her dough sounded a little different, and used a different method than any of my previous recipes and my interest was peaked; I decided to take the book home and get a closer look. As soon as I got home I delved a little deeper into the book and very quickly was in the kitchen whipping up her pizza dough recipe. 

The verdict? I have made two pizzas now, not a large sample size I realize, but both of them turned out pretty amazing. I don't know if I can say for sure that this dough is extra good, or I just got lucky and turned out a couple of fabulous pizzas, but what I can say is that I plan on making another batch of dough ASAP so I can find out!! Until then, enjoy this simple, but always fantastic recipe for chicken pesto pizza. 

I only managed to snap one, that's right one single picture, of this awesome pizza, but it was too pretty, and the finished pizza too delicious, not to share. Hopefully I'll have some other pizzas to share very soon...!

Chicken Pesto Pizza
From Delectably Mine
Ingredients

  • Perfect pizza dough (recipe below), or your own favorite pizza dough
  • Leftover chicken, dark meat preferred, cut into bite sized chunks
  • 2-3 tablespoons pesto (homemade if you have it) 
  • 3-4 ounces fresh mozzarella
  • Olive oil
  • Salt

Directions
The morning you are planning to make pizza, take dough out of the freezer and put it in the fridge to slowly thaw. When you are ready to make dinner, place a pizza stone or a baking sheet in the oven and preheat to 550 degrees, or as hot as it will go (unfortunately my oven only goes to 500 degrees) and let it preheat for at least 30-45 minutes, a hour is better if you have time.  

Twenty to thirty minutes before shaping the pizza, pull the dough out of the fridge and let come to room temperature while you prepare the toppings. 

When ready, working with the dough in your hands, gently begin to stretch the dough into a circular shape, pressing your fist into the center of the dough and pulling at the edges with your other hand. With both hands, stretch the dough, being careful not to tear it. Working in a circular motion, pull the thicker edges of the dough outward, letting gravity help you. Continue to stretch the dough until it's relatively even thickness (the edges will be thicker - that's okay) and you have the size you want. 

Dust pizza peel generously with cornmeal and carefully lay the shaped pizza crust onto the peel (alternately you can use parchment paper and slide the whole thing, parchment and all, right onto the stone or baking sheet). Top the pizza with the pesto, followed by fresh mozzarella and then the chicken. Sprinkle with a little kosher salt if desired and brush the crust with olive oil. Slide pizza off peel and onto your heated stone or baking sheet. Bake until the crust is golden and and cheese is bubbling and just beginning to brown, 6-10 minutes. 

Slide pizza off stone and onto a cutting board or plate. Let rest a few minutes (if you can) before cutting. 

Perfect Pizza Dough
From Truly, Madly Pizza by Suzanne Lenzer
Ingredients

  • 390 grams bread flour (about 2.75 cups)
  • 1/4 ounce active dry yeast (about 2.5 teaspoons)
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil (about 40 grams)
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 2-3 tablespoons cornmeal

Directions
Put the flour, yeast and salt in a food processor fitted with the metal S-balde and turn the machine on. With the machine running, pour the oil through the feed tube, then add the water in a slow, steady stream. By adding the water slowly, you can watch the dough come together and you'll get a sense of whether you should add more or whether it's too wet - it should look pliable and smooth after a minute or so of processing (the more water you can add and still be able to handle the dough without it sticking to you hands, the better it will be). Continue to process for 2 to 3 minutes (the dough should form a rough ball and ride around in the processor). The finished dough should be soft, slightly sticky and elastic. If too dry, add a bit more water; if too wet, a tablespoon or so more flour.

Lay a 12-inch-long piece of plastic wrap on a clean work surface. Work the dough into a rectangle on the plastic, about 8 inches long and 6 inches wide. Press your fingers into the top of the dough all over, making indentations as though it were a focaccia. Fold the left third of the dough over (as you would a letter) and repeat the indentations. Fold the right third over and make the indentations again. Cover the folded dough with plastic wrap and let rise for 20 minutes.
Cut the dough in half, form each piece into a neat ball, wrap tightly in plastic wrap and transfer to the freezer. The morning before you want to make pizza, transfer the dough to the refrigerator to thaw.

Note: You can use the dough right away, but you'll find the texture of the crust will be a bit breadier and the flavor less complex (but still very tasty). 

 

Capellini with Chicken, Spinach and Camembert

So I've been in my new apartment for one week now and I am loving it! Having my own space is amazing and something I was completely ready for. Unfortunately, these first couple of weeks in my new place also coincide with a couple of week of night shifts for school. So with all of this going on I hardly know what day it is, or what is going on with the rest of the world. Even so, that doesn't mean I want to eat poorly so I made sure to stock my cupboards and pantry full as soon as I could so I would have the ingredients to make simple and quick meals during these crazy couple of weeks. 

This pasta dish was one of my first meals in my new apartment (the very first meal being a fantastic peanut butter and banana sandwich on freshly made bread, delicious, but not as fun to talk about!) I threw it together with the stuff in my fridge and I was very pleased with how it turned out. Some roasted broccoli was all I needed to round it out. 

There is nothing fancy about this simple dish. It's really just spaghetti with some wilted spinach and chicken, finished off with one of my new favorites, Camembert cheese. I also added in some onions and garlic for flavor. If I had been trying to make this extra fancy I could have made a sauce with the cheese, using a roux and melting the cheese into it until smooth, but I was much too lazy for that. I just threw it in at the end and let it gently melt into the hot pasta. Perfect technique, no; still absolutely delicious and so much easier, yes!

Capellini with Chicken, Spinach and Camembert

From Jana

Ingredients

  • Olive oil
  • 1/4 small onion, sliced thin
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 ounces whole wheat capellini
  • Handful spinach
  • 4 ounces cooked chicken
  • 2 ounces (or more!) Camembert cheese
  • Pasta water
  • Salt
  • Parmesan cheese, for sprinkling on top

Directions

Fill a large pot with water, add a good handful of salt and bring water to boil. While the water is heating, add a couple of teaspoons of olive oil to a saute pan over medium heat. Once hot, add the onions and a pinch of salt. Saute the onions until they begin to soften and just start to brown, add garlic and cook until fragrant.

Once water begins to boil, cook capellini until just al dente. About 1-2 minutes before the pasta is finished cooking, add the spinach and the cooked chicken to the pan with the onions and garlic. Add a ladleful of pasta water and let the spinach begin to wilt.

When the pasta is finished cooking, add it to the saute pan along with the camembert. The heat from the pasta will continue to wilt the spinach and start to melt the cheese. Mix it all together in the saute pan, adding more pasta water if needed to form a nice sauce. Finish with a sprinkling of parmesan cheese if desired. 

Serves 2

Grilled Chicken Legs with Barbecue Sauce

During the summer I grill pretty much every day, you can grill just about everything and it is always delicious. I grill burgers, steak, vegetables, bread, pizza, fish, anything! While I love it all and could never pick a favorite, I will always have a special place in my heart for grilled chicken. I don't know what it is about the smell of chicken cooking on the grill that is so intoxicating, but whenever I smell it I want to stop whatever it is I am doing and eat. 

This past week Lara and I were driving home from Holland and we stopped by Kapenga Farm to pick up some chicken. We had never been there before, but Lara had read about the farm online so we decided to check it out. There was a sign out from that said 'chickens for sale' so we stopped in. We walked in to the barn and were greeted with a freezer full of packaged frozen chicken, and a walk-in cooler with several buckets of fresh chicken. There was a sign that told us what to do and how to pay if no one was there, which they weren't. So we grabbed a couple packages of chicken legs, made out a check, dropped it in the drop box, and we were on our way. 

I love buying local, and supporting the farmers in my own community. Buying fresh, local chickens directly from the farm is my favorite way of doing business. And the chicken was delicious! We took it home and grilled it up the next day. It doesn't get better than that. 

I didn't really follow a recipe for the chicken. After looking around the internet at several different recipes to get some ideas I just did my own thing. First, I rubbed the legs with a mixture of chile powder, cumin, coriander, paprika, cayenne and salt. I gave them a drizzle of olive oil and threw them on the grill over medium to high heat. Right away I turned the grill down to low and grilled them for about 25 minutes, turning every 5 minutes or so. After 25 minutes I increased the heat of the grill and started basting with barbecue sauce. I kept basting and turning, basting and turning, building up the flavor of the sauce, and letting it caramelize over the heat. I continued this until the chicken reached an internal temperature of 170 degrees, another 5-10 minutes. Overall the legs took 30-35 minutes.

This is what summer is about. Grilled chicken with barbecue sauce, one of my favorite things. It makes great leftovers too, cold, straight out of the fridge. Easy and oh so good. This will be on the menu at least a couple of times this summer, and I can't wait!

Chicken Paprikash with Dumplings

I know it's finally spring, and thoughts of hearty stews and braises are being replaced by thoughts of spring vegetables and farmers markets, but I had to share this last cold weather meal. Since it's still pretty chilly outsides, I think it's allowed.

I've made this chicken paprikash recipe many times over the last couple of years, it's easy and delicious, just unique enough to get my mouth excited but simple enough for a weeknight dinner. The big stars of this dish are the paprika (obviously) and red pepper. Add in a couple tomatoes, and finish with sour cream and you are done. Serve with the dumplings included in the recipe, or over rice or pasta instead if you prefer, it's delicious either way. 

The original recipe called for a whole chicken, cut up, but I found that I prefer to use all dark meat. I've done a mix of legs and thighs, just thighs, and even all boneless thighs once. They all turn out really well, so you can just use whatever mix you like best. I've found that this meal is great as leftovers. It kind of turns into an almost chicken stew, especially if you add a little extra chicken broth. I generally pull all the chicken off the bone after the first meal to make leftovers a little easier. It's super yummy this way, especially over rice, so good. Enjoy!

Chicken Paprikash with Dumplings

Slightly adapted from 

Saveur

Ingredients

  • 1 tsp. kosher salt, plus more to taste
  • 2½ cups plus 2 tbsp. flour
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • ¼ cup canola oil
  • 3–4-pounds chicken legs and thighs
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 tbsp. sweet paprika
  • 1 Italian frying pepper (or red bell pepper), chopped 
  • 2 tomatoes, peeled, cored, seeded, and chopped
  • 1 large yellow onion, minced
  • 1½ cups chicken broth
  • ¾ cup sour cream
  • 3 tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 2 tbsp. finely chopped flat-leaf parsley 

Directions

For the dumplings: Bring an 8-qt. pot of salted water to a boil. In a bowl, whisk 2 cups of flour and 1 tsp. salt; form a well in the center. Add egg and ½ cup water to well; stir to form a dough. Knead in bowl until smooth, about 1 minute. Using a teaspoon, scoop walnut-size portions of dough into pot. Boil dumplings until tender, 6–8 minutes. Drain dumplings and rinse in cold water; cover with a tea towel and set aside. 

Meanwhile, season chicken with salt and pepper. Put ½ cup flour on a plate; dredge chicken; shake off excess. Heat oil in a 6-qt. Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Cook chicken, turning once, until brown, 8–10 minutes. Set chicken aside. Add paprika and half the peppers, along with the tomatoes and onions, to pot; cook, stirring, until onions are soft, about 5 minutes. Add chicken and broth; boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, covered, turning chicken once, until fully cooked, 12–15 minutes. In a small bowl, whisk together 2 tbsp. flour and sour cream; whisk in ¾ cup of sauce from pot. Stir sour cream mixture into sauce in pot. Remove from heat. Melt butter in a 12" skillet over medium-high heat, add dumplings and parsley, and cook, tossing occasionally, until hot, about 2 minutes. Serve chicken garnished with remaining peppers and dumplings on the side.

Roasted Chicken with Clementines and Fennel

For Easter last week, my sister Lara and I decided to break from tradition and try something new. Instead of serving ham or lamb with potatoes and a basic vegetable, we chose to go with an Israeli inspired feast. I mentioned previously that this past Christmas my sister-in-law gave me the cookbook Jerusalem by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi. Now that I've made a handful of recipes from this book I can say with confidence that it is a great cookbook, I love it. Everything I've made has been absolutely fantastic. 

We decided on the recipe for Roasted Chicken with Clementines and Arak for our main dish. The photo in the cookbook was mouth watering, and the ingredients didn't look too exotic so I thought it wouldn't be too scary for the less adventurous eaters in my family.  The end result was outstanding, the flavors of fennel and clementine shined through in perfect balance in this beautiful and colorful dish. 

This recipe really couldn't be simpler. Mix together a few simple ingredients and let marinate in the fridge overnight. The next day the work is minimal. Just throw it all in a big roasting pan and stick it in the oven. That's it. So easy and so good. 

Once it comes out of the oven pour all the cooking liquid into a pan and reduce to make a nice flavorful sauce. Pour it over the cooked chicken and serve! You won't be disappointed. 

And here's the entire feast. I thought it was an absolutely fantastic meal. Along with the chicken the rest of the menu included: 

Fresh homemade pita
Homemade hummus
Spinach salad with prunes and almonds
Yogurt pasta salad with basil, pine nuts and feta
Simple rice pilaf
Clementine and almond syrup cake

Roasted Chicken with Clementines and Fennel
Slightly adapted from Jerusalem by Yottam Ottolenchi and Sami Tamimi
Ingredients

  • 6 1/2 tablespoons dry white wine (or Arak, Ouzo or Pernod if you have it, I didn't)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons grainy mustard
  • 3 tablespoons light brown sugar or honey
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons black pepper
  • 1 medium fennel bulb, cut into chunks
  • 1 or 2 medium onions cut into chunks
  • 3 pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken pieces (I used thighs and legs)
  • 4 clementines (14 oz), unpeeled, sliced thin
  • a few sprigs of thyme
  • 1-2 teaspoons fennel seeds, lightly crushed 
  • Chopped flat-leaf parsley, to garnish

Directions
In a large mixing bowl whisk together the wine, olive oil, orange juice, lemon juice mustard, sugar, salt and pepper. Add the fennel, onion, chicken, clementines, thyme and fennel seeds. Stir well with your hands, then leave to marinate in the fridge for a few hours or overnight (you can also skip the marinating step if you are pressed for time).

When ready to roast, preheat the oven to 475 degrees. Transfer the chicken and its marinade to a baking sheet large enough to accommodate everything in a single layer. Place the chicken skin side up. Roast the chicken for 35 to 45 minutes, until colored and cooked through. 

Life the chicken, fennel and clementines from the pan and arrange on a serving plate; cover and keep warm. Pour the cooking liquid into a small saucepan, place over medium-high heat, bring to a boil, then simmer until the sauce is reduced by one third, so you are left with about 1/3 cup. Pour the hot sauce over the chicken, garnish with parsley and serve. 

Perfect Roast Chicken

Some days all I want for dinner is a simple roasted chicken. Roasting a chicken is easy, delicious and so satisfying. Opening the oven door and pulling out the finished product, drinking in the smells of a perfectly cooked chicken mixing with lemon, garlic and wine, it doesn't get much better than that. For this recipe you roast the chicken atop a delicious bed of carrots, onion and fennel with thyme, so you don't even have to worry about making a side dish, it's built in! The only other thing you might need is a loaf of fresh bread with salted butter and your meal is complete. Simple, elegant, and wonderful. 

There's a little prep work involved in this meal, but nothing overly difficult or time consuming. A few vegetables to cut up and some chicken prep but that's about it. You can cut the vegetables a day or two in advance if you are thinking ahead to really streamline this meal. I think the whole head of garlic along with fresh lemon and thyme are the perfect trio to stuff the chicken with. Some of my absolute favorite flavors. The whole thing is just a beautiful combination, and a tasty one too!

Perfect Roast Chicken

Adapted from the 

Food Network

Ingredients

  • 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
  • White wine (if desired)

Directions

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Remove the chicken giblets. Remove any excess fat and leftover pin feathers and pat the outside completely 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. Pour a little of the white wine into the bottom of the pan if desired. 

Roast the chicken for 1 1/4 - 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.

Honey Mustard Chicken

Easy, quick and delicious, a perfect combo when it comes to a weeknight meal. This honey mustard chicken is all of that. It only takes a few ingredients, a little bit of prep work and some time in the oven and you have a tasty, satisfying meal that I think just about anyone would enjoy. I don't know about you, but sometimes I want a hearty, filling meal that doesn't take a couple hours to put together, uses what I have in the kitchen and is still full of flavor. I stumbled across this recipe last week and realized that I had chicken in the freezer and some leftover rosemary in the fridge. Since I always have onions, honey and both kinds of mustard on hand I knew I just had to try this. It was a definite do over, a great recipe to hang on to for those days when you don't have the time for much else.

While you could make this recipe without the whole grain mustard, I don't think I would want to, just because it looks so pretty with the little mustard seeds all over the chicken. The combo of whole grain mustard, Dijon mustard, and plenty of honey make for a delicious sauce that gets even better as the juice from the chicken mixes in during baking. The rosemary is beautiful and delicious, but you could probably try thyme too, I think it would work just as well. Other then that there is not much to say. It is a straightforward recipe that turns out a delicious pan of flavorful chicken.

Baked Honey Mustard Chicken

Adapted From: 

Good Life Eats

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons grainy, course mustard 
  • 3 tablespoons smooth Dijon mustard 
  • 1/4 cup honey 
  • 1 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil 
  • 1 sweet onion, sliced thin 
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced 
  • About 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts or tenderloins 
  • salt and pepper 
  • 4 small sprigs of fresh rosemary 

Directions

In a small bowl, combine the mustards, honey, and the olive oil.

Sauté onion over medium heat until golden and tender, 5-10 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté for an additional 1 - 2 minutes, until fragrant.

Transfer onion mixture to a baking dish. Place the chicken on top of the onion and garlic mixture. Salt and pepper the tops of the chicken according to your personal preference.

Pour the honey mustard mixture on top of the chicken. Arrange the rosemary sprigs around the chicken in the pan.

Bake the chicken covered at 400 degrees F for 20 minutes. Then remove the cover, baste the chicken with the sauce, and continue to cook for an additional 5-10 minutes uncovered, until the chicken registers 160 degrees on an instant read thermometer.