Category Archives: Chicken

Real Simple + One Pot = Happy Momma

Soooooo, I know I’ve said it here before and it’s pretty good odds that I will say it again but, being a parent is all at once terrifying/exhilarating/exhausting/priceless. One area where I’ve noticed a big difference is dinner. By the time we get her home, fed, bathed, rocked and put to sleep it doesn’t end there. While David is folding laundry, I’m taking out the trash, cleaning the cat litter boxes, putting up dishes and wiping toddler food crust off my new work shirt, I’m practically drooling looking at my menu plan and what I have to make for the night. I have learned to plan ahead and let me just say, my days of a chicken a la something on a bed of wilted something or other with a foam of blibbity blob is loooong gone. Enter the days of dishes I can braise or roast, half prep in the morning or are super quick or no cook. And I’ll take it if it means more time with her and David as I know these moments are going to whiz by and I can get back to my gourmet meals while fretting about my daughter in college. It will be here before we know it.

Enter these fantastic dishes from Real Simple magazine in a section called One Pot Wonders and wonderful they were. We tried three out of the five and all of them were delicious, once again in order of favorites:

Chunky Italian Vegetable Stew: this was super fast and DELICIOUS. For something so quick and easy, the depth of flavors were insane. The leftovers were even better the next day.

Braised Chicken Thighs with Almonds and Raisins: the Moroccan infused ingredients in this were killer, from the turmeric to the ginger and crunchy almonds everything was just perfect. And y’all, it’s braised chicken thighs, come on.

Loaded Bacon-Potato Soup with Cheddar and Chives: You would think with a name like that this would be first on my list. Don’t get me wrong, this was good but I think I’ve made too many Baked Potato style soups in the past that just can’t be trumped. Do give this one a try as it was easy, breezy and perfect for any baked potato lover in the house.

Chunky Italian Vegetable Stew from Real Simple
Chunky Italian Vegetable Stew from Real Simple

Recipe Reviver: The New Bon Appetit Magazine

Kind of like the drink, Corpse Reviver, that’s how I felt about the latest issue of Bon Appetit – it’s revised my recipe senses! I have to admit, October through January is whirlwind of recipe madness; from Halloween to Thanksgiving to Christmas (indulgence, indulgence, indulgence) to January (stop the brakes…EAT ONLY KALE AND QUINOA), I was pleased to get back to a pace of just darn good food and from what I can tell, Bon Appetit just brought it in spades.

I’ve only made one dish so far (more in a minute) but I earmarked, I believe, half the magazine including:

  • Braised Beef with Red Onion and Gremolata
  • Fennel-Crusted Pork Chops with Potatoes and Shallots
  • Thai Beef Stew with Lemongrass and Noodles
  • Chicken and Dumplings with Mushrooms
  • Fried Chicken Biscuits
  • Winter Squash Carbonara with Pancetta and Sage
  • Caramel Dipped Popovers with Chocolate Mousse
  • Glazed Chocolate-Creme Fraiche Cookies
  • Celery Spiked Guacamole with Chiles
  • Seared Scallops with Avocado and Daikon
  • Grapefruit and White Beets with Yogurt and Tarragon
  • Dark Chocolate Waffles
  • Shaved Kohlrabi with Apple and Hazelnuts
  • Escarole Salad with Horseradish and Capers
Indian-Spiced Chicken with Tomato and Cream (image from Bon Appetit)

Seriously! Get ready for a LOT of Bon Appetit if all of these work out. Who’s excited? So I did make the Indian-Spiced Chicken with Tomato and Cream and wow, did we love this one you guys. I will say if you are not a spices person, this may not be the dish for you, but if you dig the Indian spice fivefecta (turmeric, coriander, cardamom, cumin, garam masala) you are going to simply love this one. It’s simple to put together and I double loved it because it’s a one pot meal. These days, with a 14-month old who is either rolling toilet paper through the house or pointing at everything in the house going ‘THAT?” (she’s asking a question on what it is – the game goes on for hours y’all hahahaha), a one pot meal is a huge food blessing.

Have you guys looked at the new Bon Appetit? Any other mags I should check out?

Seduced by the Slow Cooker & Christmas 2013

Cooking Light hit my sweet, er savory spot with not one, not two, but a whole section devoted to the sultry workhorse of the kitchen – The Slow Cooker.  In their Slow Cooker Recipes to Feed a Crowd feature I made four of the recipes including the Classic Slow Cooker Beef Stew; Slow Cooker Chicken Tagine; Tangy Italian Beef Sandwiches and Sweet & Tangy Short Ribs.  Most of these were knock your socks off good, but the hands down winner has to be the Chicken Tagine. Nom, nom, nom. This is a new go-to when I don’t feel like doing much in the kitchen but want something spectacular when I get home.


David and I made the short ribs together, followed it to the letter and boy, we were not fans. The Sambal Oeelek (which usually we can both handle) was HOT. I mean on fire, I was choking a bit hot. Not sure what happened, but we are going to try again and see if it was user error. David and I are still both scratching our heads on what went wrong. Regardless, give the the other three a try. They are simply delightful and easy to prep. I just love coming home to the smells of something in the slow cooker don’t you?

Now on to the BIG DAY – CHRISTMAS! I am one of the biggest nerds on the planet for Christmas and last night, David and I were talking about why. On the surface, I love all the smells, colors and flavors of the season – it’s all up my alley. But more importantly I feel this time of year is when things are a little slower and people are just a bit kinder towards one another. Goodness, I sound just like the opening to Love Actually don’t I? But I truly do believe it!

Enough of this gushy stuff, let’s get to the food. So I had to make this perfect roast chicken again and yes, once again, it turned out perfect. So, so, so perfect. I don’t think I will ever follow another roast chicken recipe again. I also made this Stupid Simple Roast Beef with Horseradish Cream from Food & Wine magazine – jeez, this was outrageously delicious. It was perfectly medium rare and juicy to boot. Was it stupid simple? You bet! We smeared and smothered the spicy, creamy horseradish sauce all over the meat and ate with abandon. I also roasted some red potatoes along with meat and then tossed them in the pan drippings when done. These were cracktastic. At one point, Lila had eaten all of her potatoes and when David asked the table if there were any more, one of guests was trying to hide his – he didn’t want to share, hahahaha. I also served a simple side salad of roasted beets, kale, shaved parmesan and roasted hazelnuts with a lemon infused creme fraiche sauce.  Easy, breezy and mostly healthy – it has kale and beets, come on!

Stupid Simple

The only misstep for us was the Dark Chocolate Pudding with Pretzels from Bon Appetit. I followed this to the “T” (as I always do duh, but especially so since it’s a pudding and those can be tricky) and it was waaaay too rich for the table; even with the salty pretzels. People took a few bites and then kindly set it to the side. Good thing we had cheesecake as a backup! Overall, Christmas 2013 dinner was a success but more importantly, we were so grateful to be with amazing family and friends. Hope you and yours had happy holidays and who is ready for 2014?

Guess Who’s Back?

Oh no pandas! It’s been two months since my last post. Yoikes! While I have been doing some serious Cooking Inside the Lines my poor little blog has suffered at the hands of new and good things from a new gig (at Wellington Group – love those ladies over there!) and of course, our awesome kiddo Lila who is now one. One! Can you believe it? I have to admit I was crying like a big old baby when we sang her happy birthday. Who knew you could feel such sweeping emotion of happiness and being totally overwhelmed in the span of two minutes. Parents, you’re feeling me right?

So, let’s get to some of the great dishes we’ve had in the past few months. I will admit, there was a two week span where everything I made was meh and since “meh” just won’t cut it, I will not share here. I will say David and I were praising the recipe gods because the drought of just ho hum dishes was starting to feel like a curse upon our house.

Oddly enough, my first recipe comes from BuzzFeed (Really???!!!) for the hands down best way to roast a chicken by the one and only Chef Thomas Keller (I feel like I should put “bow down” between Thomas and Keller every time I type his name). Now, I’ve roasted some chickens in my day because, as the hubs knows, it’s one of my favorite things to make…ever. So when I saw “How To Make The Best Roast Chicken Of All Time” roll-up in my Facebook feed I gave a look to the computer screen and said “BRING IT!” (that might be a bit over exaggerated. Who me?). Well, they brought it and all that was left were some chicken bones and empty plates. This was simple, delicious and perfect. Heck, use the best way to cook a steak post and you will have your chicken and steak bases covered for forever. Seriously though, I do think I will use this method until the sun explodes. Loved it.

Photo from Buzzfeed


Moving on!

This Gardener’s Pie from Cooking Light was fantastic to the max. It was so good that I made it on a Monday night and David requested it for the next week’s lineup to try it again. And yes, it was still fantastic to the max. It’s creamy, ooey, gooey with delicious roasted vegetables that are all cooked and season juuuuust right. Make this. Inhale your dinner. Inhale the leftovers. Repeat.

Finally, a super fast and family friendly meal was this Tandoori Chicken Drumsticks with Cilantro Shallot Relish from Food & Wine. We only had six thighs so the cooking time was a lot less than 45 minutes and we had just enough time to make the Cilantro Shallot Relish, heat up some Naan and boom, dinner was done. I did have some Greek yogurt mixed with lemon juice and Garam Masala and we found ourselves mixing the greek yogurt blend and cilantro shallot relish together and dipping our warm, delicious (store bought as I’m not making that from scratch) Naan. Yumm. The chicken was super, duper moist and had just enough oomph from the spice blend without being too overpowering (I mean it looks like it could have that potential right?). Oooh man, I will make this again.

Photo from Food & Wine Magazine
Photo from Food & Wine Magazine

I promise to not be away for this long again – seriously!  Love to you all and have a wonderful holiday season and break…ahhhh, a break. Can’t wait to spend it with our amazing family and friends.

Sweet Potato and Cheese Gratin

Sweet potato

So, we’ve had a tumultuous past few weeks with my husband and I both attacked by RSV/sinus infections but even way worse, our little one was admitted to the hospital for an infection. Hospitals are never fun, but watching your four-month old being set-up with an IV and poked and prodded made me an absolute basket case. Thankfully, we are all home and on the mend but oy lambs. I’m hoping for a lot of normal (whatever that means right?), for the next few months after this little sickness dance we’ve been doing.

With said sinus infection, I couldn’t taste or smell a thing. I kept telling David this should be the time that I just eat kale at every meal since I can’t tell the difference one way or another. Today, I finally got back some of my lost senses and actually could taste the dinner I made! Now, you might be taking this review with a grain of salt considering I haven’t tasted my food in four days and therefore cat food might actually taste good, but fear not y’all, I can tell you that this Sweet Potato and Goat Cheese Gratin was all that and then some.

This was an absolutely satisfying vegetarian dish and perfect for all the sickness going around. Did you know a sweet potato has more Vitamin C than an orange? Perfect timing! There were two changes I made to this. First, I had some fresh thyme on hand and included it in the milk/cheese mixture and placed some on top after baking and second, I used panko bread crumbs since I forgot to pick some up the store and I was not packing up the baby and all that jazz for breadcrumbs when crunchy panko would do the trick. I served this with a simple hearts of romaine salad and my lemon shallot dressing. Yum!

I did make another recipe on Monday but since I couldn’t taste it I really can’t tell you much about it, however my husband raved on and one and said I should let you know from a flavor standpoint it rocked. From a assembly standpoint, it was easy breezy so, hey, give this Tarragon Chicken with Spring Greens recipe a try too!

Let’s Talk Tikka

Mind blowing is the only phrase I can think of for this Tikka Masala recipe from Bon Appetit. My husband and I love Indian food but don’t typically make it at home (as you can tell from this blog), but after making this it will go on heavy rotation in our house.


This was a bit of lengthy recipe with a bunch of steps but the end result was well worth it. We loved the deep, rich and spicy flavors the marinade and sauce provided. We also made the Cilantro Yogurt Sauce and Spicy Sautéed Spinach. I loved the surprising addition of mustard seeds in the spinach, YUM! The only thing I didn’t make in their fabulous Indian food smorgasbord was the onion naan. Seriously, HEB store bought works just fine. :)

David was taking the leftovers for lunch and when he was about to leave them behind, I almost didn’t say anything so I could have them all to myself. Haha, that’s so wrong. If you are up for a unique dish for a crowd, this line-up is definitely an excellent choice. Make this now!

Food & Wine Week!

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve always loved recipes from Food & Wine magazine but I’ve noticed as of late that they have really inspired me to want to cook. Like these whimsical Garlic Bread “Fries” with Marinara “Ketchup” or the three bomb diggity dishes I made the past two days.

Lila just started daycare and while she’s fine, I’m the one losing it with worry and well, missing the heck out of her. So, while I was waiting for her and David to get home, I did what I know will help calm me down and keep my mind off of things…COOK! What better way than to honor the Chef who found sheer joy in cooking than the one and only Julia Childs. I tried this Julia’s Favorite Roast Chicken recipe from Food & Wine and to start, it was divine! Roasted chicken always sounds so simple but to nail it, it takes great timing, and a few simple ingredients to really make it shine and shine this one did. I’m not going to lie, there’s a lot to this but I didn’t mind the effort given the return when it was done. We both raved about this and I followed the instructions to a “T” to ensure I honored Miss Julia. As recommended, I paired it with the Bread Salad with Currants and Pine Nuts.  This was bonkers good and perfect with the roasted chicken. I would recommend a smidge more dressing than it calls for since I felt it needed it at then end to dress it up and add a little more flavor. Otherwise, perfect.

For tonight’s State of the Union speech we made this Antipasto Salad with Bocconcini and Green-Olive Tapenade from another icon of women chefs, Nancy Silverton. Simple should be this recipes middle name and out-of-this-world delicious would be its last. YUM. We snarfed this down in no time, and while I was hoping for leftovers the next day for lunch that was just not the case. The only thing I added was toasted bread to add a bit more crunch and texture to the salad.

I’ve got to say that roast chicken recipe was probably my favorite. It’s lengthy and a bit more of a food workout than normal but worth it! As Julia would say, Bon Appetit!

Antipasto Salad with Bocconcini and Green-Olive Tapenade

© John Kernick

My New Favorite: One-Pot Meals

Now that we have a little one in the house, I gotta tell ya, one pot meals are becoming my go-to these days and this Vinegar-Brased Chicken and Onions dish from Bon Appetit still made my feel like my old cooking self but was an easy enough set-it-and-forget-it cooking method that I could still tackle feedings, diaper changes and rockings too.

We both loved it for its nice balance of sweet and tangy due to the two vinegars and golden raisins, plus the pancetta didn’t hurt either. I served over sautéed spinach and cous cous to round out the meal and we are so happy with how this turned out. Easy, breezy and delicious!

Another BRILLIANT idea from the Bon Appetit staff was this Hot Oat & Quinoa Cereal. You pour everything into a pot, heat it up, let it sit overnight and the next morning it’s ready to go with a little rewarming, some milk and nuts. Bonus! You have leftovers for the following day as well. I slurped this up before running all my errands and was full and happy for most of the morning.

This week it’s a bunch of rocking recipes from Food & Wine. Is it just me or have they been bringing their A-game with recipes lately? I can’t wait to try them, more to come lambs.

Oh, and I got some requests from you gentle readers for pictures of our little Lila. Here’s my favorite so far. Didn’t know I could feel so much love for one thing in my entire life!



Glazy Afternoon

Last Sunday I wanted to make a fun Sunday chicken dinner but with a little oomph. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good roast chicken but I really just wanted to try these Maple-Soy Chicken Thighs and Miso Grilled Vegetables ( as soon as possible. Yumeh ya’ll! If you like applying the brush to your food then these two recipes are for you. I really enjoyed them together on the plate since you have a bit of Asian influence in each to make each other sing. It’s funny, I was talking to another friend who is also pregnant and she mentioned that she is now just cooking to her whims and cravings instead of having any real reason for making her meals each night. I’m trying to hang on to the thinly veiled mask of things making sense together but who wants to place the first bet that stops in a few weeks? I bet you my husband will be first in line. He’ll probably double down on that it will specifically be spaghetti and meatballs with a side of mashed potatoes and red bean mochi to top it off.

Back to the glazing! Gosh, these Maple-Soy Chicken Thighs ( from Cooking Light were insanely good and easy to boot. David liked them because of the maple syrup factor (of course) and I loved them paired with my favorite Asian ingredient miso in the grilled veggies (also from Cooking Light). Plus, you get to sit and glaze the heck out of stuff. I think kids might have a good time doing this in the kitchen with you if you’ve got an avid little cooker at your knee. This was simple, healthy, and filling enough to be a perfect Sunday family dinner. I know David and I both made it one of our favorites!


Sometimes there are recipes that from reading it for the first time, to prepping and cooking and finally enjoying it at the dinner table, it  just makes you incredibly happy. Last night I had the pleasure of this experience which I must say is rare. Let me clarify, that all the recipes I put on this blog I love for many reasons and would never lead you astray lambs, but it’s kind of the equivalent of seeing a double rainbow when you have one that gets it juuuuuust right on every single front if you know what I mean. Enter this Roast Chickens with Pistachio Salsa, Peppers and Corn from Bon Appetit and Chef Jeff Cerciello from FarmShop in Los Angeles: This was the bomb in so many ways, let’s start counting why shall we?

(1) It’s roast chicken which never sucks in my opinion, especially when the chicken is smothered in a killer marinade and then stuffed with thyme and lemon. The recipe called for the perfect temperatures and cooking times for these little beauts (45o for 30 minutes then 350 for 30 minutes) that led to super-moist and flavorful chickens. All David kept saying last night was “You NAILED this chicken!”

(2) A nut salsa! A while back we made a flat-iron steak with an herbed-nut salsa that we loved: This got us thinking that we need more nut salsas in our lives and we were more than happy to give this one a try and rate it a 10 out of 10 on the nut salsa scale.

(3) Peppers and Corn! “Really,” you might be saying, “you’re excited over peppers and corn? You might need to get out more.” Well maybe, but still. This was a perfect complement to the moist, delicious chicken, nutty/spicy salsa and the pitch-perfect heirloom tomatoes I served alongside to round out the meal.

(4) This might seem like a lot of prep, but alas, it wasn’t. In fact, I felt it was kind of fun to put it all together and it’s a stunner when it’s plated and ready to go. I think this would be an amazing crowd pleaser for summer picnics or dinner parties since it would be easy to do large batches of chicken and the pepper/corn mixture.

(5) If it’s possible, the leftovers the next day were just as amazing as our dinner. I snarfed it in fact.

As I said, PERFECTION. Please try this one, in fact, I’m making this for Sunday family dinner this week. Can’t wait to try it again, yes, twice in one week!