Saturday, July 5, 2014

Southwestern Salad

Hey People! Here's another recipe. It's for a salad I made the other day. I really don't know what to call it- it kinda has a Southwestern or Tex-mex, or Mexican flair. I think you will really enjoy it. 

For the Chicken Marinade:
3 skinless chicken breasts
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp ancho chili powder
2 limes, juiced 

Mix all listed ingredients together and marinate chicken for at least one hour. 
Heat a skillet on high and sear your chicken. Lower the heat to medium and cook chicken until no pink remains. Let the chicken rest for 10 minutes and then slice on a diagonal. 

Avocado Marinade:
1 avocado, cubed
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp hot mexican chili powder
1/4 tsp coriander
1 lime, juiced

Combine all spices and season to taste with salt and pepper. Toss cubed avocado in marinade and let sit for for 15 minutes. 

Salad Ingredients:
Lettuce of your choice
Grape Tomatoes 
Red, yellow, orange bell peppers, thinly sliced
Red onion, thinly sliced
Jalapeno, thinly sliced, optional
Sliced olives, optional

Toss all salad ingredients together and top with as much sliced chicken and avocado as you want. Oh, don't forget to top it with my Southwestern Vinaigrette.

Southwestern Vinaigrette Dressing

Hey Ladies and Gents!

I am really enjoying experimenting with salad dressings as of late and so I am bringing you all another recipe. This one is really delicious and has a southwestern kick. 

You'll need:
2 Tbsp Smoky Chipotle Pepper Sauce
1 Tbsp honey flavored Agave
1-2 limes, juiced
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
1 tsp coriander
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/4 cup olive oil

Mix spices and sauces together and salt and pepper to taste. 
I am telling you, you will love it. It's zingy, tangy, zesty, tad spicy and is great on salads. 

Lemon and Rosemary Roasted Chicken

Hey People! So I've allowed a serious lapse in time to occur between postings. I am so sorry. Our family went on vacation to Hilton Head because Joe promised Ellie we would take her to the beach. We had tons of fun but I should've posted before we left so the blog wouldn't seem so neglected. The good news is I am back with a few delicious recipes.

To start us off I have a seriously yummy roasted chicken recipe. I roast two at a time because that it what works for my family. There are only three of us but this chicken is addictive and if I don't make two then I kinda feel like I have wasted an opportunity to ensure we have leftovers. Let me tell you, you will want leftovers.

This recipe can take a little bit of time and effort so roasting two means you can enjoy the fruit of your labor. I hope that last sentence didn't scare you. If it did, I take it back. I know a few people who are totally frightened or grossed out by the idea of roasting their own chicken. In both of those situations I encourage folks who really want to try it put on their big girl or boy pants and get to work. You will not regret it.

Okay, enough talking, let's get to it.

Rosemary and Lemon Roasted ChickenYou'll Need
Two 5 lb chickens
6 carrots, rinsed and peeled
1 lemon, washed and 2 tbsps of zest gathered
2 onions
4 stalks celery
1/2 lb rinsed small potatoes (I used red and gold)
4 sprigs fresh Thyme
4 sprigs fresh Rosemary
2 sprigs fresh Sage
4 garlic cloves
1/2 stick butter, soft at room temp
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp lemon pepper
Chicken Stock
Kosher Salt
Fresh Ground Pepper

Okay. Now that you have your ingredients, let's break up the steps. First, preheat your oven to 425 degrees.

Herb Butter
Take the 1/2 stick butter and pour your olive oil over it. Take 2 springs each of your fresh herbs, removing them from their stems and chop finely. Sprinkle them over your oil and butter along with the lemon zest. Now, take a fork and push the zest and herbs into the butter. Add a good pinch of salt and pepper. Mix and fold  until everything is incorporated into the butter.
If you make this really far ahead you can roll the mixture into a log with parchment paper and store in the 'fridge, otherwise just cover and leave in a cool place. You want it to be soft for spreading all over and in your chicken.

1. Cut your carrots, onion, celery and lemon into 4 equal parts.
2. Finely mince the remaining herbs and garlic and set everything aside.

1. Remove the giblets and any loose parts from inside the chicken.

2. Rinse the chicken and pat dry with paper towels. Oh, you'll want to get rid of those paper towels asap. They'll be kinda' sticky icky after patting dry the chicken.

Rosemary and Lemon Roasted Chicken

3. Sprinkle the inside cavity of the chicken with 1 heaping tbsp of Kosher salt. Also season the outside with heaping tbsps of kosher salt, pepper and lemon pepper. Just get it seasoned and rubbed in. Let this sit for around 30 minutes. That's right- I cover my chicken with foil and let that salt and pepper absorb into that skin. Do it! It also allows your chicken to come to room temp which is the best way to get a juicy chicken.

4. Once the 30 minutes passes, stuff the cavity of each bird with two quarter chunks of the lemon, celery, carrot and onion. Toss the remaining veggies, herbs and garlic together and place in the bottom of the pan, surrounding the chicken.

How to truss a chicken without twine

How to Truss a chicken without twine

5. Take your herb butter and rub it between the skin and the meat of the chicken as well as on the skin. If you have some butter left over just put it on your veggies.

6. Truss your chicken if you want-
  • Bend the wings back behind the chicken's body. They should stay put. It will look just like if you put your arms behind your head relaxing. 
  • Cut two small slits in the loose flappy skin near the cavity of the bird and cross each leg over and insert it into the small slit. The bird will have crisscross legs and the legs will stay crossed for most of the cooking time. Mine tend to pop open near the end but I've never had a dry bird so it doesn't bother me.
  •  get some kitchen twine and get ta' tying. 
Lemon and Rosemary roasted chicken

7. Pour just enough chicken stock into the bottom of your roaster so that it coats the the bottom area of the pan. You don't want it to rise up the sides but you do want enough to cover the bottom.

8. Cook your chickens uncovered 30 minutes at 425 degrees. After the 30 minute mark lower the temperature to 350 degrees and cook for the remaining time. My chickens took about an hour and a half. The best way to know when a roasted chicken is done is to have a meat thermometer. Most resources say 165 degrees is the temperature chicken must reach to be safe.
  • Side note: Have you heard of carry over cooking? That is when you meat continues to cook even after you remove it from the heat. Since carry over cooking is very real I take my chicken out the oven when it is around 155 degrees and allow it to reach 165 while resting on top of the oven. 
9. Let your chicken rest for around 10 minutes, check the temperature to make sure it has reached 165 and then serve it with the veggies from the bottom of pan.

(P.S.  I got the idea to cook my chicken at two temps from Julia Child. Totally was not my original idea but lemme' tell ya' it works wonderfully. She was a food genius.)

Roasted Chicken with Vegetables

Roasted chicken with vegetables

Roasted chicken with Vegetables

roast chicken

roast chicken with vegetables

roasted chicken recipe