Tag Archives: dinner

Recipe: Summer Shortcut Roast Chicken

10 Jul

If you’ve been following along with the blog, you’ve probably noticed a pattern. I’m kind of a lazy cook. I don’t like to make things that have multiple steps, or take a lot of time. I’m always on the hunt for a shortcut that doesn’t sacrifice quality or flavour. I’ve finally found a way to do that for whole chickens. (Which incidentally are on sale at Freshco this week.)

This is more of a method than a recipe, but it’s a winner through and through.

Summer Shortcut Roast Chicken

Summer Shortcut Roast Chicken | baconavecbacon.com

1 ‘fryer’ sized whole chicken
Seasoning of your choice – I used Club House BBQ Chicken Spice to try to approximate the rotisserie style grocery store chickens

Summer Shortcut Roast Chicken | baconavecbacon.comWash and dry your chicken. Season well. Get out your crock pot and a roll of tinfoil. Crumple 4-5 sheets of tinfoil into baseball sized balls and place them in the bottom of the crock pot. Place your chicken on top and cook on high for approximately 5 hours.

If you use a crock pot with a timer, you can set it in the morning and it’ll stay on ‘warm’ until you get home from work.

Most crock pot chicken recipes end there. However, a chicken with crispy skin is just so much better. So here’s the trick: fire up the BBQ.

Place the chicken on the upper rack with a disposable tinfoil pan underneath to catch drips. Cook for 10-15 minutes or until the skin is crispy and the chicken has reached 160 degrees in the breast and 180 degrees in the thigh. This is a perfect opportunity to roast some vegetables as a side dish.

Let rest for 10 minutes before serving.

 

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Recipe: Crock Pot Red Wine & Garlic Braised Lamb Shanks

5 Mar

Oh lamb. You’re so cute and so delicious. For those of you who think eating the fuzzy little critters is evil, please stop reading now. For those of you who are salivating, please read on.

This is my ‘go to’ for gourmet when you don’t have time for gourmet. Unlike most crock pot recipes that call for ‘fake’ ingredients (like canned soup or velveeta), this one is pretty much all natural and the results are impressive enough for company. The best part is whether you make it ahead or all in the same day, it really only takes two 15 minute intervals of effort. It’s a great option for a weeknight dinner party or a ‘dine-in’ date night. You’ll even have half a bottle of red wine left over to enjoy with it.

Crock Pot Red Wine & Garlic Braised Lamb Shanks

Crockpot Lamb Shanks | baconavecbacon.com

3-4 lamb shanks, defrosted
1 onion, quartered
10 whole garlic cloves, peeled
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
olive oil
1 1/2 cups red wine
1 packet of pot roast spice (you’ll find this in the spice mix aisle)
1 packet of beef base
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon basil
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1 bay leaf

In a frying pan, heat a couple of teaspoons of olive oil. Season the shanks well with the salt, pepper and Worcestershire and then sear well on all sides. Dump the remaining ingredients  the bottom of the crock pot and stir. (If you want to be fancy, you can deglaze the bottom of the frying pan with the wine.) Add the seared meat and then add water to the top of the shanks. Cook on low for 8 hours.

If you’d like, you can refrigerate the shanks (in the crock) overnight and skim the fat before reheating. If you’re going to eat them immediately, ladle two cups of the broth into a measuring cup and let the fat settle to the top. Pour the fat off carefully and then place into a small saucepan with 1 packet of beef base and some freshly ground pepper. Bring the mixture to a boil and then whisk in a slurry of a couple of teaspoons of cornstarch and water. This will form a rich gravy to serve with your lamb.

I like to serve the shanks on a bed of mashed potatoes. All the better to enjoy the gravy with.

Recipe: Garlic Baked Chicken & Potatoes

9 Feb

This dish is so cheap, so easy and so full of flavour that it’s hard for it not to become a favourite. It’s based on traditional Lebanese flavourings called ‘toum, zait w haamid’. Translated from Arabic that’s garlic (toum), zait (oil), haamid (lemon). Here, this tangy combo covers potatoes and cheap bone-in chicken (legs & thighs work best) for a hearty winter meal. It’s probably not a good pick for Valentine’s Day, but we really like it.

Garlic Baked Chicken & Potatoes

Garlic Baked Chicken & Potatoes | baconavecbacon.com

6-10 pieces of bone-in chicken
3-5 medium potatoes, peeled and sliced in 1/2 inch thick discs
20 cloves of garlic, peeled
1 cup lemon juice
4 tablespoons olive oil
salt
1 teaspoon shawarma style spices (available at your friendly neighbourhood Arabic grocery store)

This recipe is easily scaled to fit your family. Depending on how much chicken you’re using, use either a 9×9 or a 9×13 baking dish. Arrange the chicken in the bottom and make cuts in the flesh with a sharp knife. (This will help the sauce to soak in later.) Rub the chicken with a couple of tablespoons of oil, salt and the shawarma style spices.

Take the sliced and peeled potatoes and zap them in the microwave for 4 minutes. This helps to soften them so they’ll be done at the same time as the chicken. Then toss them on top of the chicken and salt lightly.

Throw the dish into the oven and bake at 400 degrees for about 50 minutes.

In the meantime, break out your blender or food processor. Add the garlic, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil and blitz the garlic until smooth (4-5 minutes). Add the lemon juice and blitz for another 4-5 minutes.

When the chicken is done (use a meat thermometer to be sure) pour the sauce overtop of the potatoes and chicken and stir to cover all of the pieces. Switch the oven to broil and bake for another 10-15 minutes or until the potatoes start to brown nicely.

Serve with a nice fresh salad.

Recipe: Mexican Chicken Skillet

24 Jun

For those of you who have not jumped on the Pinterest bandwagon, you’d better get there soon before the wagon fills up. It’s a great place for recipes, home decor, craft, organizational and other ideas. It’s also a great place to waste a lot of time so beware 🙂

Most ‘pins’ come from blogs, magazines, or other kinds of websites, but more often now people are just uploading photos of their dinners directly to the site with a bit of rough explanation for a ‘how to’. That’s where I found this rough recipe (pin). I wish I could give credit where credit is due, but I’ll just have to send a random ‘thank you’ to the interwebs cause this was a winner. It was quick, easy and had a nice spicy flavour. Low fat too!

Mexican Chicken Skillet
2 large chicken breasts, cubed into 1″ cubes
1 can of Rotel
1 packet taco spice
1 1/2 cups water
2 cups instant rice
2 cups grated cheddar, Mexican blend, or marble cheese

Over medium high heat, place the cubed chicken in a deep 12″ frying pan sprayed with Pam. Fry until just brown and then add 1 can of Rotel, 1 1/2 cups of water, taco spice and salt. Stir to combine and let it come to a good boil. Throw the rice in and stir. Reduce heat to low, cover with a lid and let it simmer for about 7-10 minutes or until the rice is cooked through. Add the 2 cups of cheese to the top and cover again until it melts. Serve with taco chips.

Notes, tips & tricks:

  • Use heavy duty kitchen shears to cut through meat. It’s fast and easy and you don’t have to dirty a cutting board!
  • If you don’t have Rotel, you can substitute 1/2 can of diced tomatoes and some diced jalapeno.
  • Other substitutions: swap the white rice for brown, add a can of black beans and a can of corn to feed a larger crowd for less (or just add those and omit the chicken for a vegetarian option).
  • Tired of Lean Cuisine for lunch? Make a double batch and package the leftovers in microwaveable/freezable containers. You’ll never be scrambling for a lunch in the morning again.