Roasted Whole Chicken
Ingredients: 1 whole chicken (I prefer organic), two garlic cloves, one fresh lemon and/or orange, couple glugs of the following: white wine, orange juice, olive oil, salt, pepper, few dashes of the following if you have them on hand: oregano, taragon, herbs de Provence
Directions: place whole chicken with the breast facing down (this is the key) in a roasting pan. Take your lemon/orange and poke wholes all around it with a knife tip. Then place garlic and citrus inside the cavity of your little birdy. Pour liquids over the top, olive oil last. Then add salt, pepper and shake whatever green herbs you have on top. Cook at 425 degrees for 20 minutes, and then lower heat to 325. Cook approx. 20 minutes per pound (so for a 5 pound chicken, an additional 1 hour 40 minutes) or until chicken is done. Meat thermometer should read 165 degrees.
Tips: If the citrus is too big, you can cut off an end or cut in half. If you are picky about poultry presentation, you can flip the bird over (breast side up) for the last 20 minutes in the oven. Save the carcass! I love to boil my chicken carcass to make a soup stock, which can be frozen to be turned into a yummy soup another day.
Enjoy! By cooking the chicken breast side down, you have ensured the juiciest breast meat you’ve ever tasted. No lie. By splashing some white wine on top you’ve ensured that a bottle has been open. Don’t waste it!
Michelle’s Very Own Hawaiian-Teriyaki Chicken
Whole cut-up (organic if you like) chicken
1 can crushed pineapple in juice
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
tsp. garlic powder
Set oven at 350 degrees. Pour soy sauce and garlic powder in the bottom of a baking pan. Place chicken upside down to coat with sauce/powder mixture and then flip over. Pour pineapple over chicken. Add a shake of garlic powder over top. Crumble brown sugar over top of pineapple and then drizzle with vinegar. Bake uncovered for one hour or until done. Broil top for a couple of minutes to create a nice crusted glaze over top of chicken.
Tips: you can use whatever chicken you have around (thighs, breasts, whatever.) Brown sugar, soy sauce and vinegar measurements can be adjusted for smaller quantities, in fact I don’t even measure, just sorta eye-ball and pour until it looks right. You want about a quarter inch of liquid in the pan when it cooks. Add a dash of orange (or pineapple) juice if there isn’t enough. The sauce from the meat tastes super-yum over steamed brown rice… Oh, and you can substitute cubed or round-cut pineapple, just drain some of the extra juice before pouring.
Bonus Tip: The best thing about this recipe is that I always have the ingredients on hand and can whip it up in a NY minute!
“This Time” Slow Cooker Ribs
Ingredients: 2 lbs. baby back pork short ribs, 3 garlic cloves, 1/4 chopped onion, 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar, 1/3 cup low sodium soy sauce, 1/3 cup honey, few dashes pepper, sliced oranges on top.
Directions: mix liquids (including honey) and drizzle over meat. Add rest of ingredients placing the oranges last on top. The liquid didn’t cover all the meat, so part way through I flipped the ribs over. Not necessary; just tried it. Cook in a 4 quart crock pot on low for 4-6 hours or until done. Serve with rice which is perfect for the extra broth. Yum!
Note: I don’t always use oranges, but my mom’s tree is still producing prolifically so I pretty much don’t make anything around her without them these days…
Michelle’s Midwestern Couscous
Ingredients: 1 16 ounce box of couscous cooked following directions with chicken broth instead of water, 1 bag of peas (steamed) diced leftover chicken.
Directions: cook couscous according to what the box says. I always prefer mine with chicken or veg. stock instead of water but you do what you gotta do. When done mix in peas and chopped up chicken.
Love this because… it’s a complete meal in a bowl that took me all of 15 minutes to prepare and 5 to clean up!
Teriyaki Turkey Sandwiches (chicken, beef or pork works too!)
Ingredients: 1 tbsp. olive oil, 2 diced stalks of celery, 1/2 diced med. onion, 2 cloves garlic, 1 diced bell pepper, diced left over turkey, 2-3 tbsp. balsamic vinegar, 2-3 tbsp. soy sauce, 1/4 cup or so brown sugar.
Directions: Place oil and onion on stove top and cook at med/high heat till onions turn a bit translucent (about 5 mins.) Add celery, garlic, bell pepper. Mix and let simmer until the other veggies begin to soften (another 5 or so mins.) Then add 2 tbsp. vinegar and soy sauce and most of the brown sugar. Mix, cover and set heat on low so the veggies can really cook down and soak up all that yummy sauce.
When veggies are cooked, add your diced meat, stir and heat for a few minutes. Taste and add soy sauce, vinegar or brown sugar as needed. Serve on whole wheat buns or over rice or baked potato!
Ingredients: 2-3 cups cooked rice, 3 Italian sausages, 1 chopped red pepper, 1/2 chopped onion, 1-2 cloves crushed garlic, 2 tbsp. olive oil, 1 tbsp butter, 1-2 stalks chopped celery, 1 can red beans (drained and rinsed), salt and pepper. (red pepper optional)
Directions: Saute your onion, garlic, peppers and celery in the olive oil. Place the sausages amongst the these tasty delights. After the sausages have cooked for a while, remove them and slice to finish cooking and sear each piece a bit. Cook rice separately. Drain and rinse your beans.
When meat and veggies are done, simply toss in the rice, beans and a little butter. Add salt and pepper to taste. I added a few shakes of red (cayenne) pepper to Mike and my dishes to perk them up a little. Super yum-ola baby!
Tips: You could make this dish with other meats too (chicken would be nice/or hey, go vegetarian!) and don’t be afraid of throwing in other vegetables like carrots or sliced squash.
Tumeric Rice with Vegetables (with Chicken if you like)
2 tbsp. olive oil
1-2 tbsp. butter (optional)
1 cup basmati or jasmin white rice
2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1/4 diced onion
1 clove fresh garlic, minced
1-2 cups chopped mixed vegetables (for this recipe I used chopped carrots, bell pepper and kale. Other options include celery, zucchini, cauliflower…)
1/2 cup diced cooked chicken (optional)
1-2 tsp. tumeric
Salt/pepper to taste
In a pan, medium heat, brown the onions in olive oil (approximately 5-10 minutes.) Add garlic and rice. Stir together for a 3-5 minutes until rice has a chance to get to know the first flavors. Then add vegetables, chicken and butter and stir for another 3-5 minutes for another quick layer of introduction. Then add broth, tumeric and a dash of salt and pepper. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and cook for another 15-20 minutes or until all liquid is absorbed. Add more salt and pepper if desired.
Unsolicited Tips: I make my own chicken broth, which accounts for some of the color and, I must say, some extra yummy flavor. Boxed/canned broth can obviously also be used. Brown rice can also be used, but it won’t absorb as much color or flavor.
Michelle’s Broccolini and Chicken Pasta
Ingredients: two bunches of fresh rough-chopped broccolini (approximately 2 1/2-3 cups), 2-4 fresh minced garlic cloves (I, of course, used 5), 5 tbsp. olive oil, 2-4 tbsp. butter (maybe), juice of one lemon, salt and pepper to taste, whatever pasta you like, left over diced cooked chicken. Grated Parmesan cheese.
Directions: In a saute pan, heat oil, broccolini and garlic. Toss, cover on med heat. Toss again after 10 or so minutes and cover on med heat. Let this go for about 25-30 minutes (depends on the size of the broccolini pieces.) When greens are tender you are done. Squeeze that lemon juice over top and inhale… oh my. In separate pot make your pasta. When cooked, drain pasta and mix it up with the broccolini. Add some butter if you need a little more “yum” to coat your noodles. You’re making a sauce here, but you’ll want to get all the goodness to all the important corners of your dish. Add diced chicken and top with Parmesan cheese.
4 pork chops with bone (always, ALWAYS with bone)
1/4-1/2 cup whiskey (depending on your, uh, target audience)
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1/4 cup honey
2 tbsp. soy sauce
1 medium onion, sliced
2-4 garlic cloves, crushed
slug of orange juice
few dashes pepper (soy sauce is salty so you likely won’t need salt)
Place the sliced onions in your baking dish. (I used a lasagna pan.) Put your chops on top of onions. Put peaches on top of pork. Mix the rest of the yummy stuff together (the planners method) or just dump it all on top (my method.) Cover and place in fridge for a few hours before cooking (planners method again) or just put it right in the oven (yup–me again.) Bake at 350 until done. Time really depends on the thickness of your chops and it’s hard to go by weight if the bone is large. If they’re thin (I feel sorry for you, but you’ll survive) check your meat after about 40 minutes. If they’re thick it may take closer to an hour.
Unsolicited tips: OK, to technically you don’t have to have a bone in your pork chop but I highly recommend it. Not only does every single kind of meat ever butchered taste better when it’s cooked with the bone, a good chop lover will surely enjoy the simple pleasure of picking up said bone and removing the last bits of tasty tender meat caveman style (held in fist, teeth to bone, dental floss after dinner.) May not be elegant but there you go. 🙂