Sexy Cast Iron Skillet Chicken

A good friend of mine gifted me a cast iron skillet for Christmas and I was skeptical on using it, because I have never really delved into that area of expertise. Well, last night I was feeling adventurous, and I had been wanting to roast this whole chicken I had in the fridge. I’ve been reading up on a lot of posts lately with chef connoisseurs alike saying cast iron is the only way.

So there I was, in my kitchen, cracking open the package on this new and intimidating piece of hardware. I followed direction to preheat the skillet in the oven at 450F. Meanwhile, generously rubbing this 5 pounder with olive oil, and all of my favorite herbs/spices. It was still raw and it looked divine! I knew this experiment would be good, but I was also prepared for disaster. Upon much research, I was informed this was not only the tastiest way to roast a chicken and get the crispiest skin, but the fastest as well! I am an advocate for that! Mine took an hour, including resting time, and I can proudly say this was the best chicken I have ever had. It was everything you want in a roasted chicken- extra crispy skin, packed with flavor, and juicy all the way through. And the pan drippings?! Oh.. they were on a whole different level of scrumptious. We may or may not have dipped our pieces of chicken in it …

Just see for yourself:

Your mouth is watering now isn’t it? I served this with a simple salad, and it was the perfect meal. Lately my salads have been consisting of mixed greens, chic peas, bean sprouts and shaved red onion. I am in love with these flavor combinations and textures, but any salad will do. It is really the refreshing aspect of a salad alongside chicken like this that really compliments, but doesn’t overpower the amounts of flavor the chicken provides.

Do yourself a favor, and instead of going out this weekend for dinner, pick up a whole chicken (something small, 3-5 lbs), and make this recipe. If you don’t have a cast iron skillet, make sure it’s on your wishlist because this cooking style is GOLD.

Ingredients:
1 – 5 lb whole chicken
1/4 cup olive oil
4 sprigs fresh rosemary
4 sprigs fresh thyme
1 lemon, halved
1 T dried minced garlic (fresh could work too)
3 T smoked paprika
2 t kosher salt
2 T cajun seasoning (I used Tony’s)
1 1/2 T garlic powder

Directions:
1. Preheat your oven to 450F, and let your cast iron skillet get hot in the oven.
2. Remove the insides of the chicken, rise, and pat dry.
3. Stuff your chicken with 1 half of the lemon, 2 sprigs of rosemary, and 2 sprigs of thyme.
4. If desired, tie the legs of the chicken together with butcher’s twine.
5. Tuck the wings of the chicken under the bird, so they do not burn.
6. Massage the bird well with the olive oil, including under the skin, use more if needed.
7. Generously sprinkle the paprika, cajun seasoning, salt, garlic powder, and minced garlic all over the bird’s skin. Squeeze the other half of the lemon on the top of the bird. Finish with the remaining rosemary and thyme, minced.
8. Once the bird is seasoned, place it breast side up in your cast iron skillet.
9. Bake at 450F for 1 hour, or until the thermometer reaches 160F in the thickest part of the bird (normally the thigh). Once the chicken is resting it will continue to cook to the perfect temperature.
10. Halfway through cooking time, baste your bird with the pan drippings.
11. Once the chicken is done cooking, remove from the oven and let rest for 15 mins before serving. (THIS IS IMPORTANT!! The rest time will ensure your chicken is nice and juicy)

*Note: depending on the size of your chicken, cooking time may vary.

Baked Honey Mustard Chicken

This recipe comes from Good Life Eats and it is so flavorful and simple.

This is one of those recipes you can make ahead, cover and refrigerate, and cook when you’re ready.

Don’t be scared by the thought of eating whole grain mustard. The honey really cuts the flavor, and it’s perfect with an arugula salad.

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Black Bean Burger – Skinnytaste

11181815_10152793767000759_1460618886155592203_nOne of my favorite gifts this past Christmas that I received was the Skinnytaste Cookbook. I have yet to make every recipe, but not one has dissapointed me yet. This recipe is so simple, and delicious, that I double it, and freeze them individually for later use. It’s been a life saver, to just grab this out of the freezer, and have dinner ready in 5 minutes (and it’s not processed #WIN).

 

Grab her cook book, and get this recipe! It is gold.

I even put it on top of a hard corn tortilla to make tostada’s for lunch.

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Spicy Corn Fritters

Hi guys!

Sorry I have been MIA for so long. I’ve been so wrapped up in a party I am planning for my boyfriend’s birthday. More about that later! We have almost zero food in our house right now, and have been too busy or tired to go to the grocery store.. So I whipped up this recipe utilizing what I had on hand. It turned out bangin’!

1975114_10152869459810759_1634297702593951691_nIngredients:
12 oz bag frozen corn
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1 clove of garlic, minced
2 TBSP of green onion, thinly sliced
1 4 oz can of diced green chilies
1 jalapeno, diced small
Zest of 1 lime
1 TBSP Chipotle Sauce (I used Cholula’s Chipotle Hot Sauce)
2 eggs
4 TBSP brown rice flour
4 TBSP all purpose flour
salt & pepper to taste
1/4 cup Olive oil

Directions:
1. Defrost the corn in a colander under hot water. Before adding the rest of your ingredients, make sure the corn is fairly dry.
2. Mix the corn, cilantro, garlic, green onion, jalapeno, lime zest, and Chipotle sauce.
3. Add eggs and flour, mix well.
4. Heat olive oil in a hot frying pan (Medium heat)
5. Add corn mixture to pan, and press gently, to form a shape.
6. Turn heat to low-med.
**DO NOT OVERCROWD PAN
7. Flip your fritter when it is golden brown.
8. Using a slotted spoon, rest fritters on a paper towel to drain excess oil.
9. Top with Trader Joe’s Salsa Verde, avocado slices, and a dollop of sour cream.

I had plenty of leftovers using this recipe, (we’re only 2 people), so we ate the for breakfast the next morning too! Added a poached egg on top. YUM!
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Spinach Pie

10305051_10152659395385759_4430306052300344012_nIf you know me, you know that, besides tacos, pizza is my next favorite food.

Living in the tri-state area, I get the best pizza there is.

Some nights when I am feeling lazy (but still want a home cooked meal), I make my own pizza! Pair it with a nice glass of Sterling Pinot Noir, or Carnivor Cabernet Sauvignon and your night is set.

One night I was feeling ambitious, and made my own pizza dough as well.

This spinach pie is officially my favorite pizza of all time. I think I converted Edgar as well, who loves a traditional cheese pizza.

Once the dough was ready, I rolled it out into a nice square, and topped it with some creamed spinach, and an egg. Simple!

Tip – Brush the crust with some olive oil to get a nice crispy crust.

You can use a hot pizza stone, but I don’t have one. I used a cookie sheet and it came out just as good!

Skinny Chicken Tortilla Soup

11225462_10152764421910759_7133780060749822839_nIn honor of Cinco de Mayo yesterday, I made this soup packed with flavor. I recently purchased a crock pot, and love the convenience of not worrying about making dinner when I get home from work. This recipe comes from Skinny Mom.

You’ll soon see a pattern that I obviously love Spanish cuisine. Not only is my boyfriend from Guatemala and he is making requests .. I want to put anything and everything in a tortilla! Or add chilies, jalapenos, queso fresco to everything non-traditional.

My obsession constantly growing, I needed to watch the calories and sodium that came along with it.

Although this recipe already had low calories, the sodium was way too high so I made some changes and it came out just as wonderful!

Tip-  When shopping for “low-sodium” be sure to read the nutrition label. Some products will vary, and you really want to look for the product that contains the lowest sodium (per serving!). During my shopping trip, I found a low-sodium broth that was 800 mg per serving! Very misleading. I finally found an organic brand that had close to low 100’s mg per serving. #mindfulshopping

Warning! – This makes a very large batch. I used a 4 qt slow cooker and it was filled to the brim. If you are cooking for a small family, I would suggest cutting the recipe in half. We had a TON of leftovers (just the 2 of us!), and I ended up freezing more than half of the batch.

The recipe:

16 oz boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 Tbsp minced garlic
1 cup onion, chopped
16 oz can reduced-sodium black beans, drained + rinsed
16 oz can kidney beans, drained + rinsed
8 oz can tomato paste
10 oz package of yellow corn, frozen
2 — 10 oz cans Ro*Tel® diced tomatoes with chilies (I used low sodium)
1 packet reduced-sodium taco seasoning (I used Mrs. Dash – salt free)
1 Tbsp chili powder
32 oz reduced-sodium chicken broth (I used low-sodium organic)

Directions:

  1. Place chicken on the bottom of the slow cooker. Add remaining ingredients.
  2. Cook on high for 4 hours or on low for 8 hours.
  3. Remove chicken breasts and shred with a fork, return to slow cooker and mix well. Spoon soup into bowls and top with crumbled tortilla chips. Add optional toppings, if desired.
  4. Add desired toppings. (We added tortilla strips, avocado, mozzarella cheese and cilantro.)

Korean Beef

DSC_2575Have you seen the craze on Pinterest about this dish? Well, I don’t trust many things from Pinterest, as they have failed me many times.. but this recipe is GOLD! On those days that you realllly want to order take out, opt for this instead. It is so cheap, quick and easy you won’t believe it tastes so good! Depending on your pallete, adjust the brown sugar and red pepper flakes to your liking. Personally, I prefer using only 1/4 cup brown sugar and 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (we like it HOT!)  I also used ground turkey instead of ground beef, to lighten it up a bit, and you couldn’t tell (at least my boyfriend didn’t know ;P) And please, I beg you, do not leave out the green onions! So good.

 

See the recipe over at Elizabeth Bryant’s blog, here.

Black Bean, Hominey, and Kale Stew

1958081_10151945619670759_2135240833_nNeed a quick/easy meatless monday meal? This stew is about to make your family think you’ve stopped in Mexico on your way home to pick this meal up. Seriously. They won’t believe you made it.

Before winter is over (I know, I can’t wait either), do everyone a favor and make this warm, filling, and healthy meal!

Ingredients
2 poblano chiles
8 ounces tomatillos, husks removed and halved (about 4)
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 1/2 cups chopped onion
1 jalapeño, seeded and minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons ground cumin
3 cups organic vegetable broth
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
2 (15.5-ounce) cans unsalted black beans, rinsed and drained
1 (8-ounce) bunch kale, tough stems removed, leaves chopped (about 4 packed cups)
1 (15-ounce) can hominy, rinsed and drained
6 tablespoons reduced-fat sour cream
2 ounces shredded sharp white cheddar cheese (about 1/2 cup)
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
Radish
Directions

1. Preheat broiler to high.

2. Place poblano chiles on a foil-lined baking sheet. Broil 7 minutes on each side or until blackened and charred. Place in a paper bag; fold to close tightly. Let stand 15 minutes. Peel chiles; cut in half lengthwise. Discard seeds and membranes; coarsely chop. Set aside.

3. While poblano chiles roast, place the tomatillos in a food processor, and process until smooth. Set aside.

4. Heat a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add onion and jalapeño; sauté 5 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally. Add garlic and cumin; sauté 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add tomatillos, broth, and next 4 ingredients (through kale); bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 10 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Add roasted poblanos and hominy; cook for 2 minutes or until heated through. Ladle into each of 4 shallow bowls; top evenly with sour cream and cheese. Sprinkle with cilantro and shaved radish.