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Get in the Swing of Summer- Arnold Palmer Pan-Roasted Chicken Thighs

Whenever we do happen to go out someplace to eat, if I am not getting a cocktail (I prefer a Grey Goose martini on the rocks with olives) or a beer (I try different beers but I am a Guinness fan myself), I stay away from sodas and the like. I’ll have a soda every now and then at home but it is not my first choice. Instead I find that I very often like to have an Arnold Palmer – a mix of iced tea and lemonade. There is something about the flavor combination I really enjoy, with the sourness of the lemonade going nicely with the distinct flavor of the iced tea. It is a particularly refreshing drink in the summertime as well. I can remember Michelle and I having them while we watched the horse races at Saratoga Springs years ago. So what could be better than having a cold, refreshing Arnold Palmer in the summer? Bringing that flavor to your dinner table of course!  I found this recipe from The Kitchn for Arnold Palmer pan-roasted chicken thighs that was the perfect combination of flavors and ease that made it right for trying out.

Arnold Palmer Pan-Roasted Chicken Thighs

For the brine:
4 cups water
4 black tea bags, like Lipton or Twinings
3 (2-inch) slices of lemon peel about an inch wide
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup kosher salt
2 tablespoons lemon juice

For the chicken:
2 pounds chicken thighs, bone-in and skin-on, about 4 to 6 (or a combination of chicken pieces you like)
Olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper
1 lemon, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon honey

Bring the water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Turn off the heat, add the tea bags and the lemon peel, cover the pot, and let the tea steep for 10 minutes. Uncover the pot and remove the tea bags. Stir in the sugar and the salt and let the mixture cool to room temperature.

Place the chicken thighs in a large zip-top bag and pour in the tea and lemon juice. Refrigerate the chicken for 2 to 4 hours.

Pre-heat the oven to 450 degrees. Remove the chicken from the brine, pat it dry with paper towels, and season it with pepper.

Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large cast iron or oven-safe skillet over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, but not smoking, add the chicken to the skillet, skin-side down and evenly spaced apart. Cook the chicken until the fat is rendered and the skin is crisp and golden-brown, adjusting the heat if the skin begins to burn, about 6 to 8 minutes.

Carefully flip the chicken, skin-side up, and scatter over the lemon slices, tucking a few slices underneath the chicken. Place the skillet in the oven and cook the chicken for another 10 to 12 minutes. Brush the skin with honey and cook for 1 to 2 minutes more or until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees registered on an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the chicken pieces.

This recipe does take a little bit of planning ahead so that you can brine the chicken, but it is certainly worth the little bit of effort to do it. I used a mix of chicken pieces when I made it because that is what I had on hand, but I think you could do this one pretty well with just thighs, drumsticks, breasts (bone-in or boneless) and even chicken wings. The chicken had the nice lemony flavor along with the sweetness of the honey and the hint of iced tea from the brine. The brining also helps to keep the chicken moist and plump, making it taste even better. You could serve this with just about any type of sides that you want, but it goes great with some rice (use some of the sauce from the chicken to flavor the rice) or even a nice salad on the side. It’s definitely one I will keep in my chicken rotation.

That’s all I have for today. Check back next time for another recipe. Until then, enjoy the rest of your day and enjoy your meal!

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Posted by on July 8, 2016 in Cooking, Dinner, Poultry

 

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A One Pan Favorite – Chicken and Potatoes Sheet Pan Supper

One pot meals are always a favorite of mine no matter what time of year it may be. Anything that can get you a meal in one dish that tastes great and gives you fast and easy clean up is usually a winner in my book, particularly when you are rushed and need to get a lot of things done. Lately that seems to be the case around here nearly every day, with lots of work going on for Michelle and me and Sean keeping pretty busy with school as the school year comes up on their last break of the year before summer comes around. he’s been busy picking classes for his first year of high school next year so it’s been chaotic for all of us, which makes an easy meal to cook all the better for during the week. This recipe, from the Kitchn, is for a simple chicken and potatoes roasted together on a sheet pan. I did change it around just a bit as I added some carrots to the mix to really make it a complete meal in one, but it could stand on its own as the original as well.

Chicken and Potatoes Sheet Pan Supper

2 tablespoons olive oil

Zest of one lemon, grated on a fine microplane or grater

2 teaspoons Italian herbs, poultry seasoning or other spice or herb blend that you prefer

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

2 pounds mixed chicken parts, bone-in and skin-on (thighs, legs, drumsticks and/or breasts)

4 russet potatoes, cut into 2-inch pieces

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. For easier clean-up, line a baking sheet with aluminum foil, parchment paper or a silicon baking mat. You can also use just a bare sheet pan if your prefer. In a small bowl, mix together the olive oil, lemon zest, seasonings or herbs that you are using, salt and pepper until they are well blended.

Spread out the chicken and the potatoes on the sheet pan in a single layer. Drizzle the oil and herb mixture evenly over the chicken and potatoes. Using your hands or a pair of tongs, flip and move the chicken and potatoes around until each piece is evenly coated with the mixture.

Place the sheet pan on the middle rack in the oven and allow the chicken and potatoes to roast for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the chicken pieces register 165 degrees on an instant read thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the chicken meat and the potatoes are tender. If the chicken skin is not crisp enough to your liking, run the tray under the broiler for 2 to 3 minutes until the skin is crispy.

transfer the chicken and potatoes to a serving dish or platter and serve hot.

As I said, I added carrots to the mix to round out the meal and a little bit of onion as well. You could put just about any type of vegetable you would like in the mix and I think they would roast nicely, like squash, turnips, Brussels sprouts, sweet potatoes, parsnips or whatever you like best. I used only chicken breasts when I made it because that is what I had on hand but any pieces will work well. the only thing I found is that I needed to add a little bit more olive oil to the mixture with the herbs in order to get the consistency where it would drizzle nicely. With the original amounts it seemed more like a paste to me, which is fine if you don’t mind spreading it on with your hands. another tablespoons of oil though will do the trick I think. Overall it was a fast and easy meal that was perfect for a weeknight, with a nice mix of lemon and herbs (I used dried Italian seasoning on mine) to coat everything. You can serve this with a salad and you have the perfect meal in minutes.

That’s all I have for today. Check back next time for another recipe. Until then, enjoy the rest of your day and enjoy your meal!

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Why is it Still Cold? Looks Like Time For Another Soup – Chicken and Barley Soup

We are still experiencing windy and cold weather here today in my area of New York and even though Spring starts tomorrow night, we are expecting 2 to 4 inches of snow tomorrow, which does not bring a smile to anyone’s face around here after all of the snow and cold we have had this winter. In any case,cold weather, and even early spring weather that can be chilly, is still a good time to break out the soup recipes and make something nice and warming. This particular recipe that I found at the Kitchn worked perfectly with some leftover chicken that I had. It is for chicken and barley soup and makes use of chicken, some veggies and barley to create a hearty and warming soup.

Chicken and Barley Soup

1 tablespoon olive oil or vegetable oil

2 carrots, peeled and diced

4 stalks celery, diced

1 onion, diced

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 quart chicken broth

1 cup water

1 cup pearl barley

2 cups diced cooked chicken

1 to 2 tablespoons lemon juice, to taste

Parsley, to garnish, if desired

Heat the olive oil or vegetable oil in a Dutch oven or large, heavy-bottomed soup pot. Add the carrots, celery, onion, oregano and salt. Stir to coat the vegetables with the oil and herbs, then cover the pot and allow the vegetables to sweat until the onions are translucent and the carrots are softened, about 10 to 12 minutes.

Add the chicken broth, water and the pearl barley to the pot. Bring the mixture up to a simmer and then cover the pot and turn the heat down to low. All the soup to simmer until the barley is cooked through, about 30 to 40 minutes. Uncover the pot and add the cooked chicken. Allow the chicken to warm through, about 2 to 3 minutes, then add 1 tablespoon of the lemon juice. Taste the soup to adjust the seasonings and add more lemon juice, salt or pepper to suit your tastes. Serve the soup immediately and garnish it with parsley, if desired.

If you do not have any cooked or leftover chicken in the fridge, you can easily add some uncooked  cubed chicken after you have sweat the vegetables and cook the chicken until it is no longer pink and cooked through, about 5 to 6 minutes. the lemon juice adds a nice touch to the soup but I found 1 tablespoon to be plenty and left it at that. I really liked the barley with this soup and it added great texture and flavor overall to make the soup a bit heartier than just your standard chicken soup or chicken and rice soup. You could always add different vegetables or other veggies if you prefer and this soup is hearty enough to stand on its own as a meal, though some nice crunchy homemade bread with it does go rather nicely. Hopefully it will be the last soup recipe of the winter for us here!

That’s all I have for today. Check back next time for another recipe. Until then, enjoy the rest of your day and enjoy your meal!

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30 Essential Thanksgiving Recipes for a Fresh Yet Classic Dinner — Thanksgiving Recipes from The Kitchn | The Kitchn

30 Essential Thanksgiving Recipes for a Fresh Yet Classic Dinner — Thanksgiving Recipes from The Kitchn | The Kitchn.

You can find all the recipes you need for your Thanksgiving holiday meal when you check out these 30 essential Thanksgiving recipes from The Kitchn. Everything you need is covered here to make sure that you have a great meal. Check it out!

 

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Loving the Cold Lentil Salad with Cucumbers and Olives

Lentils are one of my favorites when it comes to beans. They are so versatile and add such great taste and texture to a wide variety of dishes. Of course, lentil soup is always a good choice, but I also like to make lentil salads. Lentil salad is a great summertime dish because you can serve them warm, room temperature or cold and they still taste great. I came across this recipe from The Kitchn not that long ago for a simple cold lentil salad with cucumbers and olives to give it a bit of a Mediterranean flair. you can make this one pretty quickly and it goes well with all kinds of dishes.

Cold Lentil Salad with Cucumbers and Olives

2 cups lentils

2 garlic cloves, smashed

2 bay leaves

1/2 tablespoon whole grain mustard

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons sherry vinegar

6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

2 medium cucumbers, chopped into 1/2-inch pieces

1 cup pitted Kalamata olives, roughly chopped

3/4 cup loosely packed fresh mint, roughly chopped

1 cup ricotta or feta cheese (optional)

Combine the lentils, smashed garlic and the bay leaves in a large pot and cover the ingredients with water by 2 inches. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to a simmer and cook until the lentils are just tender, about 15 to 20 minutes. Drain the water and remove the smashed garlic cloves and the bay leaves and discard them. Refrigerate the lentils until they are cold, at least 30 minutes to 1 hour.

While the lentils are chilling, make the vinaigrette for the salad. In a small bowl, whisk together the whole grain mustard, the salt and the sherry vinegar. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil, whisking the mixture constantly as you add the oil, until the dressing has emulsified.

Combine the chilled lentils, the cucumbers, the Kalamata olives and the mint in a large bowl. Pour the vinaigrette over the lentil salad and toss everything to evenly coat all of the ingredients. Dot the top of the salad with ricotta or feta cheese, if using, just before you serve the salad.

That’s all there is to this salad and it tastes great. I love the mix of the cucumbers, olives and lentils and the vinaigrette has great flavor to it thanks to the mustard and the sherry vinegar. I have found that the salad actually gets better in flavor over a couple of days, though if you are going to add the mint to it you should add just enough to what you are serving so it does not go limp when you store it and lose some of its flavor. I did not use the cheese on my salad as I didn’t have either kind on hand, but I think the feta would add a nice touch to the overall flavor of the dish.

That’s all I have for today. Check back next time for another recipe. Until then, enjoy the rest of your day and enjoy your meal!

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Posted by on August 19, 2014 in Beans, Cooking, Salad, Side Dishes

 

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12 Easy Smoothies for Hot Days — Recipes from The Kitchn | The Kitchn

12 Easy Smoothies for Hot Days — Recipes from The Kitchn | The Kitchn.

Smoothies can be a quick and refreshing snack, breakfast or lunch any time, but particularly during the hot summer months where you may not feel like making anything for breakfast or lunch and just want some cool that is easy to make. The Kitchn has put together 12 easy smoothie recipes for you that are perfect for you and your family during the summer. Check it out!

 

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Jennifer Probst

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Laissez Faire

Letting Life Lead

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