Lemon Garlic Slow-Cooked Chicken

31 Jan

This dish is incredibly easy. Prep takes mere minutes. I particularly like it when I’m working late; I start the slow cooker in the morning before work, and the chicken is ready in time for my husband’s dinner. Then, when I get home, there’s still plenty for me! Leftovers make great chicken salad, enchilada filling, etc.

You shall need:

One small-to-medium chicken. Spring for an organic bird if you can.

One lemon. Orange is great here too, or you can use lemon and orange.

One head of garlic

Salt

Pepper

Olive oil

Slice the lemon into rings. Separate the garlic into individual cloves. Rinse and dry chicken inside and out. Season liberally with salt and pepper inside and out. Add a bit of olive oil and rub around. 

Drizzle a splash of olive oil in the bottom of the slow cooker. Lay a few lemon rings on top. Stick a few pieces of lemon and several cloves of garlic in the chicken cavity. Set the chicken on top of the lemon rings. Place the remaining lemon rings on top of the chicken. Scatter the remaining garlic cloves around.

Cook on low for about ten hours.

The chicken will be incredibly tender and flavorful – it’ll fall right apart. This goes fantastically with green beans! Mashed potatoes would be delightful as well. I usually love to eat roasted garlic cloves; however, in my experience, the cloves in this dish are too acrid and overcooked to enjoy on their own. They do lend a wonderful flavor to the chicken, though.

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Easy Roast

9 Jan

This roast is amazingly easy and incredibly delicious.  It also involves only a few minutes of prep work, and depending how large a group you’re feeding, the comforting leftovers should extend to a few more meals.

– an inexpensive roast (Chuck is a good choice)
– one yellow onion
– carrots – as many as you like – peeled and sliced diagonally into three-inch pieces. The carrots are our favorite part of this dish, and I typically use an entire small package.
– potatoes, peeled and cut into quarters or eighths – about 3 or 4
– garlic-infused olive oil
– broth
– wine
– one can of peas (optional)

It’s recommended to brown the roast first; however, I usually can’t stand to dirty another dish. I season the roast liberally on all sides with salt and pepper.

Drizzle a bit of olive oil along the bottom of the CrockPot. The garlic-infused kind is great here.

Halve and slice an onion and add to a CrockPot along with the roast. Set to cook for 8 – 10 hours. Add a bit of broth as well as a splash of whatever wine you have lying around. The idea is to cook the roast at a low temperature for a substantial amount of time.

About four hours before you’d like to eat, add the carrots. Two hours later, add the potatoes. Season.

Really, you can add the vegetables at any time you choose. I prefer this method because they soften but don’t completely turn to moosh.

If you want to thicken the cooking liquid, you can ladle a few tablespoons out into a bowl, mix in a bit of Wondra instant flour, and return the mixture to the CrockPot.

Shortly before serving, I like to add a can of drained peas. Yum.

Time and Resolutions

3 Jan

Well hello!

Life has changed a lot recently. Within the last few months, I got married and graduated. Now I have spare time, and it feels abnormal. Fantastic, but abnormal.

Now, I can read. I can cook. I can have Netflix tv marathons. I can even blog!

My resolutions for 2013 included:

– Eating better

– Cook at home more often in order to save money as well as avoid filling ourselves with junk

– Blog more often

The cooking more has definitely happened –  I just need to make the jump to blogging about it.

Oh, hi.

3 Oct

I’m still here. You wouldn’t know it by the infrequent posts on the blog, but I’m here. It’s time for my semi-annual “sorry for the lack of posts” post.

Life is wild. The Mr. got a promotion that came with very wacky hours in November 2011. We moved into a new apartment in May. I started a new job in June. Fall semester started in August. Our wedding is in just over two weeks, and I will graduate in December. Working full time, studying, and trying to plan a wedding (and more importantly, build a life together) has left little time for blogging. Not surprising, eh? Predictably, we’ve been existing on mostly fast food, Easy Mac, grilled cheeses, and the like. This has been both fun and ugh at once.

We’re managing to get away for a five-day honeymoon, and I am <i>so</i> eager to have the opportunity to relax a bit. When we return, I’m looking forward to cooking things that don’t involve microwaves or bright orange-colored powders.

Be seeing you!

The Bland

24 Apr

Hi there. It has been a while, I know. I haven’t been cooking much these days!

We started off the year with a resolution to cook at home more often. It worked for a while, but with me trying to juggle work and school, it quickly became too much.

We’re still trying to dine out less, but the cooking I’ve been doing has been unexciting. Everything tastes bland and blah! I occasionally go through phases where food just isn’t good, though. I blame allergies. Do you experience anything similar?

My recipes seem old and stale, too, so maybe I just need to try a few new things.

On a happy note, tomatoes are finally starting to taste like tomatoes! Also, I’ve seen several recipes that use Greek yogurt in place of heavy cream, and I’m looking forward to trying a few of those in the near future. Other than that, I’m trying to make it through finals, and we’re gearing up to move into a new apartment.

If you’ve encountered any fabulous recipes lately, please feel free to send them my way!

Hope all is well with everyone.

Baked Penne with Speedy Sauce

1 Feb

When I have under an hour to prepare dinner, this dish is fast and easy. It’s also very tasty with zesty sauce meeting gooey cheesiness, making this pasta a great comfort food.

12 oz Penne or Ziti
14.5 oz can tomato sauce
14.5 oz can diced tomatoes
1/3 cup white wine
3 gloves garlic, roughly chopped
8 oz. shredded mozzarella cheese (buy a block and grate it yourself; it’ll be cheaper AND it melts better)
garlic salt
olive oil
basil
oregano
marjoram
sea salt
pepper
optional: red pepper flakes

Begin with the chopped garlic and the olive oil over medium/low heat. Sauté for a moment until garlic is fragrant but not browned. If you’re using pepper flakes, add 1/4 teaspoon here. Next, pour in the tomatoes and white wine.

Follow with good dashes of pepper, garlic salt, basil, oregano, and a tiny bit of marjoram. Bring to a gentle simmer.

Cook the pasta in salted, boiling water for just a few minutes. The noodles still need to be very al dente so they do not fall apart in the oven.

Drain the pasta, saving about a cup of the cooking water, and add to the sauce. If you’re using a baking dish, pour the pasta in and smooth out the top. I like to make the sauce in an enameled cast iron casserole so it can go straight into the oven and there’s one less dish to wash.

Cover the top with a semi-thick layer of mozzarella. Bake in a 375F oven for 15 minutes or until the cheese is melty and bubbly.

Eat.

This baked pasta isn’t the prettiest dish, but it’s fast, it doesn’t require much effort, and it tastes so good!

My Favorite Sandwich

24 Jan

This is my all-time favorite sandwich. True, it’s a bit messy, but the deliciousness is unparalleled. It makes a great meal, and when rolled up in foil, it travels fairly well and makes a suitable workday lunch.

One small baguette, halved horizontally
Mayonnaise
Two leaves of Romaine lettuce
One slice of Havarti cheese, halved
Two to three slices of good turkey (Boar’s Head Ovengold is my absolute favorite)
Half of a ripe avocado
Half of a Roma tomato, sliced

Spread the mayonnaise on the bottom slice of bread, and moosh the avocado into the top half. Feel free to assemble any way you like; my method is as follows, from bottom to top: lettuce, turkey, cheese, and tomato.

If you have any crispy bacon hanging around the house, it would work nicely on this sandwich!

Note: In order to prevent topping slippage, I squish my sandwich down a bit before eating. 🙂