Continuing to chug along on the healthy eating train, I wanted to share another chicken and rice recipe, this time from Bon Appétit. Anything with an overload of green onions always appeals to me, and I’d never made a poached chicken breast before.
1 3-inch piece ginger, peeled, smashed to pieces, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons mild curry powder
2 teaspoons Morton kosher salt, divided, plus more
Juice from 1 orange (about 1/4 cup)
Juice from 1 lime (about 2 tablespoons)
Freshly ground black pepper
Warm jasmine or brown rice (for serving)
Coarsely chop 4 scallions and transfer to a medium pot. Add chicken, garlic, ginger, curry powder, 2½ tsp. salt, and 4 cups water. Slowly bring to a bare simmer over medium heat. Once liquid begins to simmer, reduce heat to low and cook until juices run clear when thickest part of chicken is pierced, 10-12 minutes.
Meanwhile, thinly slice remaining scallions. Whisk orange juice and lime juice in a small bowl; season with salt and 8 turns of a pepper mill, or about 3/4 tsp. (you want a lot of pepper!).
Transfer chicken to a cutting board and let cool slightly. Strain poaching liquid through a fine-mesh sieve into a small bowl. Cut chicken crosswise into thin slices.
Divide rice and chicken among bowls and top with sliced scallions. Spoon poaching liquid and some of the citrus juice over chicken and rice before serving.
NOTE: Be extra careful when dealing with the poaching liquid. Yours truly managed to splatter a bit on herself and on the carpet runner in our kitchen. There unfortunately is now a permanent curry powder stain on every piece of fabric that little splatter touched.
This was definitely a very “clean” dish, but I personally prefer dark meat over white. If I were to make this again, I’d probably use chicken thighs. However, you definitely wouldn’t get the pretty slices of meat with dark meat, if that matters.
We had this with a side of baby bok choy sauteed in a bit of ponzu. We also had way more of the poaching liquid leftover than we needed for the sauce, so we used 2 cups of it to cook another cup of rice. It was really tasty and I think it’d also be a great base to make fried rice with!
The brief cold spell we had last month had me pining for comfort food, and I turned to who better than Smitten Kitchen. A photo of her Tomato-Glazed Meatloaf and Browned Butter Mashed Potatoes popped up on my Instagram feed, and I pulled up the recipe immediately. I did make a batch of mashed potatoes to go with this, but I didn’t use the recipe paired with the meatloaves on Smitten Kitchen – it was a bit too rich for me. I went for a lighter version and used a pastry blender instead of a potato ricer to mash the potatoes.
Aesthetically and practically, I liked that the recipe separated the meatloaf into individual giant meatball-like servings instead of your typical bread-loaf shape making it much more freezer friendly. I had originally intended to wrap a few up in plastic wrap and freeze for another time, but Kev and I loved them so much we polished them all off in just a few days.
Here’s the recipe as adapted from Smitten Kitchen for just the Tomato-Glazed Meatloaves! Instead of using sandwich bread, I used panko breadcrumbs.
4 teaspoons vegetable oil
1/4 cup (60 grams) tomato paste
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
2 teaspoons honey
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons smooth dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon table salt
2/3 cup panko breadcrumbs
1/2 medium onion, roughly chopped
1 garlic clove, chopped
1 medium stalk celery, roughly chopped
1 medium carrot, roughly chopped
Olive oil, for cooking
1 teaspoon fine sea or table table salt, plus more for vegetables
Freshly ground black pepper
2 pounds ground beef (I used 1 lb 90% lean ground sirloin, and 1 lb 85% lean ground beef)
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/2 cup milk
Combine glaze ingredients in a small saucepan, and simmer, whisking constantly, for 2 minutes until and glaze is satiny smooth. Set aside.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly coat 2 9×13-inch baking dishes with nonstick spray, or line with nonstick foil for easy clean-up.
Add the onion, garlic, celery, and carrot to a food processor, and pulse until finely chopped. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Once the skillet is hot, coat the bottom with olive oil, and heat the oil for a minute; add the finely chopped vegetables. Season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring frequently, until they begin to brown, about 10 minutes.
Add the vegetables to a large bowl with the panko breadcrumbs, then add the remaining ingredients.
Stir the ingredients together with a fork or your hands until evenly blended.
Form the meatloaf mixture into twelve 3-inch meatballs; each will weigh about 4 ounces. Arrange 6 in each prepared baking pan, evenly. Drizzle or brush each meatball with a teaspoon or so of the tomato glaze you made earlier, and bake until cooked through, about 20 to 25 minutes (an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of a cooked meatball will register 160 to 165F).
We ate this with the aforementioned mashed potatoes, and some parmesan roasted cauliflower and garlic lemon asparagus.
Happy New Year, everyone! Ahh, January. The month of resolutions, fresh starts, and attempts to undo all of the hefty holiday indulging. Here’s a recipe I really enjoyed that falls in the healthy eating category, while still being tasty!
I came across a pretty clean eating recipe at Saving Dessert for vegetable soup but made a few edits. I upped the butternut squash because you can’t cut up a butternut squash and just end up with 1 cup. I also threw in a zucchini just to mix it up a bit, and used purple kale instead of the pound of bok choy. With the extra veggies added, there isn’t a ton of broth in the soup, but I also don’t mind it that way. Perhaps this is more of a stew in that sense. Anyway, we are all about efficiency in this household with the baby around, and this is a great easy way to get our veggies in without having to cook every night! Hope you like it as much as we do!
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 small sweet onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 small leek, cleaned and sliced (white and light green parts only)
2 stalks celery, sliced
4 medium carrots, peeled and sliced
1 1/2 cup chopped butternut squash (1/2″ cubes)*
1 zucchini, chopped
3/4 cup green lentils, rinsed and drained
4 cups (32-ounces) no-salt or low-salt vegetable stock
14 ounce can chopped canned tomatoes (low salt)
1 1/2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 bunch kale, swiss chard, cabbage, or other seasonal leafy green (I used purple kale)
1 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped
sea salt and fresh ground pepper
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (more if you like things spicy!)
Drizzle the olive oil in a large soup pot or dutch oven with a heavy bottom. Heat on medium until hot. Add the chopped onion and garlic and sauté until the onion is softened.
Add the leek, celery, carrots, butternut squash, and the lentils. Stir gently to coat all vegetables in the olive oil then add the zucchini, vegetable stock, and chopped tomatoes. Add paprika and cayenne, and season with salt and pepper. Cover the pot with a lid and gently simmer for about 15-20 minutes until lentils are soft.
Add the tomato paste, chopped greens, and thyme. Simmer until the greens are just tender.
Smoked paprika might be my new favorite spice. I really wasn’t expecting this soup to be so tasty because… how good can vegetable soups really be? The smoked paprika really adds that addicting smoky flavor to the soup, and the little bit of cayenne adds a warm tingle to the tongue. I’m not big on spicy food, so this is just the right amount.
*If butternut squash isn’t in season, you can sub it with rutabaga, turnips, or other hard squash. I bet potatoes or sweet potatoes would even work in this! Be sure to cut vegetables about the same size so they cook evenly.
Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat to 400°F. Coat a 9×13-inch baking dish with olive oil or cooking spray.
Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the onions and sauté until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and tomato paste and sauté for 1 minute more. Stir in the tomatoes, rice, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.
Transfer the rice mixture to the prepared baking dish. Pour the broth evenly over the rice. Season the chicken thighs with salt and pepper on both sides and place them skin-side up on the rice.
Cover the pan with aluminum foil and bake 1 hour. Uncover and bake until the rice absorbs all of the liquid and the chicken is cooked through and the juices run clear, 30 to 40 minutes more.
NOTE: Kitchn says that leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. While this is true from a food spoilage standpoint, I would argue that this recipe is best eaten the day you make it. The rice will be fine, but the chicken skin will not stay crispy in the fridge and we ended up just pulling it off when we ate the leftovers.
I served this dish up with a bit of broccolini roasted at 400°F for 15 minutes, adding a sprinkle of fresh ground black pepper and sea salt and a squeeze of lemon once out of the oven.
I’ve been seeing Ina Garten’s Mustard Roasted Chicken recipe floating around the internet for ages now, and I finally got around to giving it a try. The original recipe calls for white wine for part of the marinade, and with no egg involved, I couldn’t see how the bread crumb coating would stick to the chicken. Since I haven’t been drinking lately and Kevin isn’t much of a white wine drinker, I also didn’t want to buy a bottle of white wine just for this recipe either. Luckily, I came across Alexandra’s Kitchen’s rendition of the recipe and really liked the fact that it used buttermilk in the marinade which would also tenderize the chicken. I had also just bought a small carton of buttermilk to use in some breakfast muffins (recipes forthcoming!), so the timing was perfect.
4 bone-in, skin-on thighs and 4 bone-in, skin-on drumsticks
½ cup Dijon mustard
½ cup buttermilk
4 garlic cloves, peeled
Small handful fresh thyme leaves (if the strands are soft, no need to strip the leaves)
Zest of one lemon
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 cups breadcrumbs (she uses fresh breadcrumbs; I used store-bought plain breadcrumbs)
1/4 cup olive oil
Preheat the oven to 400ºF and place oven rack in the middle of the oven. In a small bowl, whisk together the mustard and buttermilk. Place the chicken in a large bowl and pour the mustard-buttermilk mixture overtop. Toss to coat.
Place the garlic, thyme strands (stems, if they are soft, and all), lemon zest, 1 1/2 to 2 teaspoons kosher salt (use 1.5 tsp if you are sensitive to salt), and 1 teaspoon pepper (or a few large cracks on the grinder) in a food processor fitted with the steel blade and process until the garlic is finely minced.
Add the breadcrumbs and olive oil, and pulse a few times to moisten the breadcrumbs. Pour the mixture into a wide, shallow bowl or onto a large plate — something with sides is best.*
Line a sheet pan with parchment paper (for easy clean-up — this is not necessary, but I like using parchment.) Dip each piece of chicken skin-side down only into the crumb mixture, pressing gently to make the crumbs adhere. Place the chicken on the sheet pan crumb-side up. After one or two pieces have been dipped, the crumb mixture might not adhere to the chicken as well. Just use your hands to press the remaining crumbs onto the chicken pieces.
Bake the chicken for 40 minutes. Check on the chicken. If necessary cook another five minutes or until the crumbs are browned. Let rest 5 to 10 minutes before serving. Serve hot, warm, or at room temperature.
*NOTE: The recipe makes way more bread crumb coating than you’ll need in my opinion. I divided the bread crumb mixture in half and froze it for a later date. What was left was plenty to coat the 4 thighs and 4 drumsticks.
The buttermilk and mustard really made a wonderful thick coating on the chicken for the crumb mixture to stick to, and the buttermilk did a great job of tenderizing the chicken too. I was worried that the amount of mustard used was going to overpower the chicken, but it really didn’t. I loved this recipe and look forward to using the other half of my bread crumb mixture on another batch of chicken!
Since we had quite a bit of thyme left over, I whipped up one of my favorite sides to go with the chicken- Parmesan Roasted Cauliflower. YUM!