I love roast chicken! This was the most simply seasoned chicken I have ever made and also the quickest to roast. The pan sauce came together so easily while the finished bird was resting. I loved every bit of this meal and I would gladly make it weekly if my family let me 😉 Instead of typing up all the recipe here, I’m posting a link to where I found it at Nom Nom Paleo (I love that name). Over there you’ll get to see step-by-step photos and extra tips and tricks. Thanks for reading, enjoy!
**Sorry for the lack of posting – things are much different in our house. My kids and I just finished our third week of homeschooling, so I have had to put the blog on the back burner 🙂 I will post when I can! Thanks for stopping by :)**
Quick Post: One of my favorite combinations is chicken and sweet potato – I practically live off of this pairing! This is one of the most simple and cheap dinners I have tried since I changed my eating habits, and it’s just so good. I love how crispy the skin becomes and I eat it unashamedly! 😉 Before I put the skillet in the oven, I browned up the skin in the pan on my stove – that’s optional, but I recommend it! Thanks for reading, enjoy!
Maple Roasted Chicken and Sweet Potatoes – adapted from Honey, Ghee and Me
- 2-4 chicken pieces (bone-in, skin-on)
- 2 sweet potatoes
- 1 yellow onion
- 3 tbsp maple syrup (the real stuff- makes a huge difference)
- 8 sprigs fresh thyme
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Begin by peeling sweet potatoes and chop them into one inch chunks. Chop the onions into a similar size and arrange the vegetables in the bottom of a baking dish. Pour in olive oil and maple syrup and season the chicken with salt and pepper. Toss to coat in the oil and maple syrup, and leave all the chicken and vegetables in one even layer. Top with thyme sprigs and bake for 1 hour uncovered, turning the chicken half way through cooking time.
Two weeks ago, I purposed to eliminate refined sugars and flour from my diet. The new and kind of drastic change in eating habits has inspired me to try new vegetables and clean eating recipes. The first four days of detox were painful to say the least, but I’m so glad that I have made this change. I have more energy, I’m more clear-headed and I don’t feel sluggish or bloated. This veg is on of my new favorites and I have purchased six in the last two weeks. They’re cheap, versatile and a great substitute for spaghetti noodles.
This side dish is so darn quick, easy and flavorful that I could eat it daily – the hardest part is cutting the squash in half. All you need is a roasted squash, good olive oil, chopped garlic and Parmesan cheese to make this savory and satisfying side dish. The first time I served it along side sautéed tilapia and steamed peas. The next three times I served it along a spinach salad with my favorite maple Dijon dressing. Soon I will share with you the other clean eating recipes I have tried, like my favorite peanut butter, banana and chocolate smoothie, stuffed zucchini boats; and a spaghetti squash bake that tasted even better the next day. Thanks for reading, enjoy!
Roasted Spaghetti Squash with Garlic and Parmesan – adapted from Chow
- 1 large spaghetti squash or two small ones
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 2-3 medium garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1 medium shallot, finely chopped (*if you have it on hand*)
- 3/4 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra for serving
Heat the oven to 375°F and arrange a rack in the middle. Cut the squash in half lengthwise and scrape out the seeds. Brush the flesh with 2 tablespoons of the oil and season generously with salt and pepper. Place the squash halves cut-side up on a baking sheet and roast until fork tender, about 40-50 minutes.
Remove the squash from the oven and let sit at room temperature until cool enough to handle, about 30 minutes. Scrape the flesh with a fork to make long strands; set aside.
Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil in a large saucepan over medium heat until shimmering, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and shallot, season with salt and pepper, and cook until softened and lightly browned, about 3 minutes.
Add the reserved squash, toss with tongs to coat thoroughly, and cook until heated through, about 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and add the cheese a handful at a time while tossing the squash to evenly coat. Serve with freshly ground black pepper and extra cheese.
Quick Post: My family loves these and they would go perfectly with leftover Thanksgiving ham. We enjoyed these in breakfast burritos with scrambled eggs and bacon, these tortillas, and this pico de gallo. Thanks for reading, enjoy!
Zesty Breakfast Potatoes – adapted from Viking
- 1 – 2 pounds Russett potatoes, par-cooked and diced into bite-sized chunks
- 1 teaspoons garlic powder
- 1 teaspoons onion poweder
- 1 teaspoons paprika
- 1 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
- Fresh cracked black pepper to taste
- Kosher salt to taste
- 1/4 cup olive oil
Quick Method for par-cooking potatoes – Scrub them clean, dry them then poke holes all over with a fork. Wrap each potato in a wet paper towel and place them on a plate in a circular fashion. Microwave on your “baked potato” setting if you have one – but only for a few minutes.
Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
Combine the spices and the olive oil in a small bowl. Place the potatoes in a bowl and toss with the spice-oil mixture. Spread on a baking sheet and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until browned and crispy. Serve immediately.
Do you need a special meal for Thanksgiving, but not enough people around to warrant roasting an entire turkey? There is nothing wrong with that, and I have been in that position before. While it’s not the best scenario celebrating the holidays without extended family, making a special meal is sometimes better than going out. Our first Thanksgiving away from family was the worst on record, and I never want to experience that again. We lived in a tiny city in Texas and the only place open that day was a buffet – yuck! We had no choice because I didn’t cook back then like I do now…live and learn, right?
Roast chicken is made even better with a tad more effort; and I can’t get over how much better chicken tastes once it has been brined! My husband took a bite and was confused because of the orange flavor, because he wasn’t expecting it. It was so juicy and flavorful that I’m not sure I’ll be able to skip brining next time. I have tried one other recipe before, but I concocted this recipe myself after searching around for ratios of water to salt to weight. Citrus and chicken make a winning combination, and the idea went from there. Thanks for reading, enjoy! 🙂
Citrus Brined Roast Chicken – a Mom-Makes original
- 3-4 lb. whole chicken
- 1/2 cup kosher salt
- 1/4 cup sugar or honey
- 4 quarts water
- 1/2 lemon – juiced and zested (*save the other half for roasting*)
- 1/2 orange – juiced and zested (*save the other half for roasting*)
- 1 tsp peppercorns
- 1/2 tsp dried rosemary
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 cloves garlic, smashed
Heat 2 quarts of water in a small pot. Once the water simmers, add your salt and sugar – stir until dissolved. Allow to cool for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, rinse your chicken and remove anything inside the cavity (giblets, liver, ect). Place your chicken in a large lidded container (mine holds 6 quarts of liquid) or a heavy-duty plastic bag. Add the citrus, garlic, spices and herbs. Pour the cold water and then the dissolved salt/sugar mixture. Cover and refrigerate of 8 hours or overnight.
*About an hour before roasting, take the chicken out of the brine and pat it dry with paper towels. Set it on a sheet pan and place it uncovered in the refrigerator so the skin can dry out a little.
**Citrus and Herb Butter –
- 3 Tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature
- heavy pinch of kosher salt
- fresh cracked black pepper
- 1/4 tsp of fresh rosemary, minced
- 1/2 Tbsp lemon and orange zest
- 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
Place butter in a small bowl. Using a fork, mash until softened. Add salt and pepper and mash to incorporate. Add olive oil, zest and rosemary and stir to combine.
Roasting Directions –
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place the other half of lemon and orange in the cavity, and garlic or shallot if you have it. Truss chicken and coat generously with the citrus butter. Add salt and pepper to taste and place in roasting pan or a foil lined sheet pan; insert probe thermometer into the thickest part of one of the breasts. Roast the chicken until the thermometer reads 155-160 degrees, (about 70-75 minutes with my convection roast setting). Once the desired temperature is reached, loosely cover with foil and let rest for 15-20 minutes. Carve, serve and enjoy!
The vegetables smelled amazing while roasting. I hope that is a good indicator of flavor 😉
Verdict: This is the best meatless sandwich I have ever eaten, and easily top five of all the sandwiches I have ever made. The kale pesto is so flavorful, the creamy goat cheese adds a tangy bite and the veg – seriously, this combination of ingredients is a match made in culinary heaven 😉 My husband would not touch this with a ten foot pole – it has the three out of four ingredients he refuses to eat. Oh well, more for me! My friend and I greedily/happily ate both of our sandwiches and can’t wait for the next time! I could have eaten this again for dinner…I may have a problem! 😉 Thanks for reading, enjoy!
Roasted Vegetable Goat Cheese Pesto Sandwich – adapted from Wonderful Joy Ahead
- 1 baguette (I bought mine at Panera Bread – totally worth the $2.79!)
- 1/4 – 1/3 cup of fresh pesto (I used this kale pesto)
- 2T+ chevre goat cheese
- 2 portobello mushroom caps (*I had 12 oz of cremini mushrooms*)
- 1 red bell pepper
- 1 orange bell pepper
- 1/2 red onion
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 T balsamic vinegar
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
I love a cheap, no-brainer dinner! This meal was finished in under an hour, so that makes it even more appealing to lazy people like me. Everyone enjoyed the flavor of this, and I’m not ashamed to say it – but the skin was the highlight of this meal! Normally, I would pull it off and not indulge; but it looked way to crispy to pass up. It was like a salty, chicken flavored chip! Even my picky eater happily finished her portion, and wanted everyone else’s crispy skin. Thanks for reading, enjoy!
Oven Roasted Chicken Thighs with Carrots and Potatoes – adapted from Epicurious
- 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 6 large chicken thighs with skin and bones (preferably organic; about 2 1/4 pounds total)
- 1 tablespoon coarse kosher salt
- 2 teaspoons dried thyme
- 1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated or ground nutmeg
- 2 pounds unpeeled medium Yukon Gold potatoes, scrubbed, cut into 2-inch-long, 1/2-inch-thick spears
- 2 pounds medium carrots, peeled, cut into 2-inch-long, 1/2-inch-thick spears
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
Preheat oven to 450°F. Coat large rimmed baking sheet with 1 tablespoon oil. Place chicken on baking sheet. Turn to coat with oil and set skin side up. Mix salt, thyme, 1½ teaspoons pepper, and nutmeg in small bowl. Sprinkle half of mixture over chicken. Roast until chicken starts to brown and some fat has rendered, about 30 minutes. Transfer thighs to medium bowl; set aside.
Meanwhile, combine potatoes, carrots, 2 tablespoons oil, and remaining salt thyme mixture in large bowl. Transfer potato-carrot mixture to same baking sheet; turn to coat with drippings. Roast until vegetables soften, 30 minutes.
Place thighs on vegetables; pour accumulated juices from chicken over. Return sheet to oven. Roast until chicken is cooked and vegetables brown, 15 minutes longer.
Place chicken on platter; top with chives.
I have never made wings before, so what better time to make them than for Super Bowl Sunday?? It wasn’t the easiest task to prep the wings, but now that I know where to cut it should be much easier next time. I like this method of cooking the wings, because I’m not a big fan of frying – I enjoy eating fried foods, just not being the one responsible for not burning the house down 😉 The steaming renders off a good amount of fat so that when they roast in the oven, there is far less steam and mess to deal with later. It’s actually slightly healthier, too – especially when compared to deep frying. We will soon see if the extra effort and my cautious nature pays off. I have a new 5 quart stainless steel pot that has a steamer insert in it and was able to cook the wings in two small batches. The insert in so much easier to clean than those small, collapsible steamer baskets.
Verdict: These were so good, I wished I bought the party pack! I used Frank’s Red Hot, which has the perfect combination of flavor and heat and the minced garlic gives it a little something extra. These aren’t difficult to prepare, and the only part I didn’t like about making them is dividing the wings. However, after tasting these I would make these again – they’re perfectly moist, tender, juicy and flavorful. The only thing that’s missing is the super crispy skin you get when you fry them. I’m so glad when a little extra effort goes a long way in flavor. Oh, I made a blue cheese dip for these too. It couldn’t be easier! I’ll post that below the wing recipe. Thanks for reading, enjoy!
- 12 whole chicken wings
- 3 ounces unsalted butter
- 1 small clove garlic, minced
- 1/4 cup hot sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
Place a 6-quart saucepan with a steamer basket and 1-inch of water in the bottom, over high heat, cover and bring to a boil.
Remove the tips of the wings and discard or save for making stock. Using kitchen shears, or a knife, separate the wings at the joint. Place the wings into the steamer basket, cover, reduce the heat to medium and steam for 10 minutes. Remove the wings from the basket and carefully pat dry. Lay the wings out on a cooling rack set in a half sheet pan lined with paper towels and place in the refrigerator for 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
Replace the paper towels with parchment paper. Roast on the middle rack of the oven for 20 minutes. Turn the wings over and cook another 20 minutes or until meat is cooked through and the skin is golden brown.
While the chicken is roasting, melt the butter in a small bowl along with the garlic. Pour this along with hot sauce and salt into a bowl large enough to hold all of the chicken and stir to combine.
Remove the wings from the oven and transfer to the bowl and toss with the sauce. Serve warm.
Super Easy Blue Cheese Dip –
- crumbled blue cheese – as much or as little as you want
- sour cream
- fresh cracked pepper
It couldn’t be easier – just add the amounts that you prefer. For about one cup of dip, I use at least 1/4 cup of crumbled blue cheese, 1/2 a cup of sour cream and 2 – 4 TBSP of mayonnaise, and lots of pepper to taste.
My husband suggested I repost the recipes that I made for Thanksgiving last year. This post has had a major spike in popularity 🙂 This is the turkey we’re having this year – it’s so worth the effort and ingredient list! I’m also making the brioche and sausage dressing because it was amazing, and again well worth the effort and wait. I hope you all have a Thanksgiving full of family, friends and great food! Thanks for reading, enjoy 🙂
Brined Herb-Crusted Turkey with Apple Cider Gravy – adapted from Anne Burrell
- 7 quarts water
- 1 quart apple cider
- 3/4 cup kosher salt
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1 large onion, diced
- 1 large or 2 small carrots, diced
- 3 ribs celery, diced
- 1 head garlic, cut in 1/2 equatorially
- 1/2 bunch fresh rosemary
- 1/2 bunch fresh sage
- 6 bay leaves
- 1 (12 to 14 pound) turkey
Herb Crust –
- 1 bunch fresh rosemary, leaves finely chopped
- 1 bunch fresh sage, leaves finely chopped
- 3 sticks butter, room temperature
- Kosher salt
- 1 large onion, cut into 1/2-inch dice
- 1 large or 2 small carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice
- 2 ribs celery, cut into 1/2-inch dice
- 4 cloves garlic, smashed
- 2 Granny Smith apples, cut into 1/2-inch dice
- 5 bay leaves
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 bunch thyme
- Kosher salt
- 1 quart chicken stock, divided
- 2 cups apple cider, divided
- 1/2 to 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
Special equipment: butcher’s twine
To brine the turkey: Combine all of the ingredients for the brine in a large container. Add the turkey and let it brine in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 days.
To prepare the turkey for cooking: Remove the turkey from the brine the night before roasting and pat it thoroughly dry with paper towels. Combine the rosemary, sage, and butter for the herb crust in a small bowl. Season, to taste, with kosher salt. Work the butter under the skin of the turkey and massage it into the breasts and the legs. Massage the bitter on the outside of the skin as well. Tie the legs together over the breast so they will protect it during cooking and help keep it moist and juicy.
Gravy preparation: Put the onions, carrots, celery, garlic, apples, bay leaves, cinnamon stick and thyme in a roasting pan and season with salt. Arrange the turkey on top of the veggies and refrigerate overnight UNCOVERED! Yes, that’s right, uncovered. This will help the skin dry out and become really brown and crispy. Make sure that there is no raw food near the turkey in the refrigerator. After refrigerating overnight, the turkey is ready to go in the oven.
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
Put 2 cups chicken stock and 1 cup apple cider in the bottom of the roasting pan. Roast the turkey in the preheated oven until the skin gets really nice and brown, about 40 minutes. Lower the oven heat to 350 degrees F for the remainder of the cooking time. Baste the turkey every 30 minutes or so and add more stock to the roasting pan, if needed. Cook about 17 minutes per pound. Once it gets to the proper color, tent the turkey with aluminum foil to prevent it from getting too dark.
Remove the turkey from the oven when an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the turkey registers 160 degrees F. Make sure that the thermometer is not touching a bone when doing the reading. When the turkey has reached the proper temperature, remove it from the roasting pan to a cutting board and let it rest for at least 30 minutes. Cover loosely with aluminum foil.
Strain all the veggies over a bowl to separate them from the stock/mixture. Discard the veggies. Skim off the fat and add it to the roasting pan. This is the fat for the roux. Put the roasting pan over 2 burners and over a low heat and whisk in the flour. Cook until the mixture looks like wet sand, about 4 to 5 minutes. Slowly whisk in the remaining 1 cup apple cider, remaining chicken stock and the stock/cider mixture. Cook until the mixture has thickened and reached a gravy consistency. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Pour into a serving pitcher or bowl.
Carve the turkey, transfer to a serving platter and serve with the gravy.
Cook’s Note: Don’t fight over the drumsticks.
Give thanks for such a great turkey!!!
*Basic Brioche – The Bread Bible
Dough Starter –
- 2 TBSP room temperature water
- 1 TBSP sugar
- 1/4 tsp. instant yeast
- 1/2 cup (2.5 ounces) all-purpose flour
- 1 large egg
*Make the starter one to two days ahead. In a mixing bowl, add ingredients and mix until very smooth. Cover with plastic wrap.
Flour Mixture –
- 5.5 ounces all-purpose flour
- 2 TBSP sugar
- 1 1/4 tsp instant yeast
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 eggs
- 8 TBSP room temperature butter
1. Combine first four ingredients and pour on top of the starter, cover with plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature for 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
2. Using a standing mixer, add eggs and mix on low speed for about a minute until evenly moistened. Raise speed to medium and beat for two minutes. Scrape the sides of the bowl with an oiled rubber scraper, then continue beating for five minutes longer or until the dough is smooth and shiny but very soft and sticky. It wont pull away from the bowl completely.
3. Add the butter one TBSP at a time until all incorporated. The dough will be soft and sticky. Lightly oil top and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise until doubled, about 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
4. Chill – refrigerate for one hour, then gently deflate with rubber spatula, then return it to the refrigerator for another hour.
5. Deflate/Chill – turn the dough out onto a well floured surface. Press or roll into a rectangle, flour as needed. Give the dough a business letter turn, brushing off excess flour. Rotate 90 degrees so the closed side faces left. Make a second business turn and round the corners. Dust it lightly on all sides with flour. Wrap loosely but securely with plastic wrap and place in a large ziploc bag. Refrigerate of at least six hours and up to two days.
6. Shape/Rise – remove from fridge and gently press down to deflate. Roll/press into a 7 1/2″ by 5″ wide rectangle. Roll down from top in three turns, being sure to brush off the excess flour. Place seam side down in a prepared 8×4 inch loaf pan pressing down firmly. Cover lightly with plastic wrap and allow to rise until the dough reaches the top of the pan – about 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
7. Preheat oven to 350 degrees with a rack on the lowest position of the oven and place a baking stone or a baking sheet on the rack.
8. Glaze/Slash/Bake – glaze the top of the loaf with a mixture of one egg yolk and a splash of cream or milk. Slash the top of the loaf 1/4″ to 1/2″ deep lengthwise down the loaf, making sure to leave 1″ at each end. Set on hot stone and bake 35 to 40 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 190 degrees.
9. Cool – un-mold loaf to cool on a wire rack at least two hours before cutting.
*Sausage Brioche Dressing – adapted from Food Network
- 1 brioche loaf, cubed into 1-inch pieces
- 1 pound pork breakfast sausage
- 4 celery ribs, halved lengthwise and cross cut into 1/4-inch pieces
- 4 cups stock
- 1/4 cup chopped sage leaves
- Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Spread the brioche on a baking sheet and put it in the oven until lightly toasted, about 10 minutes. Set aside in a large bowl.
In a large skillet over medium-high heat, add the sausage and break it into pieces with a spoon. Cook until browned, then transfer it to the bowl with the brioche. Add the celery to the sausage drippingsand cook until softened, about 4 to 5 minutes. Put the sausage into the brioche bowl. Stir in the stock and sage and mix until the brioche absorbs most of the liquid. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper. Transfer the dressing to a 13 by 9-inch baking dish and cook, uncovered for 20 minutes. Cover with foil and bake until golden brown on top, another 20 to 25 minutes.
Quick Post: Is there anything more comforting than roasted chicken? The smell and flavor were amazing! I am really happy with how this turned out and I will make this again and again. After pulling the chicken of the bones, I placed the carcass in the freezer for more chicken stock later on – it’s liquid gold and worth making! Thanks for reading, enjoy!
Rosemary and Thyme Roast Chicken –
- 1 – 4 pound chicken, rinsed and patted dry
- 3 sprigs of rosemary
- 6 sprigs of thyme
- 1 garlic bulb, cut in half
- half a small onion cut into four pieces
- half a lemon, rolled and pierced with a knife
- kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper
- grapeseed oil
- kitchen string for trussing
- digital probe thermometer – it’s been a worthy investment and I highly recommend one