Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Baked Chicken Thighs with Onions and Red Peppers

This recipe came from recipezaar.com

2 lbs fresh chicken thighs
seasoning salt (can use white salt)
3-6 tablespoons oil (or as needed)
1-2 tablespoon fresh minced garlic
1 onion (sliced or coarsley chopped)
1 small green bell pepper, seeded and finely chopped (optional)
1/4-1/3 cup french's yellow mustard
1/4 cup ketchup
1/3 cup cider vinegar
1 tablespoon liquid smoke
1/3 cup dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon chili powder (or to taste)
1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper (or to taste, this stuff is really hot!)
black pepper
salt (optional)

Grease a large casserole dish.

Sprinkle the onion slices and green pepper (if using) on the bottom of the baking dish.

Season the chicken with salt and pepper, then brown in oil on both sides.

Place into the casserole dish on top of the onion slices.

In a bowl whisk together the mustard, ketchup, cider vinegar, liquid smoke, brown sugar, chili powder, fresh garlic and ground red pepper (start with 1/8 teaspoon and increase, this stuff is really hot!) and black pepper; mix well to combine.

Pour over the chicken thighs.

Using hands turn the chicken to coat well in the sauce.

Bake at 350 degrees for about 40 minutes, or until the chicken is completely cooked through and tender.

*NOTE* If you do not pre-brown the chicken first then bake the chicken for 50-60 minutes or until cooked.

This looks like a lot of ingredients but it is very simple and it tastes great so it is worth it! One tip I can't stress enough is to get your ingredients out before you start cooking anything. Read the recipe, grab all the ingredients and make sure you have all the cooking tools you will need also!

So lets start gathering our stuff!

Shallot and Garlic, you can use onion also.

I used Red Pepper instead of green because that is what was on sale.

Your spices

everyone's favorite condiment duo

Delicious cider vinegar. If you don't have this you could substitute with red wine vinegar.

Get your onions and peppers chopped

Put them in a greased casserole dish.

I am again working with Chicken Thighs. I love them and they are just too cheap to not cook with all the time.

Brown them up in a nice and hot pan.

Now add all your sauce ingredients together into a bowl. that is the mustard, ketchup, cider vinegar, (I didn't have liquid smoke but if you do go ahead and add it), brown sugar, chili powder, garlic and ground red pepper.

Stir it up and you just made BBQ sauce!

keep an eye on those thighs!

once they are browned on both sides put them on their veggie bed and its time to drown them!

Pour the sauce over the top and pop it in the oven or the toaster oven. I have to say I am glad that some readers have commented that they have discovered the joys of the toaster oven. I seriously LOVE mine.

I served this up with those fabulous bagged mashed potatoes!!! The veggies that are under the chicken ended up being my favorite part of this meal.

If anyone has any requests for me please feel free to comment or email me, I may not be able to try EVERYTHING you request but I will give reasonable requests a try!!

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Beef Madras

I have been really into Indian and Thai food lately, so I have been doing some experimenting. This beef dish is spicy but the coconut milk mellows it out, I really recommend it since stew beef is a very reasonably priced red meat.

Lets get our ingredients together!

You will need some beef broth and some coconut milk, get those and put them aside for later.

I had some random onion parts in the fridge

Dice them up

Coriander, I crush it up using the jar it is stored in.

One dried red chile

Ground ginger

yellow mustard seeds

Turmeric root

I have white pepper, if you don't you can use regular black pepper

put all the spices in a bowl

Add some coconut milk, this is canned unsweetened coconut milk that you can probably find these days in most grocery stores.

make a spicy paste by mixing it up

get some garlic and mince it up

and grab some oil. I like to use peanut oil when I am making Asian and Indian food.

get the oil in a dutch oven or a large pan

Drop in the onions and garlic and get them cooking

while that cooks, grab your beef and season it with salt and pepper

mm the garlic and onion is smelling delicious

add in the spice paste we made and take a good sniffy sniff, it smells AMAZING!

add in your beef

get your beef broth in and give it a stir

cover it and let it simmer on low for about an hour and a half. Go read a book!

After it has cooked and your beef is nice and tender pour in the coconut milk.

give it a stir and let it simmer and reduce down.

I served this over delicious and nutty brown rice. You could also serve it over egg noodles.

This is spicy and so rich. The coconut milk gives such a unique flavor, but don't worry it is NOT sweet. The coconut milk is unsweetened so it just brings a rich and special flavor to this easy dish.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Deviled Chicken Thighs with Wilted Spinach

I love to buy chicken thighs in bulk because they are so inexpensive and I think thigh meat beats breast meat any day of the week. I freeze the thighs in pairs in some plastic wrap and foil. I do that with all of my meat. I freeze it in single serving portions, even my hot dogs.

1/4 c. Dijon mustard
1 tbsp. plus 1 tsp. vegetable oil
1 tbsp. plus 1 tsp. granulated brown sugar
2 garlic cloves, minced or 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/2 c. bread crumbs (plain)
3 lb. skinned chicken thighs

Mix first 5 ingredients together in a bowl. Place thighs skinned side up in a baking dish. Brush top and sides with mixture. Sprinkle with bread crumbs. Bake at 375 degrees for 50 minutes. This recipe can be used for all parts of the chicken (not the feet).

This can't be easier. Combine the first five ingredients and smear it on the chicken!

The mustard.

The oil...

The brown sugar goes in...

A little bit of garlic...

mix it all up with a dash of pepper.

get your thighs and remove the skin (if you want to)

Fat is flavor, but you can do without it and this will still taste great.

Get those thighs salted.

Smother them in the dijon mixture.

sprinkle on some breadcrumbs. I used panko crumbs but regular breadcrumbs would work well also.

Get them in the oven and we will start on our spinach.


* 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
* 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
* 1 teaspoon lemon juice
* 1 tablespoon bottled minced garlic
* 1 pinch sea salt
* 1 pinch ground black pepper
* 4 ounces baby spinach
* 1 1/2 tablespoons pine nuts


1. In a bowl, mix the olive oil, vinegar, lemon juice, garlic, salt, and pepper.
2. Place the spinach over boiling water in a pot fitted with a steamer basket, and steam 2 to 3 minutes, until wilted but not soggy.
3. Toss spinach in a bowl with the dressing, and sprinkle with pine nuts to serve.

I have this steamer but you can use a steamer basket inside of a pan as well.

mix up some olive oil

some balsamic

some lemon and some of the garlic paste we had out earlier. After that is mixed, grab some nuts.

I always have a random bag or bags of nuts in the freezer. Nuts contain a lot of oils and can go rancid if you do not store them in the fridge or freezer.

I didn't have pine nuts so I used almonds. I crushed them up with my mortar and pestle.

Just before the chicken is ready, get your spinach in the steamer.

combine your vinaigrette

Don't let it steam too long, just enough to wilt it.

give it a stir with the vinaigrette

grab your chicken thighs and you are ready to serve

The chicken was juicy and delicious, if you don't like mustard you will not be a fan of this, but I love mustard so it was perfect for me. I will definitely do the spinach like this again, it was quick and tasty.