Sunday, November 20, 2011

Ginger Citrus Roast Chicken

What can I say about this refreshing roasted chicken dish?? I love it so so so so much. So super juicy, light and flavorful and easy and inexpensive to make. I can't remember where I acquired it. But here you go.

(Ingredient picture MIA. Weird.)

What you need:

5 T. oil or butter, melted
3 lemons or 4 limes
2 oranges
3 T. grated fresh ginger
salt and pepper
1 whole chicken (about 4-5 pounds)

How you make it:

Preheat oven to 425 F. Grate the zest of 1 orange and lemon and then quarter them. Pat the chicken dry and place in roasting pan. Mix 1 T. grated ginger with the citrus zest. Rub the mixture in the chicken cavity with some added salt and pepper if wanted. (Remember to pull out the weird chicken parts they throw in the cavity. Ew, I hate those.)  Add the quartered lemon and orange inside.
Juice the remaining lemons and orange and add to the remaining 2 T. ginger and also the oil/butter. Brush the mixture over the chicken.
Cook in oven for 15 min., breast side up.
Baste the chicken and reduce heat to 375 F and continue cooking for 30 min.
Turn the chicken over on its breast and baste again and cook for another 30 min.
Verify that's it's done by checking for the juices to run clear when you cut into the thickest part of the breast. Or with a meat thermometer that it's reached 170 F.
Remove from oven and let the chicken rest for 15 min.

Great over a bed of spinach!! With some sort of potato dish on the side. :) There you have it. It's my go-to whole chicken recipe. Bam. Delicious.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Easy As Anything Homemade BBQ

Whoa. I'll be updating this pic the next time I make it. It's so dark down there in the crockpot, I guess. I hope this isn't too unappetizing!

Now this is a recipe for BBQ meat and the sauce. We've used it for pork or beef in the crockpot. I personally like pork a little better, but it's so so so yummy either way. You have to plan ahead a little bit as you'll see if you read on. But it's so low-maintenance once you get it going, it's worth planning ahead for. Oh, how I hate that I ended that sentence in a preposition! But I'm leaving it since that's how I would have said it, if I were talking.

The meat's in the crockpot already here and the onion is chopped. I forgot to take a pic the night before.

What you need:

These amounts make a a lot. You could use a 2.5 pound piece of meat and half the sauce recipe. But I'd just make the whole amount of sauce and freeze half for another time, if it were me.

5 pounds of pork or beef roast (I used some pork "Country-Style Ribs" 'cause it was on sale, so just had to pull out some bones after it cooked and before the sauce.)

1 C. chopped onion

1/3 C. oil

3 cloves garlic, minced

1/3 C. sugar

3 tsp. salt

1 tsp. dry mustard

1/4 tsp. pepper

3 C. ketchup

1 C. water

1/2 C. lemon juice

2 tsp. Worchestershire sauce

1 tsp. liquid smoke

How you make it:

The night before, cut roast into halves or quarters to fit it all in a crock pot. Cover and cook on high for one hour. Reduce to low and continue cooking throughout the night.

In the morning, remove meat from pot and discard juices. Remove unwanted fat (and bones if using country style ribs, like I did).
Break meat into somewhat smaller chunks, but DO NOT SHRED.
Return meat to crock pot and pour in about 3 C. of barbeque sauce. (*See below for sauce making instructions)
Cover with lid and cook on low for the rest of the day.

Before serving, add remaining barbeque sauce, if meat is too dry. Stir thoroughly.

To make the sauce: (makes about 4.5 C.)
Sauté onions in the oil until golden. Add the rest of the ingredients and simmer for 10 minutes.
For a thicker sauce, reduce or omit the water.

Everyone has different ways they like to eat this sort of thing. On a bun, for a sandwich, or just as a main dish with sides. We had it as a main dish with roasted potatoes and a veggie I can't remember. Probably green beans or peas or a salad. Oh wait, maybe it was broccoli. Three kids have killed all my brain power. Oh well, I'm not sure what it was! Clearly, I was focused on the yummy BBQ meat and not the sides.
This is so great for a busy fall day when there's not time in the evening to be in the kitchen cooking. That, I like.

Friday, November 11, 2011

The Whole Enchilada (Chicken Enchiladas)

Massive tragedy, indeed.

The second time. Stayed in tact, thank goodness!

If you wanna know where the phrase "the whole enchilada" originated, I *think* it was from this incident in my kitchen just the other night. No? Well, it seemed appropriate, anyway. Important note: when deciding between the life of your 18-month-old toddler and the pan of lovingly prepared cheesy, chicken-y heaven, you must sacrifice the pan. It's that simple. (translation: the little one was fastly approaching in his zombie-like toddler walk/run toward the open, hot oven as I was pulling out the pan. As I looked over, juggling the pan in one hand, trying to close the oven with the other and shooting my leg up in the air towards him as a blocking device, down the pan went. And so it goes.) I thought it was still worth blogging, since I know I'm not the only one who's been there. Having put effort into something that just gets instantly destroyed before you get to reap the rewards. That devestation can apply to more than just dinner-making, though. All sorts of life events can seem like that. But I digress....

Anyway, wanna make it?? Here's how. (It really is delicious. After I got over the heartbreak from this attempt, we had a re-do about a week later. So we eventually got to partake.)

This pic shows plain greek yogurt and milk in place of the half and half or evaporated milk.

What you need:

2 T. onion, chopped
1/4 C. butter or olive oil
2 fresh tomatoes, diced (I cheated and used a can, drained.)
2 C. chicken, cooked, diced
1 dozen corn tortillas
1 (4 oz.) can diced green chiles (I omitted, since Mr. Wonderful doesn't like them. Oh, how accomodating, I am.)
1 pint half and half (can use canned evaporated milk instead, which I did on the re-do)
4 tsp. chicken bouillon (I used Organic Better Than Bouillon)
1 lb. shredded cheese (Monterey Jack, Cheddar, whatever kind you like.)

How you make it:

Dissolve bouillon in half and half for about 30 min.

Sauté onion and tomato in butter or oil, until tender. Mix in chicken and salt and pepper to taste. (I tend to think everything is too salty, so I only add pepper here. Depending on what chicken and bouillon you're using, it might be enough salt as is, but it's subjective.)

Soften tortillas by placing a stack of six or so on a med/hot skillet. Press down on the stack till the bottom one is warm and pliable. You don't want them to break and crack open when you fill and roll them. I just take the bottom one each time to fill. Then I start another stack of six and so on.
Put 2 T. of chicken mixture in center of tortillas and roll. Put rolled tortillas in greased 9 X 13 pan.

Sprinkle green chiles (optional) and cheese over the top. Pour cream mixture over all. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-30 min. or until top is golden and bubbly.

You might think it's weird that there's no traditional enchilada sauce in this. I don't know what to tell ya. It's just how I grew up with it. I suppose if you must have it, you could use less cream and add in some canned enchilada sauce.

We had this with a green salad, peas and sliced watermelon and cantelope on the side. Of course, this was the re-do night. On "the whole enchilada"-on-the-floor-night....I got mad and pouted. I think the kids and hubby fended for themselves with hot dogs or something. I, actually, (at the insistence of Mr. Wonderful) went out to a Mexican restaurant when the tots were in bed and ordered enchiladas and fresh chips and salsa! And ate it all by myself!! If that's what it takes to get a quiet meal all to myself, I might throw the pan on the floor more often!