Posts Tagged Thyme

Cajun-Creole Jambalaya

jambalayaThis can loosely be called the Louisiana version of Paella. The only real difference is that I bake this in the oven to finish it off, as opposed to cooking it on top of the stove. This is a crazy good dish, a complete meal in itself.

Again, I first got turned onto Jambalaya on my travels to New Orleans in the eighties. Although the travels were for business, I never failed to tack on vacation time at the end of my business obligations to enjoy the food and culture of New Orleans. While a lot can be said about New Orleans crime and corruption, the one thing that is absolutely certain is that you will never be served substandard food and drinks in that town.

This recipe calls for Andouille sausage. I have never had a problem finding this in my local supermarket, but Tasso or some other kind of smoked ham is a great substitute here. Alternatively, buffalo chicken sausage is great also.

You will need a pretty deep baking pan for this. If your skillet is big enough and can handle oven cooking, you can simply work with that.

Ingredients

3/4 lb boneless, skinless chicken thighs cut into bite-sized pieces (about 2 cups)

2 cups Andouille sausage, cut in 1/4 inch pieces then quartered

1 lb large shrimp, peeled and deveined

1 cup chopped onion, divided

1 cup chopped celery, divided

1 cup chopped green bell peppers, divided

3 tbsp minced garlic

1 28-oz can Italian whole tomatoes, undrained and broken up by hand

1 tsp broken-leaf sage

1 tsp dried oregano

1 tsp dried thyme

1 tsp dried basil

1 tsp sea salt

2 tsp cayenne pepper

2 whole bay leaves

3 tbsp olive oil

3 cups low-sodium chicken broth

2 cups long-grain rice (Basmati works well here)

Tabasco sauce (for the table)

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Heat up 2 tbsp of the olive oil in a large skillet. Add the chicken and Andouille sausage, and cook until browned. (The meats do not need to be cooked through.) Remove and set aside.

Add another tablespoon of the olive oil and heat up. Add 1/2 cup each of the celery, onion and peppers, along with the cayenne pepper, sea salt, garlic, sage, basil, oregano and thyme. Cook for about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside.

Now, we move to the pan you’re going to bake in. Add the meats and shrimp. Then add the cooked vegetables and all of the juices that are left from that process. Add the rice, chicken stock, the remaining uncooked half cup of the celery, onions and green pepper. Add the tomatoes and the bay leaves. Stir everything together.

Place in the oven and bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour on 350 degrees.

Serve with a full bottle of Tabasco sauce.

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Greek Lemon Chicken Nos. 1 and 2

Greek Lemon ChickenThis is one of my all-time favorite dishes, and there’s more than one way to make it. Therefore, I’m posting both recipes here, listed as numbers 1 and 2. The baking instructions are the same, as you will see.

Greek Lemon Chicken incorporates some of the greatest spices on the planet, like oregano, thyme and rosemary. And let’s not forget the lemon, which is amazing. I’m not going to tell you which one is my favorite because I cannot choose between the two. If I could, there would only be one recipe here. So, don’t go thinking that I like the recipe labeled no. 1 better. It just worked out that way!

For this dish, I use bone-in chicken as opposed to boneless chicken. And I use everything but chicken breast.

Ingredients for Greek Lemon Chicken No. 1

2.5-3 lbs bone-in chicken pieces (wings, thighs and drumsticks)

3/4 cup lemon juice

2 tbsp dried oregano

2 tbsp dried thyme

2 tbsp dried rosemary

2 tbsp lemon zest

1.5 tbsp minced garlic

1 tbsp Kosher or sea salt

2 tsp fresh-ground black pepper

1/4 cup canola oil

Directions for Greek Lemon Chicken No. 1

Here’s where that Good Seasons cruet that I always talk about comes in handy. Check out the Kitchen Accessories page on this blog. Place all the ingredients in the cruet and shake like you mean it.

Take a toothpick and poke holes in both the top and undersides of the chicken pieces. Place them in a resealable plastic bag with the marinade. Marinate in the refrigerator for at least 6 hours, but preferably overnight. Be sure to turn the chicken by squeezing the bag every once in a while to ensure that all the pieces spend time in the marinade.

Bake for 1 hour in a preheated 350-degree oven. After an hour, turn the heat up to 375 degrees and bake for an additional 30 minutes to “crisp” the chicken.

Ingredients for Greek Lemon Chicken No. 2

For this version of Greek Lemon Chicken, you are basically making a “rub.”

2.5-3 lbs bone-in chicken (wings, thighs and drumsticks)

3 tbsp olive oil

3 tbsp garlic powder

2 tbsp onion powder

3 tbsp dried thyme

3 tbsp dried oregano

3 tbsp dried rosemary

1 tbsp Kosher or sea salt

1 tsp fresh-ground black pepper

3 tbsp lemon pepper seasoning

Zest of one lemon (reserve the lemon)

1 additional lemon, cut into thin slices

Directions for Greek Lemon Chicken No. 2

Mix the garlic powder, onion powder, thyme, rosemary, oregano. salt, pepper, lemon pepper seasoning, and lemon zest together to make a rub. Rub each piece of chicken on both sides with olive oil and apply the rub. Then, wrap each piece individually in plastic wrap. Place in the refrigerator and allow the chicken pieces to absorb the flavors for a minimum of 6 hours or, preferably, overnight.

When you are ready to bake the chicken, unwrap the pieces and place them in a baking dish. Poke holes in each piece with a toothpick, and squeeze the lemon you zested on top of the chicken. Cut the additional lemon into thin slices and place them on top of the chicken.

Bake for 1 hour in a preheated 350-degree oven. After an hour, increase the temperature to 375 degrees and bake for an additional hour to “crisp” the chicken.

Discard the lemon slices that may have burned prior to serving. Otherwise, you can serve it with them on.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Herb-Roasted Baby Potatoes and Onions

baby-potatoesThis is one of those great side dishes that go with poultry, beef, pork or lamb. Doesn’t matter what you’re serving. I always make this at Thanksgiving, instead of opting to just throw the potatoes and onions in with the bird.

I love using a variety of baby potatoes, making this with Yukon gold, red, and purple potatoes. In some supermarkets (like mine), you can actually buy a variety bag of baby potatoes with all of these spuds included. Of course, you can also make this dish with the more traditional big potatoes. You just have to make sure to cut them into smaller pieces.

You can use either red onions or Vidalia for this recipe. Don’t chop them small. You want the onions to be more or less the same size as the potatoes.

Ingredients

1.5 lbs baby potato variety, cut in half

1 large Vidalia or Bermuda onion, cut in larger pieces

1/8 cup olive oil

1 tsp Kosher salt

1 tbsp coarse-ground black pepper

3 tbsp minced garlic

2 tbsp finely chopped fresh rosemary leaves

2 tbsp fresh thyme, removed from stems

Directions

Cut the baby potatoes in half (in quarters of some are a bit bigger), and cut the onion into pieces that are about the same size as the potatoes. Put everything into a big bowl and stir, making sure the potatoes and onions are well coated.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Place the potatoes and onions on a roasting pan in a single sheet. Roast for at least an hour, turning once or twice to ensure that the potatoes are roasted evenly. I often put the broiler on at the end for a few minutes to make the potatoes and onions extra crispy. Just be sure to keep your eye on the roasting pan if you do this.

Remove from the oven and adjust seasonings if necessary.

 

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Chicken Marengo

boneless-skinless-chicken-thighs1You know, there are always “stories” surrounding food. With this dish, rumor has it that Napoleon Bonaparte’s chef made this dish for him after the battle of Marengo. I don’t necessarily know if this story is true, because I’ve always thought of this as a Spanish dish. What I do know that this is utterly delicious. What makes it utterly delicious are the many layers of flavor.

Most of the Chicken Marengo recipes out there call for boneless breast of chicken. Again, I prefer boneless, skinless chicken thighs simply because the meat is so moist. However, you will see that I have given you the option when you get to the recipe portion of this post.

I have served this over white rice, and over noodles. However, I recommend you try it over Israeli Couscous. Aside from salting the couscous, there isn’t any flavor you really need to add to it. There is plenty of flavor in the Chicken Marengo itself.

Ingredients

6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs or 3 large boneless chicken breasts, cut into cubes

2 14.5 oz cans of diced tomatoes, drained (I love to use the Del Monte with mild chilis in this dish)

1 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth

1/2 cup dry white wine

3 tbsp olive oil

2 tbsp butter

1 medium Vidalia onion, peeled and sliced

1/2 large red pepper, seeds removed and cut in strips

1 cup Portobello mushrooms, stems removed and cut in strips

1 cup frozen petite peas

3 cloves garlic, crushed

Juice of 1 lemon

1 tsp Kosher or sea salt

1 tsp fresh-ground black pepper

1/4 cup fresh thyme, removed from stems

2 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro

2 tbsp capers

Directions

Put the olive oil in a deep skillet and add the onion and red pepper strips, cooking until the onions are just translucent. Then add the chicken. If you’re using thighs, put them in whole. These will be easy to break up in to pieces a bit later in the cooking process. If using chicken breast, make sure you have cut them into bite-sized pieces. Cook the chicken on until slightly browned.

Once the chicken has browned, add the diced tomatoes, chicken stock, wine, salt and pepper, garlic, thyme, and bay leaf. Cover the skillet and cook over medium heat for about 45 minutes.

While this is cooking, put the butter, lemon and mushrooms in a smaller skillet, and sauté the mushrooms until just tender. Remove from the heat and set aside. You can also measure out the frozen petite peas and set them aside.

After about 45 minutes, break up the chicken thighs. Add the mushrooms, peas, cilantro and capers. Give it a stir. Cook for about another 12-15 minutes, or until the peas are just tender.

Remove the bay leaf, and serve over Israeli couscous (my preference), rice or wide noodles.

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Oven-Roasted Cauliflower with Herbs and Asiago Cheese

Roasted Cauliflower with Chives and AsiagoI love Mark Twain. Some of the best quotes on the planet came from him. Of cauliflower, he once said, “Cauliflower is nothing but cabbage with a college education.” A lot of people make faces when I mention cauliflower, but it’s delicious if you think outside the box. It doesn’t have to be boiled to death and covered in butter. This is a delicious recipe.

You need an oven-proof casserole dish for this recipe, and you roast the cauliflower at 450 degrees (without a cover). This is important because you want the cauliflower to brown. You also need to keep an eye on it and stir it every once in a while so that all of the cauliflower browns evenly.

I confess that I recently tried this on my kids as a side dish to mac and cheese. They just kind of looked at me cross-eyed like I was some kind of nut. But the adults loved it. I’ll keep at it because they certainly have no idea what they are missing.

Ingredients

1 medium head of cauliflower, cut into florets (about 5 cups)

1/4 cup olive oil

2 tbsp fresh squeezed lemon juice

3 tbsp minced garlic

1/4 cup fresh chopped chives

3/4 cup shredded Asiago cheese

1 tsp sea salt

1 tsp lemon pepper seasoning

2 tbsp fresh chopped thyme

Directions

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Place cauliflower florets in casserole dish. Drizzle with olive oil. Add lemon juice, minced garlic, thyme, salt and lemon pepper. Give it a stir, and place it in the oven.

Bake for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally to make sure that all the cauliflower browns evenly.

Remove from the oven and add the shredded Asiago cheese and chopped chives, toss to mix, and it’s ready to go!

 

 

 

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