Tag Archives: oven

Wildcard Contest Winner ~ Toasty Roasted Chickpeas, Cajun Style

4 Feb
Wildcard Winner Toasty Roasted Chickpeas, Cajun Style

Wildcard Winner Toasty Roasted Chickpeas, Cajun Style

What better way to lead into the Mardis Gras celebrations than with a surprise Wildcard Contest Winner Cajun recipe over at Food52 website??? I’ve never been a finalist and contest winner with prizes, but at least with a Wildcard Win you get braggin’ rights, yes? I actually got awarded this three days ago, but have been so busy only just found out today. YAY! (With a wildcard win you get a nice note from the editors of the website on the recipe why they picked it.) 🙂

Linky to the recipe here ———–>  Cajun Roasted Chickpeas

We’ll see you again this weekend with a new recipe!

Roasted Chicken with Potatoes and Tomatoes

1 Feb
Roasted Chicken with Tomatoes and Potatoes

Roasted Chicken with Tomatoes and Potatoes

All I wanted was to do was use up a half jar of homemade canned tomatoes my hubby had opened for some other dish the other night before they went bad in the fridge. I also had a ginormous bone-in chicken breast to cook soon. I was glommed down in work and it wasn’t “my turn to cook.” The hubs came into my office and asked if I had any dinner ideas and told him to make something with the tomatoes and chicken. When I went down to the kitchen a couple of hours later, nothing was cooking. Hmmm. Hubs complained he had leave to run our daughter around town for various after-school activities. He said he would make some baked chicken tenders when he got home, but we’d only just had those less than a week ago AND there are no tomatoes in that dish.

Seasoned Chicken and Potatoes

Seasoned Chicken and Potatoes

Right after they left the house, I made a quick decision. I grabbed the dutch oven, seasoned the chicken and seared it on both sides, tossed in that half-jar of tomatoes, added one more jar of them, cut up a few potatoes, then threw in some seasonings. Placed it in the oven and said “Dinner will be ready in an hour or so” to nobody except the dog at that point.

Tomatoes and Seasonings

Tomatoes and Seasonings

“What, no warm bread?” asked my daughter when she got back when I announced dinner was ready. “Ummm, no. Butter some up from the pantry, OK?”

Now on to the recipe, which by the way, I thought came out delicious but I think the family didn’t want to talk to me that night about whether they liked it or not. But it’s quite easy to prep if you are in a pinch to get  a meal on the table in less about an hour.

Roasted Chicken with Potatoes and Tomatoes

1 pound of chicken, bone-in, with skin
Ground black pepper, to taste
Salt or Mrs. Dash, to taste
2 large potatoes, any kind
1/2 tablespoon butter
1/2 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup chicken broth, (or wine)
1 or 2 cans/jars tomatoes, with liquid, diced
2 or 3 cloves of garlic, smashed
Fresh or dried herbs, to taste

Simmering Chicken, Tomatoes, and Potatoes

Simmering Chicken, Tomatoes, and Potatoes

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Season the chicken with pepper and Mrs. Dash (any flavor) or salt to taste. If your chicken parts are big, feel free to cut in half (which we did.) Cut the potatoes (skin on is fine) into 2-inch chunks. In a dutch oven, add the butter and oil over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the chicken and sear on both sides for 2 or 3 minutes a side until browned. Remove from pot and set aside to drain. Add chicken broth (or wine, we didn’t have any) to deglaze the pot, stirring up crispy bits. Add the tomatoes, potatoes, garlic, herbs of your choosing (I added some fresh Thai basil and crushed dried oregano) to taste, then bring to a simmer.

Roasted Chicken with Tomatoes and Potatoes

Roasted Chicken with Tomatoes and Potatoes

Once simmering, add the chicken pieces back in on top, cover with an oven-proof lid,and put in oven. Cook for 1/2 hour, then remove lid and continue to cook in oven until chicken is done, about 15 to 20 more minutes depending on size of meat. Remove the chicken and potatoes to a large bowl or plate with a slotted spoon, then put the dutch oven on the stove on medium-high and cook tomato mixture down until thickened, about 5 minutes. Pour sauce over chicken and serve with hot warmed bread (or not, HA!) and a vegetable of choice. I made hubby steam up some broccoli. Enjoy!

Download and Print this Recipe

Download and Print this Yummy Recipe!

Kale Chip Round Up ~ Prepared Five Ways!

10 Apr
Kale Roasting in Oven

Kale Roasting in Oven ~ for some reason I really wanted to caption this “Dancing Kale.” Don’t ask me why. I just thought it was so pretty with the reflections.

This was a fun little project I set out on the other day. I had a huge bunch of kale, and decided to make these kale chips everyone and their brother has been blogging about. But since I’d never made these before and there were so many variations, I decided to do several little batches in all different flavors. That way if I burnt the kale, or I didn’t like the taste of the seasonings I chose, I wouldn’t be throwing out an entire bunch.

My very first batch was spent hovering in front of the oven with the light on, timing it precisely, and sweating it out that I would burn them. Since all ovens cook so differently, I went on the cautious side from the various timings I’d seen on this. I can tell you now that my oven crisps these babies up perfectly at 5 minutes per side, providing you didn’t add any liquid type seasoning, such as lime juice. Those batches took 2 minutes more to dry out the extra liquid.

It was fun to photograph them with all their seasonings. The hardest part was finding enough little bowls for them. I even resorted to a vintage Melamine avocado green dish that survived all my moves and clean-outs that I somehow acquired over the years. It’s possible it was given to me when my mom got rid of all her Melamine dishware and sent me off to college with them. I have two of those little bowls left, I guess they are considered “chic” now, huh?

I’ll give you my rating and my daughter’s rating for these after each recipe and photo. I could only get my husband to taste my first batch, and he said “well that’s interesting” and opted out of tasting all the other flavors.  I suppose I can’t count on these to replace his love for potato chips. Ah well.

Rinsed, Raw Kale

Rinsed, Raw Kale

Kale Chips Method

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Tear off  all the kale from the rigid middle stem, then wash thoroughly and drain. Pat dry real well with paper towels to absorb any moisture left. Add whatever amount you want to bake to a bowl. Spray the kale with olive oil, then rub it in thoroughly with your hands all over.  Next add whatever ever seasonings called for “to taste” in the recipe and distribute evenly. Line a large baking sheet with aluminum foil or parchment paper, and space the kale evenly apart so it’s not crowded. Since I did such small batches, that was not an issue. Bake for 5  minutes, then turn kale over and bake 5 minutes more, or until dried and crispy.

I had seen some websites say it can take up to 10 minutes per side, but not in my case. I’m wondering if it also has to do with how well you pat them dry, as my oven tends to cook cooler than most. I was also warned on several websites that these burn easily and fast, so monitor your oven for your first batch to get the timing down.

Parmesan Cheese Kale Chips

Parmesan Cheese Kale Chips

Parmesan Kale Chips

Light dusting of sea salt
Shredded Parmesan cheese (add after the first 5 minutes)

After taste testing all the batches, this was my Numero Uno pick! It had the perfect balance of crunchy/cheesy/saltiness. Next time I will add twice the Parmesan. Some of the cheese came out nice and brown, and somehow those ended up at the bottom of the bowl and didn’t make the photo. Those were my faves. This came in third for my daughter.

Cajun Kale Chips

Cajun Kale Chips

Cajun Kale Chips

Store-bought Cajun seasoning (I used Zatarain’s Creole Seasoning)

This one came in dead last for both of us. I have my suspicions I was over-zealous with the seasoning. Zatarain’s is pretty spicy and salty, and it was just overbearing. If you try the Cajun route, use sparingly! I might try them again sometime, with about half the seasoning, and perhaps some lime juice or cheese to mellow it out.

Lime and Crushed Red Pepper Flakes Kale Chips

Lime and Crushed Red Pepper Flakes Kale Chips

Lime and Crushed Red Pepper Flakes Kale Chips

Fresh squeezed lime juice (this took a quarter lime for my teeny batch)
Crushed red pepper flakes (some of them fell off, so sprinkled more on after turning them)

And this one was came in First Place for my daughter! It was second for me. I like me some spicy, and the lime really balanced it out. I did have to bake a little longer to get them crisp because of the lime juice.

Garlic and Sweet Hungarian Paprika Kale Chips

Garlic and Sweet Hungarian Paprika Kale Chips

Garlic and Sweet Hungarian Paprika Kale Chips

Minced garlic from a jar, with a little of the juice
Sweet Hungarian Paprika

This was my third place pick. My daughter said I should not make them again, but that they weren’t as bad as the Cajun ones, which made them fourth place for her. I think I should have added a lot more minced garlic than I did, because the pieces with the most roasted garlic had a really nice flavor. It seemed to be missing something, not sure what. Maybe a little salt? Or maybe my tastebuds were burning out at this point, not sure!

Balsamic Vinegar and Sea Salt Kale Chips

Balsamic Vinegar and Sea Salt Kale Chips

Balsamic Vinegar and Sea Salt Kale Chips

Balsamic Vinegar
Sea Salt

My daughter chose this as her second place pick, and this ended up being my fourth. Before she took a bite, she said, “You know mom, vinegar can be real iffy. This could be either really good or really bad.” She took a bite, and her eyes lit up. “I really like these!” So this goes to show that taste buds can vary as much as the spices. Once again, since you are adding a liquid, bump up the cook time for a couple of minutes.

So there you have it,  my Kale Chip Round-Up. It was a lot of fun, and this only took me just over an hour to achieve. If you make a single batch, you are done in no time! Now we have our winners and losers, and I can confidently make a few variations in the future for a healthy, low-fat, crispy snack. By the way, being the internet sleuth that I can be, I tried to find the origins of this recipe. Although I never came across a definitive source, I can say these “chips” have been in the published realm (online or paper) since the mid- to late-90s. It appears they first started as a recipe in the food dehydrator industry, then evolved to the oven. Either way, they are a yummy snack. I plan on making a nice big batch of the Parmesan ones for myself next time around.

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