Archive - August 2015

Slow Cooker Chicken with Creamed Spinach

This is one of the three dishes I made from the two chickens last weekend. It came out great, but I forgot to turn the crock pot off and it cooked for closer to four hours. The chicken turned out a little dry so I made a gravy with the drippings and that helped quite a bit. I think you can cook this for closer to 3 hours on high and it should be fine.

The gravy in the dish gives it a nice creamy texture, but without any dairy. I made up for that with the spinach side though, you can half the heavy whipping cream and use a soft mascarpone cheese instead if you prefer. I also made a baked potato with a a salt and pepper crust and it was to die for. Who doesn’t love a crispy salty potato crust? Throw some chives from the garden in there and you’ve got yourself a winner.

P.S. Double triple this spinach recipe for your own good because it’s real tasty and you’re going to want a lot more if you’re cooking for more than one night or more than two people.

DSC_0142

Slow Cooker Chicken with Creamed Spinach
1 Whole Chicken, wings, breasts, and thighs
1/2 lb bacon, sliced into 1/2 inch strips
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 lb pearl onions, peeled
1 lbs white mushrooms
4 garlic cloves, chopped
3 sprigs fresh rosemary
Salt and pepper
1/4 cup warm water
2 tablespoons cornstarch

DSC_0974

1. Cook the bacon in a large skillet until crispy. Remove from the skillet and transfer to a slow cooker.

DSC_0908

2. Add the chicken to the bacon fat and brown on both sides. Transfer the chicken to the slow cooker. 3. Pour the wine into the skillet and bring to a boil. Pour the mixture over the chicken. Add the mushrooms, onions, garlic, rosemary, and salt to the slow cooker.

DSC_0986

4. Cover and cook for 3 hours on high.

5. Transfer the chicken, mushrooms, and onions to a serving dish and pour sauce into a small saucepan. Combine the water and cornstarch and then slowly pour into the sauce. Bring to a boil and stir until the gravy thickens. Pour over the chicken and serve.

Creamed Spinach
2 lb baby spinach, stems removed
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup onion, finely diced
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, grated
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

DSC_0097

1. Bring a pot of water to a boil and add spinach, cook for 2 minutes. Remove spinach from the water and transfer to an ice bath to stop the cooking and keep bright green color.
DSC_0105

2. Wipe out the saucepan and add the butter, heat until it melts. Add the onion and salt, cook down until the onions have softened. Add the spinach, cream, cheese, and nutmeg. Cook until the cream has cooked down a big and the cheese has fully melted.

DSC_0150

2 Chickens, 3 Dishes, 12+ Meals

I took a leap and make homemade chicken stock last weekend. It took four hours for it to cook down and I couldn’t wait to try it. I almost had a bowl of stock on the spot. Even though they’re very simple ingredients, this is packed with flavor. Since most soups call for at least 2-4 cups of canned or boxed chicken stock they always have an overly salted artificial flavor. I’m going to use the homemade stock for soup this week and I’m thrilled to see the difference it makes.

We bought two chickens for this and I used the meat for two separate dishes then the bones and leftover parts for the stock. If you include the impending soup, these two chickens made 3 dishes and 12+ meals! Love it. Thank you to the lovely Ina for this stock recipe.

Homemade Chicken Stock
Bones and trimmings of 2 young chickens
3 yellow onions, unpeeled and quartered
6 carrots, unpeeled and halved
4 parsnips, unpeeled and halved
4 stalks celery, halved with leaves
5 sprigs rosemary
10 sprigs dill
10 sprigs parsley
10 sprigs thyme
1 head of garlic, unpeeled cut in half
2 Tablespoons kosher salt
2 Teaspoons whole black peppercorns

1. Place chicken in the bottom of a large stockpot, place veggies and herbs on top and sprinkle with the salt and pepper.

DSC_0943

2. Add 24 cups of water and bring to a boil. Simmer uncovered for four hours until everything has cooked down.DSC_0007

DSC_0122

3. Strain the veggies, chicken and herbs out of the stock and place into freezer safe containers. Refrigerate the stock overnight so the fat rises to the top of the container.

DSC_0158

4. Skim off the fat and place in the freezer for up to 3 months!

DSC_0167

DSC_0171

No Bake Nutella Cheesecake

Whenever we go to the grocery store together, Jason typically finds a way to sneak between one and six jars of Nutella into the cart. He finds it hysterical. I consider it an addiction. When he was working in Texas for two weeks, I knew I wanted to make him a Nutella-based dessert upon his return. This was the recipe I decided on because it’s been incredibly warm in Oakland the past few weeks and turning the oven on doesn’t really appeal to me.

DSC_0205

No Bake Nutella Cheesecake 
(Recipe credit to mybakingaddiction)
12 Gluten Free “oreo” cookies
3 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 8-ounce package cream cheese, room temp
2/3 cup Nutella
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 8-ounce tub Cool Whip
Shaved bittersweet chocolate, for topping

DSC_0143

1. Place cookies in a food processor and pulse until they’re even crumbs. Stir them together in a small bowl with the melted butter. Evenly distribute into serving dishes (I used three) and push them down to form a crust.

2. In a standup mixer, combine the cream cheese and Nutella until smooth. Add the vanilla and mix again, then fold in the Cool Whip.

DSC_0167

3. Evenly distribute the cheesecake mixture into each serving dish and top with shredded chocolate.

DSC_0272

4. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving. Or, if you’re like Jason, eat immediately and wish you had more.

DSC_0289

Zoodles: Take 1

A very dear friend gave me a Veggetti for my bridal shower last year. We drove across the country two days later to move to California. Needless to say, it’s taken some time to put all of these exciting gifts to use / remember where we put them when we moved. This is something I wish I’ve been using more frequently. Gluten free pasta is fine, don’t get me wrong. There are a few really good brands and at this point I really don’t miss “regular” pasta’s taste or consistency. Those gf pastas are just as terrible for you though, so this is a lovely and light way to get all the good fixings that you put in pasta, sans guilt. It’s a very tasty first take on zoodles and incredibly filling with so much veggie-chicken goodness! I prepared the asparagus and chicken the night ahead of time because I was making a different meal and just used the leftover pieces for this zoodles recipe.
DSC_0034

Zoodles with Chicken and Veggies
2 chicken breasts, prepared the night before (see first step)
1 bunch of asparagus, prepared the night before (see 2nd step)
Olive oil
12 mushrooms, sliced thin
1 small yellow onion, diced
6 oz spinach
3 cloves garlic
1 tablespoon butter
1 zucchini, “zoodled”
12 cherry tomatoes, halved
2 Tablespoons white wine
Red pepper flakes and parmesan cheese, for serving

1. The night before I cut the chicken into pieces and marinated in Italian dressing for a couple hours. Then sautéed until golden brown, and even a little burned in places. Set aside.

2. Cut tough ends off asparagus, lay flat on a roasting tray and coat with olive oil, salt, pepper, dash of cayenne, and garlic powder.  Roast in 425 degree oven for 8 minutes. Cut into bite size pieces and set aside.

3. Heat teaspoon of olive oil in pan and then sauté mushrooms and onions until beginning to caramelize. Season with salt and pepper.
DSC_0170

4. Add spinach and cook down until completed wilted. Add tablespoon of butter and ensure all veggies are coated. DSC_0179

5. Add cherry tomatoes, asparagus, and chicken. Bring to heat and then add white wine. Cook on medium heat until wine starts to boil and burn off, be sure to keep stirring so veggies don’t stick to the bottom. Add zoodles and cook until they are fully heated. No need to sauté or brown them.

DSC_0186

6. Serve with parmesan and red pepper flakes! DSC_0019

DSC_0010

Turkey Burgers and Sweet Potato Fries

It was not my intention to make such unnecessarily large burgers. I could have made 5 or 6 out of this recipe, as opposed to the 4 ginormous ones I created. They didn’t shrink as much as I thought they would. I’d also like to make more patties next time so the recipe can stretch out over more meals. You can also cook them on the grill but ours is so finicky that I didn’t feel like standing next to it all day making sure they didn’t burn to a crisp. The fries were also great the next day when I turned them into “hash browns” with breakfast. Leftovers love all day long.

Turkey Burgers and Sweet Potato Fries
1 lb ground turkey
1 small white onion, chopped
1/4 cup gluten free breadcrumbs
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon olive oil
2 cups baby spinach
2 cloves garlic, chopped

3 sweet potatoes, peeled
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1. Cut sweet potatoes into 1/4 inch slices. Toss in a large bowl with spices and olive oil until all coated.

DSC_0030

DSC_0043

2. Lay potatoes in an even layer on a cooking sheet lined with parchment paper. Cook in 450 degree oven for 20 minutes, tossing occasionally.

DSC_0050

3. Combine turkey, onion, breadcrumbs, eggs, garlic, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Separate into burgers and either grill or pan fry until fully cooked. Set aside.
DSC_0013

DSC_0036

DSC_0018

4. Heat olive oil in a sauté pan and cook garlic until fragrant. Add spinach and cook until wilted. Set aside.

5. Assemble burgers with cheese, sautéed spinach and onion (maybe a tomato too, if you find one in your fridge.)

DSC_0103

6. Devour with delicious cider!

DSC_0141