Tag - carrots

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.

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

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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.

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

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Easy Buffalo Chicken Lettuce Wraps

Jason and I went to an event at a Senegalese restaurant in Oakland this afternoon. We were invited by a friend who is from New Jersey too. I met her through someone back home who introduced us because we moved to the Bay Area around the same time. It’s lovely talking with people who are experiencing similar trials and tribulations of moving across the country. It can sometimes be challenging to get familiar with a new area, build a network, make new friends, etc. There were quite a few people at this event who are NY/NJ transplants so it was lovely reminiscing about the things we miss about the East Coast and relish in the things that are much better out West.

Since I knew that we were going to be there for a few hours today, I wanted to make something in the Crock Pot for dinner so it could cook while we were out of the house. We have a lot of butter lettuce ready in the garden so it seemed like a nice time to try out a chicken wrap recipe. These have the right amount of heat that’s nicely balanced with the blue cheese. The snap of the celery gives enough texture so that there’s some crunch to it too. I created my own seasonings mixture in this recipe, you can always replace the spices with a pre-packaged Ranch dressing mix instead. Either way, this is a simple recipe with lots of leftovers.

Easy Buffalo Chicken Lettuce Wraps
2 Tablespoons dried parsley
1 1/2 teaspoons dill, chopped
2 teaspoons garlic powder
2 teaspoons onion powder
2 teaspoons dried onion flakes
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon dried chives
1 teaspoon salt
6 chicken breasts
1 12-ounce bottle Frank’s buffalo sauce
1/2 cup chicken stock
Carrots, shredded
Celery, sliced thin
Butter lettuce leaves
Blue cheese dressing

1. In a small bowl, combine the first eight ingredients.

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2. Place the chicken on the bottom of the slow cooker. Sprinkle spice mixture on top of the chicken. Pour in the buffalo sauce and stock. Mix the chicken together. Cover and cook on LOW for 5-6 hours.

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4. Remove the chicken from the Crock Pot and place in a large dish. Shred the chicken using two forks. Add some of the sauce to the chicken until you’ve reached the exact about of spice you’re looking for.

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4. Serve with shredded carrots, celery, and blue cheese.

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Roasted Chicken and Vegetables

This could be a one pot dish if I had a oven safe pan big enough to fit all the chicken I wanted to make for this week. If you only make this with four thighs, it can totally be done and you don’t have to use a casserole dish. I also learned from my Chicken Stroganoff recipe that everything is better with wine. This is one of those dishes. You can certainly omit it, but it gives it a nice boost.

Roasted Chicken and Vegetables
8 chicken thighs, skin on
Salt and pepper
2 Tablespoons olive oil
2 medium carrots, peeled and sliced
1 small yellow onion, thinly sliced
1 smal red onion, thinly sliced
4 cloves of garlic, diced
1 can of artichoke hearts
1 cup white wine
16 oz baby spinach

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1. Heat olive oil in a large pan, salt and pepper both sides of chicken and place skin down in hot oil. Brown both sides and set aside.

2. Add carrots, onions, garlic, artichoke hearts into hot pan. Cook until slightly browning. Add white wine and cook for 6-7 minutes until wine cooks off a bit. Ensure the veggies don’t get too tender, they’re going to finish off in the oven.

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3. Add spinach to pan and cook until slightly wilted.

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4. Place chicken on the bottom of a casserole dish, pour vegetables on top. Cook in a 400 degree oven for 20 minutes.

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5. Check to makes sure that the chicken temperature reaches 165 degrees before serving.

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Sunday Night Dinner

I decided to make a nice Sunday night dinner with enough leftovers for a few meals. Jason was craving some pork loin so I decided to go for it! I made Herb Encrusted Pork Loin with Caramelized Onions, Spinach and Garlic Risotto, and Roasted Carrots and Broccolini. I wouldn’t change a thing with any of the recipes, everything came out perfectly. Paired with a nice red wine from Acacia Vineyards in Napa.

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Herb Encrusted Pork Loin with Caramelized Onions
(Recipe inspiration from Lauren’s Latest)
1 3-4 lb. pork loin
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed in your fingers
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, sliced

1. In a small bowl, combine the salt, garlic powder, pepper, rosemary and thyme. Sprinkle the mixture all over the pork.

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2. Heat a pan over medium-high heat, add the oil, and brown the pork on all sides. Place the pork in a slow cooker and pour remaining oil all over.

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3. Place the onions around the pork, cover and cook on LOW for 6 hours. The internal temperature of the pork should reach 160 degrees for medium.

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4. Remove the pork from the slow cooker and let rest 15 minutes before slicing and serving.

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Spinach and Garlic Risotto
(Recipe credit to Marta Stewart)
1 32-oz container of vegetable stock
1 1/4 cup dry white wine
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
1 onion, finely chopped
coarse salt and ground pepper
1 cup Arborio rice
16 oz baby spinach
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 cup grated parmesan/asiago blend, plus more for serving (optional)

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1. In a small saucepan, combine broth 1 cup of wine and bring to a simmer, then keep warm.
2. In a large saucepan, heat oil and butter over medium heat. Add the onion and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 3 to 5 minutes.
3. Add rice and cook, stirring, until well coated, 1 to 2 minutes. Add 1/4 cup wine; cook, stirring, until absorbed, about 1 minute.

DSC_0933(What the risotto looks like when first adding the wine)

4. Add 2 ladles full of hot broth mixture; simmer over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until absorbed, 5 to 7 minutes. Continue adding broth mixture, 1 ladle at a time, waiting for liquid to be absorbed before adding more, stirring occasionally, until rice is just tender and creamy with a little liquid remaining in the pan, 20 to 25 minutes total (you may not need all the broth mixture).

DSC_0957(What the risotto looks like after adding all the broth)

5. In the meantime, while you’re adding more broth, add touch of oil and chopped garlic to a frying pan and cook until fragrant. Add spinach and toss until wilted. Set aside.

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6. When the rice has absorbed all the liquid, and has a creamy texture, stir in the spinach, garlic, and cheese. Serve immediately, with more Parmesan, if desired.

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Roasted Carrots and Broccolini 
1 lb long young carrots, rinsed and scrubbed with greens cut with one inch remaining, then sliced longways
1 lb broccolini, hard ends removed
2 Tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
Salt and pepper

1. Preheat oven to 400°.
2. In a baking dish, combine carrots, olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper.

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3. Cover with foil and roast for 25 minutes, until par-cooked. Uncover, add broccolini and toss together. Roast for another 10-15 minutes until vegetables are tender.

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