Posts tagged ‘side-dish’

February 9, 2011

Lemon Herb Dutch Oven Chicken

I have been wanting to do this for a while now… but I needed a little inspiration. Thanks so much Julie @ The Little Kitchen !

With the temptation of a delicious  rotisserie chicken at a steal of a price for just $6.99 and ready to eat, it’s so hard to turn down. And the stores are smart, they always have these sitting on a warmer, right near the checkout. Normally, I’d just grab one and go, but not this time; this time I sacked up and bought a little raw 4.5 lb fryer chicken, some veggies and herbs, and set out on a culinary adventure. Not only does it give me the satisfaction of knowing I cooked a tasty chicken from scratch, but also it gives me the liberty to incorporate different flavors with much less sodium! Score!

Here’s how the fun process works:

First, grate some lemon peel.

Combine lemon peel with chopped fresh rosemary and thyme, and some salt and pepper and a pad of  butter.

Rub the herb butter on chicken breast, underneath the skin. This will  make it super moist and extra tasty!

Coarsely chop carrots, celery, and onion.

Make the Spice Rub and apply to the skin of the chicken….really rub it on there good,  you won’t regret it.

Then stuff the cavity of the chicken with a few handfuls of veggies, along with a quartered lemon and a sprig of rosemary.

I bet right now you are getting so excited that you are almost ready to get your little guy cooking. I know that I was so giddy… but first, you should infuse some olive oil with a few smashed cloves of garlic and rosemary.

Put the chicken in, breast-side down to brown for 5 minutes. Add the remainder of the veggies around the chicken.

Flip the chicken over, breast-side up, and let other side brown for another 5 minutes. I threw some more thyme on top too, just for fun.

Put the lid on the b-e-a-utiful dutch oven, and put in the oven.

After about 30 minutes, pull it out and pour in the wine along with placing  the quartered potatoes on top. Put the top back on and pop back in the oven for another half n hour or so.

Check done-ness with instant thermometer (our new kitchen tool, compliments of Lauren’s dad, Thanks Mike!)

Take chicken out of the pot, and set on cutting board (with grooves, so juice doesn’t flow all over the place), cover with foil for 20 minutes.

Transfer the potatoes to a bowl.

Add in parmesan cheese, chopped rosemary and thyme, salt and pepper, a pad of butter, and some milk. Get smashing, until preferred texture.

Strain out the juices from the solids, applying a little pressure on the solids to help the process, and discard them. Then let the juices settle and spoon out the fat, which is that whole top layer. Cook the remaining juice with lemon juice and serve this “sauce” with the chicken & smashed potatoes!

Meanwhile, chop up some onions, green bell pepper, and trim some asparagus. Drizzle with olive oil and a little balsamic vinegar, and sprinkle with garlic salt. Let bake in the oven for about 10 minutes.

Plate the chicken, smashed potatoes, and crispy balsamic veggies… and you have an amazing 100% home-cooked 3 dish dinner!!


1 whole roasting chicken (41/2 to 5 pounds), giblets removed and discarded,

salt & pepper

1-2 Tbsp olive oil

1 medium onion, chopped

4 celery stalks, chopped

4 carrots, peeled and chopped

7 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed

3 sprigs fresh rosemary (one to stuff in the chicken, and one to finely chop)

2 Tbsp fresh thyme, finely chopped

1 Tbsp butter

2 Tbsp lemon peel, grated

1 tsp lemon juice

1/2 cup dry white wine

4 red potatoes, cleaned and quartered

Spice rub: (1 tsp cayenne pepper, 2 tsp paprika, 1 tsp onion powder, 2 tsp salt, 1 tsp pepper) This combination was inspired from The Little Kitchen blog

Chicken Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and arrange racks to make room for dutch oven.

2. Pat the chicken dry with paper towels and season outside with spice rub (see directions above).

3. Mix butter, rosemary, thyme, and lemon peel and distribute evenly underneath the skin, atop the chicken breast. Stuff the chicken cavity with the carrots, celery, onions, 4 cloves smashed garlic, sprig of rosemary, 2-3 wedges of lemon.

4. In a large Dutch oven over high, heat the oil and add small sprig of rosemary (only the leaves) along with 3 smashed cloves of garlic to infuse the oil. Add the chicken, breast-side down. Scatter the remaining onion, celery, and carrots around chicken.

5. Cook until the breast is lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Flip the chicken breast-side up and cook another  6 to 8 minutes. Add in the wine.

6. Cover with lid and transfer the pot to the oven and cook until an instant-read thermometer registers 160 degrees when inserted in thickest part of breast and 175 degrees in thickest part of thigh, about 60 to 80 minutes. Halfway through, throw the quartered red potatoes on top, close the lid and return to oven.

7. Once it’s finished cooking, first take out the quartered potatoes and put aside, in a medium bowl. Then, transfer the chicken to carving board, tent with foil and let rest for 20 minutes.

8. Now the fat has to be separated from the juice. While the chicken is resting, strain chicken juices from the pot through fine-mesh strainer into a glass measuring bowl, pressing on solids to extract liquid. Discard the solids (carrots/celery/onion). You don’t want to eat the veggies since they are doused in fat, although I suppose they are tasty.

9. Allow the liquid to settle, about 3 minutes, then pour back into dutch oven and set over low heat.

10. Carve the chicken, adding any accumulated juices to the saucepan (if at all possible). Stir lemon juice into the saucepan to create some really delicious “au jus” type sauce, and serve with chicken.

Herb-Parmesan Smashed Potatoes preparation:

1. Smash potatoes with fork, or a masher if you have it.

2. Add a pad of butter, 2 Tbsp of grated parmesan cheese, 1/4-1/2 cup milk, 1 tsp chopped fresh thyme, and 1 tsp chopped fresh rosemary, salt and pepper to taste. Mix until desired consistency (it’s best to start with less liquid, and then adding more as needed). Also it would be a great idea to add in a few tablespoons of the chicken “au jus”.

3. Enjoy!

From the Little Yellow Kitchen


January 23, 2011

Broiled Salmon and Zesty Yogurt Sauce

Layers of love!

We have been dying to cook salmon, so we just went for it. For the side dishes, since the loaded baked potato was a hearty addition, we also had a light, citrus and olive oil dressed, arugula salad. BOOM BABY! Instant meal fit for a king, queen, or jester.

Arugula Salad Preparation:

Directions: Grab a handful of cleaned arugula and an equal amount of fresh, clean spinach and put in a bowl. We added sliced roasted red peppers (from TJ’s), perfectly ripe avocado, and some chopped scallions. We dressed with a little drizzle of olive oil, a squeeze of lemon juice, and a dash of salt and pepper.


  • Roasted red bell pepper
  • 1 Scallion
  • 1/2 an avocado
  • Olive oil
  • Fresh lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper
  • Arugula
  • Spinach Leaves

Loaded Baked Potato: Deconstructed

Baked Potato Preparation:

Directions: Clean potato and stab with a fork multiple times. Place in microwave for 4-5 minutes , turn it over and repeat–this will help get it going if it was a big potato. Then place in the oven on the bottom rack (underneath the salmon).  Cook 5-7 minutes on each side. When it’s time to eat, pull out the baked potato (but be careful, it will be screaming hot!), and place on plate. Slice it open, throw in a few pads of butter, a dollop of non-fat plain yogurt (cottage cheese or sour cream works wonders, if you have it on hand), a pinch of chopped scallions and crumbled bacon pieces.  Yum Yum Yum!


  • Large potato
  • 1 Scallion
  • 1 Strip of extra crisp bacon, crumbled
  • 1-2 Tbsp Non-fat plain yogurt, cottage cheese, or sour cream
  • Butter

Zesty Yogurt Sauce Preparation:

Directions: Whisk all of these loverly ingredients together and you will have an instant, amazingly zesty sauce! It goes great with fish or feel free to use as a salad dressing!

The perfect sauce to accompany fresh Salmon


  • 1 Cup non-fat plain yogurt (Greek yogurt would be best!)
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp fresh lime zest
  • 1 Tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 1 tsp fresh orange zest
  • 1 tsp fresh orange juice
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Now for the star of the meal….Drum roll please….

Broiled Salmon Preparation:

Directions: Preheat oven to “Broil” and rearrange the top rack, if necessary, to be sure that it is at least 4-5 inches from the top of the oven. Drizzle olive oil over salmon, sprinkle with salt, pepper, and dill. Place onto a foil-covered cooking sheet and put on the top rack in the oven for 5-7 minutes, or until it looks crispy. Then, loosely cover fish with another sheet of foil and let cook for another 5-7 minutes. Let it sit for a few minutes after taking it out of the oven, and then serve with Zesty Yogurt Sauce.


  • Salmon
  • Olive oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 1 1/2 tsp. dried dill

    A meal fit for a King

From the Little Yellow Kitchen


December 9, 2010

No Mo’ Pasta

While extensively discussing a dish to make, and we kept saying “pasta this pasta that”, and we decided…wait, let’s make a dish without pasta! So we did just that. Since we still wanted the dish to feel filling, we substituted pasta for a savory cream sauce.

We started with 4 chicken tenders, TJs sells a bargain bag of these. With just two of us, its easier to use chicken tenders rather than chicken breasts because they cook faster and don’t give us mass amounts of meat. Pat the chicken dry and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Drizzle the pan with olive oil and cook, about 3-4 minutes on each side. Remove the chicken from the pan, but leave all the browned goodness in there for the next round of ingredients.

Sautéing shallots, garlic, and sun-dried tomatoes

To the same pan,  we added finely chopped shallots, a couple cloves of garlic, sun-dried tomatoes, and red pepper flakes then sautéed them all in a little more heated olive oil. After adding a little more salt and pepper, we poured in about ¼ cup white wine, and let the flavors introduce for a couple minutes. Once they were well acquainted, we added about ½ cup chicken broth into the conversation. After a few more minutes, the liquid reduced by about half, and it was time to whisk in a few tablespoons of (always fat free) half & half. Be sure to whisk well, an immersion blender would be even better! Lastly, if you are feeling like going wild, crack open that jar of artichoke hearts, quarter them and add to the white wine cream sauce; be assured, you won’t regret adding those little gems in.

Option: Let the chicken hang out in the sauce while cooking veggies

Once the delectable sauce is finito, place the chicken tenders on a dish and spoon a generous amount of sauce on top. In order to add a bit more sustenance, we sautéed some fresh cut green beans and yellow crookneck squash. It was simple yet divine.


Buon Appetito!

From the Little Yellow Kitchen


December 6, 2010

When was the last time you ate brussel sprouts?

Did you know they grow on a stalk? They do look strange and have developed quite a bad rep. A friend of ours literally cringed at the sound of it, but we disagree….

After eating far too much Costco peppermint bark as an after-work snack we decided to eat something delicious and nutritious for dinner. We had been staring at a giant pomegranate in our fruit bowl for a week afraid to bust into it for fear of all the hard work in peeling it. Fear not! We came up with a fabulous pomegranate, walnut and yes, brussel sprout recipe that we couldn’t help but try.  We halved 15-20 brussel sprouts, drizzled them with olive oil, sprinkled with salt and pepper and then baked them to a crisp (about 25 minutes) before adding the other ingredients. One thing you should know about us is that we don’t usually measure ingredients, unless baking. Therefore, please add as many toasted walnuts and pomegranate seeds as your little heart desires (we added about 2 handfuls of pom seeds and ¼ cup warm, toasted walnuts). Mix it all up with a pad of butter and its ready to eat! You will find that the pomegranate seeds are the perfect addition to this dish as it gives an extra crunch and subtle sweetness.


Pomegranate-peeling: For those of you who have no idea which is the best way to go about harvesting pomegranate seeds, here is the easiest way to do so, without sacrificing half of the fruit for the cause.

Get a big bowl and fill it up half way with cold water. Basically just go at it and peel everything into the bowl. You will find that the seeds sink to the bottom of the bowl, and the white pulp floats to the top! Now all you have to do is scoop the pulp off the top, strain seeds, and enjoy chilled pomegranate seeds.