Archive for the ‘Poultry’ Category

Simple Paella

It’s been a pretty busy weekend in the kitchen the past few days. I cooked a vegetarian casserole on Friday, this Paella last night, and in a bit I’ll be making a batch of Polish meatballs for a potluck this evening. Cooking for two this means there will be a lot of leftovers for lunches this week. I’m not complaining, they all turned out well. This Paella is probably as basic as you can get. It’s a great starting point for someone who has never made Paella in the past. A lot of people are intimidated by this dish and for good reason. I’ve seen recipes with as many as thirty-six ingredients and enough meat to feed a block party. This one on the other hand is simple and delicious. Now I admit it gets better with a few more ingredients but it’s a great way to break the ice on a new culinary adventure. The recipe originated from one of my favorite chefs Rick Bayless who co wrote a cook book with his teenage daughter called Rick and Lanies Excellent Kitchen Adventures. Another great thing about this recipe is that I was able to do a test run on my new 7qt enameled cast iron Christmas present as my old 5qt would have been too small.

Cooks Note: This recipe can be made easily more delicious with an addition of some smoked Spanish Chorizo and a bit of smoked Spanish Paprika. Just make sure you use the Spanish style and not the Mexican style on the sausage.

4 large bone in chicken thighs cut in half with poultry shears

1/4 cup of oil

1 large red bell pepper diced

2 cloves of garlic pressed

2 cups medium grain rice

1 15oz can of diced tomatoes blended

3 1/4 cups chicken stock

pinch of saffron threads

12 oz bag of peeled and deveined raw shrimp

1/4lb of diced ham steak

1 1/2 cups of frozen peas (place on counter before starting to start thawing)


1 lemon cut into wedges

Directions Preheat oven to 325 degrees.Warm chicken broth, saffron, and salt if needed (depending on your broth) in a small pan and keep on low flame. In a large pot heat the 1/4 cup of oil. Brown the cut chicken thighs skin side down until almost cooked through. Turn the thighs over and continue to cook until almost cooked all the way through. Remove to a platter, remove skin and tent with foil to keep warm. Add diced bell pepper to the oil and cook until half-cooked. Add garlic until soft but not browned. Add pureed, canned tomatoes and cook for a few minutes until thickened a bit. Stir in the two cups of rice and stir a few times to coat well. Add the hot chicken broth with the saffron and simmer uncovered for ten minutes (do not stir again, leave it alone!). After the ten minutes, place the shrimp and ham in a single layer over the rice and push down with a spoon. Top with the chicken pushing down as well nestling everything into the rice mixture. Place in oven uncovered and cook for fifteen minutes. Remove from oven, stir in the peas mixing well. Cover immediately and let sit for ten to fifteen minutes in a warm place to let the rice finish cooking. Squeeze a bit of lemon juice on top and enjoy.  



Roasted Marinated Chicken with Pan Sauce

Tonight’s recipe comes from my favorite cooking magazine Fine Cooking. We had visitors coming from out of state and wanted to cook something easy and flavorful. I usually never serve guests a recipe that I haven’t made at least once already, however my wife and I broke the rule on this one.  Fine Cooking has never let us down in the past and this recipe was no exception. Nine times out of ten when a recipe calls for a marinade I double it. I find that this gives a more even flavor to the meat as the different pieces don’t have to compete for the love. I did that with this recipe as well even though it seemed like a powerful marinade. Once this dish was in the oven I thought I made a huge mistake and was ready to order carry out. My kitchen was filled with such strong marinade aromas I thought for sure this was going to be a flop. As the chicken roasted you could actually smell each individual ingredient of the marinade to the point of it becoming overpowering in the air. The good news was that it turned out perfect. I had to reduce the pan drippings a lot longer than if I had used the single marinade but it all worked out in the end. The directions below are for the standard marinade. When I make this again I will no longer double the recipe as I believe it was a waste of ingredients and unnecessary.

adapted from Fine Cooking Magazine


2 teaspoons of lemon zest 

2 tablespoons of fresh squeezed lemon juice

2 teaspoons of fresh chopped rosemary

1/3 cup Dijon mustard

1/3 cup light brown sugar

1/3 cup balsamic vinegar

1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil

kosher salt

5 cloves of garlic roughly chopped

2 bone in chicken breasts

4 bone in chicken thighs


 Marinate the chicken for six to twenty-four hours (we did six hours) Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Pour the chicken and the marinade into a baking dish making sure to get as much marinade as possible. Make sure the chicken is skin side up. Baste the chicken at the thirty minute mark with the pan juices and a few more times until the chicken is done (approximately one hour).  Remove the chicken and tent with foil to keep warm. Tilt the pan and remove as much grease as possible from the top of the pan drippings. Scrape as much of the goodness from the roasting pan into a small pot. Place small flame under pot and simmer until desired consistency. Spoon over the chicken and enjoy. We served this with Potatoes Mousseline and roasted brussel sprouts.

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