Health · New Favorite · Poultry

Change Your Life Chicken

I’ve listened to the podcast ‘The Lazy Genius’ for a while and especially enjoyed the episode talking about her recipe ‘Change Your Life Chicken’.  It sounded so easy and I love roasted vegetables.  Never in my life have I set my oven for 500 degrees F, but I was up for the experiment.  I chopped carrots, sweet potatoes, potatoes and onions.

My oven must run extra hot so I only needed to roast the chicken and vegetables for 35 minutes.  The chicken skin was crispy, the vegetables were cooked through and some were crispy.  It was a delicious dish and a quick meal.  I would have especially loved this recipe when I was working full-time, needing to get dinner on the table quickly.

The instructions below are taken word for word from Thelazygeniuscollective.com website.  She does a great job of explaining the process.

CHANGE YOUR LIFE CHICKEN

What You Need

  • chicken thighs with the bone and the skin
    Yes. I said thighs. That have the bone and the skin. Trust me on this. You can do breasts if you want, but we’re a thigh family to the bone. (I love chicken humor.) Adults eat one, hungry adults eat two, and weird picky tiny kids eat a half.

  • two handfuls of vegetables per person
    You can use whatever you have. Options: onion, carrot, potato, green bean, asparagus, leek, sweet potato, and cauliflower. (Avoid mushrooms, zucchini, squash, and broccoli with this method.) I’ll share some favorite combinations at the end.

  • olive oil, salt, and pepper

How You Make It

1. Preheat the oven to 500 degrees. Not a typo. Five hundred.

2. Line a baking sheet with heavy duty foil. Your pan needs to hold your vegetables comfortably – not too close together, not too far apart. Heavy duty is less likely to tear, i.e. to get dirty from chicken grease. Do not use glass. It will shatter. I’d recommend not using any kind of baking dish with high sides because you won’t get the same kind of crisp. Baking sheet… like you use for cookies.

3. Cut your vegetables, and toss with olive oil, more salt than you think you need, and black pepper. These are the sizes to go for: large bite-sized. Carrots take the longest, so make those thinner than the rest. Consider cooking speeds with the vegetables you choose.

Green beans don’t need cutting, so those get tossed with the rest. Notice how cozy the vegetables are with each other but that there isn’t more than one layer.

4. Peel the skin back from the chicken. Don’t wig out. It’s cool. You want to generously season both sides of the chicken with salt and pepper, but you want to season under the skin. So pull back the skin, season, and fold the skin back over.

5. Pat the chicken skin dry with a wad of paper towels. This is how you get magic crusty chicken skin, i.e. the state fair craze somebody needs to start. The best order is to place the chicken skin side down on the vegetables, season, flip, pull back the skin, season, put the skin back, and pat dry. The worst is drying the skin and then realizing you forgot to season the bottom.

6. Place the chicken skin side up directly on top of the vegetables. Here’s what happens: the fat from the chicken skin will seep into the vegetables underneath, imparting flavor and moisture while the exposed vegetables get a tiny bit charred. It’s a perfect marriage of texture and flavor. I’m not showing you a photo of raw chicken because raw chicken.

Ew.

7. Bake at 500 degrees for 50 minutes. Don’t worry if the chicken will be done; it will be. And we don’t have to be concerned about the vegetables burning at such a high temperature because they’re nestled closely together. The most you’ll get will be a few crusty edges, and those are delightful.

And since blog posts don’t have sound effects yet, trust me on the crispiness of the crust. In the Instagram story, I tapped it, and it sounded like a little magic chicken woodpecker. You’re allowed to invent bird species when dinner is this easy.

And that’s it! Then you eat. Bonus: any leftover vegetables are a great snack/lunch straight from the fridge for busy days. (Except for potatoes. Leftover potatoes have a weird texture and are a little depressing. See: old French fries.)

Variations

Start with what’s above, but once you feel comfortable with how it works, feel free to change it up.

  1. Add fresh rosemary or thyme to the vegetables.

  2. Rub the chicken (not the skin) with lemon or orange zest. (Rosemary and orange are a heavenly match.)

  3. Reinvent the meal with different vegetable combinations: onion, potato, carrot; leek and asparagus; onion and sweet potato, green bean and cauliflower. If you love it, try it. The worst that can happen is it’s not great and you won’t make it again.

  4. Same goes for exotic spices. Go nuts with curry powder, a taco seasoning blend, or whatever you want to try. You won’t know if it works until you try.

  5. Use chicken breasts with the bone and skin if you must; be sure to bump the time to an hour. I can’t vouch that it’ll be as good, but I’m not your chicken boss.

Meh, yes I am. Make this chicken, y’all, and change your life.

If you run into any Change Your Life Chicken issues, I dedicated an entire episode of The Lazy Genius Podcast to it. Listen to it here.

New Favorite · Salads · Vegetables

Spring Bliss Bowls

Spring Bliss Bowls are so yummy that I made it twice within two weeks. There were so many ‘wows’ in this recipe. Wow, I have NEVER used pesto on rice…it’s amazing! Wow, I’ve NEVER roasted radishes…they are delicious! I roasted all vegetables on the same cookie sheet and it worked fine. You can also add protein such as sliced chicken breast if you like. If you don’t like the vegetables in the recipe, change it up. Any combination of vegetables will be great. Go for it!

SPRING BLISS BOWLS

INGREDIENTS:

serves 4

1 cup short grain brown rice
extra virgin olive oil
seasoned salt and pepper
10oz. bag cauliflower florets, trimmed into similar sized florets
3 small golden beets, trimmed, peeled and chopped
1 bunch radishes, trimmed then halved or quartered if large
1/2 bunch asparagus, ends trimmed then chopped into 2” lengths
1/3 cup + 1/4 cup prepared basil pesto, divided (recipe recommends Buitoni-I used my homemade pesto)
2 Tablespoons chicken or vegetable broth
1/4 cup pepitas/pumpkin seeds (optional)

DIRECTIONS:
  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees then line two half sheet pans with foil, spray with nonstick spray, and set aside. (I used one cookie sheet vs. two).
  • Add brown rice plus 1-3/4 cup water, a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, and a sprinkling of seasoned salt to a small saucepan with a tight fitting lid. (Refer to the cooking instructions on your particular bag.) Bring to a boil then place a lid on top, turn heat down to low, and gently simmer for 40 minutes. Taste – if rice is still crunchy, add 2 Tablespoons water then continue to cook for 5 more minutes. Remove pot from heat then let sit
    and steam with the lid on for 7 minutes before fluffing and cooling slightly. Once slightly cooled, stir in 1/3 cup pesto.
  • Meanwhile, add cauliflower to a medium-sized bowl then drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and season with seasoned salt and pepper. Spread onto one half of the first sheet pan then oil/season beets in the same bowl and spread onto the other half. Roast for 15 minutes then stir.
  • While the cauliflower and beets are roasting, oil/season the radishes then spread out onto one half of the second sheet pan. Roast for 10 minutes with the beets/cauliflower then stir. Add oiled/seasoned asparagus to the remaining empty half of the second sheet pan then roast with all the other vegetables for 10 minutes, or until all the vegetables are tender.
  • Breakdown of cooking times: Cauliflower/beets: 35 minutes. Radishes: 20 minutes. Asparagus: 10 minutes.
  • Add remaining 1/4 cup pesto to a small dish with chicken or vegetable broth then stir to combine.
  • Scoop pesto rice into four bowls then top each bowl with a quarter of the roasted vegetables. Drizzle with pesto sauce then top with 1 Tablespoon pumpkin seeds, if using, and serve.
  • For Meal Prep: Let all components cool then portion into containers, cover, and refrigerate. Microwave for 1-1:30 minutes or until warm then eat.
  • Notes
    I like to keep each vegetable separated in case they cook quicker or slower than the other vegetables.

Recipe adapted from IowaGirlsEats

Vegan · Vegetables · Vegetarian

Roasted Kohlrabi and Beets…Really!

This is the first year that I have participated in Grant Farms Community Supported Agriculture (CSA).  My older daughter, Megan, and I decided to try it this year and we’ve enjoyed the fruit and vegetable surprises each week.

Kohlrabi was not a new vegetable to me but I haven’t had it since I lived at home on the farm.  My Mother would slice it and eat it raw with salt. It reminds me of a very crisp, slightly sweet, potato. However, I wanted to try something different and decided to roast it with a few red and gold beets, also in my CSA delivery.

The leftovers were equally good served chilled.  Is this my favorite vegetable recipe? No, but I’m always up for a new adventure and I enjoyed it.

ROASTED KOHLRABI AND BEETS

3 medium to large Kohlrabi, peeled and chopped
5-6 medium beets, peeled and chopped
1 large onion, chopped
1 large clove of garlic, minced
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon Kosher or Sea Salt
black pepper to taste

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Line large baking sheet with parchment paper or generously grease with olive oil.
  • Place chopped vegetables on baking sheet.  Drizzle with oil, add salt and pepper. Toss to coat evenly.
  • Bake for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and stir vegetables.  Bake another 45 minutes under tender.
Garden · Gluten Free · New Favorite · Vegan · Vegetables · Vegetarian

Sweet Potatoes, Carrots and Apples Roasted with OJ

Roasted Vegetables are my absolute favorite yet I didn’t discover this technique until a few years ago.  My carrot harvest this year was the best I’ve ever had, despite Joe’s (my 12 year old Golden Retriever) attempts to steal the carrots out of the basket.

I found this wonderful recipe which did not call for apples, but in later versions I added the apples and loved the added sweet/tart bites.

SWEET POTATOES & CARROTS WITH APPLE CIDER THYME

2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
3 medium-large carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch rounds
1-2 apples, peeled and chopped in large pieces
1 small red onion, cut into 1-inch pieces
3 whole garlic cloves
1/4 cup apple cider
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp chopped fresh thyme
salt and pepper to taste

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  • Place cut sweet potatoes, carrots, red onion and garlic cloves on a baking sheet and spread them in a single layer.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together apple cider, olive oil, thyme, salt and pepper. Drizzle mixture all over vegetables and toss to coat evenly.
  • Roast for 35-45 minutes, until vegetables are caramelized to your liking. Serve immediately.

Adapted from http://www.myjewishlearning.com/blog/food/2014/10/13/sweet-potatoes-and-carrots-with-apple-cider-and-thyme/

Gluten Free · New Favorite · Skinny

Lemon Rosemary Chicken

Lemon Rosemary Chicken is a new favorite recipe.  I love rosemary with chicken anyway so I knew this would be a winner!  The potatoes also roasted beautifully and complimented the chicken and sauce nicely.  I served this dish with my slow cooked green beans.

The leftovers were wonderful resulting in a fabulous chicken, pesto sandwich (see pesto recipe post of 10/19/12).

Lemon and Rosemary Chicken

4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
3/4 pound potatoes (small red-skinned) or large cubed potatoes
2 sprigs fresh rosemary, plus 1 tablespoon rosemary leaves
1 clove smashed garlic
pinch red pepper flakes
juice of 2 lemons (reserve the squeezed half lemons)
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoons salt

  • Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  • Cover the potatoes with cold water in a saucepan and salt the water.  Bring the potatoes to a boil over medium-high heat and cook until tender; 8-12 minutes.
  • Drain and set aside.
  • Place the rosemary leaves, garlic, red pepper flakes and salt on a cutting board. Mash the ingredients until a paste-like mixture. Transfer to a bowl.
  • Stir in the juice of 1 lemon and olive oil. Coat the chicken breasts in this mixture.
  • Heat a large, heavy skillet over medium high heat. Add the chicken , cover and cook until browned. Turn the chicken and brown the other side.
  • Add the potatoes to the chicken and drizzle with the juice of the 2nd lemon and any remaining paste.
  • Add the rosemary sprigs and the squeeze lemon halve to the skillet.
  • Place skillet in preheated oven and roast, uncovered until the chicken is thoroughly cooked, about 30 minutes.

Adapted from eatyourselfskinny Lemon and Rosemary Chicken