Roast Chicken Dinner

Makes for a nice moist chicken. Next time I make this I will be tossing the vegetables in a bit of olive oil to improve the results, so the instructions below will reflect that.

Ingredients
1 whole chicken
1 lemon
Sage
Rosemary
Thyme
salt and pepper
3-4 small onions
6-8 potatoes
4 cloves of garlic
* olive oil.
ingredients

***

1. Pre-heat the oven to 425F.
Take the chicken out of the fridge and pat it dry with paper towels. Season generously with salt and pepper on all sides then let the salt sinkin in for at least 30 minutes,
season

2. During that time, roughly slice the onions and quarter the garlic cloves.
onions

3. Peel the potatoes and cut into wedges. Add to the onions and garlic.
* At this point toss the whole lot with a bit of olive oil.
potaotes

4. Wash your aromatics. There’s no set quantites for the herbs, but be careful, the rosemary can be overpowering. If your chicken is large, slice all around the lemon to let the juices weep out. If the bird is smaller, cut the lemon into quarter. Stuff the herbs and lemon into the chicken’s cavity.
aromates

5. Transfer the chicken to a roasting pan. nestle the vegetables around it. Add about 1 spring’s worth of rosemary leaves, a few springs of thyme and a few leaves of sage roughly chopped.
intopa

6. Put in the oven for 1h15 minutes.
roasted

7. Remove the chicken and cover with foil to let it rest. Put the vegetables in the oven for a further 15 minutes.
rest

8. Carve the chicken and serve with the roasted onions and potatoes.
carve

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Blueberry lemonade

I will freely admit I have a slight obsession with lemonade. It tastes of summer and happiness. And this version turns a gorgeous purple red, what’s not to love!

However, next time I make it I think I’ll halve the sugar in the blueberry syrup so that I can have more blueberry taste while still maintaining the nice tartness of the lemons. However the left over syrup is tasty on it’s own, in other drinks or over ice cream.

Ingredients
6 lemons
1 pint blueberries
1 cup of sugar
6 cup water
1 tea spoon vanilla extract (optional)
ingredients

***

1. Wash the blueberries. Combine in a pot with 1 cup of water and the sugar.
berries1

2. Bring to a boil.
boiling berries

3. Lower the heat and allow to simmer until most berries have burst and the syrup has thickened.
simmer berries

4. In the mean time, squeeze the lemons.
squeeze-lemons

5. Add the remaining water to the lemons and set aside. Carefully mash the blueberry syrup through a sieve to remove the flesh and peels. You should have about 2 cups of syrup. Allow to syrup to cool.
filter

6. Combine the syrup and lemon to taste (I used about a cup). Add the vanilla, stir well and serve cold, over ice.
serve

Date Squares

Simple, old fashioned date squares.

Ingredients
2 1/2 cups dates, pitted (lightly packed)
1 cup water
Juice of 1 lemon
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 3/4 cups oats
1 cup flour
3/4 cup + 2 table spoon brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 cup butter
ingredients

***

1. Pre-heat the oven to 350F. Line a 8-inch square baking dish with a strip of parchment paper, letting it hang over both sides. Butter the other two sides.
line-mold

2. In a pan, combine the dates, water, lemon juice and 2 tbs brown sugar. Bring to a boil.
date1

3. Add the baking soda. it will react to the acidity of the lemon juice and foam up. Keep stirring the whole thing.
date2

4.Keep cooking the mix over medium heat for about 5 minutes, stirring constantly. The dates will fall apart and turn into paste.
Set aside to cool.
date3

5. In a bowl, combine the oats, flour, brown sugar, and baking powder.
crumble1

6. Cut the butter into chunks and add to the bowl. The butter needs to be soft but not melted.
crumble2

7. With a pasty cutter (or your fingers if you don’t have one, like I did) combine the butter to the dry ingredients until no big chunks of butter remain nor any loose flour.
crumble3

8. Press half of the toppings mixture at the bottom of the mold. Try not to leave any gaps.
assemble1

9. Spread the date mixture over that base. try to even it out as best you can. You don’t want it to be too hot so it doesn’t melt the butter.
assemble2

10. Gently press the remaining crumble mix on top. Don’t press to hard, you don’t want the date mix to overflow. But try to get it compacted some so it gets crunchy.
asemble3

11. Bake on the center rack for 40-50 minutes until the crumble is a nice uniform golden color.
baked

12. Allow to cool. This will likely take a few hours, up to overnight. If you can, let the whole thing cool on a mesh rack (like for cookies) so the bottom cools at the same rate and doesn’t get mushy.
Once cool, turn over on a cutting board and remove the parchment paper.
unmold

13. Cut into squares according to your preference. I like smaller ones, so I got 25 out of this recipe.
squares

14. And enjoy!
eat

Chickpea and spinach salad with marinated chicken

Simple, low effort and tasty. The left overs make good lunch, this is great of week-night cooking.

Ingredients
2 cans of chickpeas
1 pack of boneless, skinless chicken thigh 
1 small jar roasted peppers, in oil not brine
3 capers, quartered
Baby spinach (a good handful per plate)
Olive oil
4 lemons
salt & pepper
Dijon mustard
3 cloves of garlic
Fresh basil, to taste
ingredients

***

1. Combine together the juice of 3 lemons, a good amount of olive oil (1/4 to 1/3 of a cup), the garlic, pressed of finely minced, a bit of salt and plenty of black pepper.
marinade

2. Put the chicken in a large freezer bag and pour in the marinade. Massage a bit to make sure everything is coated, then allow to marinate for an hour or so.
chicken-in-marinade

3. The marinade will make the chicken look paler. This is normal. Get the chicken cooking, and discard the marinade.
marinated-chicken

4. Drain and rinse the chickpeas.
chickpeas

5. Remove the roasted peppers from the jar and drain the excess oil. Cut into strips and add to the chickpeas.
add-peppers

6. Add the capers. They add a salty/briny/crunchy element. Skip them if you don’t like them or don’t have any on hand. Olives would probably work instead.
add-capers

7. In a small jar, combine the juice of the remaining lemon, some olive oil and about a tea spoon of Dijon mustard. Add black pepper. Shake until emulsified.
dressing

8. Add the chicken to the chickpeas. Drizzle with the dressing and mix everything together.
mix

9. Serve over a good handful of spinach. Add cut or thorn basil on top. 
plate

Lavender Lemonade

I’ve been, how to say, slightly obsessed with any cold summery drinks in the last few weeks. Lemonades, iced teas, floral infusions. So much that my brother picked up a few colored glass bottles so I can store them in something less bulky than the pitcher I’ve been using.

And the same day he brought those home I saw this Lavender Lemonade recipe being shared around on Facebook.  I won’t repost the whole recipe, just the ingredients, pictures and my notes. Go and check out the source website!

Ingredients
1/2 cup honey
5 cups water
1 table spoon dried lavender
Juice of 5 lemons

Notes

  • I would probably use only 1/4 of a cup of honey next time, as the honey became the main note, overpowering even the lemons.
  • I allowed the lavender to infuse for about 1h, I would give it more time, once again, to really amplify that note.
  • Pretty color!

 

 

Baked Berberé Chicken

A simple recipe, less then 5 minutes to assemble and then it’s hassle free. The spice paste is rather spicy but can be removed from the chicken and mixed with the accompanying starch to tame it down. I like to serve this with quinoa and sauteed bell pepper.

Ingredients
4 chicken breast
4 onions
Juice of 1 1/2 lemon
4 cloves of garlic
3 table spoon berberé
2-3 table spoon melted butter.
ingredient

***

1. Pre-heat the oven to 375F
In a small food processor combine the spices (ground), garlic, lemon juice and melted butter.
combine

2. Blend until a paste is achieved.
blend

3. Slice the onions and put at the bottom of your roasting pan, The rack is optional.
onions

4. Add you chicken breast. Don’t worry if (like me) they are still a bit frozen. This is a very forgiving meal.
chicken1

5. Brush the spice paste on both sides of each chicken breast.
chicken2

6. Bake for 1 hour.
bake

7. Allow to rest for a couple of minutes then slice the chicken and serve.
serve

Raspberry and Maple Lemonade

It snowed again and I am sick of winter. I’ve also been craving lemonade for a few days. This was the result. Bright, vibrant, just sour enough.

Ingredients
5 lemons
1 orange
2 packs of raspberries
2 1/2 table spoons maple syrup
6 cups water
ingredient

***

1. Juice the lemons. I pour the juice through a sieve to remove the pulp and any missed seeds. If you like the pulp, just make sure to catch the seeds.
lemon-juice

2. Rinse the raspberries.
rinse

3. Blend the raspberries down. I used an immersion blender, but a regular blender would work just as well.
blend

4. Dilute half of the raspberries purée with 2 cups of water.
dilute

5. Pour the diluted raspberries through a sieve, into the pitcher with the lemon juice.
pour1

6. Work in batches and discard the seeds. Repeat steps 4-6 with the last of the purée.
seeds

7. Add the remaining 2 cups of water to the pitcher once all the raspberries are in.
pour2

8. Add the maple syrup and mix well to dilute completely. Thinly slice the orange and add to the pitcher. Give it a taste at this point. You might want to add some maple syrup,.
complete

9. Serve cold (over ice) or cut with liquid of choice (tonic, sparkling water, 7up, sparkling wine, white wine, etc)
glass