Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Blood Orange Chicken

I was so excited to find blood oranges a few weeks ago. They were even on sale! I don't usually see them at the grocery store I frequent so I scooped them up and started searching for recipes. Elly's recipe sounded perfect because it was a one pan dish and affordable as well. Dave and I both enjoyed this dinner and some leftovers for lunches. I never roast chicken thighs but I'm realizing now that I should. As long as you have the extra time to marinate and roast, these are hands-off enough to make a simple weeknight meal. We aren't usually home until late during the week so this was a better weekend option for us. You could also use any orange, but I highly recommend you try to find the blood orange variety.

For the chicken, you will need:
*1 teaspoon blood orange zest

*1/4 cup freshly squeezed blood orange juice
*2 tablespoons olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons cilantro

*1 jalapeño, chopped and seeded (can keep seeds for a bit more heat)
1 tablespoon fresh ginger root
, grated
*1 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

*3/4 teaspoon smoked hot paprika

*1.75 pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs

*Optional toppings for serving: sliced scallions, cilantro, and orange wedges

1. Combine the zest, juice, olive oil, garlic, cilantro, jalapeño, ginger, salt, and paprika in a blender or food processor. Pulse until pureed.

2. Combine the chicken and marinade in a large bowl, tossing the chicken pieces to be sure they are covered. Cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least one hour prior to cooking. (Longer is preferred for more flavor)

3. Preheat the oven to 475. Put the chicken thighs in a pan and discard the leftover marinade. Roast until for about 40 minutes, or until meat and juices are no longer pink. Serve with your desired sides and/or topping. See side suggestion below**

**I followed Elly's example and baked Yukon potatoes in with the chicken. I diced two potatoes and seasoned them with a bit of garlic powder, paprika, and pepper.  I roasted asparagus on the side, but you could also roast a veggie in with the dish by adding it in the later part of the cooking time.

Recipe originally adapted from Cook This Now by Melissa Clarke. 

Friday, March 7, 2014

Recipe Swap: Breaded Pork Chops

Food is a connection to so many memories. Familiar smells, tastes, and moments. Breaded pork chops were a staple in my childhood. I remember helping with the Shake-n-Bake bag to coat the chops and eating them alongside green beans, which were one of the few veggies I liked as a kid.

Sarah at Taste of Home hosted another What's Cooking recipe swap. The blogger's choice theme was easy for me. I spotted these pork chops on Mary Ellen's blog and was already planning to try them soon. Once I was assigned her blog, the choice was made. I am terrible at not burning breaded items that I attempt to pan fry. As you can tell by the less than impressive photo, these suffered the same fate. I changed the cooking to finish in the oven to avoid charring them further. Luckily Dave and I do both enjoy a crisp dinner! When I try these again I'll definitely change up the directions to follow what I posted below. We enjoyed these chops with a side of roasted broccoli...that was clearly still cooking when I quickly snapped the above photo!

You will need:
*4 thin pork chops
*salt and pepper, to taste
*garlic powder
*3 tablespoons flour
*1 egg
*1 cup Italian bread crumbs (Italian)
*2 tablespoons vegetable oil
I don't measure when I'm seasoning, so I did not list amounts above. I lightly seasoned the chops with salt, pepper, and touch of garlic powder, and then generously seasoned the bread crumbs with garlic powder, pepper, and a touch of Italian seasoning (omitted all since It breadcrumbs) and salt.

1. Preheat the oven to 350. Season the pork chops with salt, pepper, and a touch of garlic powder.

2. Place flour in a shallow dish or bowl. Do the same with the egg and beat it with a fork. Put the breadcrumbs in a final dish/bowl.

3. Heat the oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat. While the oil is heating, coat the pork chops by dipping them one at a time into the flour, then egg, and lastly coat with the breadcrumbs.

4. Add breaded pork chops to the pan and cook for about 2 minutes. Flip and brown the other side for 2-3 minutes. I then moved my chops into the oven to finish cooking (until they reach 160 degrees). You can continue to pan fry if desired.


Sunday, March 2, 2014

Sweet and Sour Chicken

I never really think of making Chinese style dishes at home. We rarely eat Chinese food takeout. In fact, we don't really eat much takeout besides Chipotle. I discovered this dinner from Pinterest and was introduced to the blog The Recipe Critic. This dinner turned out great. It comes together quick enough for most weeknights as long as you have the extra time needed for baking. I highly recommend this meal.

You will need:
*3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
*salt and pepper, to taste
*1.5 cups cornstarch
*3 eggs, beaten
* 1/4 cup canola oil
*1/2 cup granulated sugar
*3 tablespoons ketchup
* 3 tablespoons white vinegar
*3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
*1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
*1 teaspoon garlic salt
*broccoli**, optional
*cooked rice, for serving

*added broccoli
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

2. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Place the cornstarch in one bowl and the slightly beaten eggs in another. Dip chicken pieces into cornstarch then coat in egg mixture.

3. Heat canola oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat and cook chicken until browned (cooking will finish in the oven). Place the browned chicken in a 9 x 13 greased baking dish.

4. Combine sugar, ketchup, apple cider vinegar, white vinegar, soy sauce, and garlic salt in a mixing bowl. Pour over chicken and bake. Bake for about 45 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. Stir at least once during cooking to keep the chicken coated in sauce as it bakes.
**If adding broccoli, cook the chicken for 20 minutes, then stir and add broccoli to the pan. Bake for another 20 minutes.
Serve over rice.