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Lemon Orzo with Feta

I love this recipe from Ina Garten’s Modern Comfort Food Book.

This is a delicious side dish for Chicken , fish ,and meat. I particularly like it with Roast Chicken. In the photo I posted here I served it with onion crusted chicken, oven roasted string beans, and homemade cranberry sauce. It was sort of perfect.

Get a good block of Feta or buy the crumbled one . I diced up a block of Greek Feta Cheese and it was just perfect but a nice crumbled one would work equally as well.

If you compare my recipe to Ina Garten’s original recipe you’ll notice I have omitted the salt, it was too salty for me. I tasted for Salt and Pepper when finished and added a little bit to the orzo when I cooked it. Everyone has a different palate for Salt so my suggestion is to taste at the end and add then, this recipe is easy to add at the end. Same goes for pepper just add to your own taste. Feta was plenty salty.

Simple to make and Delicious to eat .

Enjoy!

Ingredients:

1 cup Orzo

2 teaspoons grated lemon zest

2 Tablespoons Freshly squeezed Lemon Juice

2 Tablespoons good Olive Oil

1 Tablespoon minced fresh dill

1 cup small diced Feta ( try a good greek Feta ) or crumbled Feta Cheese

*kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste– see note above

Directions:

In a large saucepan , bring 2 quarts of water to a boil, and cook the orzo according to package directions al dente.

Once orzo is cooked and drained transfer to a bowl and stir in the lemon zest, lemon juice, olive oil , dill, fold in the feta and taste for salt and pepper. I added no salt but about 1/4 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper. This is up to you . Serve hot or at room temperature .

Curried Salmon Rice Bowl

I have been experimenting with a lot of Indian style food recently . You’ve all seen some of my favorites so far. This one was so delicious and I just love the curry flavor. Obviously not everyone is into the curry flavor but if you are and are looking for something new and fairly easy to make — this one’s for you.

I did it over rice and you can use any type of rice you like or any grain would also be pretty delicious. I also use Spicy Curry which isn’t so spicy but I like it a lot. You can use any curry powder you’d like. The chick peas added a delicious layer of flavor and we love cilantro but feel free to omit if you don’t like.

This would be most perfect served with some warm Naan Bread as well but we didn’t have any in the house so we passed on that. This recipe is for 4 people and honestly the prep was quick and cooking time was about 1/2 hour all in. I cut whole recipe in 1/2 for the two of us and had a little salmon left over which I ate cold for lunch the next day and it was outstanding.

Enjoy! and please let me know how this comes out if you try it and like it. By the way Joel ate his whole bowl and didn’t even pick out the chickpeas which sort of amazed me.

Ingredients:

Salmon Ingredients:

1 1/2 lbs. Salmon — I had a little leftover and ate it for lunch the next day so add a little extra salmon

2 Tbsp. Curry Powder — I used Spicy Curry Powder but any Curry Powder will do

2 Tablespoons Olive Oil

Sauce and Rice Bowls:

1 Tablespoon Olive Oil

1 yellow onion thinly sliced

1 bell pepper ( I used red but any color will do)

6 cloves garlic, minced

2 Tablespoons freshly chopped ginger

Kosher Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

2 Tablespoons Curry Powder

1 14oz. can Chickpeas, rinsed and drained

1 14 oz. can full fat coconut milk

1 lime, juiced

1 handful chopped fresh cilantro if you like

Steamed White Rice or Brown Rice or Jasmine or any grain you’d prefer

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 475 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil or just spray with cooking spray.

Place one of the oven racks as close to the top as possible – about 6 ” from the heat source

Place the salmon skin side down on the baking sheet. Combine the curry powder and olive oil to make a paste. Rub the paste liberally over the top part of the salmon. Bake for about 10 minutes depending on the thickness of your salmon ( maybe a little more or less). When cooked remove from the oven and set aside. ( salmon will continue to cook a bit so don’t over cook)

Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add the olive oil. Once it’s hot add in the sliced onions and chopped bell pepper and cook until softened — about 5 minutes. Add the minced garlic and ginger and season with some kosher salt and coarse black pepper. Add in the Curry Powder as well ( 2 Tablespoons) Cook for a few minutes. Stir in the drained , rinsed chickpeas and the coconut milk and lime juice. Stir and bring to a simmer. Simmer for about 5 minutes. Stir in the fresh cilantro if you’re using.

I flaked pieces of the salmon and put over the rice and spooned the curry sauce over it — so delicious.

Tik Tok Pasta

Originally posted a year ago and it’s a good time to make this because all the hoopla has died down and feta much easier to come by. It’s a perfectly easy recipe to follow and you and your family will enjoy.

This recipe has hit the internet and gone viral to the point that you can’t find a block of feta in the market. The reaction has been crazy. There are many versions of this recipe and I chose to go with Melissa Clark’s version because I think she’s just one of the best chefs out there and hers was the one pot version which is always a win win in my book. It couldn’t possibly be easier to make and ingredients are usually readily available, I had to hit 3 stores to find the feta ! Assuming you can get the feta this is a wonderful recipe and Joel gave it a 10. Perfectly vegetarian and perfectly yummy.

It is probably one of the richest pastas ever but the flavors were amazing. You will be using the pasta dry so no need to cook that separately .

Enjoy and Thanks to Melissa Clark @nytimescooking

Ingredients:

1 8 oz. block of feta cheese

2 pints cherry tomatoes (leave whole)

5 cloves garlic, peeled and left whole — use 5 nice size cloves or a few more if small

Fresh Rosemary and Thyme– I used a few sprigs of thyme and a few sprigs of Rosemary — the Rosemary I removed from the stem the thyme I used sprigs. These are pretty strong herbs so you don’t want to use too much. Just enough to give it that wonderful flavor ( see photos) 12 ounces dried pasta–I used Orecchiette but any type of pasta will do — Farfalle pasta would also be perfect

Olive Oil– see Directions

3 cups boiling water

Kosher Salt — app. 1 teaspoon

*Crushed Red Pepper

Directions:

Heat oven to 400 degrees

I sprayed a large baking dish with cooking spray first, then place feta, tomatoes, garlic and herbs in baking dish and I drizzled olive oil over cheese and tomatoes — just enough to lightly glaze the tomatoes and a little on the feta itself ( see photo)

Bake for 40 minutes till tomatoes and feta break down.

After 40 minutes, I removed from the oven and very carefully added the box of pasta , boiling water, teaspoon salt, and a few pinches of crushed red pepper* which of course is optional. Cover tightly with aluminum foil and return to oven for 18 minutes.

Remove from oven after 18 minutes, stir, then cover again and let sit for at least 10 minutes. I probably let it sit for 20 minutes because some of my pasta was still very hard. By the end of the 20 minutes it was perfect al dente and I mean perfect. It could be that I am at altitude so after 10 minutes check for the doneness of the pasta it should be al dente ( have some bite ) Also be careful of eating the whole garlic cloves unless you want to .

Served with a green salad and it got a 10 from Joel.

White Bean Soup with Turkey and lots of other good stuff

This soup recipe was inspired by Melissa Clark’s Lemony White Bean Soup with Turkey and Greens. I changed the recipe around to suit my taste by all means check hers out as well @nytimes.com/recipes .

I like my soups thicker so I pureed 1 can of beans with a little broth and this had the desired effect. Don’t skimp on the squeeze of lemon it brightens up the flavor perfectly.

I really enjoyed this soup and it was excellent as lunch the next day . I just added a little water and heated it up and it was perfection in a bowl.

You can freeze up to 3 months and when you defrost you’ll just add a little water or broth to bring it back to the perfect consistency.

I served with some very delicious corn bread that I made . ( just a suggestion)

This is what I did.

Ingredients:

3 Tablespoons Olive Oil

1 large onion , diced

1 large carrot, peeled and diced

app. 1/2 bag baby spinach or regular spinach

1 Tablespoon Tomato Paste

1 Teaspoon Ground Cumin

1/4 teaspoon red-pepper flakes

1 lb. ground turkey

3 minced garlic cloves

1 Tablespoon finely grated fresh ginger

1 Teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste

1 quart chicken stock– I used a little more to puree beans or just puree beans without broth — it will be fine. I happen to have some extra broth on hand.

2 15 ox. cans white beans, drained and rinsed — Cannellini or small white bean or Navy Beans

1/2 Lemon — squeezed

Directions:

Heat a large soup pot ( Le Creuset) over medium-high heat for a minute or so and add the 3 tablespoons olive oil, heat for another minute or so. Add diced onion and carrot, saute until very soft and onions are translucent , app. 10 minutes. ( don’t burn)

When the onion is golden, add tomato paste, cumin and red-pepper flakes to the pot, saute until paste darkens, a few minutes more.

Add turkey, garlic, ginger and 1 teaspoon kosher salt, saute and break up the meat, until turkey is well incorporated , app. 7 – 10 minutes.

While this was cooking , I took 1 can of beans , ( rinsed and drained) and pureed along with a little broth in the food processor.

Keep the other can of beans whole after you rinse and drain.

Then add the stock and the whole beans and pureed beans and bring to a simmer. Let simmer until soup starts to thicken, tasting for salt as you go. I do this for at least an hour. I prefer a thicker broth and the pureed beans gave me this. You can always add more stock , a little water or even a splash of white wine to thin out the broth.

I like my soup to sit for a while and I kept it on a low simmer . Right before serving I added app. 1/2 bag of baby spinach. ( any greens will do but I prefer spinach because it’s soft and and takes no time. If you use Kale or a tougher green like collard greens it will take longer to soften up — maybe another 15 minutes or so.

I then squeezed 1/2 lemon into the soup pot, tasted for salt and it was done.

I served with a little grated parmesan cheese and next time I make this I think I will cook up some small pasta ( ditalini type ) and add to the soup bowl for a very filling meal.

This was delicious and I served with freshly made corn bread.

Classic Minestrone Soup

I have made this many different ways and the other night experimented with this recipe by adding fire-roasted diced tomatoes and it was ever so delicious. Feel free to use regular diced tomatoes but the fire roasted ones gave it an extra layer of flavor that was truly delicious. I made this on the stove top and even though it’s ready in an hour I let it sit for a while on a very low flame ( more like 2 hours or more) the flavors meld best this way. This can be frozen but I freeze without the pasta , I like to add my pasta separately to the soup. It’s vegan if you don’t top with parmesan cheese and this recipe should yield at least 6 bowls of soup if not a little more. It’s a delicious vegetarian hearty warm soup that happens to be very healthy and delicious. One of my favorites.

Ingredients:

3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided

1 medium yellow onion , chopped

2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped

2 medium ribs celery, chopped

1/4 cup tomato paste

2 cups chopped seasonal vegetables, Potatoes, yellow squash, zucchini, green beans or peas will all work here

4 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

1 large can (28 oz.) diced tomatoes with their liquid, or 2 small cans –I used fire roasted diced tomatoes and they were ever so delicious

4 cups vegetable broth

2 cups water

1 teaspoon or more to taste of kosher salt

2 bay leaves

freshly ground black pepper

1 cup small pasta — like ditalini or elbows or small shells

1 can ( 15 oz) cannellini beans, rinsed and drained, or any beans 1 1/2 cups

2 cups chopped kale or baby spinach —

Freshly grated Parmesan Cheese, for garnishing

Warm 3 Tablespoons of the olive oil in a large stockpot or Dutch Oven over medium heat. Once oil is hot, add the onion, carrot, celery, tomato paste, minced garlic, and a little bit of kosher salt. Cook , stirring often until the vegetables soften and the onions are translucent, about 10 minutes. Don’t burn.

Add the seasonal vegetables you’re using and oregano and thyme, cook until fragrant while stirring frequently, about 4 minutes.

Pour in the diced tomatoes and their juices, broth and water. Add some salt now , bay leaves and a pinch of red pepper flakes if you like. And add black pepper.

Raise heat to medium-high and bring to a boil, then partially cover the pot leaving a small gap for steam to escape. Reduce heat to a gentle simmer — I honestly let it simmer for up to 2 hours.

I cook my pasta in a separate small pan and set aside.

I add the beans and you can add the greens now if you like and continue simmering uncovered now, probably another 20 minutes or so till greens are tender. If you want a more classic soup omit the kale /spinach but I love it so I add it to mine —

Remove the bay leaves from the pot, taste for salt and pepper. Put some pasta into bottom of each bowl ( doesn’t matter if it’s cold because soup will heat it right up) Garnish bowls with cheese if you like or put on table for everyone to add their own.

Perfection in a bowl and may be frozen for up to 3 months — it’s better to freeze without the pasta and you’ll probably add some vegetable broth or water to it when it defrosts.

Chicken Meatballs

I made these delicious meatballs last Sunday night and they are from my Italian Wedding Soup. I served with my Sunday Night Sauce ( Marinara) and Spaghetti. These are delicious, moist meatballs that I bake in the oven. I don’t fry these . I highly recommend these for pasta and of course in soup!

Perfect Meatballs and Spaghetti but made with Chicken and Sausage . If you can find Chicken Sausage use it and if you can find ground chicken made with dark meat I would recommend using that. I couldn’t find dark meat ground chicken so used what I could find and I used Hot Spicy Pork Sausage because I couldn’t find Chicken Sausage here in Colorado.

This is how I make my Chicken Meatballs. Enjoy!

Ingredients:

1 lb. Ground chicken — I prefer ground chicken to ground turkey but you can use it as well. Again if you can get ground dark meat chicken use that.

1/2 lb. Chicken Sausage, or Pork Sausage and you can use Sweet or Hot

3 slices Bread for Bread Crumbs — using the food processor I remove crusts and using steel blade make crumbs — app. 1 cup you can use whole wheat bread or white bread — whatever you have in the house — of course you can use regular Italian Flavored Bread Crumbs but I find the bread crumbs that you buy are a little dryer than the fresh bread crumbs.

2 -3 Garlic Cloves – minced app. 2 teaspoons

1/4 cup grated Parmesan Cheese

3 Tablespoons Milk — I have 2% and it’s fine so whatever you have in the house

1 Egg – lightly beaten

1 teaspoon kosher salt and 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper ( coarse black pepper)

Directions:

Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees.

I use Silicone liners for baking sheet but if you don’t own these absolutely fantastic Silpat liners use parchment paper or just use cooking spray, or parchment paper or aluminum foil.

Place all ingredients for meatballs in a large bowl and mix till just mixed with a fork or your “clean” hands. I use a teaspoon and make 1- 11/2″ balls. Don’t over mix and when you make the balls don’t pack super tight. Just loosely roll balls with wet hands. Place onto cookie sheet and bake for 25-30 minutes, until cooked through and lightly browned. Set aside and add to your Sunday Night Sauce or whatever sauce you’re making and place in sauce before you’re ready to eat and heat through.

That’s it! Enjoy!

White Chicken Chili

This is so my kind of meal once the weather starts to turn a little colder. It’s made with a store bought rotisserie chicken and this chicken chili is all made in one pot on the stove-top. It’s filling and the different peppers add a wonderful mix of flavors to the chili. You’ll need a large dutch oven sort of pot for this and you’ll have some left overs for sure depending on how many people you’re cooking for.

I crumbled some tortilla chips on top of my chili and added a dollop of sour cream which added to the flavor. Cheese is also a wonderful topping here.

Of course if you hate cilantro you can eliminate it and be careful cutting the peppers, the seeds and ribs in the pepper hold all the heat. It’s your call how spicy you’d like it. I like spicy but don’t really use the seeds and I keep it mild and more family-friendly because you never really know how spicy it can get adding the seeds and ribs. I also use rubber or latex gloves while cutting and be careful not to touch your eyes till you’ve completely washed your hands. If I want heat I can add a shot of Chohula to my own.

This chili does thicken considerably as it sits. If you make it ahead of time, you may want to add broth or water depending on how thick you like it.

Leftovers are great and this chili can be frozen for up to 3 months. Reheat it on the stovetop over medium-low heat and you may want to add some broth or water to it as well.

Enjoy!

Ingredients:

4 cups chicken broth, divided

2 15 oz. cans white beans (cannellini)–drained and rinsed

2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 large yellow onion, diced

1 jalapeno pepper , seeded and minced

2 medium poblano peppers, seeded and diced

4 garlic cloves, minced

1 Tablespoon ground cumin

1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander

1 teaspoon ancho chili powder

Kosher Salt to taste

1 Rotisserie chicken, skin removed and shredded

3/4 cup frozen corn

1 Tablespoon fresh lime juice, from one lime

*1/4 cup fresh chopped cilantro –we like it a lot but not everyone does I know so just omit it

Optional Toppings:

Sour Cream

Crushed Tortilla Chips

Shredded Pepper Jack or Cheddar Cheese

Lime Wedges

Directions:

Get all ingredients chopped and ready to cook.

In a food processor , blend 1/2 of the beans (1 can) with 1 cup of the chicken broth and set aside with the remaining drained beans

Add the olive oil to a large pot or Dutch Oven and heat it over medium high heat. Add the onions, jalapeƱo pepper and poblano peppers and cook, stirring frequently until soft about 4-5 minutes.

Add the garlic and cook for another minute or so, then add the cumin, coriander and ancho chili powder and continue to cook, stirring frequently for another few minutes. Add the Chicken Broth, pureed beans and app. 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to low and simmer, uncovered for 20 minutes.

Stir in the shredded chicken, reserved whole can of beans, corn and lime juice; bring back to a simmer and cook until everything is heated through, about 5 minutes. Taste and adjust salt . Stir in the chopped cilantro. It will be somewhat soupy still and that’s OK. The longer it sits the thicker it will get. I let it cook for probably an hour or so and If it’s too thick you can add a little water. It’s really a chili so I like it thick but it’s totally up to you how you like it.

Butternut Squash and Farro Salad

This salad came together in a wonderful way. I have made Butternut Squash Salads before but not this way. I am not gonna lie it has a bit of prep work, some of which can be done ahead of time. You can make it all ahead of time and just put together right before you’re going to eat it. I was serving for lunch so just woke up early and did it all except for the Farro which I made the night before. I know this salad seems complicated but it’s really not. I promise.

This salad is delicious as is for the vegetarians or add some grilled chicken, steak or fish for a complete meal. I added grilled chicken for this lunch.

As long as you don’t dress the salad you’ll have yummy leftovers. Arugula may get wilted so I don’t add till right before serving.

Delicious meatless meal as is.

This is how I did it — Enjoy!

Ingredients:

1 lb. butternut squash — cubed into small 1/2″ cubes ( see photo)

1 cup Farro cooked — I probably used about 1 1/2 cups for salad

4 Tablespoons sherry vinegar– divided

Cayenne Pepper

1/2 cup dried cherries or raisins / craisins , cranberries or whatever dried fruit you prefer– I used cherries because I like them bestie a salad but golden raisins or any dried fruit would be fine

1/2 cup walnuts, toasted and coarsely chopped

2 large shallots, sliced thinly

5 Tablespoons olive oil plus — 3 for dressing and 2 for butternut squash / shallots

Kosher Salt and freshly ground black pepper

3 oz. smoked gouda — small diced pieces — you can use whatever cheese you like and as much or as little as you like I happen to buy smoked gouda and it worked out perfectly

Arugula — I prefer baby arugula if you can find it — I used app. 3 cups but feel free to add as much or as little as you like here

Salad Dressing:

4 Tablespoons Sherry vinegar – divided — 2 for soaking dried fruit and then 2 more for dressing

  • see directions below

2 teaspoons grainy mustard

3 Tablespoons of Olive Oil

pinch of Cayenne Pepper

Kosher Salt and Pepper

combine all ingredients whisk together and emulsify and add a pinch of cayenne pepper and a little salt and pepper

Directions:

Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees. Toss squash and sliced shallots in a bowl with about 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil add salt and pepper and spread evenly onto a sprayed baking sheet. Bake until tender and browned , about 30 – 40 minutes . Set aside to cool when done.

Put the cherries or whatever dried fruit you’re using in a small shallow bowl with 2 Tablespoons of the Sherry Vinegar and let sit for at least 15 minutes– let them soak just toss them every once in a while. Remove the cherries after 15 minutes and drain them with a bowl underneath to reserve the liquid — you should have 2 Tablespoons and add 2 more Tablespoons of sherry vinegar and follow above directions for the dressing.

Cook the Farro — I made 11/2 cups and that’s all you really need is 1 to 1 1/2 cup cooked farro

Let the farro and the squash cool down completely. Mix in a big bowl with cheese, walnuts, dried fruit, and right before serving add the arugula so it doesn’t wilt . Add as much or as little of the arugula as you want.

I let everyone add their own dressing or you can dress salad and serve. I also added grilled chicken which of course is your call.

I would say this salad serves 4-6 .

Sheet Pan Chicken –Meditteranean Style-String Beans and Potatoes

I love one pan and one pot dinners! Just amazing! This is an easy no-fuss meal cooked in the oven on one sheet with a marinade that has a distinct Mediterranean flavor from the lemon juice, olive oil and oregano.  Use chicken thighs or legs , I prefer dark meat for this but if you insist on using white meat –go ahead. Some green beans and potatoes make this a one pan staple. Delicious and Nutritious. Did I mention super easy to clean up?  You’ll need a rimmed baking sheet for this recipe.

Enjoy! this is for 2 +people but you can double for 4. It will probably feed 2+ but depends on your people. This is what I did for the 2 of us. We ate the whole thing! no leftovers! If you are making for a larger crowd (4 or more) either use a very large baking sheet or 2 baking sheets — don’t crowd the pan.

Ingredients:

6 smallish chicken thighs — usually 1 package will do perfectly

1/2 lb. baby red potatoes I quartered them but if they are very small you can cut in 1/2 If they’re too big they won’t cook in 45 minutes so smaller is best.

1/2 lb. green beans , trimmed

2 Tbsp. olive oil plus for marinade

Kosher Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper, I salt chicken liberally and potatoes because they tend to be bland –see notes below on salt and pepperimg_3437

*2 Tbsp. Chopped Fresh Parsley – totally optional along with some slices of fresh lemon for beautiful presentation

Marinade for the Chicken- Marinate for about an hour

app. 1 package of chicken thighs– bone in , skin on . When I say 1 package it is usually a little under 2 lbs ( 6 smallish thighs)  which is more than enough for 2 people. Usually about 6 chicken thighs in a package depending on the size of thighs.

1/4 cup olive oil

3 cloves garlic, minced

Juice of 1 lemon- I used juicer because I wanted to make sure I got every drop

1 Tbsp. Red Wine Vinegar

1 Tbsp. dried oregano

Kosher Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper , to taste–I used 1/2 tsp. kosher salt and about 10 grinds on the pepper mill for the marinade

In a large Ziploc Bag, combine chicken, olive oil, garlic, lemon juice, red wine vinegar and oregano; season with app. 1/2 teaspoon salt and a few grinds (10-12) of freshly ground black pepper, to taste. Marinate for at least an hour, turning the bag occasionally. Remove the chicken from the marinade by draining it, discard the excess marinade.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly spray a large size baking sheet with cooking spray.

Place potatoes and green beans in a single layer onto the prepared baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Top with chicken in a single layer. Salt is an important component here–I sprinkled a light amount over chicken and potatoes and string beans –probably another 1/2 teaspoon and a few grinds of the pepper mill

Place into the oven and roast until the chicken is completely cooked through, should register 165 degrees with a meat thermometer after about 1/2 hour -45 minutes. After I check for readiness I place under the broiler for a few minutes, till skin is golden brown and a little charred ( but not too charred) watch chicken for signs of burning.

Serve immediately, you can garnish with lemon slices and parsley for a beautiful presentation!

Enjoy

This was my finished pan last night! Delicious.
And always delicious served with some homemade cranberry sauce!

Skillet Chicken with Lemons and Onions a la Ina Garten

I absolutely love this recipe and I must admit to making a few small changes but if you want to see her original recipe you can google it. You’ll have to buy a chicken some place that will be able to spatchcock it (butterfly it)– Whole Foods butcher will do this as well as your local butcher. Then when you get home and are ready to cook with it just press down on the chicken and sort of flatten it out. You’ll also need a cast iron pan large enough to hold it. I used a 12″ size pan and it was perfect. Believe me this is one of the most satisfying meals I can think of. Serve with whatever sides you like — we had homemade cranberry sauce , rice pilaf and roasted string beans. Perfection on a plate. Ina Garten has created some of the best recipes for home cooks today. The ingredients are all accessible and the presentation is beautiful and the food is delicious. This particular way of roasting a chicken is particularly delicious. This is what I did the other night and it was nothing short of fabulous.

Enjoy and thanks again to Ina Garten.

Ingredients:

2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves

1 teaspoon whole fennel seeds

Kosher Salt and Freshly ground coarse black pepper

1 Lemon — sliced 1/4″ thick slices

2 large garlic cloves, minced she says thinly sliced but I prefer to mince

1 yellow onion, halved and sliced 1/4 ” thick

1/3 cup good olive oil

1 app. 4 lb. chicken, backbone removed and butterflied ( spatchcocked)

1/2 cup dry white wine, such as Pinot Grigio

Juice of 1 lemon

Directions:

Pre-heat the oven to 450 degrees

Place the thyme, fennel seeds, 1 Tablespoon Kosher Salt and 1 Teaspoon pepper in a mini food processor and process until ground.

Pour the olive oil into a small glass measuring cup and add the herb mixture and set aside

Distribute the lemon slices on bottom of 12″ cast iron skillet and distribute the onion and minced garlic on top of the lemon slices.

Place the chicken on a separate baking sheet and pat it dry then turn the chicken skin side down and using a brush add about 1/2 the olive mixture to chicken. Turn the chicken skin side up, make sure it’s dry using paper towels ( very important for crispy skin) and brush remaining mixture all over the top of the chicken. Place chicken on top of the onions and lemons skin side up.

Roast the chicken for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and pour the wine into the pan but not on the chicken just into the area that’s open around the chicken. Roast for another 10-15 minutes until a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the breast registers 155-160 degrees.

Remove the chicken from the oven and sprinkle with the lemon juice, cover the skillet tightly with aluminum foil and allow to rest for at least 10 minutes. Cut the chicken into quarters or however you like and serve hot with pan juices, cooked lemon and onions.