Here is an easy weeknight dinner idea from the great Maine food blog From Away. The first time I made this recipe I followed the directions to a tee but then next time I switched out chunks of boneless chicken breasts for the skin-on chicken thighs and added rosemary to the thyme and love these results even more. This version is definitely a keeper.
When looking at the ingredient list don’t let all of the garlic scare you. Yes you use two full heads of garlic but the cooked garlic infuses the chicken with a slightly sweet and mellow flavor that makes this dish so good. The sauce is so tasty that you are going to want to enjoy every bit of it so serve the chicken alongside orzo or egg noodles. Yum.
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, each cut into 3 pieces
Salt and freshly-ground black pepper
2 heads of garlic, separated and peeled
2 tablespoons flour
¾ cup white wine
1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
2 teaspoons fresh minced thyme leaves
1 teaspoon fresh minced rosemary
2 tablespoons butter
- Preheat oven to 400.
- Season the chunks of chicken on all sides with the salt and pepper.
- Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven set over medium high heat.
- Add the chicken and turning the pieces as needed, cook until lightly browned on all sides. Transfer the chicken to a plate.
- Reduce heat to medium, then add garlic and cook, stirring regularly, until it begins to brown.
- Add the flour to the pot, stir to coat, then return chicken pieces to the pot.
- Transfer the pot to oven and bake for 15 minutes.
- Remove pot from the oven and return to stove top.
- Transfer the chicken pieces back out of the pan to a new plate.
- Turn burner to medium-high and whisk in the wine, making sure to scrape all of the crusty bits off the bottom of the pan.
- Add the chicken broth, thyme and rosemary, reduce the heat and simmer until sauce thickens, about five minutes.
- Remove from heat, and swirl in butter. Taste and adjust salt and pepper if needed.
- Return the chicken to the pan to re-warm and coat with the sauce before serving.
- You can make the chicken ahead of time then keep it warm over low heat until ready to serve.
Here is a an easy and interesting soup from the great food blog, The Noble Pig. I’m a huge fan of butternut squash so am always on the lookout for recipes using this squash. My usual butternut squash soup is Asian inspired and infused with the flavors of ginger, curry paste and coconut milk. This version, rich with bacon and melted Boursin cheese couldn’t be more different yet is equally as delicious.
I’ve tweaked the original recipe just a bit by adding more bacon and even sauteing my vegetables in bacon fat. I think it provides additional depth to the soup but if you prefer, use all butter instead. But then again you probably don’t want to because isn’t everything simply better with bacon?
8 ounces bacon, diced
Bacon grease and butter to equal 1/3 cup
1/2 of a large onion, diced
4 stalks celery, chopped
2 pounds butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cubed
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, minced
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
4 cups low sodium chicken broth
10 1/2 ounces Boursin Cheese with Garlic and Fine Herbs
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
- Cook the bacon until crispy in a large heavy soup pot set over medium heat. Use a slotted spoon to move the crispy bacon to a paper towel lined plate. Set aside.
- Add enough butter to the pot to equal about 1/3 of a cup of fat. I used 2 tablespoons of butter.
- When the fats have melted, add in the onion and the celery, cooking until softened, about 2-3 minutes.
- Add butternut squash and thyme leaves, cook for about 6-8 minutes.
- Stir in the flour the add the chicken broth to the pot.
- Bring the mixture to a boil then reduce the heat, cover and simmer on low for 10-15 minutes or until the squash is soft.
- Remove the pot from the heat and using an immersion blender, puree the mixture until it is smooth.
- Return the pot to the heat, stir in the Boursin cheese, salt and pepper. Stirring occasionally, heat until the cheese has completely melted.
- Serve in warmed bowls topped with the crumbled bacon.
It’s Fast Friday again and time for another fast and fabulous dinner suggestion. If you are anything like me, by the time Friday rolls around the last thing I want to do is cook a big meal yet we all still have to eat. The dishes featured in this series aren’t necessarily fancy but they bring together simple ingredients most people already have in their pantries or have easy access to and allow you to put a real meal on the table in between 30 and 45 minutes. Enjoy and if you have your own fast recipes you want to share, please send them my way and I will in turn share them with all of my readers.
This soup from the Yankee Kitchen Ninja has become a staple in my family. It reminds me of the giant noodle bowls I used to live off of in graduate school when money was tight, time was limited and I always seemed to be hungry. There was a noodle shop in the basement of the student union that served the best bowls of noodles and broth. The servings were huge and you could add in whatever ingredients you liked. Because of the variety of options you could eat a noodle bowl every day during the week and it never got boring. (Not that I did or anything………..).
This soup is fast, flavorful and incredibly versatile. I prefer to use chicken broth but if I only have beef on hand that works too. Rice noodles are good but any type of pasta works; spinach, mustard greens or chard can be substituted for the kale. So use whatever you have on hand. And best of all, the soup is fast and easy. What more can you ask for?
RICE NOODLE BOWLS w/ SAUSAGE & KALE
1/2 pound hot Italian sausage
2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 cups chicken broth
1/2 of a large bunch of kale, coarsely chopped
5 green onions, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
1 teaspoon fish sauce
Salt and pepper to taste
8 ounces rice noodles
- Combine the sausage, ginger and cumin in a large bowl making sure the spices are evenly distributed.
- Heat the oil in a soup pot and add the sausage mixture, stirring to break up the chunks until cooked through .
- Add the chicken broth to the pot and bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
- Add the kale, green onions, soy sauce and fish sauce and cook until the greens are just tender, 4-5 minutes.
- Remove from heat and season to taste with salt and pepper.
- While the broth mixture simmers, cook the rice noodles according to package directions.
- Drain and add the rice noodles to the soup pot. Stir well then serve.
Fettuccine alfredo is the ultimate comfort food. Because it is so rich I don’t make it very often but when I do it disappears the minute I put it on the table. This version, adapted from Cuisine at Home magazine, is a true one dish meal since everything cooks in the oven making clean up a breeze. I used Parmesan cheese and chicken broth but you can easily substitute vegetable broth to make the dish vegetarian or use pecorino or Asiago or a combination of the three for the Parmesan cheese. If you don’t have panko bread crumbs use dried white bread instead but don’t skip them. The crunch on the top of the casserole is what makes this dish so special.
BAKED FETTUCCINE ALFREDO
1 lb. dried fettuccine or other long pasta, snapped in half
2 cups low sodium chicken or vegetable broth
1 1/2 cups hot water
2 tablespoons minced fresh garlic
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 cups half and half
2 cups freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons melted butter
1/2 cup panko crumbs
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup fresh parsley, minced
1/4 teaspoon Hungarian paprika
- Preheat the oven to 400.
- Combine the pasta, broth, water, garlic, zest, lemon juice, and salt in a 9 x 13 inch baking dish. Cover the dish with aluminum foil and bake for 20 minutes.
- Uncover the dish, stir the pasta with a fork, re-cover, and bake for an additional 20 minutes.
- Stir in the half and half, 2 cups of cheese, and the pepper.
- Cover the casserole and bake for 15 minutes.
- Remove the foil, stir the casserole, and bake for 10 more minutes.
- Preheat the broiler to high with the rack 6 inches from the heating element.
- Combine the melted butter, panko crumbs, parsley and 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese. Sprinkle evenly over the top of the noodles. Sprinkle the top with the paprika.
- Return the dish to the oven and broil 3-5 minutes or until golden brown.
- Remove from the oven and allow to sit for 5 minutes before serving.