Tag Archives: thyme

Lemon Skillet Chicken



Not all winter cooking needs to be heavy in order to be satisfying. Case in point is this lemon filled chicken dish from Cooking Light. Because the boneless chicken breasts are flattened slightly before cooking this is a quick meal that is perfect for a mid-week dinner. It contains some of my favorite pantry staples–mushrooms, green beans, potatoes and lemons. The lemon brightens the dish which the potatoes and green beans mean you have an entire dinner in a single dish. Simply put, it is delicious and has become a family favorite.


12 ounces baby potatoes, halved
1 tablespoon olive oil, divided
4  skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, pounded to 3/4-inch thickness
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
2 thyme sprigs
4 ounces button mushrooms, quartered
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
1/4 cup whole milk
5 teaspoons all-purpose flour
1 3/4 cups unsalted chicken stock
1 lemon, thinly sliced
8 ounces fresh been beans, ends trimmed
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • Preheat the oven to 450°.
  • Place the potatoes in a medium saucepan; cover with water. Bring to a boil, and simmer 12 minutes or until tender. Drain.
  • Heat a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat.
  • Add 1 teaspoon of the oil to pan. Sprinkle chicken evenly with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.
  • Add chicken and thyme sprigs to pan; cook 5 minutes or until chicken is browned.
  • Flip the chicken. Place the pan in the oven and bake for 10 minutes or until chicken is done.
  • Remove the chicken from pan.
  • Return the pan to medium-high heat.
  • Add the remaining 2 teaspoons oil to the skillet.
  • Add the potatoes, cut sides down, the mushrooms and 1 tablespoon thyme; cook 3 minutes or until browned, stirring once.
  • Combine the milk and flour in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk.
  • Add the remaining salt, remaining pepper, flour mixture, stock, lemon, and beans to the pan and simmer for 1 minute or until slightly thickened.
  • Return the chicken to the pan, cover, reduce heat, and simmer 3 minutes or until beans are crisp-tender.
  • Sprinkle with parsley.

Serves 4

Beer Braised Chicken Thighs


Chicken braised in wine is called coq au vin. The dish is a class and a favorite in my house. But what about switching out the wine for beer? I say why yes and it especially makes sense here in Belgium where your choices of delicious beer is virtually unlimited. So when I came across this recipe from Cooking Light I knew I had to try it.

This recipe cooks up quickly yet you have all of the rich flavors you would expect in a dish that cooks for a longer period of time. I’ve adapted it by adding additional spices and switching out porter beer for a spicy and flavorful Belgian winter brew. Choose your favorite beer or experiment until you find one that you like. As is the case with cooking with wine, if you wouldn’t drink it, don’t cook with it.

3 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour, divided
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
1/2 teaspoon paprika
4  bone-in chicken thighs, skinned
1 teaspoon salt, divided
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, crushed and minced
8 ounces cremini mushrooms, halved
3/4 cup dark porter beer, or other beer of your choice
3/4 cup unsalted chicken stock
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

  • Combine 3 tablespoons of flour, the thyme and the paprika in a large zip topped plastic bag.
  • Sprinkle half of the salt over the chicken then add the chicken to the bag, ensuring that it is coated on all sides.
  • Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the oil to pan and swirl to coat.
  • Remove the chicken from flour mixture, discarding the remaining flour mixture.
  • Add the chicken to pan and cook for 4 minutes or until browned.
  • Flip the chicken and cook for an additional 2 minutes.
  • Remove the chicken from pan. Add the onion, garlic and mushrooms to pan. Cook 5 minutes or until mushrooms are browned, stirring occasionally.
  • Stir in the remaining flour , the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, the beer, stock, Worcestershire sauce, and pepper.
  • Bring the mixture to a boil; cook 2 minutes.
  • Return chicken to pan. Reduce heat and cook, partially covered, 15 minutes or until chicken is done.
  • Sprinkle with parsley.
  • Serve with polenta, noodles or rice.

Serves 4

Maple Ginger Chicken & Apples

maple chix

Its been a while (way too long in fact) since I’ve delved in the Yankee Kitchen Ninja website in search of dinner inspiration. Every time I check out this wonderfully creative site I come away with a whole list of dinner and baking ideas. And of course my recent foray wasn’t any different and one look had me breaking out my baking dishes and planning dinner.

This easy and delicious recipe for maple ginger chicken and apples actually comes from Maple by Katie Webster and is the perfect fall dinner. The ingredients are simple, yet when combined together, are  delicious and turn ordinary chicken into anything but.  Everything about this dish simply makes me homesick for New England.

For best results, marinate the chicken overnight before cooking. This requires a bit of planning but the results don’t disappoint.

1 shallot, finely sliced
3/4 cup apple cider
1/2 cup dark pure maple syrup
1 tablespoon finely grated peeled fresh ginger
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves, plus additional sprigs for the pan
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
8 bone-in chicken thighs and drumsticks–I like to use a combination of the two
3 medium apples, peeled, cored and quartered

  • Combine the shallot, apple cider, maple syrup, ginger, vinegar, thyme leaves, salt and pepper in a large ziplock bag. Seal the bag and use your hands to massage all of the ingredients together.
  • Place the bag on a large rimmed dish, add the chicken parts then reseal the bag.
  • Ensure that as much of the chicken is covered in the marinade and let sit in the refrigerator overnight or for at least 12 hours, turning the bag occasionally to redistribute the chicken and the marinade.
  • When you are ready to cook preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil and coat it lightly with non-stick cooking spray.
  • Take the chicken from the bag and arrange the pieces on the baking sheet.
  • Nestle the apples around the chicken, add the reserved thyme sprigs and pour some of the marinade over the chicken.
  • Bake, basting occasionally, for about an hour or until fully cooked.
  • Serve, topped with the sauce, alongside noodles or potatoes.

Serves 4

Goat Cheese & Thyme Souffle


I’m always on the lookout for new side dishes and with this recipe from The Splendid Table I stumbled upon a sure winner. It is cheesy, flavorful and did I mention cheesy? I love cheese and if you do as well, you are sure to love this souffle. This souffle includes three cheeses, creamy and tangy goat cheese, mild Gruyere and a nutty Parmesan. I like this combination but I’ve also experimented with other combinations as well, a small amount of gorgonzola pairs well with mild and slightly firm fresh ricotta and a sharp cheddar is nice with Asiago. Feel free to experiment to find the combination you like best.

Souffles look and sound impressive but in reality they are such an easy dish to make. The key to a perfectly light souffle, however, is all in the timing. In order to be served at their most impressive best, you must serve them immediately. For this reason I like to serve souffles with grilled or roasted meat. While the meat is resting I put the souffle in the oven then begin carving minutes before I remove the souffle from the oven. This results in a perfectly executed souffle every time!


6 tablespoons butter, divided

1 cup heavy cream

1 cup milk

2 baby carrots

1 small onion, quartered

5 black peppercorns

1 sprig of thyme

1 bay leaf

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

5 large eggs, separated

4 oz goat cheese,  crumbled

3/4 cup Gruyere cheese, finely grated

Parmesan cheese, finely grated

1/8 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg

1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1/8 teaspoon cream of tarter

2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves

  • Preheat the oven to 450°F.
  • Melt 1 tablespoon of the butter then generously brush it onto the bottom and sides of a 12 in shallow oval dish. Set aside.
  • Place the cream and milk into a saucepan, add the carrot, onion, peppercorns, and thyme.
  • Bring slowly to a boil, and then set aside to infuse for 10 minutes. Strain, discarding the solids.
  • Melt the remaining butter in a medium sized sauce pan.
  • Add the flour and cook for a two minutes.
  • Whisk in the strained cream and milk and gradually bring to a boil, whisking until the sauce thickens. Cool slightly.
  • Add the egg yolks, goat cheese, Gruyére, and most of the Parmesan.
  • Season with the salt, cayenne and nutmeg.
  • Place the cream of tarter and the egg whites in a medium sized bowl and using an electric beater, beat the egg whites until stiff.
  • Fold the egg whites into the cream and milk mixture, mixing gently until they form a loose consistency.
  • Spoon the batter into the prepared dish, scatter the thyme leaves over the top and sprinkle with the remaining Parmesan.
  • Bake in the preheated oven for 12-15 minutes until the souffle is puffed up and golden but the center is still creamy.

Serves 6

Rustic Garlic Chicken


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.

Serves 4

Pistachio Crusted Roast Beef


Today is National Pistachio Day. (Yes, there really is such a thing). So to celebrate why not try this pistachio encrusted roast beef?

I always think of a roast as a special occasion meal but in reality it is quite easy to make and doesn’t require nearly as much cooking time as you might think. In many respects it is actually a put it in the oven and forget about it type of meal. But before the meat goes in the oven you do need to a bit of work. I love the crunchy crust the toasted pistachios form on the meat. They seal in the juices and infuse the beef with a subtle salty flavor–they also make for a pretty presentation. To add extra flavor and help the nuts adhere the meat I spread a thin layer of tangy mustard on the meat before adding the nuts. I like Tierenteyn mustard locally made in Ghent, Belgium but a good quality Dijon works well too.

And if you want to continue with the pistachio day why not serve the roast with a side dish of herbed sweet potatoes with feta then complete the meal with chocolate chip, cherry & pistachio crisp cookies? After all, these crunchy little nuts are for more than snacking.


2 1/2 3 pound round eye roast, trimmed

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/4 cup Tierenteyn mustard or your favorite Dijon variety

3/4 cup salted pistachios, coarsely chopped

1 tablespoon fresh minced thyme

  • Position the rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat it to 325°F degrees.
  • Sprinkle the salt and pepper on all sides of the roast and place in the center of a shallow roasting pan.
  • Combine the pistachios and thyme in a small bowl.
  • Using a rubber spatula or your hands, evenly coat the exterior of the meat with the mustard.
  • Again using your hands, coat the mustard covered meat with the pistachio mixture pressing the nuts into the sides of the meat so that they adhere well. Some nuts may fall off into the pan but the majority of them should remain on the meat.
  • For medium-rare beef (my preferred level of doneness), roast the beef for 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 hours or until an instant read thermometer reads 130° to 135°F.
  • Remove the roast from the oven, tent the entire pan with aluminum foil and allow to rest for 15 minutes before slicing.

Serves 4-6

Butternut-Boursin-Bacon Soup


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.

Serves 4-6

Fig, Pancetta & Goat Cheese Flatbread


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.

Flatbread is one of my favorite go-to appetizers but it is just as good when served up as a quick and tasty dinner. I love homemade pizza dough but sometimes it is necessary to use pre-made dough from the grocery store. And here in Belgium we are lucky enough to have a great variety of quality pre-made doughs to choose from. Because of this, I tend to keep one in my refrigerator for those late days when I need to get dinner on the table quickly.

This combination of sweet fig preserve, salty pancetta and tangy goat cheese is wholly satisfying and reminds me of the Mediterranean. It makes for the perfect end of the week dinner when all I can do is dream of the warmer months ahead.


1/2 recipe pizza dough or 1 pre-made pizza crust

1 tablespoon olive oil

4 ounces pancetta, diced

1/4 cup fig preserves

4 ounces soft goat cheese, crumbled

1 tablespoon fresh thyme, minced

  • Allow the pizza dough to come to room temperature. Depending upon your kitchen this should take about 15 minutes.
  • Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  • Heat the olive oil in a small skillet. When it shimmers add the pancetta and stirring occasionally, cook until the meat is crispy, about 5 to 7 minutes. Drain off the fat and set aside.
  • Place the pizza dough on a lightly floured surface and roll into a 12 inch circle. The dough should be approximately 1/4 of an inch thick.
  • Carefully transfer the circle to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  • Spread the preserves over the top of the dough then evenly distribute the pancetta, goat cheese and finally the thyme over the entire surface.
  • Reduce the oven temperature to 425 degrees and bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until the cheese has begun to melt and the crust is lightly browned.
  • Remove from the oven and allow to cool for one minute before slicing.

Serves 2 (as dinner)


Chicken Lyonnaise Saute

photo 1-241

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 chicken dish, from the Washington Post kitchens, is so delicious and fast that it proves that you don’t need a long laundry list of fancy ingredients to make great food. Onions, garlic, broth and a splash of white wine combine to form a rich sauce for simple chicken breasts. Serve the chicken with rice or another grain that will soak up the tasty sauce and you are sure to have a new family favorite.


1/3 cup flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon dried thyme

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

1 large egg, lightly beaten

3 tablespoons olive oil

2 medium onions, thinly sliced

2 large garlic cloves, minced

1/3 cup dry white wine

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

2 teaspoons tomato paste

1 cup low sodium chicken broth

1/2 tablespoon sugar

  • Place the flour, salt, pepper and half of the thyme in a sturdy plastic food storage bag, seal and shake to combine.
  • Beat the egg in a medium bowl.
  • One at a time, dip the chicken pieces into the beaten egg, letting the excess drip back into the bowl, then transfer to the bag.
  • Seal and shake to coat the chicken in the flour mixture. Transfer the coated chicken pieces to a plate.
  • Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large, deep skillet over medium-high heat.
  • Once the oil shimmers, place the chicken pieces in the pan, smooth side down. Cook for 5 minutes, until golden brown, then turn the pieces over and cook for 5 minutes, until golden brown on the second side.
  • Transfer to a plate and tent with foil to keep warm.
  • Reduce the heat to medium and add the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil to the skillet.
  • Stir in the onions, garlic and remaining thyme. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 7 to 10 minutes or until the onions are translucent.
  • Increase the heat to medium-high and cook, stirring often, for 10 minutes or until a light golden brown.
  • Add the wine and vinegar; cook, stirring to scrape up any browned bits, for about 3 minutes or until the liquid has reduced by half.
  • Stir in the tomato paste, then the broth and sugar. Bring to a boil and cook for 2 minutes or until the sauce is slightly reduced.
  • Return the chicken to the skillet, along with any accumulated juices.
  • Turn the chicken pieces to coat them with the liquid, then cover, reduce the heat to medium and cook for 5 minutes or until the temperature of the thickest part of a chicken piece registers 165 degrees on an instant-read thermometer.
  • Transfer to a serving platter or individual plates, spoon the sauce over the chicken, and serve.

Serves 4


Roasted Tomato Soup

photo 3-149

Are you ready for tomato season? For me, fresh ripe tomatoes are the epitome of summer and now is the time to start thinking about the many ways you can enjoy these sweet and good for you vegetables. Tomatoes taste great when eaten right off of the vine and are a mainstay in summer salads and sandwiches but how about turning them into soup…..

Now this recipe, adapted from Williams Sonoma, isn’t the tomato soup you grew up eating alongside grilled cheese sandwiches. Slow roasting the tomatoes alongside a healthy dose of pungent garlic brings out the sweetness of the tomatoes and gives the soup a richness that you just can’t find in a can or a carton. I’ve made the soup in the dead of winter using hothouse tomatoes and again (and again) during tomato season and hands down, ripe summer tomatoes can’t be beat. So when you find yourself overwhelmed with fresh tomatoes, give this soup a try. You are sure to love it. And if you are feeling nostalgic, make yourself a grilled cheese sandwich to eat alongside it.


3 lb. plum tomatoes, cored and halved
12 fresh thyme sprigs
8 garlic cloves
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
5 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese (optional)
1 yellow onion, chopped
3 cups chicken stock

  • Preheat an oven to 275°F.
  • Arrange the tomato halves, cut sides up, on a baking sheet. Scatter the thyme sprigs and garlic on top of the tomatoes.
  • Season with salt and pepper and drizzle with 3 tablespoons of the olive oil.
  • Roast until the tomatoes have dried slightly and some of the skins have burst, about 2 hours.
  • Pass the roasted tomatoes through a tomato press or food mill according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • In a large saucepan over medium heat, warm the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil.
  • Add the onion and sauté, stirring occasionally, until tender and translucent, 4 to 6 minutes.
  • Add the pureed tomatoes, stock and bread and simmer for 5 minutes.
  • Using a stick blender or blender, puree the soup and season with salt and pepper.
  • Divide the soup among 6 warmed soup bowls and top each with a sprinkle of parmesan cheese if desired.

Serves 6


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