I follow a lot of amateur cooks, chefs, and foodies on social media and this has been making the rounds lately. I am fascinated by Julia Child, and one of these days hope to purchase one or all of her cookbooks (or maybe will get them as gifts-hint hint).
But, I find this so interesting that her last meal would be a chicken – not beef or duck – but a perfectly roasted chicken. I like roasted chicken, but for my last meal? Maybe I just haven’t have the perfect roasted chicken? I understand the seafood, and the dessert, but again, I come back to the chicken.
Have you had such a perfectly roast chicken that you would want it as your last meal? What would you have as your last meal?
Mine would be cold as ice oysters on the half shell, a heavily marbled bone-in rib-eye steak medium rare, and steak fries – crispy, crunchy ones. If I could have anything, cooked by anyone, it would be my Oma’s kase spaetzle with my Mom’s chocolate cake.
I had gotten several quarts of Bing cherries at the store the other day, and I am the only one in the house that eats them. I can’t eat very many, so I needed to look for something to do with the majority of them. I came across several recipes from Michael Symon, and decided to try the Cherry Bourbon Sauce.
I first had to figure out how to get the pit out of the cherry first, because I don’t own a cherry picker. I know, most people don’t own one of those either. I discovered that you can use a large paper clip (opened up). It worked. It was messy, but it worked.And, yes my fingernails are still stained! So, the recipe called for the following: cup of bourbon, 1/4 red wine vineager, orange peel, juice from orange, salt and pepper. David had exactly one cup of Bourbon left…it was a sign…it was meant to be used for this recipe! Bring to boil the bourbon, vinegar, juice from the two oranges (and peels). Note: I added an additional 1/4 cup of vinegar, and cinnamon stick, and a bay leaf. Simmer for ten minutes or reduced by half, then add the cherries.Let cool, and place into jars. I partially filled two jars. One will be a gift (birthday), and the other to be served over chicken or pork…whatever I can come up with in the next couple of weeks. This will keep in the refrigerator for over a month, and can be served with cheese, or meat.
Mediterranean chicken thighs…marinated the chicken thighs with juice of one lemon, zest as well, some chopped fresh flat leaf parsley, minced garlic and Greek seasoning. Sauteed with the juices until somewhat reduced, then I added a couple of pats of unsalted butter.Sauté until chicken is cook through.
These thighs were light, juicy, fresh, and tasted like summer. Really enjoyed them as is, didn’t need any other sauce. You can serve them with rice or noodles. I had them with a salad with and a sprinkle of feta cheese with balsamic vinegar. Yummy.
I ended up making taco meat with onion, and getting a Rotisserie chicken for my two ingredient meat pies and pizza. I let the taco meat cool a bit, and chopped up the chicken. I had used a half of a purple onion in the taco meat mixture, and reserved the other half for the chicken portion. Rolled out the chilled dough mixture with some flour on the counter. Somewhat sectioned out the portions. Scooped the meat in each, and folded the dough over.I added some shredded cheddar cheese to both meats, and yes, I cheated and used packaged shredded cheddar cheese. For the remaining dough, I rolled it thin, and placed it in a baking sheet that I sprayed with baking spray.Spread the remaining taco meat on half, and the chicken on the other half.Added BBQ sauce to the chicken, and cheese to both.For the pies, I pressed the edges down, and used a fork to seal the edges.Baked them both at the same time with the pizza on the bottom rack at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes. These were really good. I will make the dough again, and the pizza. Not sure about the meat pies. I need to vary the recipe a bit, and work out the kinks on the moisture with the chicken ones. I loved the taco meat ones.
David really enjoyed all of it, and we had plenty left over. I will only make enough dough next time for one serving of pizza or meat pies as this was too much dough to use up in one serving.
One of the things that David ordered every night on the cruise was French Onion soup. So I thought I would try to find recipes with the same type flavors to cook for him once we got home. I found this recipe at Home Chef and decided to give it a try. We didn’t make the salad, but I copied the recipe completely from their site for your information. Our pictures are at the bottom.
Ingredients: (for 2)
2 fl. oz. Sherry Wine
¼ fl. oz. Sherry Vinegar
1 Yellow Onion
3 Thyme Sprigs
4 oz. Grape Tomatoes
12 oz. Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts
1 cup Panko Breadcrumbs
1½ oz. Swiss Cheese Slices
4 oz. Baby Arugula
Nutrition (per serving) (note this is for the complete meal)
You Will Need: Olive Oil Salt Pepper
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Both sherry wine and sherry vinegar are used in this meal. Make sure to use the correct one: Sherry wine helps caramelize onions, and sherry vinegar is added to vinaigrette.
Peel and halve onion. Slice onion into thin strips. Stem thyme. Halve tomatoes. Pat chicken breasts dry, and season both sides with a pinch of salt and pepper.
Place a medium non-stick pan over medium-high heat. Add 2 tsp. olive oil and onion to hot pan and spread into a thin layer. Reduce heat to medium and cook undisturbed, 3-4 minutes. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Stir often until onions are a deep golden brown, 5 minutes. Add thyme and sherry wine (not vinegar). Cook until wine is evaporated, 2-3 minutes. Transfer onion to a plate and set aside. Wipe pan clean and reserve. While onion caramelizes, make vinaigrette.
Mix panko and ½ tsp. salt on a plate. Add a chicken breast to panko and coat completely, pressing firmly to adhere. Shake gently to remove excess breading. Repeat with second chicken breast. Place a medium oven-safe non-stick pan over medium-high heat. Add 1 Tbsp. olive oil and chicken breasts to hot pan. Sear on one side, 2-3 minutes.
Flip chicken, and place pan in oven. Roast until chicken reaches a minimum internal temperature of 165 degrees, 9-11 minutes per side. Carefully, divide onions between chicken breasts and cover each with cheese. Return to oven and roast until cheese melts, 2-3 minutes. Remove from oven and rest 5 minutes.
Combine sherry vinegar and 1 Tbsp. olive oil in a mixing bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Add arugula and tomatoes to mixing bowl with vinaigrette and toss to coat completely. Plate dish as pictured on front of card. Bon appétit!
Chicken breasts (they were huge, so we cut them up, patted dry, coated in panko) seared in some oil.Caramelized the onion (only used one large yellow onion – will use more next time).Followed the instructions for the chicken, the covered the chicken with the onion, the the cheese.Baked until the cheese was melted, and gooey.This was really good. The flavor was spot on, although we both think it needs more salt and pepper —we both loved it.
The second meal that we cooked was the Hello Fresh Presto Pesto Panko Chicken. (Instructions copied from the Hello Fresh Site):
Wash and dry all produce. Adjust rack to upper position and preheat oven to 450 degrees. Cut potatoes into ½-inch cubes.
Toss potatoes on a baking sheet with a drizzle of olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper. Roast in oven until browned, 20-25 minutes, tossing halfway through.
In a small bowl, combine panko, mozzarella, a drizzle of olive oil, and a pinch of salt and pepper.
Place chicken on another, lightly oiled baking sheet. Brush 1 TBSP pesto onto top of one piece. Repeat with other piece (you will have some pesto left over). Cover pesto-brushed sides with crust mixture, pressing to adhere. Roast in oven until chicken is no longer pink in center, about 20 minutes.
Halve lemon. In a large bowl, toss together lettuce, a squeeze or two of lemon, and a large drizzle of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.
Divide potatoes and chicken between plates. Serve with salad on the side.
Our comparison plate to their photo plate. Not bad. We ended using way too much of the coating of the panko mixture. It doesn’t indicate how much to use, so of course, I used all of it. David’s plate:My plate:
Due to the amount of breading the chicken wasn’t dry, but we didn’t care for this one as much. I would be willing to try it again to my error in the recipe. David isn’t a big fan of pesto, so there is that as well.
Another Instant Pot… You can find the original recipe idea at sweetcsdesigns.com for her One Pot Garlic Chicken Thighs and Mushrooms.
4 tbsp butter, divided
Season Salt and Pepper
4 chicken thighs, bones removed (skinless or with skin OK)
6-10 cloves garlic, sliced in half or finely diced (I like minced instead)
8 oz cremini mushrooms, stems removed and wiped clean
1 cup chicken stock
1 pinch to 1 tsp red pepper flakes, depending on your desired spicy level
½ cup diced Parsley (optional)
2 tbsp lemon juice
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
Sauté in Instant Pot. Add butter, swirl around pan, and let melt. When butter is foamy and melted, add seasoned chicken thighs. Cook until golden but not completely cooked.
Remove from pan – do not drain pan grease. Add garlic to pan, stir well. Add mushrooms to pan, stirring occasionally to keep mushrooms and garlic from burning. Add second half of butter to pan, let melt. Let garlic and mushrooms brown – about 4-6 minutes.
Add red pepper flakes (add slowly according to your taste) and parsley when chicken and mushrooms are lovely golden browned. Add stock, lemon juice, and cheese. Stir well, being sure to scrape up any browned bits from bottom of pan. Stop saute cycle.
Add chicken thighs back to pan, pressure cook for 13-15 minutes. Manually release. Check thickness of sauce, if to your liking, serve.
David’s plate served over rice.
My plate. I would like more seasoning or spices to this, but the overall flavor was wonderful.
6 chicken thighs
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup tomato sauce
5 tbsp Maggie
4 tbsp Worcestershire
Season Salt & garlic power
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 cup Angry Orchard Cider
Grated orange zest
4 shakes of Tabasco
Mix together in a bowl, tomato sauce, Maggi, Worcestershire, brown sugar, Tabasco, garlic powder, orange zest. Stir until well blended.Pat the chicken thighs dry, then season with Season Salt, Pepper and Garlic Powder. Sear chicken on both sides, and remove from the Instant Pot.Saute the onion, and once translucent, add the cider and vinegar.Stir, and scrap the bits from the bottom of the pot. Add the chicken and the sauce mixture then add the parsley.Pressure cook for 15 minutes. Manually release, and remove chicken. Shred with two forks.Add chicken back into the pot and pressure cook for an additional 7 minutes. Manually release pressure. Stir well.My plate. I liked this. Need to get rolls for the boys, but it had great flavor, and super easy. I would also suggest serving this on chips or nachos.