Herb Roasted Chicken with Potatoes

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I'm clearing out the chicken from my freezer, which means finding at least a couple new ways to do it. Unlike last week's chicken parmesan, which I've made dozens of times, this week, I found this recipe for Herb Roasted Chicken with Potatoes from SimplyRecipes.

I've seen recipes like this before, simply tossing some chicken on top of some veggies and shoving it in the oven for an hour, but this is the first one I've ever tried. It turned out pretty well, all things considered, and I was pleased at how easy it was.

Herb Roasted Chicken with Potatoes in the oven

I didn't have any red wine vinegar, so I substituted an equal amount of balsamic. The shallots I replaced with small yellow onions, and I ran out of fresh garlic, so I used 1/2 tsp of garlic powder (1/8 tsp powder per clove).

All told this is a great, easy, inexpensive dinner, and you can vary the herbs and sauce for infinite possibilities. Something hot and spicy sounds good, or a heaping helping of your favorite seasoned salt.

Next time, I might try a different cut of meat. Thighs and legs might not be the right cut of meat to use, due to their higher fat content. Roasting the chicken on the potatoes means the fat can't drain away.

Herb Roasted Chicken with Potatoes and Corn

Chicken Parmesan

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I've made this recipe a lot. It was one of the first real things I learned to make. It's one of my favorite recipes: Easy, delicious, and filling. It combines my favorite meat with my favorite pasta sauce. Chicken Parmesan is the perfect chicken dish.

But I've always ever made it with boneless, skinless chicken breasts. In my effort to also learn how to be cheap, and having some stuff to use up from last week's tortellini, I decided to try making it with the bone-in, skin-on chicken thigh quarters I had in the freezer.

It worked better than I expected. The chicken turned out great in the oven, and the tomato sauce worked well with a little extra cooking time. I added some cauliflower to complete the meal.

Get the recipe for Chicken Parmesan

Chicken parmesan served on spaghetti with tomato sauce and
cauliflower

Tortellini with Tomato Sauce

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For some reason, I prefer tortellini to ravioli. Maybe it's the shape, how it holds onto the sauce, or the ratio of pasta to filling. Whatever it is, I'm always up for tortellini.

Unfortunately, it's a lot of work to make. This endeavour is best done with friends in large batches, frozen until ready to eat. The alternative, ready-made fresh tortellini, is usually outside my budget. So, when there was a sale, I had to jump on it.

So I bought some chicken and mozarella tortellini. Combined with my recipe for tomato sauce, and some roasted cauliflower, I had an excellent dinner!

I've been making this tomato sauce recipe for a few months now, and I have to say I'm not going back to cans or jars. Tomato sauce is easy (though it does take 30 minutes) and delicious, with bright flavors that don't seem to survive the canning process.

And, since my oven was empty while making the pasta and sauce, I roasted some cauliflower with pepper and thyme. The result was perfectly browned and tasty.

Tortellini with tomato sauce and roasted cauliflower

Southwest Chicken Mac and Cheese

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Okay, just stick with me on this one.

In my late teens and early twenties, a lot of the food I ate came from cans and boxes, as I imagine most 20-somethings working shitty manufacturing jobs that paid enough to eat better than ramen noodle soup (those poor, lazy college kids). When I remembered, I'd pick up bags of frozen veggies, because I needed to offset the unhealthy with something resembling actual food. This healthy food I would, of course, offset with the cheapest macaroni and cheese I could find (no high-class Kraft Dinner for us, no sir).

As I imagine most of us have done at one time or another (I'm talking to you, KFC Famous Bowl), one day I got the fantastic idea to combine them, and my own personal Bachelor Chow (Now With Flavor) was born: Canned tuna, broccoli normandy, and macaroni and cheese.

This is not that recipe, but it belongs to the same dumb kid, 15 years later.

This recipe calls for a can, yes, of chicken. If you're not feeling that adventurous, or that lazy, you can boil and shred or pan-fry some chicken breast. The pan-fry method will probably result in the most flavor, especially when you get some nice browning.

Southwest Chicken Mac and Cheese

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Shrimp Etouffee

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Shrimp is my favorite seafood. My favorite meat, even. If it weren't always so damned expensive where I live, I'd eat shrimp all the time.

This recipe for Shrip Etouffee, a spicy Cajun shrimp dish, is easy and delicious. I made my own shrimp stock (included in the recipe), so it took a little longer, but even that was pretty easy. I wonder if what I consider easy has changed over the course of this blog...

I didn't have any Cajun seasoning, but I did have some Chipotle seasoning, which lended a nice, smokey flavor. Altogether, the spices and hot sauce made for a good kick and great flavor.

Shrimp Etouffee over rice in a bowl