After taking a break for the holidays, I’m once again participating in the Secret Recipe Club. This month’s assigned blog was Secrets of the Cookie Princess. While Colleen, the Cookie Princess, is obsessed with cookie baking, she also likes to cook up other dishes like Chicken Enchilada Soup and Crispy Quinoa Bites, which are two recipes to I’ve placed on my “To Cook” list.
I decided to make her Crockpot Lemon and Herb Roast Chicken as an excuse to use the whole organic chicken that had been sitting in my freezer for the past few months. I also chose this recipe since it uses items I always have on hand like fresh rosemary from the garden and garlic. Plus it’s based on this recipe from my friend, Stephanie O’Dea. I urge you to read Stephanie’s recipe as it’s quite funny. Her tale about “scaring the cats bald” had me cracking up.
Good, not great
My Slow Cooker Lemon, Garlic and Rosemary Chicken was a disappointment. Even though the chicken was sitting in its own juices, the breast meat tasted dry. The lemon and rosemary were overpowering and gave the chicken an almost astringent taste. Also, I could barely taste the garlic, which was unbelievable considering how much I used. However, the baby potatoes were delicious and perfectly cooked!
Ideas for improvement: Next time I attempt to make this dish, I would only use one lemon and one sprig of fresh rosemary. I’d also add something sweet, like maybe slices from one orange and 1/4 cup of maple syrup, sorghum, honey, or agave nectar poured over the top before cooking. Also, I’d keep the skin on to add moisture to the breast meat. Finally, I’d check the chicken after three hours. I cooked the chicken for five hours and it was falling off the bone, which made for a lousy presentation. (This explains why I had to photograph it in the crock rather than on a pretty platter.)
Slow Cooker Lemon, Garlic and Rosemary Chicken
- 1 (3 to 4) pound whole chicken, thawed and skinned
- 1 head of garlic – cloves separated and peeled
- 2 lemons, washed and sliced
- 1 bunch fresh rosemary or 2-3 tablespoons dried rosemary
- 1 pound baby potatoes
- Sea salt and pepper as desired
- Rinse chicken, then remove skin and pat dry.
- Rub salt and pepper in and outside of chicken.
- Place chicken in a 4-5 quart slow cooker.
- Place half of the peeled cloves into the cavity of the chicken.
- Place half the lemon slices inside the chicken.
- Place the remaining garlic and lemon slices on top of the chicken.
- Place baby potatoes around the sides of the chicken.
- Place rosemary over top of chicken and potatoes.
- Cook on low for 4 to 5 hours.
- When finished cooking, remove lemon slices and rosemary, and discard.
- Cut up chicken and serve.
- Serving size: 1/4 to 1/6 of recipe
More from the Secret Recipe Club!
Usually I’m very disappointed with celebrity cookbooks as the recipes are just the same old stuff and the quality of the recipe and book are usually so-so. Well, that’s not the case with Made With Love: The Meals On Wheels Family Cookbook! The recipes are unique, modern and interesting, and the photographs are beautiful. Even better, the profits from each sale help the Meals On Wheels Association of America.
Recipes in Made With Love come from celebrity chefs like Mario Batalli, TV food personalities Paula Deen and Martha Stewart, and movie stars galore like Helen Mirren and Judi Dench. The cookbook even features recipes from politicians like Senator Al Franken, whose Wild Rice & Turkey Hot Dish is something he makes for his family every Thanksgiving. Another politician whose recipe I admired was Alabama Governor Steven L. Beshear’s Spoon Cornbread. It’s a family recipe that’s been made for generations and is served at family functions at the Governor’s Mansion.
Other recipes to check out include Adam West’s Sawtooth Mountain Pot Roast, which is shown on the cover, and Maya Angelou’s Jollof Rice. (Yeah, Batman and poets can sure cook!) Both are on my “To Make” list! For more information on Made With Love be sure to check out the book trailer, Twitter, and Facebook pages.
Robert Egger’s recipe for Posole
Made With Love also features recipes from Meals on Wheels volunteers and others who help feed the needy, like Robert Egger. Robert is the president of DC Central Kitchen, which provides meals for thousands of at-risk individuals. DC Central Kitchen also helps train once-homeless adults in the culinary field. This recipe was created in honor of his wife’s stepdad, Grant, who was from New Mexico.
Grant’s Green Chile Posole
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 pounds chicken tenders, or boneless, skinless breasts, cut into strips
- 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 4 (15-ounce) cans hominy, drained
- 3 (32-ounce) containers chicken broth
- 4 (2-ounce) cans chopped green chilies
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano or 1 tablespoon fresh oregano
- Salt and ground black pepper, to taste
- Flour tortillas, warmed and buttered, to serve
- In a large pot over medium-high heat, warm oil. Add chicken and cook until it begins to brown, about 5 minutes. Add onion and garlic, and continue cooking until onions soften, about 2 minutes.
- Add hominy, broth, chilies, and oregano and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 30 to 40 minutes. Remove from heat, and season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Ladle into bowls, and serve with tortillas.
- Serving size: 1/6 of recipe
Disclosure: I was provided with a copy of Made With Love to facilitate this review. All opinions and experiences are my own. Amazon links are affiliate links. A commission may be earned from a referred sale to their website.
As a community leader for Udi’s Gluten Free, I’m always on the lookout for new cookbooks written for people who are gluten free. That’s why I’m excited to share with you Cybele Pascal’s new cookbook, Allergy-Free and Easy Cooking: 30-Minute Meals Without Gluten, Wheat, Dairy, Eggs, Soy, Peanuts, Tree Nuts, Fish, Shellfish, and Sesame. As you can tell by the title, it’s also for people with food allergies and food sensitivities, and is a follow up to her book The Allergen-Free Baker’s Handbook.
I met Cybele at a blogger event in Los Angeles over a year ago. She knows all about dealing with food allergies having cooked that way since 2001 after her son, Lennon, was as diagnosed with severe dairy and soy allergies. She obviously knows her stuff, which is why she’s an Ambassador Who Cares for Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network. You can find more about her on her website cybelepascal.com.
Allergy-Free and Easy Cooking: 30-Minute Meals Without Gluten, Wheat, Dairy, Eggs, Soy, Peanuts, Tree Nuts, Fish, Shellfish, and Sesame
Cybele also has great taste and style, which is why I fell in love with her new cookbook and love dipping into it to find ideas for what to make for dinner. I’ve already made her Garam Masala Lamb Chops with Cumin Quinoa, which was fantastic and a huge hit with my family. To quote my daughter, Lucie, “I really don’t like quinoa, Mom. But this is so good!” She even got her brother to eat it!
The recipes in Allergy-Free and Easy Cooking are similar to the way I like to cook – healthy, delicious and can quickly be put together on a weekday night. Cybele’s recipes aren’t complicated and fussy, and don’t contain a zillion hard-to-find ingredients. Like me, she loves ethnic foods, such as Sopa de Lima, as well as classic family favorites like Chicken Noodle Casserole. In addition, she has a lot of great tips for those new to allergy-free cooking, like how to stock your pantry and what kitchen equipment you’ll need. It’s a great book for beginners as well as seasoned cooks who need to eliminate allergens in their kitchens.
Chicken and Sausage Paella
- 1 cup long grain basmati rice
- 2 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 1 pound chicken tenders, cut crosswise into 1-inch pieces
- 3/8 teaspoon smoked Spanish paprika
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 cup chopped yellow onion
- 8 ounces chorizo, andouille, linguica, or kielbasa, cut into 1/4-inch-thick rounds
- 1 red bell pepper, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
- 1/4 teaspoon saffron, crushed
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes
- 3/4 cup frozen peas
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley, plus more for garnish
- Combine the rice with 1 1/4 cups of the chicken broth in a microwave-safe container. Cover and microwave for 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, sprinkle the chicken tenders with the paprika and some salt and pepper. Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large heavy pan or Dutch oven over medium-high heat until starting to shimmer. Add the chicken and cook for 2 minutes per side, until lightly browned. Transfer to a plate and set aside.
- Add the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil to the pan. Add the onion and sausage and cook for 5 minutes, stirring often. Add the bell pepper, garlic, saffron, oregano, and 1/4 teaspoon of salt and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes more. Add the remaining 1 cup chicken broth, bring to a boil, and deglaze the pan by scraping up any browned bits along the bottom, 1 minute or so. Stir in the tomatoes, partly cooked rice, and chicken, bring to a simmer, reduce the heat to medium, and cook, loosely covered, for 8 minutes more or until the liquid is absorbed. Add the peas and heat through for 2 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste, toss with the parsley, and serve hot, sprinkled with a little more parsley
- Serving size: 1/6 of recipe
Disclosure: I was provided with a sample copy of Allergy-Free and Easy Cooking: 30-Minute Meals Without Gluten, Wheat, Dairy, Eggs, Soy, Peanuts, Tree Nuts, Fish, Shellfish, and Sesame to facilitate this review. All opinions and experiences are my own.
As an Udi's Gluten Free Community Leader I'm compensated for my time and efforts on their behalf. Amazon links are affiliate links. A commission may be earned from a referred sale to their website.
I’m not much for roller coasters after getting sick many years ago at both Knott’s Berry Farm and Disneyland. (Never again!) So while the Brandcation gals were riding the Wild Eagle (and being filmed by the Discovery Channel), I was busy nerding out over the food at Dollywood as well as the folk art and crafts.
There’s a section of Dollywood called Craftsman's Valley that’s perfect for anyone who isn’t into the rides, has time between music shows to take a stroll, and has already visited the Chasing Rainbows Museum, or the Southern Gospel Museum and Hall of Fame. (I did all the above and had a great time.)
My foodie favorite was the Grist Mill where they grind meal and flour for sale. I also enjoyed watching the woodcarvers, blacksmiths, glass blowers and more practice their trade before the Brandcation group met for lunch at Granny Ogle’s Ham N Beans. There we dined on Southern favorites like greens, corn bread and shredded pork. Yum!
However, the cool discovery I made – even the PR person hadn’t seen it yet – was the sorghum making demonstration in The Village. Sorghum syrup is a sweetener made from pressing sorghum cane. The old fashion way is to feed the cane into a mill that is powered by a horse. The day I was there, they had a four-month-old colt tied up to the mama horse. This way mama could teach her baby how to run the mill. It was fascinating and the baby was darling.
The sorghum cane juice is then boiled into a thick syrup that tastes like a cross between honey and molasses. I bought a small container of it at one of the Dollywood stores and wish I bought more because it’s delicious! I hope I can find some here in Georgia, but if not, I may just have to drive back up to Pigeon Forge and buy a gallon or two!
Cooking with sorghum – Apple, Sausage and Sauerkraut Slow Cooker Stew
You can use sorghum in any recipe that calls for agave, honey, molasses or maple syrup. It’s very thick, so you may have to make adjustments by adding a little water or juice to your recipe. I used it in a slow cooker recipe I used to make all the time. I’ve since lost the clipping from the Denver Post, but found a recipe that’s close but without the potatoes. I healthed it up by using chicken apple sausage and using half veggie broth and half apple juice. I also tried to use organic ingredients since I didn’t peel the apples and potatoes.
This was a big hit with my son Nathan who adores sauerkraut and thinks chicken sausage – unlike other forms of chicken – is yummy. My daughter Lucie just ate the sausage, which is odd because she loves pickles. Darn kids!
Apple, Sausage and Sauerkraut Slow Cooker Stew
- 1 (32 ounce) jar sauerkraut (Claussen is our favorite brand)
- 24 ounces (2 packages) sweet apple chicken sausage, sliced into 1’’ pieces
- 4 small organic granny smith apples, cored and cut into 1” pieces
- 1 pound baby potatoes (leave whole)
- 1/4 cup sorghum syrup
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon pepper
- 1 cup apple juice
- 1 cup vegetable broth
- Pour sauerkraut – juice and all – into your 6 quart or larger slow cooker or Crock-Pot.
- Add the cut up sausage, apples and whole baby potatoes to the crock.
- Add the sorghum, salt, pepper, juice and broth.
- Cover and cook on high 4 hours, or low 6-7 hours.
- Stir before serving.
- Serving size: 1/4 to 1/6 of recipe
Disclosure: The Brandcation bloggers received special discounts and passes to many of the attractions we visited. All experiences and opinions expressed here are my own.
This time of year is hectic for many families – it certainly is at my house! Many of us are in back-to-school mode, trying to figure out new schedules and homework. On top of that, if we’re gardeners, we’re inundated with all that zucchini from our garden. Or for the non-gardeners, all the wonderful eggplant and zucchini we find at the grocery store or farmer’s market!
This one-pot meal for Moroccan Chicken with Eggplant-Zucchini Ragout is an answer to both problems. It’ll use up some of those garden goodies, and it’s a simple dish to make on a school night. While it cooks, you can help the kids with homework, organize backpacks, and unload the dishwasher.
This recipe is courtesy of the National Chicken Council. Check out their website at eatchicken.com for more chicken recipes and chicken resources. You can also connect with them on Facebook at For the Love of Chicken.
Moroccan Chicken with Eggplant-Zucchini Ragout
- 1 1/2 to 2 pounds chicken leg quarters
- 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1 teaspoon salt, divided
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
- 1 small eggplant, cut into ½-inch dice
- 1 medium zucchini, cut into ½-inch dice
- 1 small onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 14 cup white wine or water
- 1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes with juices
- 1/4 cup pimento-stuffed green olives, roughly chopped
- 2 tablespoons capers, rinsed
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 2 tablespoons parsley, minced
- In large skillet over medium high-heat, warm 2 tablespoons olive oil. Season leg quarters with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper. Add leg quarters to pan, skin-side down. Brown chicken, turning once, 8 to 10 minutes per side. Remove chicken to plate and drain off all but 2 tablespoons oil.
- Add eggplant to hot pan and cook, stirring, 5 minutes. Add remaining tablespoon olive oil, along with zucchini, onion and garlic. Cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Raise heat to high and add white wine to pan, stirring to scrape up any browned bits. Add all other ingredients, except parsley, and place chicken legs in mixture. Bring to boil, reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer for 35 to 40 minutes or until cooked through or until an instant read thermometer reads 170 degrees F.
- To serve, place some of the eggplant ragout onto plates, top with a leg quarter and sprinkle with parsley.
- 370 calories
- 20 g fat
- 4 g saturated fat
- 900 mg sodium
- 17 g carbohydrate
- 6 g fiber
- 8 g sugars
- 28 g protein
Recipe and picture used with permission from the National Chicken Council.