Chicken Vesuvio

Chicken Vesuvio - Candy Coated Culinista

Chicken Vesuvio – Candy Coated Culinista

When I heard of a dish called Chicken Vesuvio, I immediately assumed this was an Italian dish because of the name. To me it seems derived from Mount Vesuvius the volcano that erupted back in 79 AD and destroyed Pompeii and Herculaneum. Well upon further research this Greek mythology, architecture and history buff was wrong, Chicken Vesuvio is a speciality of Chicago and is an Italian-American dish.

Yield/Serving: 2
Prep Time: 20 min.
Cook Time: 45 – 50 min.
Difficulty level is: Medium

Ingredients
• Extra virgin olive oil
• Salt, to taste
• Black pepper, to taste
• Onion powder, to taste
• Garlic powder, to taste
• Paprika, to taste
• 2 cartilage in chicken breasts
• 2 large red skinned potatoes, cut into wedges
• Rosemary, finely diced
• oregano, finely diced
• dill, finely diced
• parsley, finely diced
• thyme, finely diced
• ½ a small red onion, diced
• 3 cloves garlic, finely diced
• 2 tbsp all purpose flour
• Low sodium chicken broth
• 1/3 cup frozen peas

Assembly
1. Pre-heat oven to 350°
2. Season chicken with spices and then using a cast iron skillet, pour some extra virgin olive oil in over medium-high heat.
3. Sear all sides of the chicken breast and turn off heat.
4. Cut the potatoes in wedges and coat with the fresh herbs.
5. Place potato wedges around the chicken breasts and cook in oven for 45 minutes.
6. Transfer chicken and potatoes to a plate.
7. Add onion and garlic to the skillet oven medium-heat to soften.
8. Using a wooden spoon scrape the flavour from the bottom on the skillet.
9. Stir in the flour to make a roux.
10. Slowly add in the chicken broth letting the flour dissolve to your preferred gravy consistency.
11. Add wine if desired.
12. Cook for 3 – 4 minutes and frozen peas.
13. Add chicken and potatoes back into the skillet and let simmer for 5 minutes and serve.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
Sometimes I am on a real cooking streak and everything I make just comes out smashingly. This one after I made it I was actually considering making it again the same week; because it was that good. The chicken was moist and juicy, the potatoes were firm and savoury with the fresh herbs and a scratch gravy turned out most excellent again (Thanks Chuck). I will be making this for dinner when I have guests as it a simple yet classy sophisticated dish.

L is for … Lentil Quinoa Salad

L is for ... Lentil & Quinoa Salad - Candy Coated Culinista

L is for … Lentil & Quinoa Salad – Candy Coated Culinista

I have had a very long break from my Alphabet Cuisine series and the letter “L” is the reason why. I found a few recipes with Lamb and Lentils but they were just okay and I wanted the series to consist of new and interesting recipes and ingredients I don’t cook with a bunch. I have been working hard to get lentils to work and I finally found a recipe that it out of the park delicious.

Yield/Serving: 4
Prep Time: 10 min.
Cook Time: 10-15 min.
Difficulty level is: Easy

Ingredients
Salad

• 1 cup tri-coloured quinoa
• ¼ cup orange lentils, washed
• ¼ cup green lentils, washed
• 2 stalks celery, diced
• 1 green onion, chopped
• ½ small red onion, diced
• ½ zucchini, diced
• Handful of dill, finely chopped
• Handful of parsley, finely chopped
• Handful of rosemary, finely chopped
• Handful of oregano, finely chopped
• Handful of thyme, finely chopped
Dressing
• 8 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
• 8 tbsp apple cider vinegar
• Juice from 1 lemon
• 2 tsp kosher salt
• 2 tsp black pepper

Assembly
1. Using a small saucepan, with the lentils in the pot bring the water up to a boil then let simmer for 5 to 7 minutes. Lentils.
2. In a medium saucepan pour quinoa into the pot and bring to a boil then let simmer for 15 to 20 minutes.
3. In the meantime, prep all the vegetables, herbs, and place in a large bowl and set aside.
4. In a small bowl whisk the dressing ingredients together until emulsified.
5. Drain off the water from the lentils and quinoa once cooked and then pour into the bowl with the herbs & vegetables and incorporate.
6. Add in the dressing and mix well.
7. Serve.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
I have another recipe with quinoa and lentils in it that I can say I am thoroughly enjoying. I think the catch with lentil or quinoa is these two ingredients really can’t stand alone and require flavourful and many other ingredients to help the appeal of them. Or that is the case for myself as I can’t enjoy lentils and quinoa alone in . The fresh herbs and vegetables added texture and interest to the recipe and the simple and satisfying dressing just enhanced everything in this salad. I can now eat lentils more often and actually enjoy it. I also managed to turn a friend who can never seem to get through their lentil or qunioa dinner or lunch sides into a lover and I’ve already been asked for the recipe.

Valentine’s Day Dinner à la Chuck

Chuck's Chicken Dinner - Candy Coated Culinista

Chuck’s Chicken Dinner – Candy Coated Culinista

It’s no mystery by me having this blog that I absolutely love to cook and some days I can be in the kitchen for hours on end on my feet. To past the time I bring in my IPad to watch some TV shows and while watching a few shows the commercial breaks were filled with ads for LG presents Chuck Hughes with little snippets of recipes. Well since Chuck’s in my top two favourite chefs of all time it was obvious I was going to try some dishes from these mini ads and since the timing was right Valentine’s Day would be a great day to make this simple and succulent dinner.

From Chuck Hughes

Yield/Serving: 2-4
Prep Time: 10 min.
Cook Time: 1 hour & 30 min.
Difficulty level is: Medium

Roasted Chicken
Ingredients

• 1 whole organic chicken
• Handful of oregano, thyme, rosemary and parsley, finely chopped
• ¼ cup unsalted butter, softened
• 1 lemon, zested and sliced
• Kosher salt, to taste
• Black pepper, to taste
• ½ head of garlic
• 1 small white onion
• 1 medium white onion, sliced
• 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
• 1 ½ chicken broth
• ¼ cup white wine (I skipped this)

Assembly
1. Pre heat oven to 425°F.
2. Rinse chicken on cool water and pat dry inside and out.
3. Finely chop the herbs and mix into softened butter and add lemon zest in a small bowl.
4. Rub herbed butter under the skin and on top of the chicken and inside.
5. Sprinkle with salt and black pepper.
6. Fill chicken cavity with lemon, garlic and onion.
7. Tie the legs with kitchen twine.
8. Place sliced onion in the centre of a cast iron skillet.
9. Rest chicken on top of onions breast side on top of the onions.
10. Roast for 30 minutes at 425°F and then reduce heat to 350°F and continue to cook for 1 hour.
11. Baste chicken every 15 minutes to brown the skin.

Gravy
Assembly

1. Soften the onions from the cast iron skillet skimming off any fat.
2. Place skillet on the stove over medium-high heat and using a wooden spoon scrape the flavour from the bottom on the skillet.
3. Stir in the flour to make a roux.
4. Slowly add in the chicken broth letting the flour dissolve.
5. Add wine if desired.
6. Cook for 3 – 4 minutes and season with salt & pepper if desired.

Potato Smash with Olive Oil

Yield/Serving: 4-6
Prep Time: 5 min.
Cook Time: 30 min.
Difficulty level is: Easy

Ingredients
• 4 yukon potatoes
• ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
• 4 sprigs of thyme, chopped
• 2 garlic cloves, finley chopped
• Chopped dill, to taste
• Kosher salt, to taste
• Black pepper, to taste

Assembly
1. Boil potatoes in a large pot until tender and drain.
2. Crush potatoes with a wooden spoon just enough. Leave some potato pieces chunky.
3. Stir in the olive oil and the remaining ingredients.

Zucchini Wedges

Yield/Serving: 2-4
Prep Time: 10 min.
Cook Time: 20 min.
Difficulty level is: Easy

Ingredients
• 4 zucchini, quartered lengthwise
• ½ cup parmesan cheese
• ½ tsp dried thyme
• ½ tsp dried oregano
• ¼ tsp garlic powder
• Kosher salt, to taste
• Black pepper, to taste
• 2 tbsp olive oil
• 2 tbsp fresh parsley leaves, chopped

Assembly
1. Pre heat oven to 400°F.
2. Coat baking sheet with non-stick spray.
3. On a plate combine all of the herbs, spices and cheese.
4. Coat zucchini with olive oil and then coat in mixture.
5. Bake for about 10 minutes and serve.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
This couldn’t have turned out any better; well if I had finely chopped my herbs. My idea of finely chop versus the recipe was different and I recognized that upon its completion but it didn’t deter from the recipe in any way. It was just a visual thing for me. The chicken was moist and scrumptious and perfectly coloured and for the first time I had a gravy from scratch that actually tasted and turned out excellent; even with my omission of the white wine. The review was great as I tested this out in advance and at work when I was eating it for lunch I got many compliments on the smell and a co-worker was trying to track down where that smell was coming from; which made me chuckle. The addition of dill to the mashed potatoes and the zucchini was a delicious. I decided to not serve the zucchini with the Spicy Aioli recommended though and I was already in the kitchen for a long time at this point. I can’t wait to make this again. This recipe is so simple you could make it the first time on a special day and not worry about something going awry.

Coq Au Vin

Coq Au Vin - Candy Coated Culinista

Coq Au Vin – Candy Coated Culinista

This recipe has been on my “to-do list” for a year now, and I was only recently reminded by a fellow blogger Maiu at Toronto Cooks that I need to finally make a coq au vin. We both are a part of a couple cooking clubs and this is how I stumbled upon and now follow her blog. This classic French dish is chicken braised in a red wine sauce giving the chicken a purple “wine” stained colour.

Yield/Serving: 6
Prep Time: 20 min.
Cook Time: 30 min.
Difficulty level is: Medium

Ingredients
• 25 baby red skinned potatoes, halved
• 1 large sweet potato, peeled and cut into cubes
• 3 bacon slices, thinly sliced
• 1 tsp Herbes de Provence
• 2 tsp kosher salt
• ½ tsp black pepper
• ½ tsp rosemary
• 2 bay leaves, crushed
• 1 tsp parsley
• 1 tsp thyme
• ¼ tsp cumin
• ½ tsp cayenne pepper
• 8 chicken pieces (thighs and drumsticks) skin on
• 3 tbsp Dijon mustard
• 20 pearl onions 284g (10 oz)
• 3 celery stalks, chopped
• 3 small carrot, peeled and chopped
• 5 cloves of garlic, peeled and diced
• Button mushrooms, sliced
• 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
• 2 cup chicken stock
• 2 cups red wine
• 2 tbsp unsalted butter
• 2 tbsp flour

Assembly
1. On high heat boil at pot of salted water and fill with the baby potatoes and sweet potato. (Cook until they are firm as they will be cooked more later on).
2. In a large frying pan, on medium-high heat, fry the bacon.
3. Pour all the herbs and spices into a pessel and mortor and grind.
4. Rub Dijon mustard over chicken and pour half of the herbs and spices over the chicken and rub in.
5. In the frying pan with the bacon fat add the onions, celery, carrots, garlic and mushrooms and brown, about 5 minutes stirring frequently.
6. Remove from pan set aside in a bowl.
7. The potatoes should be done at this point, strain in a colander and set aside in another bowl, and place pot back on the stove. (it will be used in a moment)
8. Using the same frying pan place in the chicken along with the olive oil and sear and brown, about 5 minutes on each side.
9. Using the large pot on medium-high heat pour in the chicken stock, red wine, butter and whisk in the flour.
10. Finally place chicken on the bottom of the large pot and place the potatoes and sweet potatoes over top and then all the vegetables and bacon.
11. Add the remaining spices on top.
12. Stir occasionally, but try not to disrupt the chicken below.
13. Serve

Tips
• Make sure baby potatoes and sweet potatoes are cut to the same size to ensure they cook at the same rate.
• If your bacon is salty, adjust the salt content accordingly.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
Coq au vin seems to be peasant’s dish to me with its simple and humble ingredients. I had a theory when I thought of placing the chicken at the bottom in my assembly. The chicken was only partially cooked so they needed to be closest to the heat, then the potatoes as they were a little hard and finally the veggies as they were pretty much cooked. The potatoes stayed firm, the veggies were crunchy and the chicken was great. I wish I could get the chicken to be more wine stained, but that would entail me marinating it for 4 hours or more. As I made this on a whim thanks to Maiu, I didn’t really have any for-thought to making this and i still think it turned out and looked scrumptious.

Garlic Dill Butter

Garlic Dill Butter - Candy Coated Culinista

Garlic Dill Butter – Candy Coated Culinista

After my Mediterranean Inspired Dinner I had a lot of dill left over and as I am not one to waste, I immediately said “dill butter”.

Yield/Serving: 400g
Prep Time: 10 min
Cook Time: 5 min
Difficulty level is: Easy

Ingredients
• 1 cup fresh dill, finely chopped
• 8 cloves garlic, finely minced
• ¼ cup parsley, finely chopped
• 1 ¼ cup vegetable margarine, margarine or unsalted butter
• 1 tsp black pepper
• 1 tsp sea salt

Assembly
1. Chop and mince dill, garlic and parsley and pour into a bowl along with the margarine.
2. Season with salt and pepper.
3. Mix until well combined.

Tips
• Don’t over salt whatever you are putting the dill butter on.
• Use unsalted butter to control how much salt you want in the butter if any.
• Scoop out portions and freeze to use at a later date. Wrap in some wax paper and cover with cling film and place in a freezer bag.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
I made these to accompaniment my baby potatoes and this tasted amazing. I could still taste the fresh dill and the aromatics of the garlic and dill. I also bought some mini ciabatta breads and prepared dill garlic bread for snacks and to accompany pasta dinners.

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