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.

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.

20 min. Lazy Leftover Shepherd’s Pie

20 min. Lazy Leftover Shepherd’s Pie - Candy Coated Culinista

20 min. Lazy Leftover Shepherd’s Pie – Candy Coated Culinista

Having a time crunch for dinner? Have left over ground beef from last night’s pasta dinner? Make this twenty minute individually sized shepherd’s pie.

Yield/Serving: 2
Prep Time: 5 min.
Cook Time: 10 min.
Bake Time: 5 min.
Difficulty level is: Medium

Ingredients
• Ground beef
• Kosher salt
• Ground black pepper
• Season Salt
• Paprika
• Garlic powder
• Onion powder
• Dried basil
• Worcestershire sauce
• ½ small onion, diced
• 6 mushrooms, chopped
• 2 medium-sized potatoes, chopped but not peeled
• Table salt
• Canola oil
• Peas, frozen or canned
• Carrots, frozen or canned
• Cream corn, canned
• Pasta sauce
• Margarine
• Milk

Assembly
1. Pre-heat oven to 450°F.
2. Use leftover ground beef and warm up or: Over medium-high heat in a frying pan fry ground beef and add salt, pepper, season salt, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, dried basil and Worcestershire sauce to your taste
3. Add onions and mushrooms to ground beef and continue to cook.
4. Wash, cut & boil the potatoes in a pot of water over high heat with a little table salt and canola oil.
5. Prepare the remaining vegetables (used canned as there are already the perfect size then you can just add when putting pie together or steam the bagged frozen vegetables)
6. Add pasta sauce to your ground beef and stir.
7. Once potatoes are done, strain, add butter & milk and mash.
Pie Assembly
1. Butter a large oven-safe cappuccino mug; (or any bigger oven-safe mug you have)
2. Add the meat sauce followed by the vegetables
3. Top with the potatoes.
4. Use a fork and push (on an angle) down the corners and all along the edges of the pie in the mug and make some fork scratches all along the top pie so it doesn’t look so boring.
5. Cook for 5 minutes at 450° or until top is golden brown.
6. Torch the top with a kitchen torch if desired and serve.

Tips
• As this is a 20 minute recipe using canned vegetable or frozen veggies is optimal to save on time.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
This recipe is always a hit no matter who I’m making this for. It has all the food groups and is so wholesome and comforting, especially in the colder months. I always burn my tongue as I just can’t wait to dig in and you’d think I’d learn after all these years; but I haven’t and it’s so worth

20 min. Lazy Leftover Shepherd’s Pie - Candy Coated Culinista

20 min. Lazy Leftover Shepherd’s Pie – Candy Coated Culinista

Food Diaries: The Pie Commission

Food Diaries: The Pie Commission - Candy Coated Culinista

Food Diaries: The Pie Commission – Candy Coated Culinista

“Gourmet-style handheld savoury pies born and baked in Toronto.”

Place: The Pie Commission
Location: 935 The Queensway (Entrance at rear – located off Queen Elizabeth Blvd), Toronto, Ontario, M8Z 1P3
Phone: 416-848-7427
Hours: Monday-Thursday: 11am – 7pm, Friday 11am – 8pm, Saturday: 11am – 6pm

5” individual round pies are made from scratch in-house, using natural ingredients – premium cuts of Canadian meat, the freshest produce and homemade beef, chicken and vegetable stock all placed in an all butter crust. Pies can also be purchased hot (to eat now) or frozen (to eat later) at a later time.

When I drove up to the Pie Commission, I was expecting a smaller store footprint as the directions were at the rear, but I was pleasantly surprised. It was also very bust and the 7 or so parking spaces were full and customers were parking across the street in a factory’s side lot. (This is a good sign to me)

Before entering I read the menus outside. The standard menu includes: Braised Beef Rib Pie, Beef ‘n Beer Pie, Butter Chicken Pie, Chicken Cheddar Bacon Mash Pie and Veg-ilicious Pie (Vegetarian). Also visited there was a seasonal menu that consisted of: Hog Squash, Lobster + Shrimp, Caplansky “Reuben” Pie and Marky + Sparky’s Pulled Pork and Jerk Chicken. I believe the Caplansky’s is named after Caplansky’s Delicatessen & Marky + Sparky’s Smokehouse. I’m not sure if they use their meat or the pies are just inspired by them, but I loved the Toronto reference and keeping it local. It gives me the feeling there is a sense of community within the food industry.

I selected the Chicken Cheddar Bacon Mash Pie – Chicken along with cheesy bacon mashed potato in the pie and for Mr. C. I got him the Pulled Pork BBQ from their seasonal menu. We split everything so we could get a good sampling of their offerings. I also served the pies with a side of organic baby romaine, grape tomatoes and green onion with lemon poppy-seed dressing to give us a balanced meal.

The crust for these pies were to die for, they were buttery and so flaky. I found that I couldn’t taste the bacon in the Chicken Cheddar Bacon Mash, but that didn’t make me dislike the pie in any way. It was so so good and the cheese added creaminess to the mashed potatoes. The Marky + Sparky’s Pulled Pork was saucier that I expected and I welcomed that, as I love anything with a sauce. I found this pie was much denser as it was packed with a lot of pulled pork.

For dessert we split a Lemon, Lime Orange Chess Pie. It tasted like pie I have made before, but it was still delicious. A chess pie is a simple pie with a crust and filling made from, eggs, butter, sugar and vanilla and was originally an English pie said the cashier.

Sides on the menu included fresh hand cut fries, gravy, chipotle lime mayo, mixed green salad, coleslaw along with the soup of the day, and desserts like pies, fresh fruit crumbles and cookies and a selection of canned or bottle drinks.

The 3 items came to $25.36 – not the cheapest considering the size of the pie, but quality ingredients go into the pies and it was so filling I couldn’t eat my slice of pie and had to wait until the next day. I would definitely visit them again.

Food Diaries: The Pie Commission - Candy Coated Culinista

Food Diaries: The Pie Commission – Candy Coated Culinista

Corn Chowder

Corn Chowder - Candy Coated Culinista

Corn Chowder – Candy Coated Culinista

Corn chowder is the ultimate comfort food I have never tried or made before.

Yield/Serving: 4

Ingredients
• 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
• 3 stalk celery, chopped
• 1 stalk leek, chopped
• 1 medium onion, chopped
• ¼ tsp dried thyme
• 1 tbsp all-purpose flour
• 2 cups heavy cream
• 2 cup vegetable stock
• 1 sweet red pepper, diced
• 1 medium potato, peeled and cut into cubes
• 2 cups fresh corn kernels, of the cob
• ¼ cup fresh Itallian parsley
• ½ tsp paprika
• Salt, to taste
• Black pepper, to taste

Assembly
1. Using a large saucepan over medium high heat pour extra virgin olive oil.
2. Add in the celery, onion, leeks along with dried thyme and cook until slightly browned, stirring frequently.
3. Sprinkle flour over vegetables and stir for a few minutes.
4. Add in the heavy cream and potato and let boil, stirring as to not let the vegetables stick to the bottom of the pot.
5. Add in the vegetable stock and cook until potatoes are tender, about 10 minutes.
6. Ladle into a soup bowl and garnish with parsley.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
I don’t think I’m a fan of creamy milk based soups; I am more of broth fan. I just couldn’t get passed the fact that there was milk in my soup. The flavours were great but when I make this again I will make it using stock and not any milk products. This soup was vibrant and colourful and I wanted to eat it with my eyes, which are all the qualities you want when looking at your food.

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