roasted

Roasted Pork Shoulder

So my kids just celebrated their quarantine birthday’s last week. Yes they are 2 years and a day apart and yes I know they are both adults but it was my daughters 30th so it’s a little more of a milestone. They actually could have been born on the same day but I told the doctor I was busy so my son was born the day after his sister’s second birthday party. We take our parties very seriously LOL.
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Anyway back to cooking! When I buy a pork shoulder or pork butt it is generally to make pulled pork. I have some leftover BBQ pulled pork in the freezer already so I wanted to make something else with it. So I covered it with garlic and herbs and roasted it in the oven. It was delicious very flavorful and so easy to make for either Sunday dinner or even during the week. Plus the leftovers made for excellent sandwiches; according to my husband.
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I know summer is upon us and maybe you don’t want to heat up your house, though around here in NH we have had some chilly days and evenings and having the oven on is kind of a blessing. But I have no doubt this would be equally good cooked out on the grill. I have cooked many pork loins out there. The only difference is there would be no pan drippings for a little au jus or to make a little gravy. You do what it best for you!
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roasted pork shoulder

Prep Time 0 mins
Cook Time 0 mins
Course Main Course
Servings 6

Ingredients
  

  • 3 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoon garlic chopped
  • 1 clove garlic thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoon rosemary chopped
  • 2 tablespoon fresh sage chopped
  • kosher salt and black pepper
  • 4 pound pork shoulder

Instructions
 

  • Pre-heat oven 350F
  • Liberally sprinkle salt and pepper all over the roast. 
  • In a small bowl, mix together the olive oil, garlic, rosemary, and sage.
  • spread the mixture all over the roast
  • Make slits in the meat, about 1/2-inch wide and deep. Insert the garlic slices into the slits
  • Set the meat on a roasting pan on a rack if you have one
  • Cook until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the roast reads 155°F, about 25 minutes per pound. 
  • remove the roast from the oven and let stand for 15 minutes.
    slice and serve.
Keyword garlic and herb roasted pork shoulder, herb roasted pork, roasted pork shoulder

Roasted Garlic Lemon Chicken

I know I know I know another roasted chicken recipe from me. This is my go-to comfort food all day long! I do however have a little something different for you. Yesterday I made my first cooking video for my blog. You will see what I mean by my first. It’s pretty rough but I have thought about doing one for years and seeing so many people putting themselves out there by singing, cooking, crafting etc. on FB live I thought I would try this first. I was too nervous to go live just yet. We’ll see how this goes and if I can muster up the courage to go live I will. Baby steps!

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It tasted as yummy as it looks!


I have posted this recipe before; it was about 3 years ago so I hope you will indulge me and give it a try if you haven’t already. The one I made yesterday made the most excellent gravy, so much so my daughter said she could actually bathe in it. There was a little left over after dinner so when I was putting everything away I added the gravy to my slow cooker along with chicken bones plus a couple of carrots, celery and an onion all very roughly chopped and set it on low and this morning had almost 3 quarts of liquid gold.

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A friend of mine finally took me up on making his own chicken broth and has already made it twice in the last couple of weeks. Just saying!

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A couple of things I wish I would have clarified on my videos. Oh yeah I had to have the in two because I stopped filming and then changed the angle of the phone – rookie move. I can learn so it can only get better from here, right?

So I have been trying to load these since 9am-ish. Our internet has been terrible all week and was totally out this morning. They are supposed to come out sometime tomorrow before 6pm. Not even a window anymore just sometime before 6. The rest of the time was trying to get the videos to load onto my computer then and into wordpress.  There has to be a better way!!!! this was painful so I hope you at least get a chuckle from it.

 

I ended up marinating it for 2.5 hours. You will notice that I told you a time I was going to put it in the oven but never mentioned what time it was. I also wanted to share with you that this type of roaster is also great made out on the grill.
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Here is my adaptation of Ina’s Tuscan Lemon Chicken

1 5lb chicken, spatchcocked – you can do this, I promise! (see below)
Kosher Salt
Freshly cracked black pepper
⅓ cup Olive Oil
2 lemons zested
1 lemon squeezed
3 cloves garlic minced
2 sprigs fresh rosemary leaves minced

Sprinkle the chicken with the salt and pepper. Combine the olive oil, lemon zest and juice, garlic and rosemary in a small bowl. Place the chicken in a dish just large enough where it can lay flat. Pour the marinade all over the bird getting it all over both sides.
Let it sit on the counter while you preheat your oven to 425’F. If you want to a couple of hours, put in in the fridge and take it out about 15 minutes before you are ready to put it in the oven.

I cooked mine in my cast iron pan for about an hour. Please make sure to cook the the bird till the internal temperature is around 165’F note that it will continue to cook a little while it is resting covered with aluminum foil for 5-10 minutes.

Spatchcock directions – with either kitchen shears or a knife. Remove the back bone of the bird. Cut down one side and then the other and then push down on the bird to flatten it. That’s it – once you do this you can brag to all of your friends. I did to my co-workers, they had never heard the actual word before. If you don’t want bragging rights, your butcher will do this for you.

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chicken and rice soup with homemade stock

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you can’t tell me that won’t make an amazing stock

How are you holding up? We are doing well though this morning made me “think” a little differently than my norm. I was about to make french toast and grabbed the dozen of eggs from the fridge and immediately thought; wow that’s going to use a lot of my eggs we should have something else. I put the bacon back and looked around and had 3 English muffins left in a package, some left over hollandaise sauce from last week and a few slices of lunch meat ham. Waste not want not mode kicked in.
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this make me 8 cups of what I call liquid gold

I am sure we are all in that mode these days with trying to stay home but still maintain some semblance of normalcy. I do struggle with wanting to support my local restaurants that we used to frequent before a month ago and we do order out at least once a week. I am having a hard time finding balance with spending money as normal; dinner out, Amazon, grocery stores etc. I want to support them but I also want their staff safe and not have to go out for me. I hope that make sense!
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I am frugal by nature; I save leftovers, I will take stale bread and make breadcrumbs. I freeze Parmesan cheese rinds for later use. I will make up a dinner using whatever fresh veggie is about to expire. I will make a soup out of almost anything. If it’s good I’ll make it again.  I made risotto the other night and made extra so I can make up rice cakes because the last time I made the “extra” into arancini (Italian rice balls) and already have a bag of those in the freezer.
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I have implored you numerous times to make your own stock; now is the time to make it happen! If the stove top method freaks you out; use your slow cooker. A five pound roast will make several meals for your family. I dare you to test me!

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These trays are awesome, 2 cup portion size so each tray is 8 cups. I got them on Amazon

Sorry the recipe card wont work

5 pound roaster chicken – Bell and Evans or Misty Knolls are the best in my opinion
1 medium onion, small dice, or if you are not a fan grate the onion so they disappear but add flavor
3 carrots, peeled and diced into similar sizes
2 stalks celery, cleaned and diced into similar sizes
1/2 cup Jasmati or similar rice.
8 cups chicken stock
Stock:
chicken carcass, couple of carrots, couple of celery, sliced onion. garlic clove or two smashed, season with salt and pepper

Soup:

in a stock pot add a little olive oil and the onions, carrots and celery. saute for about 5 minutes. Add the rice and let it barely brown. It adds a little more flavor. Cover with the stock and let it simmer for about 30 minutes. remove from the heat and add the leftover chicken. I prefer to shred the chicken versus dicing it. Your choice.

If not using leftover chicken, use a couple of boneless skinless chicken breasts, sliced into chunks and seasoned liberally with salt and pepper. Saute the pieces in the stock pot before you start this recipe. set the chicken aside, add the veggies and scrape up all the bits from the pan. That will add even more flavor.  

Stock: 

After removing all of the meat from the chicken add the carcass to your slow cooker. top with roughly chopped veggies and cover with water. put on low for the night. when you wake up in the morning. I let my stock cool on the counter in a container, then I put it in the fridge overnight or until it completely cools. I want all the fat to solidify on top so I can remove it.

After having dinner with your roasted chicken, remove all of the meat and use some in leftovers or chicken salad, save some for the soup.

Stay safe –  Stay healthy and Stay home as much as you possibly can. Stay in touch using Facetime, Zoom, Skype or whatever else is available to you. We have been having virtual happy hour with some of our friends with IPhones, and last night a bunch of us used Facetime while a couple of friends played piano and the rest of us sang or listened. We are going to try zoom next week

roasted chicken breast acorn squash sheet pan

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Most of the time I go to the grocery store with a plan of what I need to pick up based on what we want to eat for the week. Or more like what I feel like making for the week. I do ask; sometimes what the house wants but really it’s mostly up to me.
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I also mostly go to the store alone but this time my daughter was with me and instead of a spaghetti squash we came home with an acorn squash instead. Guess she is not a fan of spaghetti squash I do try to have on hand a few fresh veggies for a quick side. Usually broccoli, cauliflower always carrots and I guess now acorn squash. It was easy, a great side and we all loved it. So much so my husband stated we will be adding it to the garden this year.
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Quick during the week meals are a must in everyone I personally knows world. We all work and time is tight and dinner needs to be easy to make, which means few ingredients and mostly hands off. This meal was just that and very satisfying. 

A few chicken breasts, an acorn squash, some seasonings, a sheet pan and your oven. You will be enjoying a nice warm meal in an hour.

roasted chicken breast acorn squash sheet pan

Donna Clark - Cooking at Clark Towers
A quick, delicious, satisfying meal

Ingredients
  

  • Chicken Breast bone in skin on a piece or two per person
  • 1 acorn squash
  • kosher salt
  • freshly cracked black pepper
  • maple syrup
  • crop dust or your favorite all purpose seasoning

Instructions
 

  • Spray your sheet pan with cooking spray or line with tinfoil
  • Preheat oven to 375'F
  • dry each chicken breast with a paper towel
  • season each breast on both sides with salt, pepper and your all purpose seasoning
  • wash and slice the acorn squash, scoop out the seeds.
  • place everything on the sheet pan, season the squash with the same seasonings
  • drizzle the squash with a little maple syrup
  • Bake for 45-50 minutes until the chicken is cooked through.
 

 

Anguilla vacation lunch and dinner

I mentioned last week that I was heading out for vacation and will be sharing some of the food we had. We arrived home last late night well actually we landed around 7:30 then had to go through immigration and then customs.

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Snapper lunch on Sandy Island

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BBQ chicken lunch on Sandy Island – cole slaw, rice and pasta – very good! 

Pictures of Sandy Island off the coast of Anguilla

We are no strangers to going through our international airport over the years. Our first time was back in 1988. Every year has been a little different; this one was a little odd to me. They have automated it a bit by having a machine read your passport and you answering a few questions on screen before you see an customs agent.  In the past we had always had to go through two check points one before you get your luggage and then another after you get your luggage. This time around there were 5 or 6 customs agents standing together and let us all just walk through with our bags and didn’t even look at us. Totally took me off guard. Not complaining that just meant that no one was going to pull us aside and go through our luggage looking for things we didn’t claim; which was also weird we never filled out customs forms; going into our destination and coming home. Very different!

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Lobster lunch at the Sunshine Shack

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Best french fries we had on the island at the Straw Hat

Enough about that I have a few pictures from my phone so some of the pictures are not that great but I will try to explain a little about what you are seeing. We ate out quite a bit and some restaurants stand out better than others and there was probably one that we probably wouldn’t go back to but it might have been either what we ordered or just not there night so I am not going to mention them.

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Steak dinner we made back at the house – I brought the steak from home!

Jacala on Meads Bay is a must but make sure to make a reservation, they can be crazy busy at times. This is an authentic French restaurant with the Co owner Jacques Borderon walking or rather talking you through taking your order and making sure you know exactly what your are going to be eating was a real treat.

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Asparagus soup amuse bouche at Jacala with my cosmo!

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Appetizer of a “shepherds pie” believe it or not. It was excellent

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bouillabaisse – said best he had ever eaten!

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Pan roasted pork tenderloin over risotto

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Grilled snapper – this was mine and was excellent! Seasoned and cooked to perfection!

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Grilled crayfish – also well seasoned and tender

Ember on Lower South Hill is another must try. Everything is cooked on an open wood fire. Nothing was too smoky and Chef owner Marc Alvarez knows exactly what he is doing!  Unfortunately I didn’t get any photos it was our anniversary dinner but was probably the best fish I had on the island – melted in your mouth. I pretty much ate Snapper and Mahi Mahi the entire week whether it be a sandwich or a fillet or even in a taco.

Both are open air with water views though at night there really isn’t much you can see unless a boat goes by. If you visit the island of Anguilla I would make these a must eat!
A few others were visited and enjoyed a meal. Blanchards on Meads Bay, Madearman on Shoal Bay had no power but we had a very nice lunch and Ocean Echo also on Meads Bay

 

lemon garlic rosemary chicken quarters

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Lemon * Garlic * Rosemary * Olive Oil * Salt and Pepper

How far ahead in the day or week do you start thinking about what to make for dinner? Sometimes I plan a week’s worth of meals, and sometimes I just wing it! We have been super busy the last couple of months, so when I or my daughter ran to the store it has been just to pick up the usual suspects. Milk, eggs, bread, Hamburger or Hot dog rolls ya know just the essentials. Well, yesterday I made a list and had a plan of attack.
IMG_4800I need a plan when I do a major shopping because one of my stores is 45 minutes away. I bring a cooler for the cold items I am picking up. KP you were thinking it was for something else didn’t you? wink wink. I also make my list out for all the stops I plan on making and my grocery shopping list is made out by how the store is laid out. You might be thinking that I am a little crazy by now and you are probably a little right. But I am very efficient!!!
IMG_4801Before I headed out for the 5 hour trek, and that was only 6 stops plus a car wash. I had taken out a few chicken quarters and decided to add some flavor to them so when I got home I could just put them in the oven while I put everything away. It worked out perfectly and if you are planning a shopping day or just heading out to work. Take 5 minutes before you leave and add a few of your favorite flavorings to your protein and dinner can be homemade, delicious and on the table within an hour and mostly hands off.

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it was delicious and so easy!

Lemon garlic rosemary chicken quarters

Donna Clark - Cooking at Clark Towers
Easy, Flavorful, Fast and Delicious
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 45 mins
Total Time 1 hr

Ingredients
  

  • 4 chicken leg quarters
  • 2 lemons washed and sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic roughly chopped
  • 1 large sprig rosemary chopped
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • kosher salt and black pepper

Instructions
 

  • Season the leg quarters liberally with salt and pepper
  • add everything into a zip log bag and make sure everything is distributed around.
  • pre-heat oven to 400'F
  • place leg quarters onto a foil lined baking sheet and place in the oven
  • bake for 45-50 minutes, until cooked through.

Notes

use your favorite ways to add flavor. Thyme, limes, hot sauce don't forget the salt and pepper

Sirloin, Autumn harvest hash, black garlic red wine sauce

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This was the test – using a filet, they only gave us one sirloin

A couple of weeks ago a friend tagged me in a post about a Chop Local event at a local Inn and Restaurant. I thought oh that isn’t that so sweet she thought of me; shout out to you LW. Then my daughter brought home the entry form for her, her brother and myself. I honestly didn’t think I had a chance in hell; yes even after all these years of making and loving the food I have made and then going as far as sharing it with all of you I still have self doubt about my abilities as a cook. There I’ve thrown that out there in the world!

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Secret basket ingredients we had to use in our dish

So I spent the day of the deadline contemplating whether to sign up or not. The deadline was 6 pm on Sunday. I finally convinced myself, it’s fine just drop it off you won’t be picked you can at least say you tried. I ended up dropping it off around 5:40 just before the deadline. Well not only did they draw my name they also drew my sons. My daughter was pretty bummed she wasn’t picked she totally wanted to do it. I love that my kids are foodies too!

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Rules we had to follow

I had no idea of the dates as they were not initially mentioned. Well it all happened so fast that we picked up our “secret” basket ingredients on Wednesday and had to present an entree dish by noon on Saturday. I did some research before I knew what we had to make or even what our “secret” ingredients were. I went on the Inn’s Tavern’s menu to see what kind of food they served and what I felt they could use, so I wouldn’t make something they already had; since the winning dish will be featured on their menu the month of October.

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morning of contest searing my sirloin on all sides

Here we are on Wednesday and I get my basket. All the things I thought about on Tuesday were out the window. They gave us a petite sirloin, 3 bulbs of black garlic and an apple. I wanted to make something to compliment what they were already serving while also using the freshest ingredients I could find, mostly from my own garden. And make something I would order.

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morning of contest veggie and apple hash 

Petite sirloin over roasted autumn hash with a black garlic red wine sauce

Donna Clark - Cooking at Clark Towers
Boyden Beef Petite Sirloin topped with a black garlic compound butter over a roasted autumn vegetable and apple hash nestled in a black garlic rosemary, thyme and red wine sauce
Prep Time 40 mins
Cook Time 1 hr 50 mins
Total Time 2 hrs 30 mins

Ingredients
  

  • 2 stick unsalted butter
  • 2 medium onions
  • 2 heads of black garlic
  • 1 garlic clove crushed
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon light brown sugar
  • 1 cup dry red wine
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 quart beef broth
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 3 thyme sprigs
  • 1 rosemary sprig
  • 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
  • 4 small potatoes peeled and diced
  • 1 small rutabaga peeled and diced
  • 2 medium carrots diced
  • Kosher salt
  • Black pepper

Instructions
 

  • Compound Butter: 5 minutes prep / 40 rest
  • in a small bowl combine 1 stick of unsalted butter, softened, 4-6 cloves of black garlic, 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt and mix well, place in some parchment paper and roll into a log. Refrigerate till it hardens approximately 30-45 minutes.
  • Vegetable and Apple Hash: 20 m prep / 1 hr 35 m cook
  • Because the rutabaga or turnip will take the longest, peel, dice and boil in a pot of salted water for about 30 minutes. While that it boiling pre-heat your oven to 400'F and peel and dice your carrots and potatoes. Making them roughly all the same size. Drain the rutabaga and place it; plus the carrots and potatoes on a lightly oiled sheet pan sprinkle with kosher salt and black pepper plus 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme and place them in the 400' oven for about 30 minutes. Remove and toss them then place them back in for another 20 minutes. remove and add the onion and toss, place them back in for another 10 minutes or until the onions have softened and the veggies have some golden brown color. During the last 10 minutes or so peel, core and dice your apples. Once the pan is out of the oven add the diced apples and put back in one more time for 5 minutes just till they soften. You want them soft not mushy.
  • Sauce Gravy: 10 m prep / 30-40 m cook
  • In a medium saucepan, melt the butter. Add the onions and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until golden, about 5 minutes. Stir in the black garlic, crushed garlic, flour and sugar and cook, stirring often, until a golden-brown paste forms, about 5 minutes. Stir in the 1 cup of wine and the soy sauce and simmer for 2 minutes, then add the broth, thyme and rosemary. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened and reduced to about 4 cups, about 30 minutes.
  • Stir the apple cider vinegar and season with salt and pepper. Strain into another bowl and set aside.
  • Filet: overnight prep / depending on size 8-12 m
  • the night before your going to cook it; season it all over with kosher salt and black pepper; leave uncovered on a plate in your fridge. Take it out of the fridge 30 minutes before you are going to cook it. Get your cast iron pan hot while the filet is coming up to room temperature and the pan is hot enough that you can feel the heat coming off of it. You want your steak to sizzle when it touches it. Add a little olive oil and place the meat on the hot pan; let it sear without touching it for 3-4 minutes.

I tested my recipe on the fam Thursday night and we all loved it, so much so my husband kept licking his plate. My daughter took one bite and looked at me and shook her head smiling. That’s a winner to me all day long!!!

I was up first and forgot to take a picture of my final dish – the photographer of the day said she will send it to me. So I will post it once I get it.

Well I didn’t win at the Inn contest but I am still a winner with my fam so it I’m still winning!!!  There were 5 contestants and the winning dish was a pot pie with a side salad. It did look amazing and we are looking forward to going to the Tavern and ordering it, checking out the competition. One of the judges did whisper to me that my dish did beat out my son’s. We had a little friendly rivalry going, or more so he did. I tried to help him without over stepping. As I told him I will always be your Mom!

Thank you all for supporting me – I truly enjoy sharing my journey with all of you!!!

Roasted chicken acorn squash with sumac brown butter

 

I am fairly certain that last year was the first time I started cooking with acorn squash. I made roasted chicken with acorn squash with a sumac brown butter recipe I found in Food & Wine Magazine the other night and now my husband wants us to grow acorn squash next year. It is no wonder how our garden area keeps growing and growing. We are kind of running out of space where we have them all. I think we have 8 raised beds of various sizes. A couple of them are huge. One of the them I hate, it is too wide and built into a hill; I find it too hard to weed and I don’t like it so I pretty much ignore it.
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I dislike that bed so much that I asked if we could take it apart and reuse the lumber to make a different bed; ya know one that I will like. I have a strong sense that I am shit out of luck but hey it was worth a try right?
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If you have an opportunity to try sumac spice I don’t think you will be disappointed. Ground sumac has a tangy lemony flavor, although less tart than lemon juice. A small sprinkle also adds a beautiful pop of color to your dish as well. So check it out if you see it. Or buy it online like we did.
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roasted chicken and acorn squash with sumac brown butter

Donna Clark - Cooking at Clark Towers
great sheet pan dinner the legs and squash cook in the same amount of time. Plus easy clean up!
Servings 4

Ingredients
  

  • 4 chicken leg quarters
  • 31/2 teaspoons kosher salt divided
  • 4 teaspoons lemon zest divided
  • 2 teaspoon black pepper divided
  • 2 medium acorn squash halved and then cut into 1/2 inch slices
  • 3 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 thyme sprigs
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon sumac divided
  • 1 teaspoon Cajun spice or Aleppo pepper spice

Instructions
 

  • on a rimmed baking sheet evenly sprinkle 2 teaspoons salt, 2 teaspoons lemon zest, and 1 teaspoon black pepper on both sides of the chicken, refrigerate, uncovered overnight or at least 8 hours.
  • Place chicken on the counter for about an hour so it comes to room temperature. Preheat the oven to 450'F Add the acorn squash to the baking sheet; drizzle both with some extra virgin olive oil. Sprinkle squash with 1 teaspoon of salt and remaining black pepper. Spread fresh thyme sprigs around the chicken and squash.
  • Bake for about 35-45 minutes or until the chicken at the thickest part of the thigh reads 165'F and the squash is tender. Transfer chicken and squash to a platter, Discard the thyme sprigs. reserve the pans juices.
  • Heat the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until browned, roughly 3-4 minutes. Scrape the pan juices from the baking sheet into the saucepan. Whisk in the honey, 1/2 teaspoon sumac, remaining teaspoons lemon zest and remaining salt. Drizzle all over chicken and squash. Sprinkle with Cajun or Aleppo pepper, thyme leaves and remaining sumac.

Notes

You should be able to find sumac at a Middle Eastern market or online.
Adapted from Food and Wine Magazine
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Garlic lemon sheet pan chicken thighs

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So I didn’t get to making my pickles last weekend so this weekend it is a must. The cucumbers are still the strongest crop we have this season and both veggie drawers are full.
IMG_4177Last night my son and his fiance were coming over for dinner and to discuss their wedding and reception ideas; yes it is a little over a year away but you have to come up with some sort of plan to give everyone some time to make some of their wishes come true.
IMG_4181I decided that dinner needed to be less hands on so we had plenty of time to chat. Sheet pan dinners are pretty cool and if you have never tried making them you should add it to your list; I bet they will make it into your weekly dinner rotation.
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They are easy, you don’t need a lot of ingredients or do they take a lot of prep time. Your oven does most of the work leaving you time to do more important things. Plus clean up is super quick.
IMG_4183I had a family pack of chicken thighs, my husband picked an onion a turnip some potatoes and a few carrots. Sounds like dinner to me.  Yes I use a few sheet pans but I was making a lot of chicken. And you want to make sure everything has room to roast otherwise your veggies will steam and it’s just not the same.
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Garlic lemon sheet pan chicken thighs

Donna Clark - Cooking at Clark Towers
sheet pan dinners

Ingredients
  

  • 8 chicken thighs bone in skin on
  • Kosher salt and black pepper
  • 3 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 lemon squeezed
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 6 cloves garlic minced
  • wash peel and chop 2 or more vegetables of your choice

Instructions
 

  • pre-heat oven to 400'F
  • season both sides of the chicken thighs with salt and pepper
  • in a large bowl add the olive oil, lemon, sugar and garlic
  • add chicken thighs and let marinade while you peel the vegetables
  • place the thighs skin side down onto the sheet pan covered in parchment paper
  • in a clean bowl add the veggies one at a time or all together, olive oil, salt an pepper
  • add the veggies to another pan and make sure there is room for them to roast or grab another sheet pan to spread them out
  • bake for 35 minutes, turn the veggies and flip the chicken.
  • bake for another 30 minutes until the veggies are cooked through slightly browned
  • If needed set the oven to broil and brown the chicken skin - I had to.

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Maple Roasted Carrot Salad

Happy Easter!!!  Have a wonderful day!

If I was better at this blogging thing I would have given you this recipe last week so you could make it today as part of you Easter dinner. I plan on making it later today for my fam that will be here for dinner. I first made this and blogged about this recipe back in 2016. I am looking forward to having it later today, I can taste it already!

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I also am planning on making a carrot cake with cream cheese frosting or it might turn into carrot cupcakes; both sound appealing to me.  I’ll have to see how the day progresses.

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Right now the house is super quiet. all I can hear is my fingers tapping on the keyboard. Which is very unusual around here. At the very least the dog is wanting something; could be out, could be attention or mostly could be a treat; but even he is still sleeping.  In less than an hour all things are going to change. My son and his fiance and my in-laws will all be here for pancakes, sausage and home fries.

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We have had Easter morning pancakes long before my kids were even born. And yes even though the kids are adults I will be hiding eggs. Which is almost as much fun for me as it is for them to find them.  I do love that I can truly hide them. The only problem is me keeping track of where I put them.
 
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If you happen to not have the ingredients on hand and there isn’t an open store near by I hope you keep this recipe in the back of your mind as it is easy to bring together; yes there are a few steps but nothing you can’t handle. The flavors meld so nice together and  you’ll look like a rock star placing it on the table for all to share.

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The Marcona almonds used to be something you had to look for around here but not now. I can get them pretty much at all of the grocery stores around. Which is great and now I have them on hand ALL the time. They are awesome by the handful as well as in sweet or savory recipes.  You should check them out if you haven’t already.

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Maple-Roasted Carrot Salad
Preheat oven to 425’F

2 pounds carrots
¼ cup olive oil
¼ cup pure maple syrup
⅔ cup dried cranberries
⅔ cup freshly squeezed orange juice (2 oranges)
3 tablespoons sherry wine vinegar
2 cloves garlic (grated)
6 ounces baby arugula
6 ounces goat cheese
⅔ cup Marcona almonds (roasted/salted)
1½ teaspoon Kosher salt
½ teaspoon Freshly cracked black pepper

Prepare carrots to 1 inch wide and 2 inches long – because they are roasting at a high temperature you don’t want them too small.

Place in a medium bowl with the olive oil, 1 tsp salt and pepper toss together. Using 2 sheet pans (they need space you don’t want them to steam) Roast for 20 minutes, tossing once until the carrots are tender. Transfer all of the carrots to one sheet pan and add the maple syrup. Toss and roast for another 5-10 minutes just till the edges caramelize. Watch them. Once out set aside for 10 minutes.

Combine the cranberries and orange juice in a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer then set aside for 10 minutes.

In a small bowl combine the vinegar, garlic, ½ teaspoon salt. Whisk in 3 tablespoons of olive oil.
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Place the arugula in a large dish, add the carrots, cranberries in their juice, goat cheese crumbled, almonds and the vinaigrette. Toss and serve at room temperature.

 

Recipe – Ina Garten the Chew episode