garlic lemon baked chicken

garlic lemon chicken step 5

In my recipe binder, I have an old recipe that was torn from a newspaper. The recipe is called Bainbridge Island Vineyard Greek Garlic Chicken and it was printed in the Washington Post. I’ve had it in my binder since cutting it out of the newspaper in 2007 yet have never made it. Over six years and it just sat there… waiting.

A couple days ago, as I was planning my weekly meals and making a grocery list, I searched through my binder to get inspiration and to remember old forgotten favorite recipes when I saw this one. Why hadn’t I ever made it? It’s got all the ingredients I love and that I use often: Garlic, olive oil, chicken. I added it to the weekly menu, purchased the chicken and the lemons, and today was the day. This chicken was what’s for dinner.

I didn’t follow the recipe 100%, since I am who I am and find it impossibly hard to follow a recipe exactly as it’s written (thanks Mom!). First of all, I didn’t use 5 pounds of chicken. I’m not sure I’ve ever used 5 pounds of chicken in one recipe. Also, when squeezing the lemons, after the second one I didn’t think it would need the juice from the third lemon, so I left it out (though next time — and there will be a next time — I will try it with three lemons). And then when I finished the sauce, before coating the chicken pieces, I realized it was a lot of sauce, so I put half of it aside to try in another recipe (maybe on a pork tenderloin for souvlaki … yum!).  Finally, instead of using just water, I used milk and some flour to thicken it. (See note below regarding these additions.)

The recipe below is what I made, which is based on the original.

P.S. When I finished the sauce I cut a bite-sized piece of chicken, dipped it in the sauce, and pushed it into my husband’s mouth. Was it good? Did he like it? Did it need anything… more salt or pepper? Here’s what he said after moaning with happiness, “You could put this sauce on a shoe and I’d eat it.” Yeah, so it’s pretty good.

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Garlic Lemon Baked Chicken

3 heads garlic, peeled and chopped and/or crushed (I did half each way)

the juice from 2 lemons

1/4 cup olive oil

2 tablespoons dried oregano

1 tablespoon black pepper

1 teaspoon course ground sea salt

1 1/2 to 2 pounds chicken thighs and/or legs (skin on, bone-in) or boneless, skinless chicken breasts

1 tablespoon flour* (optional … see note below)

1 cup milk or water* (see note below)

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Heat oven to 375F.

In a bowl, stir together the garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, oregano, pepper, and salt. *You’ll only need half of this sauce, unless you decide to use double the amount of chicken that is listed above.*

garlic lemon chicken step 1

garlic lemon chicken step 2

garlic lemon chicken step 3

In a large baking dish, place the chicken pieces coated with the sauce in a single layer. (You can coat the pieces in a deep bowl, or by placing the chicken and the sauce in a plastic zipper bag.) If using pieces with the skin on, place them skin side up.

garlic lemon chicken step 4

Bake for 20-30 minutes if using skinless, boneless chicken. Bake for 45-55 minutes if using chicken with bones and skin.

Remove chicken from baking dish to serving platter.

Pour sauce from the baking dish into a small sauce pan over medium heat. *Note: If you don’t want all those bits of garlic in the sauce, use a mesh strainer for this step of the process.

If you’d like a thickened sauce, in a small bowl or glass measuring cup, add the flour to the milk or water, and whisk well. (If you want it thinner, or to keep it gluten-free and dairy-free, use water only.) Pour this into the sauce pan and whisk to combine. Heat thoroughly while whisking often. It should thicken quickly.

Serve sauce on the side or drizzled over the chicken on the platter.

*Note: If you omit the flour, this meal is gluten-free. Use water instead of milk, and it’s dairy-free.

orange cranberry sauce

Once again, now that Thanksgiving is just days away, my favorite cranberry sauce recipe.

food with pictures

cranberry sauce


I was not a fan of cranberry sauce when I was young. Growing up, on our holiday table we’d usually have the jellied cranberry sauce that came from a can — you know, that popular unappetizing red blob. No thank you. I was happy with all the other foods on the table except for that one. But as the years went on, the can was no more and my mom experimented with cranberry sauce recipes. Unfortunately, I had no intention of trying any of them after experiencing that red blob for so many years.

Then I got married and my husband is a huge cranberry sauce guy. He prefers the whole berry cranberry sauce, and is used to the canned variety. Okay, not as bad as the jellied version, but still not anything I’d eat. So the can of whole berry cranberry sauce was part of our Thanksgiving table for…

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Preparing for our Thanksgiving feast

gravy

Do you see that cool swirl from the steam off the gravy? No photoshop tricks here. I didn’t even know this happened until after I was reviewing the photos!

Here are links to the recipes I’ll be using for our Thanksgiving feast this year.

My meal will include:

turkey with gravy (for the gravy, the link will take you to the gravy I made from a roast chicken — same process for turkey gravy)

stuffing To save oven space for the bird, I now make the stuffing in a crock pot.

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vegetables

veggies

sweet potatoes

sweet potatoes

smashed potatoes

mashed potatoes

rolls

cranberry sauce

cranberry sauce

apple pie (I will post the recipe for the pie pictured below very soon. Can’t believe I haven’t posted it yet!)

apple pie

pumpkin pie (I am not a huge pumpkin pie fan, though my husband and oldest son love it, so I use a can of organic pumpkin and follow the typical pumpkin pie recipe — pumpkin, evaporated milk, eggs, sugar, salt, cinnamon, ginger, cloves.)

pumpkin pie

chocolate pie (my daughter and youngest son will not eat apple or pumpkin pie … and I don’t mind one bit adding a chocolate pie to the menu!)

chocolate pie

***

Here is a link to shortcuts I take to make my Thanksgiving meal easy and less work the day of the feast.

Thanksgiving prep

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To start the day I’ll serve baked French toast. Such a holiday favorite of mine!

baked french toast

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What items are on your Thanksgiving meal menu?

quick spicy spaghetti sauce

quick and spicy pasta sauce

Pasta is one of my favorite foods. It’s comfort and delicious and can be prepared so very many ways. If I don’t have pasta often enough, a craving with start and grow bigger as each day goes on. I’ve learned it’s not smart to ignore such a craving.

The other day, after a week of being sick, which means I didn’t cook at all, but rather survived on tea and crackers, the craving grew to a beast after reading this food blog (possibly I should say “watching” since it’s in video form). I knew my cold was on its way out when I found myself drooling over the homemade pasta and arrabiata sauce.

Unfortunately, I didn’t have the resources to make homemade pasta (no idea which box in the basement holds my pasta maker), nor did I have any fresh tomatoes in the house. I had no energy and was also short on time, but very hungry. And this hunger was for pasta. For pasta with arrabiata sauce, to be precise. So I tossed this recipe together. It’s similar to the recipe linked above, but a cheater version. It satisfied my pasta craving, and it was very good!

Note: For my slow cooker pasta sauce recipe, click here.

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Quick Spicy Spaghetti Sauce

olive oil

6 garlic cloves, roughly chopped

1 large onion, quartered and sliced

salt

pepper

2 generous shakes cayenne pepper

1 28-ounce can coarse ground tomatoes

dried spaghetti

shredded Parmigiano Reggiano cheese

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Put on a large pot of salted water to boil for the spaghetti. Cook spaghetti as directed on its package.

In a deep sauce pan, cover the bottom with a decent layer of olive oil.

Add the garlic and onion and cook over medium heat. Stir often.

After a couple minutes, reduce heat and cover. Stir occasionally.

When the onions have become tender, about 5 minutes or so, add salt, pepper, cayenne pepper, and the canned tomatoes. Stir.

Put the cover back on and cook over low heat until the spaghetti is done.

Serve sauce over the cooked spaghetti (toss gently) and top with shredded Parmigiano Reggiano cheese.

quick and spicy sauce

orange cranberry sauce

cranberry sauce


I was not a fan of cranberry sauce when I was young. Growing up, on our holiday table we’d usually have the jellied cranberry sauce that came from a can — you know, that popular unappetizing red blob. No thank you. I was happy with all the other foods on the table except for that one. But as the years went on, the can was no more and my mom experimented with cranberry sauce recipes. Unfortunately, I had no intention of trying any of them after experiencing that red blob for so many years.

Then I got married and my husband is a huge cranberry sauce guy. He prefers the whole berry cranberry sauce, and is used to the canned variety. Okay, not as bad as the jellied version, but still not anything I’d eat. So the can of whole berry cranberry sauce was part of our Thanksgiving table for quite a few years, and he was the only one who ate it, until I realized I should try making my own. Somewhere, somehow, I came across the recipe below and made it for my husband. He loved it! Yahoo! Success!

The best part? While making it I tasted it, as you do, and all of a sudden I was a fan of cranberry sauce. Crazy! All those years of having turkey, gravy, dressing, mashed potatoes, green beans, and all those other typical Thanksgiving foods, yet never with cranberry sauce. The first time I added a nice big scoop of this orange cranberry sauce, well, there was no going back. It’s on my menu every Thanksgiving, and one of the foods I most look forward to.

My Thanksgiving meal isn’t complete now if I don’t have this sweet and tangy sauce on my plate. And the leftovers…. oh my, even better!

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Orange Cranberry Sauce

1/2 cup water

3/4 cup orange juice

2 cups sugar

4 cups cranberries (rinsed; bad ones discarded)

1 1/2 teaspoons grated orange rind

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In large saucepan over medium heat, combine ingredients. Cover. Bring to a boil.

Remove cover and lower heat.

Simmer on low, stirring often, until cranberries burst and it thickens. This may take an hour or more.*

Remove from heat.

Cool and chill before serving. Or, serve warm (I prefer it warm).

*Note: My mom says her cranberry sauce never cooks for an hour and thinks this is ridiculous. Okay, maybe she didn’t say ridiculous, but that’s what she meant. I say give it a try … cook it for an hour, slowly, over low heat, stirring often, and you will have a delicious cranberry sauce that is worth an hour of your time.

 

cranberries washed and ready

the zest from one orange was the perfect amount

liquids and zest, waiting for the cranberries

cranberries added to liquid

during the early stages of the cooking process

rather than keeping the lid completely off, I prefer to leave it like this

now I just need the turkey and sides!

orange mustard sauce for ham

Happy Easter to all of you who celebrate this holiday!

For me, ham is a must on Easter. Typically I like ham with a simple yellow mustard (plain, I know, but my favorite). My husband prefers anything other than simple yellow mustard. I sometimes make a pineapple mustard sauce to accompany the ham, but couldn’t find that recipe today. Searched for it and found a few other recipes, though none were exactly what I wanted. Instead I tossed together some ingredients I knew would do well together, and make a nice addition to the ham. It was perfect!

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Orange Mustard Sauce

1/2 cup orange juice

1 tablespoon brown sugar

1 tablespoon honey

1 tablespoon brown mustard

1 tablespoon yellow mustard

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Whisk together all ingredients in a small sauce pan.

Bring to a boil, whisking often.

Reduce heat and simmer over medium/low heat for about 10 – 15 minutes.

Serve with ham.

crockpot red sauce

An earlier post was for chicken and pasta — my version of chicken cacciatore. That recipe was created to make a complete meal out of the sauce recipe a friend had told me about. She found it on allrecipes dot com.

Here’s a little funny story. Turns out I’m soooo much like my mom, because I never actually made the sauce recipe in the way it was intended. Not once. Nope. Instead, I read it, considered some changes that would incorporate the recipe into meals that I serve to my family on a regular basis, and went ahead and did those. Came up with a couple versions of the chicken and pasts recipe using this sauce as a base. All successful, I should add. But not once did I make the sauce as is. Well, until now.

Oh my nostrils! Yesterday, when this sauce was cooking in the crockpot for hours and hours, my house smelled AMAZING!!!!! Really, I think I’ll make this weekly, even if it didn’t taste good (but it does), just so my house will smell this awesome on a regular basis!

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Crockpot Red Sauce

1 large can (28-ounces) crushed tomatoes

1 large can (28-ounces) San Marzano whole peeled tomatoes

1 onion, halved and thinly sliced

4-8 cloves garlic, crushed

1/4 cup olive oil

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 teaspoon dried basil

1 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 teaspoon garlic powder

dash cinnamon (no more than 1/2 teaspoon)

Place all ingredients in a crockpot set to low or warm (on my crock pot, the low setting should be renamed “only slightly lower than hot”, therefore I use the warm setting for this). Cook for as long as you can … 10 to 15 hours is what the original recipe suggested. The longer it cooks, the more intense the flavors. They’re not kidding. Yesterday I let mine cook for 15 hours and it was delicious!

Use for any pasta dish.

this is *some* of the garlic I put into this sauce yesterday

“before”

*after*