Farmers Market Finds & A Goat Cheese, Bacon, Onion & Tomato Pie

This past Saturday, if you haven’t already figured out, I went to Pepper Place Farmer’s Market. Farmer’s Markets are obviously an addiction for me. I could be a Farmer’s Market Hoarder. Because I want everything. And I mean EVERYTHING. I’ve bought cutting boards, bowls, jewelry, fruits, vegetables, cheeses, BBQ…pretty much anything I’m in the mood for at the time! Last post, it was strawberries. Before that it was honey. And this week, I just couldn’t make up my mind! Clearly….

Pepper Place Farmer's Market, Birmingham, AL

Farmers Market Goodies

But one thing that was very clear to me was that I wanted some tomatoes. And what a week to want them. They were just gorgeous! Heirlooms, Clusters, Beefsteaks, Cherry, Green…they were everywhere! Swoon!

Combination of Beefsteak & Cluster Tomatoes

Farmer’s Market Tomatoes, Basil & Onion

Now I just had to figure out what to make! I always make BLT’s. I mean who doesn’t?!?! But I wanted more! So the longer I walked around “sampling” the market with my The Home T Tote Bag (Seriously go check them out), it dawned on me. Tomato Pie. With Bacon. And Caramelized Onions. And GOAT CHEESE. Ahhh…this was going to be good. And it seriously was.

Tomato Pie with Goat Cheese, Bacon & Caramelized Onions

Just look at that Tomato Pie Goodness!

This is really an easy dish to make. And one that is so versatile you can eat it for breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner. Take it to a picnic, serve it at a party or a reunion! It’s really just good anytime!

First thing to get started. Slice your tomatoes about 1/4″ thick into a colander. I used a combination of Beefsteak & Cluster. You use whatever kind is in season and looks the best from your market. Lightly salt & pepper them and let drain of any excess juice and seeds for at least 30 minutes. You don’t want the pie to be soggy, and this will help.

Sliced tomatoes drained in a colander

Let these sit for at least 30 minutes!

While you are letting those tomatoes sit, prepare your other ingredients. Slice your onions, chiffonade your basil, prepare your pie crust & chop your bacon. If you have forgotten…click here for the easiest way to prepare bacon and always have some ready to go! For the pie crust, I wanted to keep it simple this time. So I used a Pillsbury Refrigerated Pie Crust. All you have to do is place it in your pie plate and then pre-bake it for 10 minutes. Simple as that. If you want a homemade pie crust…you can click here for my homemade version from my Aunt Inez. Either way will work just fine.

Tomato Pie with Goat Cheese, Bacon & Caramelized Onions

Tomato Pie with Goat Cheese, Bacon & Caramelized Onions

While your pie crust is baking and cooling, you need to caramelize your onions. Melt your butter in a sauté pan. Once its frothy, add your onions and sauté for about 20 minutes. Don’t stir these too often. Just enough so that they aren’t sticking to the pan. You want them to be a rich, warm & brown in color.

Once the onions are done and the pie crust cooled, it’s time to start layering the ingredients for the pie! Start with your tomatoes. You want these in a single layer barely overlapping each other. Next, add your onions and bacon. About half of each. Then spread out your herbs, shredded parmesan, pinches of goat cheese and mozzarella. About a 1/2 for each layer.

Goat Cheese Tomato Pie Layering

The First Layer of the Goat Cheese Tomato Pie

Continue with another layer of tomatoes and pinches of goat cheese & mozzarella. This is where I mixed together an egg, mayo, apple cider vinegar, the rest of the bacon, onions, herbs & parmesan cheese. Pour this over the top of the layers and spread it all the way over to the sides of the pie crust. Then top with some diced or whole tomatoes, extra herbs, extra freshly grated Parm…whatever you like!

Bake at 375 degrees for 35-40 minutes until your crust is golden brown, pie is bubbly and the cheese is melted and browned! Let the pie rest and cool on a wire rack or trivet for at least 30 minutes – up to an hour. Then serve! Serve it with a salad, drizzle some balsamic on top, or just eat it by itself! Which is what I did. All. By. Itself.

Tomato Pie with Goat Cheese, Bacon & Caramelized Onions

We need Smell-o-Vision AND Taste-o-Vision for this!

This is definitely my new favorite way to make a Tomato Pie! And my inspiration came straight from the Farmer’s Market! If you haven’t been to your local market…go this week! It’s well worth your time. You’ll be supporting your local farmers…and who knows what other inspiration you may find!!

Let me know what you think! Enjoy! 🙂

“New Version of the Pie”

Fresh Tomato Pie with Goat Cheese, Bacon & Caramelized Onions

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

4-6 Fresh Tomatoes (Heirloom, Beefsteak, Cluster) Sliced 1/4″ Thick
Refrigerator Pie Crust (Or Homemade…Click here for recipe)
1 Medium Onion Sliced Thin
3/4 lb Thick Cut Bacon, Cooked & Chopped (Around 6-7 Slices) Or use Smithfield Bacon Pieces
2 tbsp Butter
Handful of Fresh Basil & Thyme Chopped. About 2-3 tbsp.
4 oz Herbed Goat Cheese (I used a little over half of this)
1 c Fresh Mozzarella
1 c Shredded Parmesan
1 Egg
2 Heaping tbsp Duke’s Mayo
2 tsp Apple Cider Vinegar
Cornmeal for dusting
Salt & Pepper to Taste

1. Slice Tomatoes about 1/4″ thick and place in a colander. Salt & Pepper and let stand for at least 30 minutes to drain seeds and extra juice.
2. Slice onion into thin slices to caramelize. Set aside.
3. Chop fresh basil & thyme; set aside.
4. Place refrigerated pie crust in a pie plate. Pre-Bake for 10-12 minutes on 400 and set aside to cool. Once cool, dust bottom with cornmeal.
5. While tomatoes are draining & crust is baking/cooling, caramelize the onions.
6. Melt butter in a sauté pan and begin caramelizing onions until brown on medium heat. Stirring occasionally. About 20 minutes. Set Aside.
7. Begin layering tomatoes in the pie crust in a single layer overlapping a little.
8. Next, top tomatoes with 1/2 of these ingredients: bacon, onions, fresh herbs & parmesan.
9. Then add small pinches of goat cheese and mozzarella on top of layer.
10. Repeat one more layer of tomatoes, small pinches of goat cheese & small pinches of mozzarella.
11. Mix together the egg, mayo, apple cider vinegar and remaining bacon, herbs & parmesan cheese.
12. Pour mixture on top of last layer, spreading all the way to the edges of the pie crust. Top with diced tomatoes and grated parm.
13. Bake at 375 degrees for 35-40 minutes until cheese & crust are browning & pie is bubbly.
14. Let cool for 30 minutes – 1 hour before serving.

A Fresh, Beautiful, Sinful & Sweet…Homemade Strawberry Cake!

Fresh Strawberries. Is there a fruit much better than fresh Strawberries? No…no there isn’t. Unless it’s Peach Season. And then…there is no better fruit than Peaches. Well…until Watermelon Season…and then…well you get my point. I am a lover of all fruit. But as of right now…my favorite fruit is Strawberries!

After my latest trip to Pepper Place Farmer’s Market I saw SO much produce that I just wanted to take it all! But I since I couldn’t…I knew I wasn’t going to leave without one of the BEAUTIFUL buckets of Strawberries that seemed to stare at me with every turn. And since Memorial Day cookouts will be in full force this weekend, I decided that I should indulge in something other than my Updated, Old Fashioned Strawberry Pie (click the link if you missed it, because it’s a “can’t miss”). And trust me…that was a tough decision to make. So what could possibly come close to that goodness?? AHHHH….A Fresh, Beautiful, Sinful & Sweet…Homemade Strawberry Cake! YES!

Homemade Strawberry Cake with Strawberry Cream Cheese Icing

Homemade Strawberry Cake with Strawberry Cream Cheese Icing

Everything is fresh in this cake. No boxed cake mixes (even though you totally could), no over-sweetened frozen strawberries and no food coloring. I really don’t see the need for food coloring. But again…you could totally add it. So here is how this recipe starts.

Homemade Strawberry Cake

Homemade Strawberry Cake

This first step is really a taste preference. I didn’t use any of that frozen strawberry mixture that is loaded with sugar. Instead, I pureed my fresh strawberries with a tablespoon of sugar and juice of half a lemon. You don’t HAVE to add the sugar OR the lemon. But I tasted (or maybe had a small snack of) a few of the strawberries and wanted them just a TAD sweeter…and thought the lemon would just add a nice kick! So if you want to just puree them by themselves…that is just fine for this recipe!

Fresh Strawberry Puree

Fresh Strawberry Puree

Fresh Strawberry Puree

Fresh Strawberry Puree

Now that this done & out of the way…preheat your oven to 325 Degrees. Then sift together the dry ingredients in a mixer or a mixing bowl. The flour (I use White Lily), baking powder, lemon zest, salt & sugar.

Strawberry Cake Mix

Strawberry Cake Mix

Next add the wet ingredients and start mixing. The oil & vanilla first…then add the eggs & whites one at a time until the batter is mixed. Careful not to over mix. Then finally fold in your strawberry puree until just incorporated. [If you want to add the food coloring for a cake that is brighter pink color…here is where you would do that. Just mix in couple of drops of red food coloring at a time until the cake is the color you want it. Remember…a little goes a long way.] Now, back to the important stuff. Time to pour this mixture evenly into 2 separate 9″ pie pans that have been greased with Pam Cooking Spray. Then bake for 30-35 minutes.

Strawberry Cake BEFORE the Oven

Strawberry Cake BEFORE the Oven

Now for the icing…Cream Cheese. Strawberry Cream Cheese. Just saying those three words makes smile. Or want to grab a shot of insulin. 🙂 And this icing is just your classic Strawberry Cream Cheese that everyone’s Grandmother has made. With just a little lemon zest added. You beat the butter & cream cheese together until creamy. Then add the strawberry puree & vanilla. Once this is mixed…start adding the confectioner’s sugar a little at a time until the frosting is the consistency you like it. Then store in the fridge until ready to frost your cake.

Cream Cheese Icing

Cream Cheese Icing

Once the cakes are done…let them cool in the pan for about 10 minutes. Then remove them from the pans and let them cool completely before trying to start adding the frosting. But once they are cool…get to it!

Homemade Strawberry Cake

Cakes are Ready for the Icing!

Here is where you can get creative. Just make sure to put the icing in between each of the cakes, the sides and the top! If you want to make designs or make it smooth…it’s whatever you want to do! And for garnish…I’ve added Strawberries, Blueberries, Mint, Coconut…anything that I already have on hand to make it look pretty! So many different options for you to make this cake fit your occasion.

So here is my very plain…but ever so delicious…work of non-art.

Homemade Strawberry Cake with Strawberry Cream Cheese Icing

Homemade Strawberry Cake with Strawberry Cream Cheese Icing

But WOW…doesn’t that still look awfully yummy! Once I finish this post…I may just have another piece!

Let me know what you think! Be sure to send me some pics, leave me a comment or message me on Facebook or Twitter! And be sure to share the blog with your friends to sign up via email! Hope you Enjoy!

Homemade Fresh Strawberry Cake with Strawberry Cream Cheese Icing

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Print

Strawberry Puree

2 lb Fresh Strawberries
1/2 Lemon, Juiced (optional)
1 tbsp Granulated Sugar (optional)

1. Slice the green tops off of the strawberries.
2. Place Strawberries, Lemon Juice & Sugar in a Blender and Puree. Keep a Chunky Consistency in the Puree.
3. Set aside.

Cake

2-9″ Pie Pans Greased with Non-Stick Vegetable Spray
3 c. All Purpose Flour
2 tbsp Baking Powder
1/2 Lemon Zested & Juiced
1 1/2 c. Fresh Strawberry Puree
1 tbsp Salt
2 c. Sugar
1 c. Vegetable Oil
2 Whole Eggs
4 Egg Whites
1 tbsp Vanilla
**3-4 drops Red Food Coloring (Optional)

1. Preheat Oven to 325 Degrees.
2. Sift together dry ingredients into a mixer or mixing bowl. Flour, Baking Powder, Salt & Lemon Zest.
3. Mix in vegetable oil then the vanilla.
4. Mix in eggs, one at a time, until incorporated.
5. Mix in strawberry puree (and optional food coloring) until incorporated.
6. Pour mixture evenly into the greased baking pans.
7. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean in the center of the cake. Careful not to overcook.
8. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes. Then remove from the pans and let completely cool. Preferably on a wire rack.
9. Decorate with Strawberry Cream Cheese Icing making sure frosting is smooth between both cakes, sides & top.
10. Garnish with whole strawberries, blueberries, coconut, mint, etc.
11. Store in Refrigerator.

Strawberry Cream Cheese Icing

1 8oz Block of Cream Cheese, Softened (not low fat)
1 Stick of Unsalted Butter, Softened
1 tsp Pure Vanilla Extract
1/2 Lemon Zested
1/2 c. Strawberry Puree
4-5 c. Confectioners Sugar

1. Beat cream cheese & butter together until creamy.
2. Mix in Zest, Extract & Puree. Continue to mix on medium speed
3. Slowly mix in Confectioners Sugar a little at a time until you reach your desired consistency.
4. Store in refrigerator until ready to use.

Sweet Tea Brined, Buttermilk Fried Chicken with a Sriracha, Honey Sauce

Fried Chicken. Not much more to say than those 2 words….

Sweet Tea Brined Fried Chicken with Grilled Potato Salad

Sweet Tea Brined Fried Chicken with Grilled Potato Salad

I’m just kidding (not really). Fried chicken is one of my all time favorite foods. Picnics, Family Reunions, Tailgates, Sunday lunches, Breakfast…. 🙂

I can remember years ago as a kid always devouring the fried chicken at our Lexington family reunions. And there was SOOOO much homemade food around that 2nd Sunday in May to make you feel like you gained 20 pounds in 2 hours! Aunt Ivene’s Green Beans, Vida Mae’s Fried Pies, Hilda’s Strawberry Delight… and on, and on, and on. My families very small contribution to that day??? Sweet tea, ice and fried chicken. Not homemade fried chicken…but a KFC fried chicken bucket. Yep…the “dirty bird”. And I loved it. Every last bite of it. And maybe a couple of last bites from someone else’s plate.

So 30 years later, when I visit new cities and new restaurants…if they have fried chicken on the menu…I’m still a total sucker to try it. Last year, one of my BF’s and I went to the South Beach Food & Wine Festival in Miami. Oh. Em. Gee. What a fun trip! And one of my favorite memories of that trip (and goodness there were so many)…My brunch at one of Miami’s best restaurants: Yardbird, Southern Table & Bar. Because of the fried chicken. Ah-Mazing. And now, oddly enough, one of the founders of that South Beach Food & Wine Festival, Lee Schrager, has a new book coming out on May 20, Fried & True, that is showcasing over 50 of America’s Best Recipes & Sides! That trip was clearly fate…..

Yardbird, Southern Table & Bar--Fried Chicken

Holy Fried Chicken, Y’all–Yardbird, Southern Table & Bar, Miami

But I digress. Although I can’t wait for that book to come out or to eat at Yardbird again…I’ll still have to say, my personal fried chicken recipes are always my favorites. It’s simply hard to beat the inspiration of some of your best childhood memories….So here we go.

Sweet Tea Brined, Buttermilk Fried Chicken with a Sriracha Honey Dipping Sauce

Sweet Tea Brined, Buttermilk Fried Chicken with a Sriracha Honey Dipping Sauce

To get started…the first thing you’ll need to do is make sure you are planning this 1-2 days in advance, because you’ll need to brine the chicken for 24-26 hours in the sweet tea mixture. For the brine, you’ll simply make a normal gallon of sweet tea but with 2 tea bags instead of 1 (I always use Luzianne or Red Diamond), the juice of 1 large lemon, 1 c of sugar, 3/4 c of salt & 1/2 c pepper. Then submerge the chicken legs & thighs in the tea and refrigerate overnight.

After the chicken has been taken out of the brine and patted dry, drop it in the buttermilk and let it soak for at least 30 minutes to an hour. In the meantime, mix up your flour with the cayenne, onion powder, salt, garlic powder & paprika.

Flour Battered Chicken Legs

Thighs in the Buttermilk…Legs in the Flour

Now you’re ready to dredge the chicken. I like to do it in batches of the legs first then the thighs. But you don’t have to. It doesn’t actually do anything except make my OCD go away. Next, you’ll need to let the excess buttermilk drain off of each piece. Then coat it well in the flour mixture on all sides–also shaking off any excess. Let the pieces rest either on a wire rack or on parchment paper for at least 10 minutes. This will help the coating stick better while you fry it. While the chicken is resting…heat the oil to around 325 degrees in a cast iron or deep dish frying skillet. But in my opinion…a well-seasoned cast iron is the best way to ever fry chicken. Then fry the chicken in batches of similar size pieces (about 3-4 of them at most) so they will cook evenly on each side.

Sweet Tea Brined, Buttermilk Fried Chicken with Sriracha Honey Sauce

Can’t you just hear that sizzle?

I usually cook the legs & thighs for about 10-12 minutes on each side turning 3-4 times to make sure all of the coating is golden brown and chicken is evenly cooked. And start your fry with the skin side down. The most important thing is to not OVER cook so the coating burns or UNDER cook so you get sick. 165 degrees as an internal temperature with a golden brown coating is the goal! Once you get the hang of it after a couple of times, you’ll be a frying chicken like an expert!

Finally, drain on a paper towel to absorb any extra oil then sprinkle with a little salt while it’s still hot!

Serve it with a side of my Grilled or Roasted Potato Salad (click the link in case you missed that favorite recipe), a side of Sriracha Honey and a mixed green salad then you are all set!

Sweet Tea Brined, Buttermilk Fried Chicken with Sriracha Honey Sauce

Sweet Tea Brined, Buttermilk Fried Chicken with Sriracha Honey Sauce and a side of Grilled (or Roasted) Blue Cheese Potato Salad

I can’t wait to dig in to this deliciousness! Leave me a comment with your favorite recipes and memories..and of course…let me know what you think! Enjoy!

Sweet Tea Brined, Buttermilk Fried Chicken with Sriracha Honey Sauce

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: moderate
  • Print

Sweet Tea Brine:

2 Tea Bags
1 c Sugar
3/4 c Salt
1 Large Lemon, Juiced
1/2 c Pepper

Boil 2 quarts of water. Once a rolling boil, add tea bags and remove from heat. Let steep off of the heat for about 10 minutes. Add in sugar, salt, lemon & juice, pepper. Stir until sugar & salt are dissolved. Mix in 2 more quarts of cold water to cool.

Fried Chicken

Sweet Tea Brine
3 1/2 lbs of Chicken Legs & Thighs, Skin On
1 Cup of Shortening + 1 Cup of Vegetable Oil (There should be at least 2 – 3 inches of oil in the skillet. But no more than 1/2 way up the side of the skillet)
1 quart Non-Fat Buttermilk
2 c AP Flour
1 tbsp Salt + More for Dusting
1/2 tbsp Pepper
1 tbsp Onion Powder
1 1/4 tbsp Cayenne
1/2 tbsp Garlic Powder
1 tbsp Paprika

1. Place Chicken in cooled, Sweet Tea Brine for 24 hours and no more than 26. Store in refrigerator.
2. Discard Brine & Pat Chicken Dry with Paper Towels.
3. Place Chicken in Buttermilk and Let Soak for 30 min up to 1 hour.
4. Mix Flour, Salt, Pepper, Onion Powder, Cayenne, Garlic Powder & Paprika while Chicken is in Buttermilk.
5. Remove Chicken from Buttermilk & Place Pieces in a Collandar so Excess Buttermilk Will Drain Off.
6. Dredge Chicken Pieces in Flour Mixture, Coating Well on All Sides. Shake Off Excess then Set Aside on Wire Wrack or Parchment Paper for 10 Minutes.
7. Heat Oil in Cast Iron Skillet to 325 Degrees.
8. Begin Frying Chicken in Batches, Starting Skin Side Down. No More than 3-4 Pieces at a Time.
9. Continue Frying Pieces, Turning Chicken 3-4 Times for Around 10-12 Minutes on Each Side until Golden Brown & Internal Temp Reads at least 165 degrees.
10. Place Cooked Chicken on Paper Towels to Drain any Excess Oil.
11. Dash with Salt while Chicken is Still Hot.
12. Drizzle with Sriracha Honey when Ready to Serve.

Sriracha Honey

2 tbsp Honey
1 tbsp Sriracha
1 tsp of Water

Mix ingredients together for desired consistency and flavor. There is really no recipe for this…just what your tastebuds like! If you don’t like the thickness of the sauce, just mix in drops of water to loosen the sauce.

I Can’t Grill–But Here’s a Fabulous Roasted (or Grilled) Potato Salad!

It is finally May here in the South. And May usually means sunny days, warmer temps (humidity), flowers blooming…and barbecue’s! The smell of food cooking on a grill makes me SO happy. Charcoal Grills, Gas Grills, Big Green Eggs, Big Blue Eggs, Polka Dot Eggs…doesn’t matter to me what kind it is…as long as it’s grilled!!!

And now I have a confession to make. I can’t grill. Well…I can. Sometimes. Maybe. Confused yet? Yeah, me too.

To explain…I can grill vegetables and beef VERY, very well. And other things…let’s just put in the category of “needs work”. The recipes are always super delicious, though! It’s just that the EXECUTION needs some fine tuning. I have a terrible tendency to get distracted & then turn around to a massive flame of fire that gives new meaning to “char” grilled pork chops. And so luckily for you…this isn’t a post about grilled pork chops! But rather a roasted (or grilled) potato salad! One that I can honestly say I have perfected on the grill…AND in the oven. Because it’s just that good. But being able to grill this in the summer…yummmmmmm!!!!! I first found a similar recipe from Jeri Ryan in an issue of Food & Wine several years ago. And I’ve just made it my own over time with a ridiculous amount of compliments.

Char Grilled or Roasted Potato Salad with Bacon & Blue Cheese

Char Grilled or Roasted Potato Salad with Bacon & Blue Cheese

Now…just an FYI…I’ve made the post pics about roasting the potato salad since not everyone has a grill. But if you do…then grill it. It’s by far the best way to make this! I’ll explain those few MINOR differences in the recipe card. So here are the ingredients to start….

Grilled Potato Salad Ingredients

Grilled Potato Salad Ingredients

Oven Roasted:

First thing you will need to do is preheat your oven to 400 degrees. You’ll want to make sure to wash your potatoes really well and the slice them into bite size pieces. Keep them as close to the same size as possible so that they cook evenly. Next slice the onion into pieces, keeping these evenly sliced as well. Spread both on an aluminum foil wrapped sheet pan & mix with the oil, garlic powder, salt & pepper. Set Aside.

Roasted Potatoes & Onions

Roasted Potatoes & Onions

If you haven’t seen my post on how I cook bacon…then click HERE to see. Because this is your next step.I used Wright’s Applewood Smoked for this one. Once you have both of your sheet trays full of the bacon & potatoes…then put them in the oven to bake.

Roasted Potatoes & Oven Cooked Bacon

Roasted Potatoes & Bacon

The bacon will be done first. I always put it on the top rack. Bake about 20 minutes so it will be a little crispy for texture. Drain well on paper towels, then chop into pieces. The potatoes should bake for about 30-35 minutes or until tender. You can broil the potatoes for the last 5 minutes to add a little “crispiness” to them if you want.

Roasted Potatoes, Onions & Bacon

Roasted Potatoes, Onions & Bacon

Blot the potatoes & onions with a paper towel just in case there is an excess oil you want to take off. In a bowl, toss together with the bacon and more salt & pepper to taste (if needed). Mix your sour cream, lemon, Duke’s mayo & blue cheese in a separate bowl so you can spoon in as little or as much as you need (I don’t like mine TOO saucy). Then fold into the potato mixture. Make sure to stir gently while the potatoes & onions are warm so they soak in all of that yummy flavor!

Char Grilled or Roasted Potato Salad with Bacon & Blue Cheese

Char Grilled or Roasted Potato Salad with Bacon & Blue Cheese

Top it with some sliced green onions, a little fresh grated parmesan cheese or parsley and serve warm or room temperature!

Make sure to leave me a comment below on what you think! Share with your friends on FB & Twitter, sign up for more updates via email at the bottom of the blog…and most importantly…ENJOY!!!

Roasted Potato & Onion Salad with Bacon & Blue Cheese

  • Servings: 10-12
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Adapted from Jeri Ryan, Food & Wine July 2006

3-4 lbs Baking Potatoes Chopped into Quarters
1-2 Large Red Onions, Chopped into Quarters
1 pkg Thick Cut Bacon (Preferably Wright’s Applewood Smoked)
1/4 c. Olive Oil
1 tsp Garlic Powder
1/2 c. Low-fat Sour Cream
1/2 c. Low-fat Duke’s Mayo
3-4 oz Low-fat Blue Cheese
Juice of Half a Lemon
Salt & Pepper to Taste

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2. Slice potatoes into pieces about 1/4″ thick. Keeping pieces as close to the same size as possible.
3. Slice red onion into pieces about 1/4″ wide. Keeping pieces as close to the same size as possible.
4. Spread potatoes & onion onto an aluminum foil lined sheet tray. Toss, just to coat, with the oil, garlic powder, salt & pepper.
5. Layer bacon on an aluminum foil lined sheet tray to roast at the same time as the potato mixture.
6. Place both in the oven. Bacon should roast for about 20 minutes or until crispy for texture. Drain well on paper towels then tear or chop into pieces.
7. Potatoes should cook for about 30-35 minutes until tender. Broil for the last 5 minutes if you want to add extra crispiness to the potatoes. Blot to remove any excess oil.
8. In a bowl, toss together the bacon, potatoes & onions.
9. In a separate bowl, mix the mayo, sour cream, lemon & blue cheese.
10. Fold in blue cheese sauce into the warm potato mixture. Use as little or as much as you like, not to over sauce the potatoes. Add in any salt or pepper to taste if needed.
11. Top with fresh parm, green onions or parsley. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Grilled Potato & Onion Salad with Bacon & Blue Cheese

  • Servings: 10-12
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Adapted from Jeri Ryan, Food & Wine July 2006

3-4 lbs Baking Potatoes Chopped into Quarters
1-2 Large Red Onions, Chopped into Quarters
1 pkg Thick Cut Bacon (Preferably Wright’s Applewood Smoked)
1/4 c. Olive Oil
1 tsp Garlic Powder
1/2 c. Low-fat Sour Cream
1/2 c. Low-fat Duke’s Mayo
3-4 oz Low-fat Blue Cheese
Juice of Half a Lemon
Salt & Pepper to Taste

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Preheat grill to med-high heat.
2. Slice potatoes into pieces about 1/4″ to 1/2″ thick.
3. Bring potatoes to a boil in a salted pot of water. Once boiling, cook for about 5 minutes until starting to become tender. Then drain.
4. Slice Red Onion into pieces about 1/2″ wide.
5. Layer bacon on an aluminum foil lined sheet tray to roast.
6. Bacon should roast for about 20 minutes or until crispy for texture while the potatoes are cooking. Drain well on paper towels then tear or chop into pieces.
7. Toss, just to coat, the potatoes & onions together with the oil, garlic powder, salt & pepper. Grill either directly on the grates or using a grill pan. Just make sure you are able to get the “char” & smoke flavor on both the potatoes & onions.
8. Grill until potatoes & onions are charred & tender (5-7 minutes).
9. In a large bowl, toss together the bacon, potatoes & onions.
10. In a separate bowl, mix the mayo, sour cream, lemon & blue cheese.
11. Fold in blue cheese sauce into the warm potato mixture. Use as little or as much as you like, not to over sauce the potatoes. Add any salt or pepper to taste if needed.
12. Top with fresh parm, green onions or parsley. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Maple & Orange Baked Ham…Perfect for Easter Dinner!

Easter is finally in a few days. And this is one of those Holidays that I ABSOLUTELY love. There is just so much meaning in Easter Sunday! Church Services, Easter Dresses, Bunnies, Easter Egg Hunts, Families Gathering Everywhere…and Ham. Lots and Lots of Ham.

Yep! I admit it. Ham is one of my favorite things about Easter. I could eat Baked Ham for almost every single meal. And luckily after Easter “Ham” Dinner…I’ll at least enjoy it for an entire week!

Baked Ham is really so easy and versatile that ANYONE can cook it. Glazes, rubs, marinades…so many options to try. And so few ways to mess it up! This year, I have decided that I want to use Oranges. And Maple Syrup. And Brown Sugar. And…

Orange & Maple Glazed Ham

Ingredients for the Easter Ham

First thing you want to do is clean & trim the Ham. Wash any excess juices off & trim any fat or skin down to no more than 1/4″ thick. Next, preheat your oven to 325 degrees.

While your oven is preheating, score the Ham in a criss-cross or diamond pattern. This will help the glaze/marinade/rub or whatever, really get down into the meat. Once it’s scored, place whole cloves into the Ham where each criss-cross meets.

Scored Ham with Cloves

Scored Ham with Cloves

Now, whisk up your marinade/glaze well. Place the Ham in a large roasting pan and pour half of the marinade over it. Make sure to baste the whole thing well. Cover loosely with aluminum foil then bake for about 1 1/2 hours. Or 10 minutes per lb. You’ll want to make sure you baste this every 20 minutes with the pan drippings/marinade/glaze mixture.

Once this is done, take the Ham out of the oven & crank up your temperature to 425 degrees. Uncover the Ham and pour the rest of the marinade on top. Make sure this time you baste it again with the pan drippings until it’s totally covered with the marinade/glaze. Bake uncovered for about 30 more minutes basting one last time after 15 minutes. Take the Ham from the oven, cover & let rest for about 10-15 minutes. Hopefully it will look like this….(My. Mouth. Is. Watering.)

Orange & Maple Baked Ham

Almost Ready!

Pour some of the juices from the pan on top of the Ham and start slicing! Depending on your cut…slice it thin, slice the spirals, or just slice up some ham steaks! However you want to savor this beautiful feast! Garnish it with oranges once you are done…and you are ready to serve!

Maple & Orange Baked Ham

Finally!!!

This ham will make a lot of servings. Which really makes it cost effective to cook several more meals. You can freeze it for later, make some sandwiches or whip up a ham & cheese pasta bake! I’m already craving that pasta bake….

Let me know how yours turns out or what you do different! Hope Everyone has a Blessed & Happy Easter! 🙂

Orange & Maple Glazed Ham

  • Servings: A Lot
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Credit: Country Living & Simple Southern Living

1 Fully Cooked 8-10 lb Ham (Whole Bone-In or Bone-In Spiraled)
1/2 c. Sprite
1 c. Fresh Squeezed Orange Juice
2 Tbsp Orange Zest
2 Tbsp Whole Grain Mustard
1/2 c. Maple Syrup
1/2 c. Dark Brown Sugar
1 Tbsp Black Pepper
Whole Cloves
Orange Wedges for Garnish

1. Preheat Oven to 325 Degrees.
2. Rinse & clean the ham to remove any excess juices. Trim the skin & fat around ham to no more than 1/4 inch.
3. Score the ham in a criss-cross or diamond pattern.
4. Insert cloves into the ham where the criss-cross meets at each point. Then place into a large roasting pan.
5. Whisk together the next 7 ingredients, mixing well.
6. Pour 1/2 of the mixture over the entire ham.
7. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for about 12 minutes per lb. And basting with the pan juices every 20 minutes.
8. Remove ham from oven and turn up the heat to 425 degrees.
9. Pour the rest of the basting mixture over the ham making sure to fully cover it.
10. Bake for 30 more minutes uncovered, basting after 15 minutes.
11. When ham is done, remove from the oven, cover & let rest for 10 minutes.
12. Spoon pan drippings over the ham before serving.

“Grab & Go” Sausage and Cheese Buttermilk Muffins

I am the world’s worst about eating the most important meal of the day.  Sometimes I will scramble some eggs on the weekend, but I almost NEVER think about breakfast during the week.  My biggest problem is time.  I always seem to be short of it.  Because I am just not a morning person.

Not. At. All.

That blaring alarm in the morning scares the crap out of me.  Then I cut it off and back to sleep I go.  This routine happens for at least 30 minutes every. single. morning.  So there goes the 30 minutes I could have had for breakfast.  And if I tried to get up earlier…well…you don’t want to know.

I decided this weekend that I really need to change that horrible habit.  And to ease into my new routine, I knew I needed something I could make ahead to “grab & go”, JUST IN CASE, I caved and hit that snooze button.  So I came up with these “Grab & Go” Sausage and Cheese Buttermilk Muffins!

Ingredients for Grab & Go Sausage & Cheese Muffins

Ingredients for Grab & Go Sausage and Cheese Buttermilk Muffins

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Brown your sausage (If you’ve read my other posts, then you know I use Wright’s Sausage) and drain very well. Next, you will want to mix your dry ingredients together (White Lily flour, salt, sugar & nutmeg). In a separate bowl, whisk together your beaten egg, buttermilk & melted butter.

Now…pour your wet ingredients into the dry and mix well. This will not be a smooth batter! So just make sure all of the ingredients are incorporated together and not over mixed. Finally fold in your sausage & cheese. You will want to grease your muffin tins with some cooking spray. I always use Pam Butter Flavored Spray. Then just spoon in the batter to the top of each tin.

Sausage & Cheese Muffin Batter

Sausage & Cheese Buttermilk Muffin Batter

Bake these for 15-18 minutes depending on your oven. You want the bottoms brown and the tops golden.  Let cool and then spoon each muffin out of the tin to serve.  I can just taste these now!!

 

Sausage & Cheese Buttermilk Muffins

Sausage & Cheese Buttermilk Muffins

Luckily…it’s the weekend. And this Sunday morning I’m not in a rush. So I’ll start my new routine off slowly. A cup of coffee, a magazine & my Sausage & Cheese Buttermilk Muffin(s).

Sausage & Cheese Buttermilk Muffin

Easy Sunday Morning to Enjoy These Sausage & Cheese Buttermilk Muffins

Thankfully, I’ll have the rest of the week to rush around and quickly enjoy these as a “grab & go”!

Hope you enjoy!!

Sausage & Cheese Buttermilk Muffins

  • Servings: 12
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Credit: Simple Southern Living

2 1/2 c. Self Rising Flour
1/3 c. Sugar
1 tsp Salt
1 tsp Nutmeg
1 ¼ c. Buttermilk
1 Egg Beaten
¼ c. Unsalted Melted Butter
1 lb Browned Sausage (I used Wright’s Spicy)
1 ½ c. Grated Sharp Cheddar Cheese

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2. Brown the sausage & drain well.
3. Mix flour, nutmeg, sugar & salt.
4. In a separate bowl you want to mix beaten egg, buttermilk & melted butter together.
5. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, mixing until incorporated.
6. Fold in cheese & browned sausage.
7. Spray muffin tins with cooking spray and then spoon in mixture to about the top of each hole in the tins.
8. Bake for 15-18 minutes or until golden brown on the bottom.

Let cool and then spoon out each muffin from the tin. Brush tops with melted butter or spray butter then serve.

Aunt Ivene’s Drop Sugar Cookies…with a Nutella Twist

My Great-Aunt Ivene was one of a kind.  She was born in 1914 and lived for 94 beautiful years.  She grew up cooking, working on the family farm, later working at the bank and probably her truest calling…taking care of the family because she had no children of her own.

Aunt Ivene Hammond

Aunt Ivene & Foster Hammond, 1944

You see, Aunt Ivene married the love of her life, Foster Hammond.  Foster was killed in the war in 1944.  And she never remarried.  She always told me about why she didn’t remarry…”It wasn’t Foster”…she would say.  So she took it upon herself to take care of us.  ALL of us.  The rest of her long & beautiful life.

As a child, I used to spend nearly every Friday night with Aunt Ivene.  We would watch Dallas, play Chinese Checkers and OF COURSE…we would cook. I credit her with first showing me around the kitchen! Green Beans, Mac & Cheese, Pies, Cakes & her famous Sugar Cookies!  She made those for everyone!  And she would deliver them in an empty cracker box, an old Maxwell House Coffee can or those old Planters Cheese Ball Tins. Still such vivid memories I have of those special times and those cookies!!

I’ve been thinking a lot about Aunt Ivene lately and I decided to make a few batches of those cookies and deliver them to some friends like she did.  And then I decided I wanted to make some with Nutella.  I love Nutella.  And I could probably eat it by the spoonful (notice I said probably…doesn’t mean that I’ve actually DONE that…ummm, no…never).  And if you don’t know what Nutella is…just click on the link.  And then drop everything and race to the grocery store.

Here is all you need because these are very, very quick & easy.

Ingredients for Old Fashioned Drop Sugar Cookies with Nutella

Ingredients for Old Fashioned Drop Sugar Cookies with Nutella

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.  You will need a couple of baking sheets for these because this recipe makes A LOT.  To start, beat your eggs with a mixer until they are frothy. Then mix in the oil & vanilla. Next mix in your Nutella & Cocoa. Mix in your sugar, and then finally your White Lily flour. Mix these just like I’ve described so the ingredients get incorporated evenly. This will only take a couple of minutes. Take your ungreased baking sheet and start dropping a “dollop” of the cookie dough onto the sheet with a teaspoon. Don’t crowd your pan because these will spread out. But don’t worry about making them perfect either! Just see mine…not perfect. Not even close.

Drop Sugar Cookie Batter

Drop Sugar Cookie Batter with no Nutella

And here are some with the Nutella batter.

Drop Sugar Cookies with Nutella Batter

Drop Sugar Cookies with Nutella Batter

You will have to watch these closely depending on how big you made your “dollops”. Mine baked for about 10 minutes. Just until I could tell the bottom was slightly brown. They cook fast, so don’t burn them!
Once they are done, take them out of the oven and let them cool on the baking sheet so they have time to rest. Once they are cool..then grab a glass of milk and DIG IN. Try to resist from eating all of them at once. Just do what Aunt Ivene did…grab you a tin can, or an empty cracker box and share with your friends & family to put a smile on their face! Or eat them…your choice. 😉

Drop Sugar Cookies with Nutella

Old Fashioned Drop Sugar Cookies…and some with Nutella

Aunt Ivene's Drop Sugar Cookies

  • Servings: 5-6 dozen
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Credit: Ivene Hammond & Molly Howard

2 Eggs Beaten
1 ½ tsp Vanilla
1 c. Vegetable Oil
1 c. Granulated Sugar
2 c. Self Rising Flour

1. Preheat Oven to 400 degrees.  
2. Beat eggs with electric mixer. Add in oil & vanilla.
3. Add in sugar and mix until thick & creamy.
4. Finally mix in flour & incorporate without over mixing.
5. Drop the batter onto the ungreased baking sheet using a teaspoon & careful not to over crowd the pans.
6. Bake for about 10 minutes or until golden brown. Make sure to watch this close so that you don’t burn the bottoms.

Aunt Ivene's Drop Sugar Cookies with Nutella

  • Servings: 5-6 dozen
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Credit: Ivene Hammond & Molly Howard

2 Eggs Beaten
1 ½ tsp Vanilla
1 c. Vegetable Oil
2 tbsp Nutella
2 tbsp Hershey’s Cocoa
1 c. Granulated Sugar
2 c. Self Rising Flour

1. Preheat Oven to 400 degrees.  
2. Beat eggs with electric mixer. Add in oil & vanilla.
3. Mix in the Nutella & Cocoa.
4. Add in sugar and mix until thick & creamy.
5. Finally mix in flour & incorporate without over mixing.
6. Drop the batter onto the ungreased baking sheet using a teaspoon & careful not to over crowd the pans.
7. Bake for about 10 minutes or until golden brown. Make sure to watch this close so that you don’t burn the bottoms.

Updated…But Still Old-Fashioned…Strawberry Pie

Springtime weather is FINALLY just around the corner!  Thankfully!  And during the winter of 2014, the South has certainly experienced some very bi-polar weather!!  74 degrees one day…24 degrees the next.  Rain & thunder showers…followed up with 3 inches of snow & ice!!!  So tiring. So long.  So…OVER.

When I went to the grocery store this week and saw some Florida Strawberries staring back at me with their deep, beautiful red color & fruity, sweet smell…I knew Spring was finally upon us!!  And Spring for me always starts with strawberries!  I then decided that I’m going to celebrate this Spring arrival! And no better way to celebrate than with an updated, old-fashioned strawberry pie!  YES!

Updated, Old Fashion Strawberry Pie

Updated, Old Fashion Strawberry Pie

For those that didn’t already know, I come from really long line of family that are really, really good southern cooks.  In fact…they even have a cookbook of just a FEW of their recipes!  It’s one of the things I cherish more than anything!  So, the homemade pie crust I use and file away into the recipe category of  “don’t fix what isn’t broken”, is one from my Great Aunt Inez.  She was born in the early 1900’s and lived to be in her 90’s.  I’d say that gives her enough experience in cooking pies!  And this one proves it.

Owens Family Cookbook--Lexington, AL

Owens Family Cookbook–Lexington, AL

Now…to get started.  The first thing I do is get that crust formed!  The ONLY thing I do different than Aunt Inez is make sure every single ingredient to be used in the crust is very cold!  Including the bowl!  So refrigerate everything for about an hour before you get started.   First you will need to cut the Crisco shortening & salt into the flour (I use White Lily, of course).  You can either use your fingertips, a pastry cutter or 2 knives.  Whatever will work best to get the mixture looking like pea-size pieces.  Don’t over work this dough because you don’t want the shortening to melt!  Next whisk together the egg, vinegar & cold water.  Gradually add this mixture to the flour until it is incorporated.  When the dough looks all mixed and can be formed into a ball…it’s ready!  Here you will want to divide the dough into 3, 1/4 inch to 1/2 inch discs.  Wrap them up in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes to an hour.

Sorry no pics of the dough mixture…my hands were covered in flour & shortening.  **Note to self…buy a pastry cutter.  Soon.  Like yesterday.***And another note…if you don’t want to make a homemade crust…you can easily buy one already made.  Not the frozen ones.  In fact, just buy a Pillsbury Refrigerated Pie Crust.  Because they are the best.

Pastry dough is getting wrapped up for the fridge

Pastry dough is getting wrapped up for the fridge

While that dough is refrigerating…get your strawberries cut and mixed with the other ingredients.  Cut them in halves or quarters depending on how big they are.  Then mix well– the cornstarch, sugar, orange zest, orange juice, vanilla, nutmeg & water. Let this refrigerate for at least 30 minutes up to overnight.  This will let the the natural juices from the berries come out.

Can't you just smell the sweetness of this filling?  If you can't...guess you'll have to make the pie.

I Love Strawberry Pie Filling.  Love. It.

Once everything has chilled, you will need to roll out 2 of the pastry discs and preheat your oven to 425 degrees.  On a really well-floured surface, you’ll want to roll the bottom out to about an 1/8 inch to 1/4 inch thick to fit the bottom and sides of your pie dish.  So about 11 or 12 inches around for a 9 inch pie.  For the top, you will want to roll out the same size and then cut the dough into 1 inch strips using a pizza cutter.  This will be used for the lattice crust.  The way I learned to do lattice crust was online.  Seriously.  And it was from Simply Recipes.  I’ve been following their blog for a long time! Make sure to click on the link to the Simply Recipes site where I saw the easiest way to weave the crust.  Kudos, Simply Recipes…Kudos!

Lay the bottom crust into the pie dish, spoon in the strawberry mixture, then finish with the lattice top.  Brush the strips with heavy cream and sprinkle with a little bit of sugar.

Why can't their be smell-a-vision?

Why can’t there be smell-a-vision?

You will bake this little beauty for about an hour or until the crust is golden brown and the filling is bubbly!

Updated, Old Fashion Strawberry Pie

Updated, Old Fashion Strawberry Pie

Once this has cooled somewhat,  just slice it up and top with orange whipped cream & a sprig of mint!  Or just plain whipped cream and no mint.  Or top it with nothing and just dig in!  Your choice!

Updated, Old Fashion Strawberry Pie

Just look at that beauty!  Topped with orange flavored whipped cream!

This is really an easy recipe to keep, adjust and make your own!  Let me know how yours turns out!  Enjoy!

Updated, Old-Fashioned Strawberry Pie

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Print

Adapted from Saveur Magazine, Inez White & Simple Southern Living

Pie Crust

3 c. All Purpose Flour
1 c. Crisco Shortening
1 ½ tsp Salt
1 Beaten Egg
1 tbsp Vinegar
½ c. Cold Water

1. Put all of the ingredients into the refrigerator (including the bowl) for at least 30 minutes to chill.
2. Once cold, cut the salt & shortening into the flour using a pastry cutter or your fingertips until the mixture resembles pea-like pieces.
3. Mix together the egg, vinegar and water. Gradually add the mixture into the flour. Mix together well until dough can be formed easily into a ball.
4. Divide dough into 3 even pieces. Roll out into a disc about ½ inch thick.
5. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes to an hour. Freeze any unused dough.

Strawberry Pie

3 lbs Sliced Fresh Strawberries
½ c. Cornstarch
¾ c. Sugar
1 tsp Nutmeg
1 ½ tsp Vanilla Extract
3 tbsp Fresh Squeezed Orange Juice
1 tbsp Orange Zest
2 tbsp Water
Heavy Cream for Brushing Lattice Top

1. Slice the Strawberries in halves or quarters. Mix well with the next 7 ingredients and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes up to overnight.
2. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
3. Take 2 of the refrigerated pie dough and place on a well-floured surface. Roll each out to 1/8 -1/4 inch thickness until it will cover the bottom & side of the pie dish. About 11-12 inches for a 9 inch pie plate.
4. Repeat rolling the other pastry disc out to the same size & thickness.
5. For the 2nd pastry disc, cut it into ½ inch strips with pizza cutter once it is rolled out. This will be for the lattice top.
6. Place the bottom crust into the pie dish. Then spoon the strawberry mixture on top of the bottom crust.
7. Next weave the dough on top of the strawberries for the lattice top.
8. Brush lattice top with heavy cream and lightly dust with sugar.
9. Bake pie for 45 minutes to an hour until crust is golden brown and filling is bubbly. Let cool and serve.

Sunday Skillet Chicken Dinner! Or a Monday…a Tuesday…or a Wednesday Dinner!

Let’s be honest.  There are a MILLION ways to cook chicken.  And with that being said, I’ll admit…I don’t LOVE chicken anymore!  It’s just SO predictable. So much of the same all of the time.  So blah.  Yep, I’m a bitter chicken cooking, recipe ignoring, non-lover of the bird.  Or so I thought….

For the last few months, I’ve been trying to convince myself that steak (umm…swoon!!) isn’t the best protein EVER created and I need to eat healthier foods.  After countless, and often failed, bird-cooking tries I finally re-discovered that I really do LOVE a good chicken thigh!  The versatility of what you can do with this part of a chicken is just so…delicious.  So I decided to take 2 things I love and combine them.  My cast iron skillet…and chicken thighs!

Cast Iron Chicken with a Caramelized Lemon, Rosemary & Caper Sauce

Cast Iron Chicken with a Caramelized Lemon, Rosemary & Caper Sauce

I found my inspiration for this dish originally from Bon Appetit Magazine and adapted it to this!

For this easy recipe:  You will need chicken thighs, lemons, capers, white wine (and some for sipping), rosemary, chicken broth, olive oil, salt, pepper, crushed red pepper, shallot, garlic and some half & half.  Seems like a lot…but it’s really easy and flavorful.

Preheat your oven to 425 degrees.  To get started, make sure you trim any excess fat and skin off of the chicken thighs, pat them dry & season well with salt & pepper.  Next, drizzle a little oil in your cast iron skillet & set the temp on medium to high heat.  Don’t let this to scorch or it will taste…well SCORCHED!  I use Herb Oil.  A local Birmingham, AL based company that makes their own herb-infused oils, salts, mustard, tapenade and bitters (click on the link for more info).  I use it for almost everything because it is soooo good!

I'm Slightly Obsessed  (There's More in the Pantry)

I’m Slightly Obsessed (There’s More in the Pantry)

If you don’t have your own Herb Oil, olive oil will work just fine.  Once this is sizzling, add in your chicken, skin side down.  As the fat from the skin renders…you’ll want to pour some of the oil out of the pan.  You want to keep the pan just barely greased.  We don’t want to deep fry this!  Let this cook for about 10 minutes or until chicken is about halfway cooked through.  Then add your lemons and place in the oven.  Scatter the lemons throughout the pan and make sure you get some on the bottom so they caramelize in the drippings!

Look at Those Lemons

Look at all of the Lemon Slices!

Let this continue to bake for about 10 more minutes and lemons on the bottom of the pan are caramelized.  Remove from the oven and take out the caramelized lemons on the bottom & the chicken.  Set aside.  Don’t remove the soft lemons that are not browned yet.

Add to those lemons and pan drippings your garlic, crushed red pepper, capers, rosemary and shallot.  Cook this for about a minute.  Remove from the heat and add the wine, then back on the heat!  Don’t want to catch on fire here!  You’ll cook this until the wine reduces down by half stirring up those yummy brown bits on the bottom of the pan.  Just simmer for a couple of minutes. Then add your broth and more lemon juice!  (**Note…if you don’t want to use wine, just skip that step.  You’ll just want to reduce the chicken broth the same way).  Then add your chicken back into the pan skin side up along with the caramelized lemons.  Place back in the oven for about 10 more minutes or until the chicken is completely cooked through!  If you are using a meat thermometer, get the internal temp to 165 degrees.

Right before you serve it, stir in just a little half & half into the sauce.  Spoon some of the sauce over the chicken and top with some fresh parmesan!

Cast Iron Chicken with a Caramelized Lemon, Rosemary & Caper Sauce

Mouth. Is. Watering.

Isn’t that BEA-U-TEE-FUL??!!??!! Serve this with some Brown Butter Mashed Potatoes & this is perfection!

Perfection!

See…I Told Ya…Perfection!

Let me know what you think!  Enjoy!

Cast Iron Skillet Chicken with a Caramelized Lemon, Rosemary & Caper Sauce

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Adapted from: Bon Appetit Magazine

4 Medium Chicken Thighs, Trimmed
1 Tbsp Herb Oil or Olive Oil
1/3 c Dry White Wine
1/2 c Low Sodium Chicken Broth
1 Thinly Sliced Lemon
1/2 Lemon Juiced for Sauce
2 Tbsp Capers
1 Sprig of Rosemary
1 Tsp Crushed Red Pepper
1 Medium Shallot Thinly Diced
1 Clove Finely Chopped Garlic
2 Tbsp Fat Free Half & Half
Salt & Pepper

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
2. Trim the chicken of any excess fat or skin.  Pat dry and then season both sides generously with salt & pepper.
3. Heat oil in cast iron skillet on med-high heat until sizzling.
4. Add chicken, skin side down. Brown for about 10 minutes until chicken is cooked about halfway through.
5. Add lemons on top of chicken and on the bottom of the pan to caramelize.
6. Place in oven and continue cooking for another 10 minutes.
7. Remove.
8. Take chicken and caramelized lemons out of the pan and set aside.
9. Leave the soft lemons in the pan to continue cooking.  Add in shallot, red pepper, rosemary, capers & garlic.  Cook on the stove for another minute.  Just until cooked through and fragrant.
10. Add in wine and continue to stir until sauce is reduced by half.  Make sure to get the brown bits from the bottom of the skillet stirred into the sauce.
11. Add in broth, lemon juice and salt & pepper to taste and heat to a simmer.
12. Place caramelized lemons & chicken back into the pan. Skin side up this time. Cook in the oven for another 10 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.
13. Internal temp should read 165 degrees.
14. Stir in half & half to the sauce.  Spoon sauce over chicken & top with freshly grated parmesan cheese.  Serve immediately.