Sunday, January 6, 2013

New Year, New Menu: Slow Cooker Chicken with Rosemary, Red Potatoes, and Green Beans, Mustard Chicken, Fried Brown Rice and Eggs, Taco Chili

No lie, I got 5 cookbooks for Christmas.  Hey, you can't go wrong giving someone who LOVES to cook a cookbook as a gift.  I was so excited!  Those cookbooks and my new vaccuum were favorite gifts this year.  The vaccuum was VERY needed, so I was extremely stoked about it.

This week, I am trying out some recipes from Melissa d'Arabian's cookbook 10 Dollar Dinners and The $5 Dollar Dinner Mom's One Dish Cookbook.  On the menu for the week are:  Slow Cooker Rosemary Chicken with Red Potatoes and Green Beans, Mustard Chicken, Fried Brown Rice and Eggs,  and Taco Chili.

Slow Cooker Rosemary Chicken with Red Potatoes and Green Beans adapted from The $5 Dinner Mom's One Dish Cookbook
3 rosemary sprigs
2 pounds bone-in chicken thighs
6 small red potatoes, quartered
1 small yellow onion
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon garlic powder
salt and pepper
1 pound green beans, stems removed

Using a sharp knife, crush the leaves of the rosemary sprig.  Place the rosemary sprigs around the edges of the bottom of a 5 quart or larger slow cooker.  Arrange the chicken thighs in the bottom of the slow cooker.  Spread the potatoes over the top of the chicken.  Drizzle the olive oil over the top of the chicken and potatoes, and then season with the garlic powder with salt and pepper.

Set the slow cooker on low and cook for 8 hours.  When there is 1 hour remaining in the cooking cycle, place the green benas on top of the chicken and potatoes to steam them.  Complete the cooking cycle.

Mustard Chicken adapted from Ten Dollar Dinners
**Just a heads up-this recipe requires a time commitment.  Either prepare ahead of time, like on the night you do the slow cooked meal or on a weekend, or just know you need ot have time set aside to get it done.

1 1/2 pounds chicken thighs (about 8), rinsed and patted dry
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
1/4 pound button mushrooms, quartered
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tomato, cored, halved, and chopped
1 tbsp all purpose flour
1 tsp dried tarragon (if you don't have this, substitute dash fennel seed)
1/2 cup dry white wine and a cup for you
1 cup chicken broth, plus more if needed
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
2 tbsp sour cream (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Remove skin from chicken.  Season meat with salt and pepper.  Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a heavy-bottomed pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat.  Add the thighs, smooth side down, and cook until browned, about 4 minutes.  Turn over the thighs and brown the other side, about 3 minutes more. Transfer chicken to a plate and set aside.  Add the remaining 1 tbsp olive oil along with the onion and cook until soft, stirring for about 5 minutes.  Stir in the mushrooms and continue to cook until soft 3-5 minutes.  Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, 1 to 2 mins. and then add the tomato and flour and cook, stirring, until the tomato begins to break down about 3 minutes.  Stir in tarragon.  Rais the heat and pou in the wine, letting it simmer for 1 min. before returning the chicken to the pot.  Pour in enough broth to read halfway up the sidesof the chicken, then cover the pot and place it in the ovento braise, until the chicken pulls away from the bone easily, about 45 minutes, removing the lid halfway through the cooking.  Remove the pot from the oven, use tongs to transfer the chicken to a plate, and set aside.  Add the mustard and sour cream to the sauce and stir to combine.  Then return the chicke to the pot and back into the oven to cook for about 5 minutes to bring the flavors together before serving.

Fried Brown Rice and Eggs with Garlic-Soy Vinaigrette adapted from Ten Dollar Dinners
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 teaspoons rice vinegar
1 tablespoon sesame oil
2 1/2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 onion, halved and thinly sliced lengthwise with the grain
3 garlic cloves, finely minced
2 tbsp grated fresh ginger
2 1/2 cups cooked brown rice
2 tsp chili powder
4 large eggs
2 scallions white and green parts finely chopped

Whisk the soy sauce, vinegar, and sesame oil together in a small bowl and set aside.

Heat 2 tbsp of the vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the onion and cook, stirring often, until soft and golden, about 5 minutes.  Stir in the garlic and ginger and cook until crisp and fragrant, about 2 minutes.  Mix in the rice and chili powder and cook until the rice is warmed through and starting to brown, about 5 minutes.  Turn off the heat and set aside.

Heat the remaining 1/2 tablespoon vegetable oil in a medium nonstick skillet over medium heat.  Fry the eggs to your liking, either sunny side up or over easy.  Divide the rice among 4 bowls, top each with an egg, some scallions, and some of the soy vinaigrette, and serve.

Taco Chili with Mix adapted from Paula Deen
This mix was what I gave my co-workers as Christmas gifts this year.  Cooking with beans, not canned ones, is one cost cutting way to reduce your grocery bill.

Taco Chili Mix:
1 cup dried kidney beans
1/2 cup dried pinto beans
1 (1 1/4 oz.) taco seasoning mix
1 (1 oz. ) pkg. buttermilk ranch dressing mix
3 tbsp dried minced onion
1 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1 1/2 cups corn or tortilla chips

Taco Chili:
4 cups water
1 can diced tomatoes and green chilies
1 can (16 oz.)tomato sauce
1 lb. ground beef cooked and drained

For the mix: In a 1-quart wide mouth jar, layer kidney and pinto beans.
In a small bowl, combine taco seasoning mix, dried salad dressing mix, onion, chili powder, and cumin. Wrap seasonings in plastic wrap or cellophane and place in jar.
Put chips in a bag and place in jar. Decorate with ribbon or fabric.
For the chili: Place beans in a large bowl, cover with water and soak 6 to 8 hours, or overnight. Drain and add to a Dutch oven. Add seasoning packet, water, diced tomatoes and green chilies, tomato sauce, and ground beef.
Heat to boiling, cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer for 2 hours, or until beans are tender. Serve with corn or tortilla chips.

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