Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Panzanella With Chicken, Crisp Chicken Skin and Capers

Mr Chef loves to read articles. He found this gem and we tried it out. We didn't change anything so I can't claim it as my own. HERE is the original article.

It's absolutely delicious and is definitely on our "repeat" list. Try it out and let me know what you think!!!


  • 1 1/4 pounds very ripe tomatoes; a mix of varieties and colors is nice
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher sea salt, more to taste
  • 6 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon olive oil, more as needed
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 cups leftover or rotisserie chicken including some skin (about 1/2 chicken)
  • 1 tablespoon capers, drained and patted dry
  • 1 6-inch length of ciabatta or baguette (about 4 ounces), preferably stale, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme or 2 sprigs fresh oregano
  • Chopped fresh basil, for serving


  1. Cut tomatoes into bite-sized pieces and transfer to a large bowl. Using a large chef’s knife, mince 1 of the smashed garlic cloves. Add a pinch of salt and using the flat side of your knife, smash into a fine paste. Add garlic paste to the tomatoes along with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1 tablespoon olive oil. Toss to coat and set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine the lemon juice, mustard, 1/4 teaspoon salt and black pepper to taste. While whisking constantly, slowly drizzle in 3 tablespoons olive oil until the mixture is thickened. Remove the skin from the chicken, shred the meat and combine with the vinaigrette. Roughly chop the chicken skin and set aside.
  3. In a 10-inch skillet over high heat, add 1 teaspoon olive oil. When oil is shimmering, add the chicken skin and capers. Cook while stirring occasionally until the skin is crisp and the capers are beginning to brown, about 4 minutes. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels to drain any excess oil.
  4. In the same pan over medium heat, add 2 tablespoons olive oil, bread cubes, the remaining smashed garlic clove, 1 sprig of fresh thyme or 1 sprig of fresh oregano and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Cook while stirring occasionally until toasted and golden, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and cool completely. When cool, discard the garlic and thyme and add bread cubes to the tomato mixture. Add the leaves of the remaining uncooked thyme or oregano, the shredded chicken and toss to combine. Transfer to a platter or individual plates and serve garnished with the capers, chicken skin, chopped basil, and freshly ground black pepper.
4 servings

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Roasted butternut squash curried soup


Our garden produced an abundance of DELICIOUS butternut squash this year so i've been experimenting, for the first time, with different ways of cooking them. They are so yummy and are quickly becoming my favorite vegetable.
So, the whole family came down for Sunday dinner this past week and guess who was featured?  Good old Butternut Squash herself! Shocking, i know! ;)

We served this soup in bread bowls and it was so yummy. I would highly recommend that.

Let get right to it, shall we?
Start by roasting your squash, onion, garlic and ginger. We left our squash in the peel, purely out of laziness, and then scooped it out when it was soft. It was really easy that way. Cut the squash into peiices, at least halves, maybe thirds. Cut the onion into quarters and sprinkle the others all over. We roasted for 2 hours. This one is up to you, however. When your squash smells divine and is soft, it's done.
While that is roasting pat your stew beef dry and shake it in flour, garlic, kosher salt and pepper. Brown the meat in a little oil. You don't want your meat all the way cooked, just browned, to add flavor. Make sure your oil is nice and hot before throwing these babies on the pan. Remove the meat from your pan and deglaze the pan with your stock. Scrape it pretty well so you get all the meat that stuck to the pan. (This is usually the best part of the meat.) Place meat and your stock in the crockpot and let them cook while your squash cooks. This will get your broth all delicious and stuff.   When your squash is done puree it in a blender along with the onion and some of the broth. This needs to be done in batches but when it's all smooth it's going to give your soup such a perfect texture, so make sure all the chunks are gone! Add pureed squash/onion/broth to crockpot and add all the remaining ingredients. Let it cook for 2-4 hours on low and serve HOT! This is delicious topped with toasted coconut!
MMM, I bet you know what's for dinner tonight, eh?!

Enjoy, i'd love to hear what you think!


2 butternut Squash
2 sweet yellow onions
2 Tbsp garlic
1 Tbsp ginger

stew beef -
2 Tbsp flour
1 tsp garlic powder
1 Tbsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp black pepper

6 C beef broth

1 can coconut milk
1/2 C buttermilk
1 Tbsp salt
2 tsp white pepper
2 curry powder (yellow)
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 Tbsp brown sugar

Roasted coconut

Cut squash into halves, thirds or quarters - depending on the size of your squash. Place open faced on cookie sheet. Cut onion into quarters and spread on cookie sheet around squash. Sprinkle squash and onion with ginger and garlic. Roast the butternut squash, onions, garlic and ginger in a 450 degree oven for 2 hours. 
Meanwhile, pat beef dry. Combine flour, garlic powder, salt and pepper in large Ziploc bag. Coat beef with flour mixture, brown meat in a HOT pan. Remove meat and use beef broth to deglaze the pan the meat was browned in. Add the meat and broth to Crockpot and allow to cook on low until squash is done.

When squash is done, scoop squash out of peel and, in batches, puree squash and onions with some of the broth until creamy and smooth. add all back to Crockpot.  Add coconut milk, buttermilk, salt, white pepper, curry powder (yellow), cinnamon, nutmeg and brown sugar to crock pot and stir everyhting until well mixed. Cook on low 2-4 hours or until ready to serve.

Serve hot topped with roasted coconut.