Skillet Chicken with Wine, Shallots and Mustard

Skillet Chicken with Wine, Shallots and Mustard

You know how sometimes when you watch a cooking show (don’t judge me, I find them very relaxing), the host will say something like “this ____ is so simple and quick, it’s easier than ordering a pizza!” and then they proceed to use 6 different pots and pans (on their massive 8 burner stove)? Well, bollocks to that. The only thing easier than ordering a pizza is having someone else order it for you.

And even more to the point, there is nothing easy about a dinner if I have to utilize every pot I own to make it.

That’s why I’m always looking to expand my repertoire of recipes that can be made in a single pot or pan. This one was inspired by a Martha Stewart recipe, but I’ve adapted it to cook in a skillet which makes it faster and also gives the chicken deliciously crispy skin. The sauce is absolutely amazing, so make sure to have plenty of good, crusty bread to sop it up.

Nerd alert: want to see what a dog’s face looks like when you tell her that her dry, dusty kibbles are just as good as this delicious-smelling chicken dinner?

Arya the dog

I don’t think she believed me.

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Baked Chicken with Honey and Soy

Baked Chicken with Honey and Soy

This recipe combines my three favorite things. It’s fast, it’s cheap and it’s delicious. And easy. I know that’s four but I don’t have time for semantics. I’m in a rush here! (I’m not really, but one of the best things about this recipe is that, other than mixing the sauce ingredients together and throwing in the chicken, there’s really not much else to do. That’s why it’s perfect for a weeknight dinner). Bung it in the oven, throw on some rice and by the time you’ve opened a bottle of wine and cycled through your Netflix options, dinner is ready.

It’s pretty much the bastard child of our two most popular recipes, Baked Chicken Thighs with Lemon and Garlic, and Crispy Pork Belly with Soy Honey Glaze.

Baked Chicken with Honey and Soy

 

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Chicken Baked with Creamy Mushroom Sauce

Chicken Baked with Creamy Mushroom SauceIf you’re anything like me, you start the week with grand plans (and a long list) of all the things you’re going to get accomplished. Paint the porch. Just in time for Halloween! Work on the novel. Duh, I’ll just wake up an hour earlier! Train the dog to stop losing her mind every time the UPS truck is within a seven block radius. Easy as cake! Oooooh, maybe I’ll make a cake.

Then inevitably, usually by about Thursday, I realize that not only have I managed to fail in getting those things done, but I also didn’t use that chard I bought and the dog is now convinced that the clean laundry basket is her new bed because the un-folded clothes have been in there so long.

Arya in her laundry basket
Arya in her laundry basket

That’s about when remember that even when I’m too busy to care whether my socks match, I can still make something really satisfying for dinner. It doesn’t have to be a big production (especially if you’re not stopping every five minutes to take pictures).

Chicken Baked with Creamy Mushroom Sauce

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Crispy Baked Chicken Thighs with Mustard and Thyme

Crispy Baked Chicken Thighs with Mustard and Thyme

I like to think of myself as an organized person. I mean, I’m a film editor, for chrissakes. I basically organize millions of digital moments into a cohesive story for a living. So why is it that I cannot, for the life of me, plan ahead and shop for a week’s worth of recipes?

Is it because I was raised in New York City, where 24-hour bodegas and Korean markets permit, nay, encourage a person to decide at 11pm that they’re going to make a Chard Onion and Goat Cheese Tart even though there is neither chard, onion or goat cheese in the house? Why are you looking at me like I’m attempting to deflect blame for my questionable decisions? Ahem. Anyway, now I live in the boonies and that means I either have to:

A. Get organized and make a menu plan and corresponding shopping list at the beginning of each week.

B. Hit the lottery so I can hire a personal chef (one who allows me to post their recipes all over the internet and hover over their shoulder taking pictures as they cook).

C. Create delicious things that use pantry staples almost exclusively so I can continue my reckless and dangerously chaotic lifestyle.

Guess which one I chose?

I almost always have everything on hand for this recipe and, luckily, it also happens to be incredibly good. Obviously if  you eat chicken and enjoy crispy things, nothing’s going to beat real fried chicken but I think we can all agree that deep-frying is not really an option for an easy, healthy, weeknight dinner. This chicken though, is all those things and more. It gets great flavor from the tangy mustard, garlic and thyme and develops a crunchy, golden brown crust.

I also make a simple yogurt sauce to go with it (if I remember to make or buy yogurt), but it’s equally good with just a squeeze of lemon and a sprinkle of Maldon salt over the top.

Crispy Baked Chicken Thighs with Mustard and Thyme

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Orange-Maple Glazed Chicken (inspired by Withnail and I)

Screen Shot 2013-08-26 at 3.10.18 PM

You’ve seen Withnail and I, right? Of course you have. It’s a classic fil…wait, WHAT? You haven’t? You must see it! Right this minute! Go on, we’ll wait. *Taps fingers on table sternly*. Cut to 5 hours later (because you had to watch it twice and have a nap because you were tipsy). Now… don’t you feel better? Something was missing, wasn’t it?

For years, every time I’d roast a chicken, I’d be tempted to stand it up in the oven, just for giggles.

chicken_upon_a_brickNow, I know cooking chicken on a beer can is a thing but I am way too accident prone to try to balance a large, slippery chicken on a tallboy . Then I saw this, noticed it was only $20 and decided that I must have it. I have to tell you, it actually works incredibly well and, more importantly, your chicken will look hilarious as it hangs out, sitting up, in your oven.

IMG_2553

I imagine this will be me, Matt and one of our chickens very soon.

withnail-and-i-1987-paul-mcgann-richard-e-grant-pic-6

 

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