Thursday, May 15, 2014

Cast Iron Skillet Roast Chicken

Nathan gave me a cast iron skillet for Christmas and I've loved having it. The few dishes I've made with it have been really good. I saw this recipe on Pinterest and it really intrigued me. I've always wanted to be able to make a great roast chicken. We made a few adjustments and it turned out really well. The idea comes from Best Recipe Box.

1 (5 lb.) roasting chicken, giblets removed
1 Tbsp. kosher salt
1/2 Tbsp. poultry seasoning (we like McCormick's GrillMates chicken rub)
1/2 tsp. black pepper (we like Lawry's seasoned pepper)
1/2 tsp. A1 garlic and herb seasoning
Reynold's roasting bag
4 Tbsp. butter

Rinse and thoroughly dry chicken. Place chicken inside a roasting bag. Stir all seasonings together in a small bowl. Now rub the chicken with the seasoning mixture, on top of the skin. Be sure to use it all and get all parts of the chicken, including some inside the cavity. Seal up the oven bag and refrigerate the seasoned chicken for 8 hours. When you're ready to cook your chicken, remove it from the fridge and rinse off all the seasoning and then thoroughly dry. Let chicken sit out for 30 minutes prior to cooking. You can truss the chicken if you'd like. When chicken is ready melt butter and pour/rub over chicken. Heat cast iron skillet over medium-high heat, once hot add chicken and brown on all sides (about 3 minutes per side). Once browned, flip the chicken so it is breast side up. Then bake at 375 degrees F for 60-80 minutes or until juices run clear and when an instant read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh reads 165 degrees F. Flip the broiler on for just a few minutes to crisp up the skin and then remove from the oven. Tent with foil and then let rest for 20 minutes. Carve and serve.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Beef and Bean Burrito Skillet

Nate really enjoyed this dinner. He wants it made again. But of course Nate loves all things Mexican. We also cooked together last night which always makes me like dinner time more :). This recipe is kind of like a deconstructed burrito, definitely comfort food. I adapted this idea from one I saw over at Deep South Dish.

1 lb. lean ground beef
1 (16 oz.) can refried beans
1 package taco seasoning plus the water it requires
1/2 yellow onion, diced
1 green pepper, diced
3/4 cup salsa
1/4 cup taco sauce
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
6 taco sized flour tortillas, cut into small squares
toppings of your choice, diced green onion, sliced olives, extra cheese, sour cream, etc.

In a large skillet, brown and crumble the ground beef, halfway through cooking, add the diced onion and green pepper. Then add taco seasoning packet plus the water it requires and cook according to packet directions. Once beef is finished, add the refried beans and taco sauce. Cook over medium heat until beans are heated through. Then add the salsa and cook until heated through. Once mixture is nice and hot, add cheese and cook until all melted. Following that stir in the tortilla squares and mix to incorporate. Make sure mixture is piping hot before serving, top with toppings of your choice and enjoy!

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Chicken Casserole

This is definite comfort food, and a great way to use up leftover mashed potatoes or chicken. We made the casserole with corn, but it could easily be made with green beans too. Enjoy!

2 chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
2/3 cup frozen corn
1 packet chicken or turkey gravy, prepared
1 package instant potatoes, prepared

Spread prepared mashed potatoes on the bottom of a 8x8" baking dish that's been sprayed with non-stick spray. Top potatoes with shredded chicken and corn. Then pour prepared gravy over the top. Cover and bake at 375 degrees F for 25 minutes. Serve hot!

Monday, May 12, 2014

Taco Salad Pizza

This was so yummy! I made it yesterday for my mom's Mother's Day lunch. We all really enjoyed it. It's this great Mexican style pizza that's baked then topped with lettuce and your favorite taco salad toppings. We made the taco salad pizza with chicken but it would be great with seasoned ground beef or shredded pork too. Nate and I decided it's a great light Mexican meal that we will be making again and again! I hope you enjoy it too. I saw the idea over at Lauren's Latest.

1 tube Pillsbury pizza crust*
2 chicken breasts cooked and shredded**
1 cup black beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup salsa
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
shredded lettuce
pico de gallo
sliced olives
crunched up tortilla chips
any other of your favorite taco salad toppings

Line a baking sheet with tin foil and then spray with non-stick spray. Spread out the pizza dough to fit the pan. Par-bake the crust at 400 degrees for 8 minutes. Then top with salsa, black beans, chicken, and cheese. Return to oven and bake another 8-10 minutes or until crust is golden brown on bottom. Remove from oven. Slice into 8 pieces. Top your slice with shredded lettuce and your favorite toppings and enjoy!

Here's what the pizza looks like before topping.

*We used a store bought dough for convenience. You could absolutely use homemade dough. The instructions I included are for the Pillsbury dough. I do recommend par-baking the crust though.

**This is our all time favorite rub to use on chicken for a great Mexican flavor. I just put a little olive oil on the chicken then season with the rub. I bake my chicken breasts, let them cool for 15 minutes then shred them.

Rub Recipe:
2 tsp. chile powder
2 tsp. garlic powder
2 tsp. paprika
2 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

Mix all of those really well. Store in an airtight container.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Summertime Pork Chop Marinade

You know how we love marinades around here. This is another good one. We will definitely be making this again and again. I found the recipe over at and we really enjoyed it.

2 thick cut pork chops
1/3 cup olive oil
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 tsp. onion powder
1/2 tsp. oregano
1/2 Tbsp. brown sugar
pepper to taste

Whisk together all ingredients except pork chops. Combine well. Pour marinade into a gallon size ziploc bag and add pork chops. Remove air from bag and seal up. Place in a tupperware dish in case of leaks. Marinate in the refrigerator for 2-4 hours. Then cook as desired. I recommend grilling.