Posted on 4 Comments

Roasted Chicken(s) 2.0

It has been a little over a year when I brought to you how to roast a whole chicken. This is a little different version with an orange twist. Not only did I add the aromatic fragrance of orange, I also added compound butter under and on top of the skin. The compound butter adds so much more flavor and helps the skin to crisp up to a delectable goodness. Also, I used my cast iron skillet to roast the chickens. I have not done this before. I usually use a large roasting pan.

I am actually roasting two chickens instead of one. Why not? It takes the same amount of time and it gives me more chicken to use in future meals. Let’s see: Chicken pasta dish to take to the in-laws for dinner. Maybe some chicken salad for lunch. Cannot forget to make homemade chicken broth out of the bones. Chicken soup sounds pretty good too. All of these wonderful meals out of two chickens. Let’s see how many meals we can think of.

  • 2 chickens, about 4 pounds each
  • 1 log of compound butter (see website)
  • olive oil to drizzle
  • 1 orange, halved
  • all-purpose seasoning (see website)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Drizzle olive oil into bottom of skillet.

Pat dry chickens. Insert orange half into the cavity of each chicken. Also add about 2 tbsp of the compound butter into each of the cavities.

Separate skin from the chicken and spread some compound butter in between the meat and skin of the chicken. This step adds so much more flavor than not adding any of the compound butter. Do this to each of the chickens.

Place chickens into a large cast iron skillet. Massage some compound butter on the skin of the chickens. Drizzle some olive oil on the skin. Generously sprinkle all-purpose seasoning on the outside of the chicken.

Roast chickens for 30 minutes at 400 degrees. After 30 minutes, reduce heat to 350 degrees.

Continue to roast chicken for about another hour, or until a thermometer reads about 150-160 degrees. About midway through the roasting time baste the chicken with the juices in the skillet. Remove from oven and cover with foil to rest. The chicken will continue to cook while it is resting.

DSC_0039 6

Resting the chicken is important so that you have a juicy, succulent bird. Serve. Eat. Enjoy.

Posted on 7 Comments

Cheesy Salsa Chicken and Broccoli – Sheet Pan Meal

I am really starting to get into the sheet pan meals. It is just so easy to put together and clean up. This meal has 5 ingredients and an incredible amount of flavor. You can have dinner ready in 30 minutes with most of that time being hands-off. This allows for multitasking at its best.

DSC_0034 12

Tip: Assemble the night before or in the morning before work. This gives the chicken more time to marinate.

  • 6 chicken breasts or thighs (I used bone-in thighs)
  • Smokey Southwestern Seasoning (see website)
  • 1 jar of your favorite salsa (We like Newman’s Peach or Mango)
  • 1 c Monterey jack cheese, shredded
  • 1 head of broccoli, remove stems

Generously season chicken with smokey southwestern seasoning.

In a large ziplock bag pour in half of the salsa and add the chicken. Massage chicken to work in the seasoning and marinade into the chicken. Marinade as long as you want, or you can just go straight to assembling on a aluminum foil lined sheet pan.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Arrange chicken and broccoli onto sheet pan. Pour remaining salsa onto chicken. Bake in oven for 25 minutes. Sprinkle cheese onto chicken. Bake for 5 more minutes, until cheese is melted. Remove from oven Serve. Eat. Enjoy.

Posted on 7 Comments

Chicken Pot Pie Soup

I do not know about you , but sometimes I am amazed at my thought process. For instance, Paula Deen came to mind (I don’t know why), then that led to thinking of her chicken pot pie with the puff pastry crust – Yum. Then my thoughts went from the chicken pot pie          (because I cannot have puff pastry anymore – Sad) to making the filling into a soup – Happy again. I know it is roundabout thinking , but sometimes that is how I get some of my best ideas.

DSC_0044 1

  • 2 large chicken breasts, cooked, chopped ( I used the chicken from the sheet pan meal the night before)
  • all-purpose seasoning to taste (see website)
  • 1 tbsp avocado oil
  • 5 tbsp butter
  • 2/3 c paleo all-purpose flour (see website)
  • 1 can coconut cream
  • cashew milk (measure 2 cans, using empty coconut cream can)
  • 1/4 c chicken base (make sure it is low sodium)
  • 1/2 onion, minced
  • 1 tbsp garlic, minced
  • 15oz. frozen peas and carrots blend
  • pinch, nutmeg, freshly grated
  • fresh parsley, garnish chopped

In a large dutch oven melt butter and slowly add flour. Stir until consistency is of paste, but do not brown. Slowly add coconut cream and cashew milk; stir. Add chicken base, garlic, onion, peas and carrots blend, chicken and nutmeg. Taste and season as needed with all-purpose seasoning. Stir occasionally, until simmering. Add chopped parsley Stir. Serve. Eat. Enjoy.

Note: This soup would be great served with biscuits. At least that is what my husband says.


Posted on 2 Comments

Roasted Chicken, Green Beans, Tomatoes, and Grapes with Walnuts – Sheet Pan Meal

I have been thinking of different kinds of sheet pan meals that I could bring to you that would make getting a meal on the table easier. By spending just 5 minutes in the morning before work, assembling the ingredients onto the sheet pan you will have a complete meal out of the oven in 30  minutes.

This is similar to another sheet pan meal I made before, but with a little twist. I plan on using one or two chicken breasts for another meal and the remaining veggies and fruit for a salad. I can already imagine how pretty the salad is going to look.

DSC_0041 2

  • 4 chicken breasts, boneless, skinless
  • 12 oz green beans
  • 1 pint grape tomatoes
  • 1 c red grapes
  • 1/2 c walnuts, pieces
  • olive oil, to drizzle
  • all-purpose seasoning (see website)

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Line sheet pan with aluminum foil. Assemble chicken, green beans, tomatoes and grapes. Drizzle olive oil on top of ingredients. Generously season ingredients on sheet pan. Sprinkle walnuts over veggies and fruits.

Roast in oven for 30 minutes. Stir veggies midway through roasting time. Remove from oven. Serve. Eat. Enjoy.


Posted on 2 Comments

Roasted Mustard Chicken Thighs and Cauliflower – One Pot Meal

In 30 minutes you can have a flavorful nutritious meal on your table. This meal is a one pot wonder. The mustard sauce is light, flavorful and delectable. Roasting the chicken along with the chicken adds extra flavor to the cauliflower.

DSC_0035 7

In a ziplock bag add chicken thighs and mustards. Massage the mustards into the chicken thighs. I marinated mine for about an hour, however, you can put it in the dutch oven immediately.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Add avocado to a large dutch oven and brown chicken thighs, skin down. When thighs are browned, turn over thighs skin side up. Add cauliflower in between the chicken thighs. Drizzle remaining avocado oil over cauliflower. Sprinkle all-purpose seasoning over cauliflower. Roast in oven for 20-25 minutes or until it is cooked through. Remove from oven.

Scoop out cauliflower from dutch oven and spread out on a platter. Layer thighs on top of cauliflower and set aside.

Be careful the dutch oven will be very hot. Place dutch oven on to the stove top and heat on medium. Add flour to dutch oven and scrape the flavor bits and flour; stir until a paste is formed. Add chicken broth and stir until well combined and sauce has thickened. Pour over chicken thighs and cauliflower. Serve. Eat. Enjoy.

DSC_0038 3

Posted on 4 Comments

Big Cooking – Creamy Chipotle Butternut Squash and Chicken Soup – Part 4

I got the idea to make this soup from the Chipotle Shredded Chicken Tacos. The tacos were so good I wanted a little more of the same flavor profile. There was a little shredded chicken leftover from the tacos, and I had 1 1/2 chicken breasts left from the initial Big Cooking. The butternut squash adds a hearty autumnal flavor and the chipotle peppers add heat. This soup will definitely warm you up.

DSC_0031 16


Warning: If you do not like spicy heat you can leave out the chipotle peppers. However, you will be missing out on some great flavors.

  • 1 can chipotle peppers in adobo sauce (minus 2, used for tacos)
  • 1 medium butternut squash, peeled, seeded, halved
  • avocado oil
  • 1/2 large onion, diced
  • 1 tbsp Smokey Southwestern Seasoning (see website)
  • 1 1/2 c roasted cherry tomatoes (these were part of the big cooking)
  • 2 cans heavy coconut cream
  • 2 c chicken stock
  • 1/4 c maple syrup
  • 1 lime, zested and juiced
  • 1 c green beans, cooked, diced (these were part of the big cooking)
  • 3 c cooked chicken breast, shredded (these were part of the big cooking)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Roast butternut squash on a sheet pan for about 60 minutes or until squash can easily be pierced by a fork. Set aside to cool. Cube squash.

In a large dutch oven warm avocado oil over medium heat. Add onion and seasoning. cook until onions are softened and translucent. Add chipotle peppers and cherry tomatoes. Break up peppers and tomatoes with spoon. Add butternut squash. Stir until well combined.

Blend ingredients with chicken stock. It should make a thick paste. You can blend either by immersion blender, food processor or blender. All will work well for this step. Return blended mixture to dutch oven.

Add coconut cream, maple syrup, lime zest and juice. Stir well. You can add more chicken stock if you find it is too thick. Add green beans and shredded chicken. Stir until well combined. Cook until soup is completely heated through. Serve. Eat. Enjoy.

Note: I recommend serving biscuits with this soup.

2nd Note: I was able to freeze some of the soup for another time. Use this when you forget to defrost something. You can reheat it in a dutch oven on the stove.


Posted on 6 Comments

Big Cooking – Chicken Part 3 – Chipotle Shredded Chicken Tacos

These tacos are a smokey and spicy dance for the tongue. Remember this chicken started as a sheet pan of roasted chicken breasts with some roasted tomatoes and green beans.

In Big Cooking – Chicken Part 2, I made some chicken salad. Now in Big Cooking – Chicken Part 3, I have made for you Chipotle Shredded Chicken Tacos. These tacos only took thirty minutes to make, and that includes making the Plantain Tortillas from scratch. Oh, I adore these tortillas. They counterbalance the smokey and spiciness of the shredded chicken to make the perfect bite.

DSC_0031 15

I am excited for you to try these. They are just so good.

This is the time to make the plantain tortillas. I highly recommend these tortillas.

While the tortillas are baking (15 minutes) in the oven, shred the chicken with two forks into a large bowl.

This is the fun part. Squeeze the cherry tomatoes into the chicken. Be careful, they are really juicy from when you roasted them. Break apart the tomatoes. Add peppers, Smokey Southwestern Seasoning, salsa and lime juice. Stir well.

In a non-stick pan, over medium heat warm chicken until heated through.

Build your tacos. Serve. Eat. Enjoy.

Note: I actually had some of this chicken leftover. Plus, I still have 1 1/2 chicken breasts to use for at least one more meal.



Posted on 2 Comments

Big Cooking – Chicken Part 2 – Chicken Salad

Getting a meal on the table does not have to be a big production. If you enjoy cooking and have the time, go for it. These days it seems our time is being pulled into a thousand directions. This is where the big cooking can come in handy. In Big Cooking Part 1 I made a sheet pan of chicken breasts and a sheet pan of veggies.

DSC_0031 13

We had three large chicken breasts remaining. Since the clean up was minimal (2 sheet pans), I used that extra time to make chicken salad (used one chicken breast) for a quick lunch the next day.

Creamy Chicken Salad

This is my go to chicken salad recipe. To be honest I have made it so many times I do not even measure anymore.

Chicken Salad

  • 1 large chicken breast, cubed
  • 1/2 c onion, diced
  • 1/2 c celery, diced
  • 1/2 c dried cranberries
  • 2 tsp dijon mustard
  • Homemade mayonnaise (to your desired creaminess)(see website)

Mix it all together and chill. Taste for seasoning. Since I had generously seasoned my chicken breasts I did not need to add additional seasoning. Serve. Eat. Enjoy.

I still have 2 chicken breasts remaining and some veggies to work with. Look for Big Cooking – Chicken Part 3 – ???.

Posted on 2 Comments

Big Cooking – Chicken Part 1

You can go on instagram, pinterest, you tube and many other places and you will find ideas for prep cooking. Prep cooking is a derivative of Big/Bulk cooking or Once a Month Cooking.. Prep cooking is a scaled down Big/Bulk cooking with less variety. Basically you cook a lot of the same food for five meals, often times all the same exact meal. That’s okay for some, but I just do not want to eat the same thing for 5 days straight. Do you?

I prefer Big cooking because it lets me put a variety of meals in my freezer for future meals for the week or later for another time. When my boys were at home I did Big cooking often. It was easier to spend a couple of hours putting together meals for the rest of the week. In my catering and as a personal chef Big cooking is the normal. You learn to get the most use out of your ingredients.

I have done big cooking with many proteins: pork, beef and chicken. Previously I posted a number of different meals just by cooking two pork tenderloins. From that big/bulk cooking I made quesadillas, soup, sandwiches, and of course the main meal. I believe I was able to get five different types of meals from one big cooking round.

I thought I would show you how to transform one sheet pan of chicken breasts and one sheet pan of roasted veggies into multiple meals with different flavors.

  • 5 chicken breasts
  • 2 pints of cherry tomatoes
  • 12 oz. greens beans
  • olive oil
  • all-purpose seasoning (see website)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two sheet pans with aluminum foil.

Pat chicken breasts dry with paper towel. Place chicken breasts on one of the sheet pans. Drizzle chicken breasts with olive oil. Make sure the chicken is well coated. Generously sprinkle all-purpose seasoning on chicken.

Spread green beans and cherry tomatoes on second aluminum lined sheet pan. Like the chicken, drizzle olive oil onto the veggies. Sprinkle all- purpose seasoning on veggies. Stir.

The next step is a bit staggered. Cook the chicken breasts first for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes add the veggies to the oven to roast for 20 minutes. (Roast chicken for 40 minutes and veggies for 20 minutes). Chicken should be cooked to 160 degrees. Meal one is ready. Serve. Eat. Enjoy.

DSC_0032 13




Posted on 4 Comments

Chicken Teriyaki Snoodles

This was a last minute idea. I had intended to makes snoodles (summer squash noodles) with meat sauce. Just like any other woman, I exercised my prerogative to change my mind. It has been a while since I made any teriyaki dish. The teriyaki sauce is another one of my basics I try to keep in the refrigerator for a quick meal.

DSC_0033 8

  • 3 medium summer squash
  • 1/4 c coconut aminos
  • 3 dashes of fish sauce
  • 3 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 1/2 tsp garlic
  • 1 1/2 tsp ginger
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 16 oz. chicken breast, boneless, skinless, cubed
  • 1 tsp sesame seeds

DSC_0037 1

Prepare Snoodles/Zoodles (see website).


In a small mason jar combine: coconut aminos, fish sauce, apple cider vinegar, honey, garlic and ginger. Cover with lid and shake well. Set aside.

In a large skillet melt coconut oil over medium-high heat. Add chicken to skillet and cook chicken until done. Remove from skillet and set aside. Add snoodles to skillet and cook until snoodles are warm. Return chicken to skillet and add teriyaki sauce. Stir well. Add sesame seeds and stir. Serve. Eat. Enjoy.