Weeknight Roasted Chicken + Thursday Thoughts

A non sweet item? Yes, you read that right. I am going to slowly creep some non sweet/dessert recipes and posts to help showcase that I can do more than bake. I love cooking dinner and have always found it hard to photograph food at night and write a recipe, I typically just throw things together. However, as part of what I want to do for 2018, I am going to slow down, focus on food and write down what I am doing. This recipe is a taste of that. 

This weeknight chicken is juicy, easy to throw together, and does not require pre bake searing! That's right, no burns from oil splattering or putting extra time into this dish. Just turn the oven on, put the ingredients in a pan, and bake. I served this over rice since there is so much delicious stuff and chicken and rice is an incredible combination. The recipe is easy to double and is a great winter meal! 

Weeknight Roasted Chicken

The recipe follows the Thursday Thoughts!

Thursday Thoughts #4

·      This past weekend I saw Lady Bird in theatres and was blown away. It is a unique coming of age story for a Sacramento high school senior who has a tough relationship with her mother. I highly recommend seeing it. Saoirse Ronan portrays the protagonist in such an authentic light. I also loved her in Brooklyn (another movie to add to your watch list).

·      I have been loving the Profit Boss Podcast these past few weeks. It is easy to follow and informative

·      I can't get enough fresh produce right now, I have been munching on pomegranates, kiwis, and clementines all week! Yay for winter fruit! Get some while it is fresh

Weeknight Roasted Chicken
print recipe
Weeknight Roasted Chicken
This easy to put together dish is perfect as a weeknight chicken dinner. Flavorful and juicy!
Ingredients
  • 1 t olive oil
  • 4 bone in, skin on chicken thighs, trimmed*
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 big pinch salt
  • 1 big pinch ground pepper
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1/4 C (approximately 10) pitted Castelvetrano olives
  • 1 t olive brine
Instructions
1. Preheat oven to 375 F2. In a small baking dish or cast iron skillet, drizzle the olive oil. Place the chicken thighs, skin up, in the dish. 3. Cut the lemon in half and juice one half. Pour juice over thighs. Cut the other half of the lemon into four slices, discarding the "butt end." Set slices aside. 4. Sprinkle salt and pepper evenly over the thighs. Place a slice of lemon on each thigh. Nestle the garlic cloves and olives in the dish. Add the brine to the dish. 5. Bake for 30-40 minutes until a meat thermometer reads 165 F (when placed in the chicken for 15 seconds). Take chicken out of oven and let rest 5 minutes. Serve hot.*Trimmed means cutting away excess fat. Chicken thighs are typically sold with excess skin on them. Leave skin on the top to crisp up. The easiest way to trim is using clean kitchen shears, make sure to clean them after as well.
Details
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 4 servings

Green Olive Grissini

I made these for the first time a few weeks ago to be part of a Halloween book club because they resemble witches fingers! They were a huge hit with everyone so I made them again and plan to have them as my party trick! I was initially inspired by the Great British Baking Show’s episode that they challenged the contestants to creating crispy grissini (crunchy bread sticks). When I saw Paul Hollywood's recipe was not in US measurements, I decided to go out on my own and these sticks are what I created. 

Green Olive Grissini

They don’t have to be Halloween-y and can definitely be served along side a cheese plate or just as snacks for before dinner! They will also make a fabulous holiday gift since they have a decent shelf life and the crisper you get them, the longer they will stay fresh!

The grissini taste deeply of olive but are crisp and crunchy so if you like olives, you will like these. They are also, coincidentally, vegan!

print recipe
Green Olive Grissini
Italian style breadsticks studded with flavorful green olives.
Ingredients
  • 1 C warm water (about 110F), divided
  • 1 t sugar
  • 1 package (2 1/4 t) yeast
  • 1 T sea salt
  • 2 1/2 C bread flour
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1 C green olives*, roughly chopped, dried off with paper towels
Instructions
1. Prepare yeast in a small bowl: stir yeast, sugar, and half a cup of warm water. Let sit for 5 minutes until foamy.2. In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment, mix yeast mixture, salt, and bread flour until the dough starts to come together. Add olive oil and continue to mix with the dough hook until the oil is incorporated.3. On a lightly floured surface roll out dough. Slowly add the chopped green olives and knead it into the dough. This can be difficult so have patience. 4. Transfer dough to a lightly oiled bowl and cover with a towel. Set in a warm place to rise until doubled in size, about an hour. 5. Preheat oven to 375 F. Prepare cookie sheets with parchment paper or silpats. 6. Roll out dough on a lightly floured surface to a rectangle, 20 inches by 10 inches. Using a pizza cutter, cut the dough into approximately 32 pieces (cut dough in half, cut each half into half and each quarter into eight). Cut all the dough across to create sticks that are a more manageable size.7. Place the sticks on the prepared baking sheets, leaving at least a ¼” between each one. Cover with a towel and let rest for 15 minutes. 8. Bake for 15 minutes. Check doneness and continue to bake until lightly browned and crisp. Can be tested by taking a stick and snapping it. Cool on a wire rack and store in an airtight container. *I used the Mezzetta brand green olives with garlic cloves.
Details
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 32 long grissini or 64 short grissini
Green Olive Grissini

Listening to: Michael Kiwanuka

End of Summer Appetizers

I grew up in a family of appetizer loving people and appreciate a good appetizer spread. As you grow older, appetizers usually consist of fancy cheese plates which is a bummer for me since I am still learning to like fancy cheeses. These two toast or cracker toppings are an excellent addition to your end of summer cheese plates! And they are perfect for the non cheese lovers in your life. Plus, the sautéed olives are vegan!

cheese plate

For the cheese plate pictured below there are quite a few elements. Cheese: Manchego, a salty hard cheese that is a total crowd pleaser. Toppings: Rustic Bakery sourdough crackers, sliced and toasted french bread crostini, and homemade rosemary sea salt bread. Toppings: bruschetta, sautéed olives, and oil and balsamic vinegar. Served with some light white wine or crisp rose and you are off to a great start!

Bruschetta is garlicy, acidic, and so flavorful! The best thing is that it is hard to mess up and easy to fix! Taste and adjust after you let it refrigerate because the flavors will change as they sit. 

cheese plate
print recipe
Bruschetta
Tomatoes, basil, garlic, and balsamic make the perfect mixture to top crusty toasted bread with.
Ingredients
  • 3 Roma tomatoes, 1/4" dice
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 2 t balsamic vinegar
  • 7 basil leaves, chopped
  • 2 heaping tablespoons shredded parmesan cheese
  • 3 grinds fresh black pepper
  • pinch of salt, to taste
Instructions
1. In a small bowl combine all ingredients. 2. Stir until mixed through. Cover and refrigerate for at least one hour (preferably overnight). 3. Before serving, drizzle with one teaspoon of olive oil and one teaspoon of balsamic. Taste for addition of salt. 4. Serve with toasted bread.
Details
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 6 appetizers servings

The first time I had a castelvetrano olive was in Tahoe last year. We tried to recreate an appetizer served at a restaurant in the area and this is what we came up with! I have seen a lot more of these olives since then and am so glad they are gaining in popularity because they are so good! Apparently they are quite popular in Italy as a snacking olive. They are hard to find pitted though so you have to go through that extra step but it is worth it. I also used them while making this chicken dish from Food and Wine and highly recommend it. 

olives
print recipe
Sautéed Olives
A unique addition to a cheese plate
Ingredients
  • 1 t olive oil
  • 1/2 C castelvetrano olives, pitted, roughly chopped (approximately 13-15 olives)
  • 1 t lemon zest (heaping teaspoon)
  • Juice from 1/4 of a lemon
  • 1 t fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 1 t brine from olives
Instructions
1. Heat oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. 2. Add remaining ingredients and stir until olives are heated through, approximately two minutes. 3. Serve warm with crackers or toasted bread.
Details
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 4 appetizers servings

Listening to: Leon Bridges