Tag Archives: roast chicken

Whole Roast Chicken with Smokey Adobo Broth (serves 4-6)

I LOVE roasted chicken and it’s even better if the pan sauce cooks right at the same time. I made this Friday when I was tired after a long week but still needed to make dinner. This was the kind of meal that cooked itself and I was able to sit down with a glass of wine while the stove did all the work!

Roast Chicken with a kick!

Roast Chicken with a kick!

What makes this dish surprisingly different is the addition of chilpotle (or chipotle) peppers. These peppers have been smoked and I buy them in a can of adobo sauce, (find in the international or ethic aisle of your supermarket). Adobo sauce is a sauce made with a mixture of spices and other ingredients used to preserve the pepper (usually paprika, garlic, oregano and vinegar).

A Wonderful Pantry Item!

A Wonderful Pantry Item!

The reason I added these hot smokey peppers and sauce to my chicken was because I wanted to use up the last of a bunch of cilantro, so I thought about what would work well with this to make a good broth. Why not go the Mexican route!

What's in the can!

What’s in the can!

It was a heart-warming dinner and I served it with rice (which was another super easy alternative to standing over a pot as I used my trusty rice cooker!). Try this yourself if you are a chicken lover like me and also if you want a home cooked meal without actually doing any of the cooking!


*this is a good Blood Type A Diet recipe if you omit the peppers, tomatoes and black pepper. It will still tastes amazing*

You will need:

1  4 to 5 lb whole chicken

1 tbs olive oil

salt and black pepper for seasoning chicken

2 medium onions – sliced in half and then thinly sliced crossways

2 chilpotle peppers in adobo sauce – chopped (use only one pepper if you want the flavor but with less heat)

1 tbs adobo sauce (from the chilpotle pepper can)

1 cup cherry tomatoes

1 cup cilantro leaves – roughly chopped

1 carrot – julienned (about 1 cup)

6 to 8 unpeeled garlic clove  – separated

1 cup chicken broth

1 cup water (or good quality bouillon cube with 2 cups of water)


Preheat oven to 450*

1 – Prep all the ingredients (except the chicken, salt and pepper) and scatter in the bottom of a roasting pan or deep saute pan.

Add all the ingredients to your roasting pan

Add all the ingredients to your roasting pan

  2 – Rub chicken with the olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place chicken on top of veggies. Place in oven and roast for 1 hour 20 minutes.

Place chicken on top of veggies and broth

Place chicken on top of veggies and broth

 3 – Remove from oven and transfer chicken to a board or plate and let it rest for 10 minutes before carving, (you can keep the pan sauce warm by leaving in the warm oven). Check chicken after 1 hour and add more water or broth to the pan if it seems low (up to 3/4 cup).

Serve with whatever you like: pasta, potatoes, greens, bread.....

Serve with whatever you like: pasta, rice, potatoes, greens, bread…..

 Serve with the lovely pan sauce with whatever you desire.

*You can serve the garlic cloves as is but you can also squeeze the cooked garlic out of the skin and mash with a fork. You can then swirl it into your broth*

HAVING PEOPLE OVER?? – The SIMPLEST Roast Chicken Dinner & EASIEST Dessert In The World (Serves 4, just double for 8!)

Having people over but you don’t have much time, talent or energy?? This is the dinner to make, and it is fool-proof, (I know this from experience). The is nothing better than a crispy (but moist!) roast chicken with a little pasta or mashed potatoes (or mashed parsnip or carrot!) and simple berries and fresh cream for dessert.

Crispy Roast Chicken in a Mushroom Broth - sumptious!

Crispy Roast Chicken in a Mushroom Broth – sumptuous!

  This sort of dinner party is the best kind as you will do little cooking and lots of socializing. It also makes the house smell heavenly (is there anything better than the smell of roast chicken!) and there is something so festive about a couple of crispy golden-skinned chickens on the center of a candlelit table!

My Roast Chicken Quest...

 A simple Roast Chicken can be served with anything (here it was roasted with fingerling potatoes)

The weekend is coming and you should think about serving this to your friends with lots of good wine. I made the chicken special by adding mounds of different kinds of mushrooms. They did all the work in the flavor department and I was free to spend time setting a nice table and generally just hung out being social (instead of being tied to the kitchen). The only other thing was dessert, and choosing to serve fresh fruit and cream is not only a big cheat, it is a refreshing ending to a rich meal (recipe at the end, pretty self-explanatory).

there is nothing better than fresh ripe berries in clouds of whipped cream

Fresh ripe berries in clouds of whipped cream (and a dash of chocolate shavings)

Hope you are inspired and tempted!


*This is a good blood type A recipe – use mushrooms from this list; abalone, enoki, maitake, Portobello,Shiitake, tree oyster. Omit the pepper and chili flakes and no cream in dessert*

You will need:

1 (or 2) 4lb chicken (organic if you can)

sea salt and freshly ground pepper and optional cayenne pepper flakes for seasoning

1 onion (2 medium if cooking 2 birds) – diced (any kind will do)

2 lbs mixed mushrooms (3 lbs if cooking 2 birds) –  (I used white, crimini and shiitake) – quartered or halved depending on the size

a sprig or two of fresh rosemary

3 cups chicken broth (or water and good quality bouillon cube) (up to 4 1/2 cups for 2 birds)


Preheat oven 425*

1 – Put all prepped veggies into bottom of pan, along with rosemary sprigs and 2 cups of broth.

Place all veggie and seasoning into bottom of large pan or roasting pan. Add the broth.

Place all veggie and seasoning into bottom of large pan or roasting pan. Add the broth.

2  – Season the chicken with salt, pepper and cayenne pepper (if using) and rub with 2 tbs olive oil. place on top of veggies and place in preheated oven for 1 hour 20 minutes to 1 1/2 hours. After 1 hour add the last cup of chicken broth (or water) to pan. When you cut between the leg and the body and the juices run clear, the chicken is cooked. Remove from oven and let it rest for 15 minutes before serving.

Place the seasoned chicken on top and pop into the oven

Place the seasoned chicken on top and pop into the oven

This chicken can be carved and served with a big meaty pasta with the broth or with some mashed potatoes and a veggie like simply boiled peas or carrots.

Cook for about 1 hr, 20 mins

Cook for about 1 hr, 20 mins

Time for dessert: Berries & Cream

Choose whatever berries you like or that are available and good – about 1/2 cup per person.

My favorite fruit; raspberries!

My favorite fruit; raspberries!

Put about 2 cups heavy whipping cream in a big bowl and add 1/2 to 1 tablespoon of confectioners sugar (helps the cream thicken faster) and beat with whatever mixer or whisk you have until it is thick and billowy.

whip cream

whip cream




Pollo al Limone e Spaghetti (Lemon Chicken with Equally Lemon-y Spaghetti !) serves 6

This recipe came about because of the excess of lemons in our house due to my daughter’s Lemonade Stand this past Memorial Day (Read all about it HERE). I was in no way flummoxed as to what to do with bunches of lemons, as the lowly lemon can be thrown into so many dishes. With so many however I decided that the lemon flavor would be the star of this dinner.

A great use of lemons!

This dinner makes great use of lemons!

You may know that you can make a quick emulsion if you whip lemon and butter together. I have tasted many pasta dishes with a lemon zing, which is usually achieved by using this basic premise.

the zest of a lemon adds punch to any dish

The zest of a lemon adds punch to any dish

I had chicken, I had spaghetti, I had butter, and I had lemons: this dish is the result. What can I say; it will be a staple from now on!

a cool glass of good lemonade

A cool glass of good lemonade (I’m sure adding a shot of vodka or gin to this would make a great Summer cocktail!)



You will need:

3 tbs extra-virgin olive oil

2/3 cup water

sea-salt (for seasoning meat and to taste)

2 lbs chicken thigh cutlets (no skin, no bones)

1 medium red or sweet onion, diced

1 tsp cayenne pepper flakes

zest and juice of 3 lemons

8 tbs unsalted butter

sea salt & black pepper for seasoning

1 lb spaghetti pasta (I use Barilla brand)


Preheat oven 400*

* Cook the pasta while the chicken is resting. Reserve about 1 cup of the pasta cooking water before draining and reserve (you may need it at the end). Do not rinse the pasta. Add directly to the lemon sauce after draining*

1 – Scatter onions in bottom of big saute or roasting pan. Add zest from 1 lemon to pan, the water and 1/2 tsp of pepper flakes. 

scatter onion, lemon zest and pepper flakes into pan

scatter onion, lemon zest and pepper flakes into pan

2 –  Lay chicken on top (it is good if it’s snug). Season lightly with medium to coarse sea-salt, and the rest of the pepper flakes. Drizzle with the oil and place in the oven for

place chicken on top and season

Place chicken on top and season

3 – Remove chicken to a plate and cover loosely with foil.

remove chicken to a plate

Remove chicken to a plate

4 – Put the pan on medium/high heat and add the lemon juice and remainder of the zest. Bring to a boil and let it bubble for 1 minutes. Take off heat.

add lemon juice and boil

Add lemon juice and boil

5 – Add butter and swirl into sauce until melted.Taste sauce for addition of salt and pepper and adjust according to your liking.

add butter

Add butter

6 – Add the pasta immediately and toss everything together.

add pasta

Add pasta

Serve as it is with a grating of Parmigiano Reggiano cheese and more cayenne pepper flakes…

It is great without the chicken also!

Amazingly robust yet light pasta dish 

or you can also add chicken

I also cooked some brest meat for 1 person in ur house who cowers at the mention of dark meat

I also cooked some breast meat for 1 person in our house who cowers at the mention of dark meat

Roast Chicken with Parsnips and Black Olives for May Day! (serves 6)

May Day was yesterday and to me it represented the true beginning of Spring. After Christmas, the season of Winter looses it’s appeal and I begin longing for daffodils and cherry blossoms!

Happy May Day!

Happy May Day!

A few days ago I couldn’t wait any longer and took a detour on my way home from school to buy herbs, even though I was warned not to plant until the 2nd of May (I was also told the 12th of May but I’m ignoring that one). I also couldn’t resisted some lovely wild-looking flowers called Sage Hot Trumpets, and another called  Golden Delicious Pineapple Sage, and bought those too! I now have everything either in the ground or a big pot and cannot wait  for them to grow so I can start plucking things right from the back door to throw into my saute pan!


“Pineapple Sage”, “Black & Blue Sage” & “Red Hot Trumpet Sage” ready to delight me every time I come in or out the whole Summer long!

I thought for a few more minutes about the chicken I was going to cook for last night’s dinner (being May Day and all!) and came up with this beauty of a dish. I decided to play with the bittersweet of parsnips with the slightly bitter/salty taste of black olives and it was a fantastic combination. The broth turned to a syrupy sweetness, and the roasted chicken with its crispy skin was juicy beyond belief.

amazingly flavorful Chicken dish

Amazingly flavorful Chicken Dish

Suffice is to say that dinner was heavenly on this beautiful May Day evening.


*This is a great Blood type A Diet Recipe BUT you need to Omit the sausages and substitute green olives for the black olives*

You will need:

sea-salt and freshly ground black pepper (for seasoning)

2 tbs extra-virgin olive oil

1 small cut-up chicken (cut into 8 pieces)

4 to 6 Spicy or Mild  Italian sausages (optional)

1 large sweet onion

1/2 cup small pitted good quality black olives (strong flavor like Kalamata)

3 parsnips, peeled, medium dice

6 single sprigs fresh thyme

3 cups chicken or veggie broth OR 1 good quality bouillon cube & water


Preheat oven 450*

1 – Season chicken lightly with sea-salt and freshly ground black pepper. Place all ingredients (besides the meat) into the bottom of a big saute or roasting pan and add the broth or crumbled bouillon cube and water.

Place all veggies in pan

Place all veggies in pan

2 – Arrange the chicken and sausages (if using) in an even snug layer on top. drizzle with olive oil and place in preheat oven for 1 hour or until the chicken is cooked through.

arrange meat on top

Arrange meat on top

*If you have sausages in the pan, remove pan from oven and turn them half way through the cooking time. Also my chicken cooked in 1 hour but if your chicken pieces are on the large side, you may need a longer cooking time. In any case, remover the breast after 1 hour and cover with foil and cook the dark meat until done*

roast in oven

Roast in oven

3 – Remove dish from oven and let sit for 5 or so minutes before serving.



Serve as is, giving everyone some chicken and sausage and a portion of veggies and broth. You can also serve this with a salad or a little rice or pasta.

June’s Famous Chicken Dinner!

I am missing my sisters back home in Ireland, and thinking about all the lovely food we cooked together. It is many months since my leaving and now there is a hole in my life. I am already plotting on how to see them again as soon as possible.


Beautiful fields of Rape Flowers close to our house in Ireland

I love every aspect of cooking a meal, from the planning, to the more menial tasks like washing dirt off the potatoes. I find I am the most comfortable when I work alone or rather, it is nice being by myself not feeling lonely at all. That is not to say I don’t like activity while I am getting on with things. Mostly it is quite the opposite, and the din of family and friends coming in and out, or parking themselves for the duration on a chair and chatting with me through the entire process is when I have had my most memorable conversations. 

June's roasted potatoes

June’s roasted potatoes

There is an easiness that comes with cooking and the energy in the kitchen permeates through the entire house, sets the tone. That is why I find it so hard to understand why people choose take-out/away food over something that you can make yourself? When food is brought home in a bag or plastic containers you have missed out on the lovely clatter in the kitchen and the smells that put you in a good mood, that draw everyone together.

June's Roast Chicken with Bread Stuffing

June’s Roast Chicken with Bread Stuffing

Yes, of course there are days that I long for a little cardboard takeout box, complete with the narrow metal handle full of spicy Szechuan chicken, or the big corrugated square housing a pizza with everyone’s favorite toppings on its various quarters. What I’m saying is when I think about food, what comes to mind, is a roasted chicken being pulled from the oven, or the smell that comes from a pot of soup making my taste buds crazy for a taste… for a bite of something. The whole act of cooking creates an atmosphere that a take-out box just cannot compete with!

June making Pizza

June making Pizza

There is not a doubt in my mind that everyone can think of a person  that instantly conjures up the image of a dish that you uniquely associate with them. Sometimes it is the dish you think of first, and then you realize that you are missing someone, and craving their food and their company. I am sitting here on this weekend morning and I swear I can smell June’s Famous Chicken Dinner.

Famous Chicken Dinner

Famous Chicken Dinner

It was dubbed Famous Chicken Dinner by my son a couple of years ago and it is how we request it when we visit. She cannot understand why we attach so much importance to it? When she roasts a whole chicken, this is how it turns out. It is one of her standards and has never been thought of as anything but ordinary, and certainly not something she would dream of making if she was having people over for dinner.

another June Dinner

Another June Dinner

The thing is, she is unaware that when she makes something that is so familiar, so effortless to her, she has ended up perfecting something. She has unconsciously over the years worked out all the kinks in this dish, tweaking the amounts of butter, or salt and changing the herb mix until she got it the way she liked it the best. She did this, and then she left it, because it was perfect and needed no more fussing over. She will laugh if she reads this, but I know I am right. I know that if she made it for me right now, there would be no surprises. It would be exactly what I wanted, and if she changed something because she felt maybe having company meant doing things differently to make it special, she would regret it and wished she had left well enough alone.

The river Barrow at Milford, County Carlow

The river Barrow at Milford, County Carlow, a so familiar place to me

I have never asked for the recipe, which is an odd thing for me. I know it is just a stuffed roasted chicken with carrot and parsnip mash, roasted potatoes and a herby sauce made from the pan drippings, but I think it would be impossible to replicate. It would be just like my trying to master my mother’s stuffing, something I attempt to do each Christmas, and each time fail. I fail to capture that essence that made it taste the way it did. I believe there are some dishes that contain a soul, and this one happens to have June’s. I don’t know if there is a recipe for that.

June's roses

June’s roses

The Beach: Day 2! For Dinner: Roast Chicken with Colorful Veggies & Herbs (serves 8)

The Beach: Day 2!

Day two at the beach proved to be just as much fun as Day 1, maybe even more so since we have all gotten into the rhythm of our grand vacation house. Sharing a house with friends can turn out to be surprisingly difficult in some cases, but luckily for us we all have such different habits we seem to avoid the usual pitfalls: like getting up at the same time and then never enjoying a morning cup of coffee in peace and quiet (we all seem to arrive to the kitchen at a conveniently timed stagger, hence coffee blissfully alone!), I like to cook dinner, while the rest of the culinary-inclined are happy to peel the potatoes, set the table and keep our wine glasses full, and last but not least, our kids seem to be happy doing anything once they are eternally glued to each other. All in all, a very happy arrangement.

Roast Chicken with Colorful Veggies & Herbs (Recipe below)

In the morning I got to do something I rarely get to do, and that is run on the miles of beach right outside the door. I tried really hard to appreciate every sandy step, and had fun following the edge of the waves as they threatened to drown my running shoes. I had to contend with blustery winds for the last couple of miles, but complaining in this beautiful setting would have been sinful.

getting wet

The rest of the day was spent hanging out on the beach doing strenuous activities like lounging in my stripy beach chair, looking for sea shells and walking along the water’s edge with my friend talking about what we had been up to the rest of the year. 

This bird was intent on getting a couple of pieces of popcorn from my son’s hand. (He warded him off with a very menacing plastic sand shovel!)

Then it was back to the porch for aperitivo, before making dinner. I made something easy (aperitivo was extended!), but the small amount of effort exerted by me in the kitchen did not affect the deliciousness of the resulting food.

Nice dinner after a day doing absolutely nothing.

We ended our day with a walk, and explored the strange neighbourhood of beach rental houses, wondering who inhabited them, and where they were from. The kids sleepily recounted the best parts of the day, and it was so lovely to listen to their voices floating through the darkness.


Roast Chicken with Colorful Veggies & Herbs

(this CAN BE  a Blood Type A Dinner. Omit the red pepper & sausage. The rest of the ingredients are either beneficial or neutral)

You will need:

Chicken for 8 (bone-in skin on: thighs, drumstick, legs, breast. Use whatever you prefer or a combination of several favorites)

8 Italian sausage (optional)

1 head garlic, broken into cloves, left unpeeled

3 celery ribs, sliced (including leaves)

1 red pepper, large dice

bunch of herbs (I used 4 sprigs oregano, 4 sprigs thyme, 6 sage leaves – use whatever you have on hand)

1 cup white wine

3 1/2 cups chicken or veggie broth (or good quality stock cube & water)

4 tbs extra-virgin olive oil

Preheat oven 450*

1 – Prep all veggies and lay in the bottom of a big saute or roasting pan. Add liquid.

Veggies in bottom of pan

2 – Place chicken on top in an even a layer as possible (it will be snug), and place sausages in between chicken if using. Drizzle with oil (and sea-salt and black pepper if you like). Place in preheated oven for 1 1/4 hours.

Chicken on top

3 – Remove from oven and let sit for 10 minutes to cool and rest.

Oven for 1 1/4 hours

Serve with any number of things. We had our dinner with tagliatelle and a beautiful Greek salad. Feel free to enjoy this dish with rice, pasta, bread, or simply alone.

Chicken & Sausage with a “French” Feel (serves 4 – 6)

My dear friend Deborah came to spend this weekend with us, and that meant two things; making lots of marvelous food, and fun!

All of this we enjoyed in abundance.

Chicken and Sausage with a French Feel

I wanted to make something easy as we were going to be out and about until late, and so I made a variation on a recipe that never fails; roast chicken with wine and herbs.

Deborah ate slowly, enjoying each morsel, and exclaimed that the flavors felt very “french”. I put it down to the liberal use of white wine, fresh thyme and garlic.

Good food and wine kept us at the table talking until way past our bedtime. Being a little tired the next day was a small price to pay for a wonderful evening.


You will need: 4 chicken breasts, bone-in, skin on, 4 Italian style sausages, (omit sausage if following Blood Type A diet), bunch of thyme (about 6 to 10 sprigs), 1 large sweet onion, diced, 2 cups baby carrots, halved lengthways, 2 celery ribs, including leaves, sliced, 8 cloves garlic, separated, left in skin, 1 cup white wine, 2 cups chicken or veggie broth, 4 tbs extra-virgin olive oil, sea-salt & cracked black pepper to season chicken & to taste.

Preheat oven 425*

1 – Prep veggies and lay in the bottom of a big pan or roasting dish. Add the liquids.

lay veggies in bottom of pan, along with wine and broth

2 – Lay the chicken and sausage on top and drizzle with the oil. Season chicken lightly with sea-salt and pepper. Place in oven for 35 minutes. Turn heat down to 375* and remove from oven. Turn sausages and cover pan with lid or foil. Return to the oven for another 20 minutes.

lay chicken and sausage on top

3 – Take out of oven and let everything rest for 10 minutes before serving.

A wonderfully rustic dinner

Serve meat with lots of broth, and veggies, making sure that each plate gets a clove or two of roasted garlic.