Buttermilk Biscuits Free Today

Today’s new recipe was for buttermilk biscuits. I can’t help it, every time I think about/hear about buttermilk biscuits, I hear the Sir-Mix-A-Lot song in my head, hence the title of my post. I don’t make biscuits very often, but usually if I do, it’s a last minute decision and involves the recipe on the side panel of the Bisquick box. And while there isn’t anything wrong with last minute Bisquick biscuits, I would like to have something a bit more impressive in my repertoire. So when I saw this recipe on Smitten Kitchen, one of my favorite cooking blogs, I thought I should give it a try.  And this weekend, I just happened to have leftover buttermilk in the fridge and Nana visiting from Philly. So buttermilk biscuits were on this morning’s menu.

What I loved about them:  quick, easy, flaky and crisp. Yum

What I realized: I need a pastry blender.  I didn’t cut the butter into small enough chunks and as a result, my biscuits weren’t as smooth and even looking as the photos on Smitten Kitchen. Mine also didn’t rise quite as much as hers, but I think my baking powder might have been a bit old.

Either way, everyone ate them and no one complained!  In the ever poetic words of Sir-Mix-A-Lot:

Don’t make a difference what food you make
Use buttermilk biscuits to clean your plate.

Garlic and Rosemary Roasted Chicken

My good friend Molly asked about the garlic chicken recipe, so I decided to post it too. While it’s not new to me, it’s very worthy of sharing!

Ingredients:

1 3 to 4 lb chicken

1 large head of garlic, cloves separated but not peeled

4 bay leaves

1 1/2 teaspoons crumbled dried rosemary

1/4 cup olive oil

small red potatoes (as many as you’ll need/will fit in your pan around your chicken)

Preheat oven to 375. Sprinkle chicken and cavity with salt and pepper. Halve two garlic cloves, and place inside cavity with 2 bay leaves. Rub rosemary into skin of chicken.

If not using the really baby potatoes, halve or quarter the potatoes – they don’t need to be bite size, but I make them 2-bite size at most.

Heat olive oil in an oven proof skillet (I use a cast iron one with great success) over high heat (I generally keep it at med-high rather than all the way, but our burners burn pretty hot). Put garlic into oil, stir for 30 seconds.

Add chicken, potatoes and other 2 bay leaves to pan. Season potatoes with salt and pepper (I actually skip this – I think they’re plenty flavorful w/o the additional salt). Brown chicken on all sides on stove top.

Put pan into oven, and cook until juices run clear.  In my oven, this generally takes about an hour, even with a 4 pound chicken – but I’m a bit paranoid about chicken, so I always double-check it with my meat thermometer.

Let chicken stand for 10 minutes while juices settle.

Enjoy!

Cheating

So I said I was going to try a new recipe each week, and post about them. I certainly haven’t kept to the 1 recipe a week thing, but I’ve been remaking some of the things I posted about, which is a good sign!

Tonight, I’m making my mom’s tried and true Garlic Roasted Chicken recipe.  It is one of my favorites, because you cook the chicken and potatoes in a single pan, which means while the chicken roasts, I just have to toss a salad and warm some bread, and we have dinner. And to answer the question, “Is bread really necessary when you’re already having potatoes?”, I will say YES, with this recipe bread is mandatory, because you have to have something to spread your roasted cloves of garlic on. YUM.

Anyway, usually I just serve a green salad with it with my mom’s grandmother’s dressing or a quick tossed together oil and vinegar (anything is better than salad dressing out of a bottle, in my opinion), but a few months ago, I found 2 things that have turned me into a salad LOVER.  I like salads a lot when all of the ingredients are super fresh and interesting (add some blue cheese and/or nuts and/or crunchy raw veggies and I’m a fan) – but the problem with buying lettuce is that it just doesn’t stay fresh very long in my fridge. And once it’s even slightly dark on the edges or limp, I have no use for it. I just can’t get excited about a salad with wilted greens (unless they’re wilted under some warm bacon dressing, of course!).

But not too long ago, one of the food blogs I read mentioned broccoli slaw.  I wasn’t familiar with broccoli slaw, but the recipe was for an asian salad, and since I generally love asian flavors and it said it was an easy thing to toss together, I decided to give it a try. Well, since then, I am rarely without a bag of broccoli slaw in my crisper. Little shoestrings of carrots, broccoli, and red cabbage – healthy as can be, and CRUNCHY.  I like to add some combination of chow mein noodles, toasted almonds, fresh mint or basil (whatever I have in the garden at the time), and/or toasted sesame seeds. And what this post is all about, really, is this “recipe” I found for Asian Peanut Dressing. I use the term “recipe” loosely, because I don’t measure any of the ingredients and they vary depending on what I have on hand. But no matter what the combination, it is always SO good!  One thing I always do is add a little more canola oil after I mix all the other ingredients together – because while I love the flavor of sesame oil, I don’t like to use too much of it. And the recipe doesn’t really make enough to save if I don’t add a little more oil at the end. It makes the dressing a bit thinner than maybe intended, but I don’t mind a thin dressing, especially when that means I can get a few more servings out of it. I usually use maple syrup as my sweetener since I figure it’s a little healthier than white sugar, and adds another interesting flavor to the mix.

So there it is – my cheater post about a recipe I stumbled upon before I started this blog. I just didn’t think it would be fair to keep such a good thing under wraps. Enjoy!

Martha Knows Chicken

Martha Stewart has a sizeable deck of chicken recipes on her website – approx 120, if I remember correctly from my scrolling last night. This is a blessing for someone like me, who almost always has chicken breasts in the fridge but doesn’t always have a great idea for what to do with them.

Last night I was looking for something simple but warm. I got diagnosed with strep throat yesterday, and Charlie came home from therapy pretty out of sorts (we just got back from the pediatrician – surprise, surprise, he has strep too) so I didn’t want anything elaborate.

I found this: chicken with ginger and it fit the bill – not too many ingredients (and all ones I had on hand), easy prep, flavors I figured the family would like. I was right – it was a success!  I made the full recipe of sauce even though I didn’t quite have 1.5 lbs chicken, and I only used half an onion since my husband likes them in moderation. I served the chicken over steamed sushi rice with a mixed green salad. Even Charlie ate every piece of chicken I put on his plate, which is no small feat since lately the only chicken he wants is in nugget form.

This dish reminded us of a non-spicy General Tso’s chicken (at one of the Chinese restaurants that doesn’t bread it to death). Next time, I think I’ll make more sauce and steam some broccoli tops too, and toss them in at the end – I think they would be good in the sweet, gingery sauce.