Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Total Oven Meal: Citrus Chicken and Roasted Vegetables and the Cooking Channel

The Recipes
  • I thought this would be a quick meal, but the prep takes really long. 
  • Serves 4.
Crunchy Citrus Chicken

The Ingredients:
1 lemon
1 lime
1 orange
3 c. gluten-free corn flakes cereal, coarsely crushed (I put them in a plastic bag and pounded them with the bottom of a jar)
3 tbsp chopped fresh rosemary
2 tbsp minced fresh parsley
2 tsp paprika
½ tsp salt
¼ freshly ground black pepper
4 skinless boneless chicken breasts

The Directions:
Zest the lemon, lime and orange. Juice half of each citrus fruit with either a juicer or by squeezing fruit in one hand while twisting a spoon inside of fruit with the other hand. Thinly slice the remaining half of each citrus fruit. Arrange fruit slices in bottom of prepared pan. Set aside.

On pie plate, combine citrus juices. In a plastic bag, combine citrus zest, cereal, rosemary, parsley, paprika, salt and pepper (or if you don't have a big enough one, just stir together in a large bowl, like we did). Dredge chicken in citrus juice, then in seasoned crumbs. Place on citrus slices and sprinkle with leftover crumb mixture. Discard any excess juice.

Bake in preheated oven for 30 to 35 minutes, or until coating is golden brown and crispy, a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of a breast registers 170 degrees F (75 degrees C), and chicken is no longer pink inside.

Roasted Vegetables

The Ingredients:
3 medium carrots
2 large parsnips
1 garlic bulb, separated into cloves
½ medium rutabaga
¼ medium butternut squash
1/3 c. balsamic vinegar
2 tsp vegetable oil
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 tbsp fresh rosemary

The Directions:
Peel carrots, parsnips, garlic, rutabaga and squash. Chop carrots, parsnips and squash into 1 inch cubes. Chop rutabaga into ¾ inch cubes.

In a large bowl, combine vinegar, oil, salt and pepper. Add garlic and chopped vegetables and toss well to coat. Spread in a single layer in prepared pan and cover with foil.

Roast in preheated oven for 30 minutes. Remove foil, stir vegetables and sprinkle with rosemary. Roast uncovered, for 25 to 35 minutes, or until fork-tender.

The Rotund Roast

My Take on the Bake
This was a sumptuous meal. The citrus flavor went well with the chicken, and it made the chicken so juicy. As for the vegetables, let's go on a faux tangent that will actually lead us somewhere:
I've never watched the Cooking Channel before, but I decided it was time since I was now cooking so much. My boyfriend and I fell in love with the show "The Worst Cooks in America." Two chefs compete to teach their own team of bad cooks to cook professionally. A cook is eliminated every round from each team. The last two cooks standing cook a 3-course gourmet meal for food critics who think that they are judging food made by the professional chefs. The winner of the best meal gets $25,000, and the removal of the title "worst cook in America." I love this show because I can relate to it so much. Mostly I laugh at how terrible the cooks really are, or reminisce about my old cooking ignorance. But now, in the midst of learning to become a gluten-free superhero chef, Wheatless Welch, I found myself making some mistakes worthy of this show:
Apparently you're supposed to roast garlic cloves whole. Instead I minced them because I was so used to mincing immediately after spotting garlic on the ingredients list. This actually made a very tasty addition to the sauce; so good I might even try it again! Okay so that wasn't "worst cook" worthy. But next I didn't cover the pan in foil, so the vegetables came out very hard. Okay so that wasn't beginning worst cooks material, but possibly episode 3 material. It's okay, cooking is life-long learning process, and sometimes mistakes like mincing garlic instead of leaving it whole lead to better-tasting results :)

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