Giving cooking Chicken Parm a try at the end of a long week

In the mood to try my hand at making Chicken Parmesan tonight, and I’m following two recipes from Laura in the Kitchen, the first being for her Basic Tomato & Basil Marinara Sauce:

Because the sauce she uses in the following Chicken Parmesan recipe doesn’t sound like it’d be for me:

Not an olive fan. Not sure how this is going to turn out. Starting to think mediocre, but the chicken will be out of the oven in a few minutes and we’ll see. Certainly not Laura’s recipes’ fault — my domestic skills are just lacking.

Update: Actually didn’t turn out too good. My friend claimed to like it, but I definitely will do a lot differently next time. Mostly due to my own errors — damn this wine for distracting me!

Roasted Chicken and Potato Bake success!

Came across a great and easy recipe on Laura in the Kitchen’s channel, this being the second time I’ve made it now. The first go round I used Emeril’s italian seasoning since that’s what I had on hand. This time I purchased Rachael Ray’s perfect poultry seasoning, and it came out even better. happy

So, to begin with, here’s Laura explaining her dish:

And here’s my casserole dish headed for the oven (preheated to 450 degrees F):


I went with chicken thighs instead of drumsticks.

And some of the ingredients used (went with bottled lemon juice instead of using fresh lemons and Rachael Ray’s Poultry Seasoning instead of fresh herbs):


And my finished result:

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Bon Appétit. chef  Turned out delicious. Definitely going to add this one to my cooking repertoire.


Update Nov. 14th, 2013: I LOVE this recipe and have made it several times now. Even cooked it up for my Grandma during my last trip down South in October. It is SO EASY and so delicious! Typically I use chicken thighs, and I’ve found that Rachel Ray’s poultry seasoning adds just the right flavor.


Update May 29th, 2014: A dish I’ve yet to tire of. Making it again tonight actually. Usually requires I cook it for over an hour, probably because I use thighs or thigh-drumstick combos. I’ve found the small multi-colored potatoes that come in the little packages in the grocery produce department work perfectly for this meal. And I’ve been increasing the number of garlic cloves added each time since I apparently can’t get enough. All that’s needed as a side are rolls or a dense bread, like an italian loaf, and it’s good to go.

Trying my hand at boiling peanuts

Boiled peanuts is one of my favorite snacks of all-time, yet you can’t find ’em up here in the Midwest. Not even the canned variety. Can’t even find raw peanuts to boil. So normally I have to wait until I head back down South to visit Grandma (usually twice a year, but will be only once in 2013) before I can enjoy my favorite treat sold at roadside stands.

In fact, my Papa used to boil peanuts and sell them roadside, along with snow cones and watermelons. It’s common down where I come from for people to set up shop right out of the back of their pickup trucks, and it becomes a necessity for folks who are either temporarily unemployed or too old to do much else.

So anyway, several months ago I came across this video providing instructions for the boiling of peanuts:

And I have about 2 lbs. of peanuts in a stockpot as I type this. It will be 4-5 hours before that batch is cooked, then I’ll do the same with the remaining 2+ lbs. Why so many lbs. of peanuts for one little Southerner? Well, because I had to order my raw peanuts and have them shipped here, and that’s the smallest quantity they come in. I’ll tend to the pot as I come and go throughout the day.

Never knew to put chicken broth in with them, so I’m giving that a whirl with the first batch. Might hold off on that with the 2nd batch, we’ll see. Should’ve asked Grandma on the phone yesterday how they used to cook ’em. But now she’s headed out of town, so I’m on my own (with Dave in the video above) in figuring this out, never having boiled them for myself before. Had a boyfriend about a decade ago who boiled some up for me after learning when we visited my hometown, but never came across another Midwesterner open to the idea.

I’m looking forward to honing my skills here. chef