The Best Baked Chicken Breast

Carajuana's Kitchen, how to

Chicken is healthier than beef but cowboyfriend is a cattle rancher so I spend a lot of time trying to make chicken super delicious so our hearts and colons can take breaks from red meat. I adapted this recipe and added some herbs & spices to make the chicken taste a bit more vibrant. The sauce keeps the chicken juicy and the sauce stays creamy and savory with a node of sweetness that is just so delicious when paired with the astringency of rosemary. Serve with potatoes and steamed veggies for an absolutely delicious, inexpensive and easy to make dinner.

INGREDIENTS:

3 chicken breasts

1/4 cup AA maple syrup

1/4 cup yellow mustard

1 tsp fresh rosemary; chopped

1 tsp liquid aminos

1/4 tsp black pepper

DIRECTIONS: Preheat the oven to 400°F. Whisk together the maple syrup, mustard and liquid aminos. Put the chicken into a 9×9” or 8×8” square baking dish. Sprinkle black pepper onto the chicken and pour the mustard mixture over the chicken evenly. Flip the breasts over a couple of times so that each side is evenly coated. Sprinkle the rosemary over the chicken and flip the breasts around in the sauce a bit longer.

Put the baking dish into the oven and set the timer for 40 minutes. After 20 minutes flip the breasts over and baste. Baste the chicken every 7-10 minutes for 40 minutes or until the thickest part of the chicken is at 140°F. Let the chicken sit for 5-10 minutes so that the juices can go back in the chicken. Serve with the sauce that is left in the pan.

 

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Porkchops and Savory Apple Gravy

Carajuana's Kitchen

Some of my favorite dinners are just thrown together using what’s already in our fridge and pantry. Lately I’ve been really playing with the combination of pork chops and gravy and this has been my most favorite combination yet. The apple cider vinegar adds a delicious tang quality to the delicately sweet and savory dish.

Ingredients:

  • 1 TB vegetable oil
  • 3 thin cut porkchops
  • 3/4 apple, cut into slices
  • 1/2 white onion, very thinly sliced
  • 2 TB white flour
  • 5 TB vegan butter
  • 3/4 cup oat milk
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp salt
  1. Generously salt the chops. Heat a skillet with 1 TB Vegetable Oil and 1 TB vegan butter until heated. Add the pork chops to the skillet and cook until heated through and delightfully browned on the outside.
  2. Pull the chops out and add the oat milk and apple cider vinegar and flour, while stirring scrape the drippings off of the bottom of the pan. Add the black pepper and salt and bring to a boil, whisking constantly.
  3. While thickening the gravy heat another pan with 1 TB of butter, once heated throw in the apples and cook until softened. Place a new TB of butter and repeat with the thinly sliced onions until they are caramelized.
  4. Now put the chops back on the skillet just to heat them up. Plate the chop, then onion, then apples and top the whole lot with gravy.

 

Leftover Roasted Vegetable Pie

Carajuana's Kitchen

I’ve been working from home for over a month now and it’s let me have time to be the kitchen witch that I’ve always dreamed of being. It’s also helped me to make sure that none of the carefully crafted dinners that were turned into leftovers go bad while in the fridge. Now, I’ve created the perfect storm because I’m cooking big, delicious meals for just the two of us and leaving tons of leftovers. This recipe uses the roasted veggies from around a roasted chicken and leftover chicken (turkey works too). Enter: my brand new $6 pie cookbook.

So I read a couple of recipes for savory pies and took this pie crust recipe out of the cookbook treasure that I got from a bargain bin at Tractor Supply in town, Pie it Forward by Gesine Bullock-Prado. The filling recipe is something I threw together with what was in my pantry, I like to play it fast and loose in the kitchen. Baking is another story, but cooking can be fixed if you go too far. I even put a TB of cayenne into some slow cooker chili thinking it was chili powder once and somehow pulled that one out so don’t be scared of the kitchen. Here is the recipe, it fed cowbae and I both two dinners and lunch and was unbelievably delicious each time.

The crust is made with cornmeal to replace 1/4 cup of flour to give the pie a savory, rustic appeal that is perfect for dinner time. I also had sweet potatoes, butternut squash and brussel sprouts in my roast veggies but use whatever. Obviously some vegetables will not turn into a yummy pie filling and may get watery, try to balance your water based vegetables with creamy ones like sweetie taters or squashes.

Rustic Pie Crust directly from Pie it Forward:

  • 1/4 cup finely ground cornmeal
  • 1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour, cold
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 TB sugar
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, cut into small pieces and chilled in the freezer for 10 minutes
  • 1/2 cup ice water
  • 1 tsp lemon juice

Directions: 

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°. In the bowl of a food processor fitted with the blade attachment, pulse together the flour, salt, sugar and butter until the mixture resembles cornmeal.
  2. In a small bowl, stir together the ice water and the lemon juice. Slowly add the liquid to the flour mixture, pulsing, until the dough just comes together. Squeeze a small piece of dough between your thumb and index finger to make sure it holds its shape.
  3. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and divide it in half. Gently turn over each piece of dough a few times so that any dry bits are incorporated. Form each piece into a loose disk, cover the dough with plastic wrap, and let it rest the fridge for at least 20 minutes.
  4. Roll out one dough disk into a circle and drop the dough into a 9” pie pan. Dock the dough and freeze for 20 minutes.
  5. Line crust with parchment, fill it with pie weights or dried beans, bake for 15 minutes.
  6. Remove the weights and bake for 5-10 minutes longer, until the raw-dough sheen goes away. Set aside.

Filling Recipe:

  • 2-3 cups of roasted veggies
  • 1-2 cups chopped or shredded chicken
  • 2-3 cups of stock (I use whatever is in my fridge, put your compost in the freezer and once the tupperware is full make it in to stock)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp fresh black pepper
  • 2 TB white flour
  • 1 vegetable bouillon cube
  1. Put roasted veggies, shredded chicken, stock, salt and pepper into a large stock pot. Bring to a boil and then add the bouillon cube and flour and stir to combine.
  2. Continue cooking on a low heat until the vegetables thicken to the consistency of pie filling.
  3. Take the bottom pie crust and fill the pie crust with veggie filling until it forms a small mound.
  4. Place the top pie crust on the mound of vegetables and crimp the edges to the baked bottom crust.
  5. Put the whole darn pie into the oven at 350° for 15 minutes or until the pie crust is baked to a crisp and a light brown color.
  6. Let it cool and dig in!

Monday Night Dinners Dessert Hour: Lavender Whoopie Pies

Recipes

Nom Nom Nom I am a sugar fiend. Ever since I quit dairy and tobacoo I’ve let my other vices go wild. I get seriously weird on the sugar and the caffeine on a regular basis, which has seriously messed with my sleeping and mood patterns. But whatever, dessert is luxurious and if I learn moderation it’s all good. Which is why I baked the most decadent dessert yesterday that I have under my belt.

It all started when one of my favorite patients at work brought me fresh lavender, I immediately knew that I wanted to bake with it. I found a recipe online for these lavender whoopee pies and history has been made. I shifted the recipe to be natural and dairy free for my and the lover and pulled out a truly delicious piece of heaven.

Ingredients:

Whoopee Pies:

  • 1/2 cup coconut milk yogurt, unsweetened
  • 1/4 cup almond milk, unsweetened
  • 4 tsp dried lavender
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup earth balance soy butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs

Vanilla Frosting:

  • 1 cup earth balance soy butter, softened
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 3 TB almond milk; unsweetened

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a food processor combine yogurt, milk, dried lavender and vanilla. Blend for 1 minute, scraping the mixture from the sides once. Pour the mixture through a fine mesh strainer and diligently rub spatula against strainer to get all of the oils out of the lavender. Make sure you empty all of the contents from the processor to ensure all of the lavender is used. Set the bowl aside and reserve for later.
  2. In a medium-large mixing bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt for 30 seconds. For about 2 minutes in a separate mixing bowl whip butter, oil and sugar on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy. One at a time, blend in the eggs. Slowly add the flour mixture in three parts, only adding the next phase of flour when all is incorporated. Be careful not to overmix, balance is a virtue.
  3. Transfer batter into piping bag fitted with 1/4-1/2 inch round tip. I’ll be frank with you, I don’t have a piping bag and I made mine out of a plastic baggy. Just cup the tip off of the corner. Pipe little cakes onto parchment paper covered cookie trays. Start in the middle and let the dough expand, making each about 1 3/4 inch rounds about 2 inches apart. Bake in preheated oven 7 minutes, or until tops of cookies appear cooked. Remove from tray immediately to cooling rack.
  4. In an electric standup mixer combine butter and vanilla until white and fluffed. Next add in the milk and slowly add powdered sugar until desired texture is reached. Mix about 5 minutes. Once cookies are cooled spread frosting on the bottom of two cookies and press together. Store refrigerated in airtight containers, they do best placed with wax paper between them.

Monday Night Dinners

Recipes

This is the most delicious dairy free alternative to scalloped potatoes. Mayo has been an awesome way to explore new fats, it especially works with keeping chicken oh so very moist.  In this case the mayo based sauce provides a scalloped potato effect in the potatoes while keeping the chicken nice and juicy.

Makes for great leftovers 😀

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. 

Casserole:

-3 chicken thighs

-2 russett potatoes, peeled and sliced (1/8th” thick)

-1/2 white onion, roughly chopped

-1 tsp kosher sea salt

-1 tsp crushed black pepper

-2 garlic cloves, crushed and peeled

-2 whole sprigs thyme

-1 TB olive oil

Sauce:

-3 TB Mayonaisse

-1 TB thyme

-2 TB Worcestershire

-1 tsp liquid aminos

-1 tsp kosher salt

-1 tsp crushed black pepper

-3 TB olive oil

1. Peel and slice potatoes to about 1/8th of an inch. Sprinkle all chicken thighs with kosher salt and set aside. Pour 1 TB of olive oil on bottom of 9×13 casserole pan and spread to cover entire bottom. Chop onion roughly and crush garlic clove.

2. Line potatoes on entire bottom of pan, try to cover entire bottom. Place onions and garlic evenly around on top of potatoes.

3. In medium sized bowl put mayonaise, thyme, Worcestershire, salt, pepper and amino. Mix thoroughly. Once all mixed together pour olive oil slowly into mixture, whisk continuously as you pour olive oil. You’re finished once you have a thick-liquid consistency.

4. Place chicken thighs evenly on potatoes and onions in casserole dish. Pour entire bowl of mayo mixture over chicken and attempt to spread as evenly as possible.

5. Put fresh herbs around the outside of the chicken, between the chicken and the dish.

6. Put into oven for 50 minutes or until juices run clear from chicken. Once cooked let sit for 10 minutes for the juices to set.