Wednesday, July 16, 2008

What's for dinner?

Last night I made dinner for our good friends and neighbors since the hubby decided it was in his best interests to get his inflamed appendix out. For some reason, I always feel compelled to try out new recipes when I'm cooking for other people. Sometimes it comes out really well (like last night), and sometimes not so much. Murphy always hangs around my kitchen and it seems like at least one element of the dinner has to flop - last night it was my fool proof rolls. Oh well. The rest of it was really tasty, so I'm going to share my recipe finds with you.

The main dish was Spicy Honey Chicken, courtesy of Sara and Kate at The Daily Bite (please note that they've changed their address due to some crabby copyright laws - update your bookmarks accordingly). I actually purchased boneless skinless chicken thighs for the first time in my life for this recipe. Raw meat grosses me out, so I typically stick with the frozen pucks of chicken breast that don't resemble the actual bird. I was pleasantly surprised at how forgiving thighs are to barbecue. One of my big stresses in barbecuing chicken breasts is getting them cooked but not overcooked. Seems like the thin part of the breast is always dry and the thick part is still pink. The thighs cooked through nicely and were juicy and moist with a nicely caramelized exterior. Very worth the purchase, and I'm grateful to the fine fellas in the Harmon's butcher shop that took care of all the messy business for me. I cooked up 12 pieces of meat thinking mistakenly that I'd have leftovers to use later this week, but alas, they all got gobbled up. Ethan commented that it was a little "hot" for him, so I should probably go even easier on the cayenne next time I make it just for the kids' sake, but I thought it was just right.

Here's the recipe for you:

Spicy Honey Chicken

2 t Garlic Powder
2 t Chili Powder
1 t Salt
1 t Ground Cumin
1 t paprika
1/4-1/2 t Cayenne pepper (depending on how hot you like it)
8 boneless skinless chicken thighs

*Just a quick note about the chicken. Even though I told you to use thighs, and it tastes better with thighs, I know some of you will ignore my advice and make it with breasts anyway because you’re afraid of chicken thighs. If you must, for best results pound the breasts thin, or butterfly them. Also you may want to drizzle with a bit of olive oil just before grilling. But seriously peeps, try the thighs.

6 T Honey
2 t Cider Vinegar

Combine first 6 ingredients (all the spices) in bowl and mix well. Use kitchen shears (or a pair of clean scissors) to trim off any excess fat from the chicken pieces. Toss chicken with spice rub to coat all sides well. Brush grill surface lightly with oil. Grill chicken a few minutes on each side, until cooked through.

Combine Honey and Vinegar in a small bowl, stirring well until combined. Brush mixture on chicken (both sides) in the final moments of grilling. Now because the glaze is sugar-based, you’ll want to turn the heat down so it doesn’t burn, but let it cook for a few minutes to caramelize.

If you don’t have a bbq, or just want to make it inside, cook it under the broiler and follow the same directions.


What goes with chicken? Potatoes! Leigh Ann pointed me to this recipe on Pioneer Woman Cooks. I've bopped over to that site before, and found that she has some fabulous recipes. However, I get bogged down in her 30 photographs per recipe. My internet connection can't hack it. And it's difficult to sift all the way through it to get the actual recipe. Oh well. In any case, I haven't gotten over there on my own for a while, but when I saw Leigh Ann's posting about Crash Hot Potatoes, I just had to try them. I'm a total sucker for crispy tasty tidbits. These were fabulous! Even my I-only-like-my-potatoes-as-chips-or-fries boy liked them.

Crash Hot Potatoes

Baby new potatoes
Olive oil
Kosher salt
Freshly ground pepper
Minced fresh rosemary

Boil as many potatoes as you want in salted water until they are fork tender. I found that I could fit 20 golf ball sized potatoes on one baking sheet. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 450 degrees and drizzle a generous amount of olive oil on a jelly roll pan (I brushed mine around with a pastry brush to make sure I wouldn't have any sticking spuds). Drain the potatoes and space them evenly on the pan. Use a potato masher to crush each potato. It doesn't have to be super flat. The more texture the better. I just did one mash, and left them about 1/2-3/4" thick. Brush olive oil over the top surface of each potato (again, be generous), and sprinkle with salt, pepper and rosemary. Bake for 20-25 minutes until they are crispy and golden brown around the edges. These are so awesome you'll find yourself snitching them right off the pan!

My kids' very favorite side dish is super simple. When they see me putting it together, I get to hear all sorts of compliments on my wonderful cooking and how much they love me. Therefore, I make it often.

Ethan and Rachel's Favorite Fruit Salad

6-7 cups cut up fresh fruit. Our favorite combination is pineapple, bananas, oranges, nectarines, mangos, strawberries and blueberries.
1 carton Yoplait vanilla yogurt

Toss it in a bowl and stir it all together. Yep, it's that simple.


Leigh Anne said...

Glad you enjoyed the Crash Hot Potatoes as much as we did. I am also an "I only like my potatoes as
chips or fries girl" and I really liked them too. Being married to an Idaho boy - not liking potatoes is a little bit of an issue :)
Leigh Anne at

Rebecca said...

Found your blog via Leigh Anne's...and I have to second your note about using chicken thighs. My kids love drumsticks, so when we use my husband's family's BBQ chicken recipe (it's an oil/vinegar based marinade) we use thighs and drumsticks...that's it. I've never tried tenderizing chicken breasts with the recipe, but the couple times we've used breasts they turn out drier than the thighs.