Meal Kit Reviews: Home Chef’s Parisian Bistro Bone-In Chicken with dauphinoise potatoes and Vichy carrotsPosted: December 22, 2018 | Author: marga | Filed under: Meal Kits, Recipes | Tags: chicken, Home Chef | Leave a comment »
The key to making this dish of chicken with dauphinoise potatoes and Vichy carrots is to not overcook the chicken. Seriously. The plate I served first was great. The chicken skin was incredibly crispy (it’s nice to finally learn the secret of making crispy chicken!), the chicken itself was moist (I tend to prefer dark meat exactly because breasts are often too dry) and the sauce was just delicious. I only really got to eat my daughter’s leftovers, but I couldn’t help moaning while eating them.
I reserved the second serving for my husband, who was walking the dog while my very hungry daughter ate. I left the chicken breast in the oven (turned off and with the door open), where it dried up and I was reminded of why I hate white meat. My husband, who likes chicken breast, wasn’t impressed either. Once I ate his leftovers, I understood why. So, if you make this kit, make sure to not overcook the chicken and not leave it in the oven to remain warm.
I also really enjoyed the dauphinoise potatoes – and there were enough for the three of us plus leftovers -, but they didn’t keep well. The next day they lacked in flavor. But hey, you are not going to eat them the next day.
Finally, everyone enjoyed the carrots (I didn’t try them as I don’t like carrots).
All in all, this was a much better meal than you would expect. However, it was also more laborious than the other two I got that week, and it took far longer to prepare.
Now, for the secret of having super-crispy oven-baked chicken: first preheat oven to 400F. Then saute the chicken breasts on olive oil over medium-high heat for 2-3 minutes per side. Then place on a baking sheet and put in an oven for 24-28 minutes.
I got my first week of Home Chef at a discount, so I paid only about $8 for this meal. Regular price would be $20 – which is a better deal than other home meal kits.
Chicken Demi-Glace Sauce
- 2 tsp chicken-demi glace
- 1/3 cup water
- 1/2 large shallot, minced
On a saute pan, simmer ingredients together until the sauce thickens, 2-3 minutes. Serve.
Meal Kit Hacks: HelloFresh Oven-Baked Apricot Chicken Legs with Roasted Potato Wedges and Lemony BroccoliPosted: October 22, 2018 | Author: marga | Filed under: Meal Kits | Tags: chicken, Hello Fresh, meal kit hacks, potatoes | Leave a comment »
I was inspired to make this recipe for Oven-Baked Apricot Chicken Legs with Roasted Potato Wedges and Lemony Broccoli by actually seeing a similar Plated meal kit on Safeway delivery. While I’ve been cooking for many years, the idea of using jam as a glaze or sauce for meats is actually very new to me. I tried it recently in the HelloFresh Pork Chops with Cherry meal kit and I was both impressed and intrigued.
I figured I’d try the HelloFresh version in order to get a more thorough view at the offerings from this company before moving on to the next.
All in all, this meal was perfectly fine but not particularly exciting. I did use orange jam instead of apricot, as I prefer that flavor myself, but that’s the only change I made from the kit. The chicken was pretty good, it was perfectly cooked and moist and I liked the flavor of the skin. However, it was not spectacular – a home meal, rather than a restaurant quality one. The potatoes were good but not remarkable, and the lemony broccoli was not a great hit for the family. Still, they ate it. In all, it was a perfectly all right family meal which I don’t think I’d make again.
I made a bit more chicken and potatoes that the 2-person recipe called for so I’d have enough for 3 people (one doesn’t eat broccoli so I didn’t increase that amount). In all, I spent $18.50 out of pocket for this meal for three, instead of the $20-$24 this would have cost me from HelloFresh, though I saved a bit by not having to buy potatoes as I already had them at home.
|HelloFresh Ingredients||My Ingredients||Cost|
|32 oz chicken legs||3 lbs organic chicken thighs and drumsticks||$9|
|1 tsp paprika||1 tsp paprika||$1 for jar|
|24 oz Yukon Gold Potatoes||3 lbs Yukon Gold Potatoes||pantry|
|1 Tbsp fry seasoning*||1 Tbsp Homemade fry seasoning||pantry|
|1 lemon||1 lemon||$2.50 for bag of lemons|
|2 oz Apricot jam||4 oz orange jam||pantry|
|2 tsp Dijon mustard||4 tsp Dijon mustard||$5 for jar|
|16 oz broccoli florets||1 lb broccoli||$1|
|1 tsp chili flakes||forgot to use||pantry|
If you’d like to subscribe to HelloFresh use this link to save $40 off your first box, and I’ll get a $30 credit – which I probably won’t use as I’ll be unsubscribing form HelloFresh shortly to try a different company.
Foster Farms is the most ubiquitous brand of fresh(ish?) chicken in California. Go to a supermarket and your chicken choices tend to be Foster Farms, the store’s brand or some organic chicken brand you don’t know much about. As it turns out, many of those privately branded chickens also come from Foster Farms. This came to light this week when Foster Farms issued a recall for chicken that had been found to have salmonella. That chicken was sold in March, so it’s unlikely anyone has any left in their freezers.
The private brands that are really Foster Farms chicken (but often sold at lower prices) are:
- FoodMaxx (parts)
- Kroger (friers & parts)
- Safeway Eating Right (boneless chicken breasts & thighs)
- Safeway Farms (chicken parts)
- Savemart (drumsticks & thighs)
- Val Best
I was thinking of cooking Genoese cuisine as part of my International food project, but I finally decided to get to it when I do Liguria. However, I was in need of an easy recipe using boneless, skinless chicken thighs and this recipe for Chicken Genoa looked delicious. Of course, I don’t really know if it is from Genoa, and I did change it a bit (used thighs instead of breasts, sherry instead of wine and fresh mushrooms instead of canned ones), but the results were wonderful. As in seriously addictive, will crave it sort of wonderful.
Perhaps the best part about the dish is just how perfectly moist the chicken thighs are. I don’t think I’ve had better boneless thighs. So please, follow the cooking method to the letter.
It also microwaves wonderfully
- 1 Tbsp. butter
- 8 oz mushrooms, sliced
- 1/2 cup sherry or white wine
- 2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs
- 3/4 cup Italian bread crumbs
- 1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
- 2 eggs, beaten
- olive oil
- 8-12 oz Mozarella cheese, shredded
Preheat oven to 350F. Ready a 9″x 13″ glass baking dish or equivalent.
Melt the butter over medium-high heat in a frying pan. Add the mushrooms and cook, tossing, for a minute or two. Add the sherry, bring to a boil, and then reduce heat to medium. Cook until soft and wine is absorbed, stirring occasionally, around 5 minutes. Let cool
Meanwhile, remove any surplus fat from the chicken thighs. Mix the bread crumbs with the Parmesan cheese. Coat the chicken thighs with the egg and then with the bread crumbs.
Heat a thick layer of olive oil in a frying pan over high heat. Add the chicken thighs and brown on both sides, about a minute per side. You may need to do this in batches. Place the chicken thighs in the baking dish, careful to not overlap. Use more than one dish if necessary. Top with the mozarella cheese (use as much as you like), and then with the sauteed mushrooms.
Cook for 30 minutes.
This is another winner from Epicurious.com. It’s delicious beyond words and as easy a dinner as it gets – though you need close to 2 hours to get it ready. The recipe is pretty similar to a couple of others in my repertoire, but this one took less work. It apparently originates in the Abruzzo region of Italy, though clearly there are variations of the same dish in other regions.
I adapted the recipe from the original substituting bacon for the prosciutto. Use less bacon, turkey bacon or ham to make it healthier. I also made a mistake and added additional whole garlic cloves rather than the cloves it asked for. I’m glad I did, as I don’t think cloves would have added much to the dish, while garlic certainly did.
Making it a day in advance pays, the leftovers were to die for.
- 1/4 cup Kosher or coarse salt
- 4 to 5 lbs chicken pieces
- 1 large garlic clove, sliced lengthwise
- 9 whole garlic cloves, peeled
- 3 sage leaves, whole
- 3 bay leaves
- 3 sprigs rosemary, whole
- 1 dried red pepper, seeded
- 18 peppercorns, crushed
- 6 oz meaty bacon, chopped
- 3/4 cup white wine
Wings Fiesta is a local chain which serves, well, chicken wings. They also have ribs, chicken tenders and fries, but their emphasis is on wings. We went to the one on West Juana in downtown San Leandro. They’d left a menu with “buy one, get one free coupons” and I figured that made it worth a try. It was worth a try, but not really a repeat visit.
Wing Fiesta serves both “jumbo wings,” regular fried or baked bone-in wings, and “boneless wings”. You can chose from a variety of sauces to accompany them. The regular wings ($5 for 6) were pretty good, they had a crispy breading and were well seasoned. The boneless wings ($4 for 7), however, were horrible – they tasted like frozen/microwaved chicken pieces. It was hard to eat them, even with the sauce. We tried the teriyaki and honey BBQ sauces, and they tasted pretty generic.
We didn’t try any of the sides, I asked if we could get a french fry to see if we liked them but they wouldn’t even give us one. That wasn’t the only problem with the service, it was incredibly slow – I think it must have taken over half an hour to get our very simple order. That said, all the staff are young and new so that may improve.
The one thing that might make it worth a visit is their $1 beers (with food purchase). I’m not a big beer drinker, but for those who are, you can’t get a better deal in town.
160 W. Juana Ave.
San Leandro, Ca
M-F 5-11 PM
Sa-Su 11 AM – 11 PM
This is fairly easy recipe that I chose because I have TONS of fresh rosemary & sage growing next to my house (though nothing else). It was quite good and Mika proclaimed it very loudly to be the BEST CHICKEN EVER. I thought it was good, not amazing, but I’ll defer to her opinion 🙂 The recipe, as usual, comes from epicurious.com
Roast Chicken with Mustard Vinaigrette
- For the vinaigrette
- 2 Tbsp. cider vinegar
- 2 tsp. Dijon mustard
- 1/4 tsp. sugar
- 1/4 tsp. salt or more
- 1/2 cup olive oil
For the chicken
- 1 5-6 lb chicken
- salt & pepper to taste
- 1/2 onion
- 2 fresh rosemary springs
- 2 fresh sage sprigs
- 1 Tbsp. fresh rosemary, chopped
- 1 Tbsp. fresh sage, chopped
Make the marinade by whisking together the vinegar, mustard, sugar and salt. Slowly add the oil, whisking constantly, until it emulsifies. Season with additional salt & pepper if needed. Set aside.
Preheat oven to 450°F.
Pat the chicken dry. Season the cavity with salt and pepper. Place the shallot and rosemary & sage spring inside the cavity.
Loosen the skin on top of the breast and thighs and spread 2 Tbsp. of the vinaigrette under the skin. Tie the legs of the chicken together and tuck the wings under its body. Place chicken in a roasting pan. Brush 2 Tbsp. vinaigrette over the chicken and sprinkle with chopped rosemary and sage. Season with salt and pepper.
Pat chicken dry. Season cavity with salt and pepper. Place shallot, 2 rosemary sprigs and 2 sage sprigs in cavity. Slide hand between chicken skin and meat over breast to form pockets. Spread 2 tablespoons vinaigrette under skin over breast meat. Tie legs together to hold shape; tuck wings under body. Place chicken in roasting pan. Brush 2 tablespoons vinaigrette over chicken. Sprinkle with chopped rosemary and sage. Season with salt and pepper.
Cook for 20 minutes, then reduce oven temperature to 375°F. Cook until the chicken achieves an internal temperature of 165°F and the juices run clear, about 1 h our. Remove and let rest for 15 minutes before serving. Serve with remaining vinaigrette.
It’s unlikely you’ll find anything if you look for “Hart Authentic Orange Chicken” online – at least I didn’t find anything when I looked. It seems that this frozen entree is made by Hart Food Products from Lakewood, CA. I bought it at Grocery Outlet, and I imagine they are their only distributor. Actually, given Hart’s pathetic website, it’s difficult to believe they are any sort of serious company. Which really tells you something about where Grocery Outlet sources its products. And indeed, orange chicken seems to be one of only three or four products Hart offers .
Anyway, I was in Grocery Outlet yesterday and thought I’d take a look at the frozen stuff they had, as I’ve been feeling less and less like cooking lately. This orange chicken product didn’t seem too bad – at least in comparison to the brand-name frozen food products. Yeah, it has a lot of salt, corn syrup and a myriad of preservatives, but so do all the brand name products. At least it had chicken as its main ingredient 🙂
It’s not obvious from the picture in the package, but this is really popcorn chicken – which is annoying as that means it has much more breading than you would like. It’s uncooked so you need to bake it for 20 minutes, pan fry it for 10 to 15 minutes, or deep fry it for 6 minutes. Then you mix it with the orange sauce which comes in 3 packages. You can’t microwave it.
As for the taste, it met our very low expectations. Mike found it too bland, while I thought the chicken had a subtle “off” flavor. The sauce was OK, somewhat orangy and not too sweet.
I’m unlikely to buy it again.
** UPDATE July 2012**
The owner of Hart Chicken e-mailed me a few weeks ago and told me they’d made changes to their product and to give it another try. I was reluctant, because one of the changes involved getting a different supplier of chicken pieces that produced more uniform – but smaller – pieces. I figured one of the major problems was the size of the pieces, so this wouldn’t help. But I figured I would give the product another try (though it would have been nice if he’d sent me a coupon rather than I having to buy it myself) and I was happier than the time before.
The pieces are still small (they need to be in order to be ready within a reasonably period of time, given that they are not pre-cooked), but this time I went into the meal experience thinking of it as popcorn chicken. So I wasn’t disappointed by their size.
I also used much less oil than the instructions called for, which you can do if you stir fry the chicken.
The sauce was supposed to have an improved flavor, and I think it did. It was just the right amount to coat all the chicken – though a bit more would have been welcomed for any rice or veggies you might want to throw in. I did note this time that the sauce takes on a full 10 oz of the 32 oz of the package, which is quite a lot.
Anyway, Hart Orange Chicken is still not for me, though as you can see below it has many lovers (and haters).
I wouldn’t say I’m the biggest fan of Gordon Ramsay’s (I’d probably have to eat in his restaurants to really appreciate him), but I do like watching Kitchen Nightmares from time to time – even though the program is all in all pretty repetitive.
Anyway, I saw Ramsay’s cookbook (Gordon Ramsay’s Fast Food) at the library and thought I’d give it a try. During the week, I do need recipes that can be done rather quickly. Plus I wanted to see if he’s as good as he believes.
One thing I can say, is that his book reflects his personality, at least as seen on TV. The book is completely frantic, going from one topic to another apparently randomly. Instead of having the recipes organized by ingredient, they are intercepted by recipes from different cuisines or courses. A chapter on working lunches, for example, is followed by one on Mexican flavors. The book is also very colorful and has pretty pictures of all the included dishes. The recipes are relatively simple, though not necessarily cheap.
The first dish I tried was his Pasta with pancetta, leek & mushrooms. Rather than spend $ on pancetta, I used bacon. I did use creme fraiche, which was a waste of money (I bought it at Safeway, it’s half as cheap at Trader Joe’s). I can’t imagine it made too much of a difference. In any case, I was not impressed. The dish was quite bland. It’d have been much better (but much more caloric) with twice the amount of bacon. I did add a lot of Parmesan cheese, and that helped – but then again, pasta with Parmesan cheese by itself is pretty good. I would not make this dish again. You can find my adaptation of the recipe below.
The second dish was Baked pork chops with a piquant sauce, a recipe which you can also find online. I followed this one pretty closely as well, though I used a different type of mushrooms and used dried thyme instead of fresh (because I couldn’t find fresh thyme last time I went to Safeway). My one big mistake was misreading “1 Tbsp” sugar for “1 tsp” sugar – so the resulting sauce was a tad too sweet. Mike liked the overall dish, but I wasn’t too impressed yet again. It just seemed like an average dish, not bad, not great. I probably wouldn’t make it again either. My version of the recipe (with the correct amount of sugar) is below as well.
BTW, IMHO, the recipe produces too much sauce for the pork chops, I’d either reduce it by a third or use it with 6 pork chops. I served them with buttermilk mashed potatoes and steamed broccoli.
Finally, I made Sticky Lemon Chicken, another recipe easily found online. Indeed, it seems that you can find many of his recipes online, so it may not be worth it to buy his cookbook at all (it’s pretty sad that he has to recycle old recipes into a new book, rather than coming up with new ones). In any case, even though I skipped the fresh thyme and parsley listed in the original recipe, the results were quite good. I should say that the recipe calls for 1 large chicken cut into pieces – there is no suggestion that the chicken should be boneless. HOWEVER, as I suspected, my bone-in chicken parts did not cook in the 15 minutes it takes for the sauce to cook. I’d suggest that you either use boneless chicken for this recipe, or be prepared to cook the chicken for at least half an hour. I’d also suggest that you cover the dish while cooking. My suggestions are incorporated into the recipe below.
When l originally wrote this posting, I forgot dessert! Indeed, I made one of the desserts from the book, the Banana mousse with butterscotch ripple, it was very easy, quite good and extremely caloric. Still, it’s definitely the sort of dessert you can whip up when you really, really, really want something sweet to finish a meal – and happen to have both bananas and whipping cream handy. I did like how easy it was to make the butterscotch. This was my second adventure in candy making (the first being toffee).
- 10 oz dried penne
- 2 Tbsp. olive oil
- 6 slices of bacon, chopped
- 1 large leek, finely sliced
- 8 oz button mushrooms, sliced
- salt & pepper
- 2 Tbsp. creme fraiche
- 1 bunch Italian parsley, chopped
- Parmesan cheese
Boil the penne in salted water until al dente.
Meanwhile, heat the olive oil to medium-high in a large skillet. Add the bacon and cook until golden brown. Add the leek and mushrooms; season with salt & pepper. Cook over high heat until the leeks are tender, about 6-8 minutes, stirring frequently.
Drain the pasta and immediately mix with the leek/mushroom mixture and the creme fraiche. Season again with salt & pepper. Sprinkle with the parsley and mix. Serve with Parmesan cheese.
- olive oil
- 4 pork chops
- sea salt & pepper
- 1 tsp. thyme
- 3 rosemary sprigs (leaves only)
- 1/2 head of garlic, separated into cloves but left unpeeled
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
- 1 red Jalapeño, seeded and chopped
- 8oz white button mushrooms, sliced
- 14 oz can diced tomatoes
- 1 tsp. sugar
Preheat the oven to 400F. Lightly oil a baking sheet large enough to accommodate the pork chops.
Sprinkle salt and pepper on both sides of the pork chops. Place in the baking sheet and sprinkle with thyme. Put the rosemary leaves and unpeeled garlic cloves on top of the pork chops. Drizzle with olive oil. Put in the oven and cook until done 20-30 minutes.
Meanwhile, prepare the sauce. Heat 3 Tbsp. olive oil in a large saucepan and add the onion, red pepper, jalapeño and mushrooms. Cook until softened, about 6 minutes. Add the diced tomatoes and mix well. Season with salt and pepper and add sugar, mix. Bring to a boil and then simmer for 10-12 minutes, until the onions are tender and the sauce has thickened.
Once the pork chops are ready, let them rest for 5 minutes. Plate them, pour any liquid remaining in the baking sheet onto the sauce, and mix well. Spoon the sauce onto the pork chops and serve.
- 5 lb bone-in chicken pieces (or equivalent boneless chicken)
- sea salt & black pepper
- 3 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1 head of garlic, halved horizontally
- 1 tsp. dried thyme
- 2 Tbsp. sherry vinegar
- 2 Tbsp. soy sauce
- 3 Tbsp. honey
- 1/4 cup hot water
- 1 lemon, finely sliced
Salt and pepper the chicken. Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and garlic and sprinkle with thyme. Brown the chicken on both sides.
Add the sherry vinegar and boil until reduced by half. Add the soy sauce and honey and shake the pan to mix. Add the hot water and lemon slices. Mix well. If using bone-in chicken, cover the pan and cook until the chicken is almost done (half an hour or so). Then uncover and boil the liquid until syrupy. If using boneless chicken, cook uncovered until the chicken is done and the liquid is syrupy, around 10 minutes, turning once.
- 4 large ripe bananas
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 3 Tbsp unsalted butter
- 2 1/4 cups whipping cream
- squeeze of lemon juice
- 1 oz semisweet chocolate
Place the bananas in the freezer for 1-2 hours, if possible. When they are ready, peel and chop them.
Meanwhile, make the butterscoth sauce by putting the sugar, butter and 2/3 cup of whipping cream in a small heavy pot and cooking it over medium heat until the sugar is dissolved and the butter is melted, stirring constantly. Let it bubble for a couple of minutes, still stirring, and then remove from the heat and let the sauce cool down completely.
Put the bananas, the lemon juice and the remaining whipping cream in a blender bowl. Blend until smooth and creamy.
To assemble, spoon some butterscotch along the sides of 4 glasses or serving bowls. Pour in the banana mousse and top with some more butterscotch. Grate some chocolate on top of each bowl and serve.
I’ve made this recipe for chicken marsala 3 or 4 times now, and I still can’t believe how incredibly delicious it is. It’s probably the best thing I’ve made. I have the link to the recipe at epicurious in another posting, but I’ve decided to post it here as well and link it from my favorite recipes page.
Today I forgot to salt the chicken – but the sauce was so rich in flavor that it didn’t really need it. I also accidentally added a half a cup of white wine, but that only meant I had to boil it a bit longer. I used dried sage, which I hadn’t used before, and I think it probably made it even better.
Here is the recipe as I made it:
1 small shallot, finely chopped
5 Tbsp. unsalted butter
8 oz sliced mushrooms
a dash of dried sage
a dash of black pepper
1/4 tsp. salt
2 lbs skinless, boneless chicken thighs or breasts
2 Tbsp. olive oil
3/4 cup of water
1 3/4 tsp. Better than Bullion chicken base
1/2 cup white wine
1/2 cup plus 2 Tbsp. Marsala wine
2/3 cup heavy cream
1 tsp. lemon juice
Melt 3 Tbsp. butter in a large skillet and add shallot. Cook over moderate heat until golden, about 1 minute. Add sliced mushrooms, salt and pepper. Cook until mushrooms are golden and the liquid has evaporated, 6-8 minutes. Remove from heat.
Turn oven to 200F
Put flour in a shallow bowl. Put chicken between 2 sheets of plastic wrap and pound until about 1/4″ thick. Dredge in flour. Set aside.
Heat 1 Tbsp. butter and 1 Tbsp. oil in a large heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Sautee first batch of chicken on both sides until golden and cooked through, about 3 minutes per side for chicken thighs. Place the chicken in a shallow pan in the oven. Dry the skillet with paper towels and add another Tbsp. of oil and butter. Melt and sautee the rest of the chicken. Put it in the oven.
Deglace the pan with the white wine. Add marsala wine, bring to a boil and cook for 30 seconds. Add water, chicken base, cream and mushrooms – boil, stirring occasionally, until the sauce is slightly thickened, around 10 minutes. Add lemon juice, 2 Tbsp. wine and a sprinkle of dried sage.
Serve sauce over chicken.