Swap your beer can for a Bundt pan for an easy, tasty meal!
One day while attempting to reorganize my kitchen cupboards, I discovered that I had 5 different tube pans. Some with straight sides (great for angel food cake); some with fluted sides (for Bundt cake). This discovery got me to thinking….”what else could I do with a tube pan?” My very next thought was, “hey, why don’t I use one of these to roast a chicken?” These metal baking pans with central cones make for a much easier and more successful twist on the popular “beer can” chicken roasting method. The first big benefit? You don’t need to wrassle that hot bird off a can filled with scalding liquid when it’s time to serve it up. The second huge bonus? The vegetables in the bottom of the pan happily roast away, basted automatically by the chicken’s delicious juices. At our house, we call it Sunday Chicken after the scrumptious roasted delights we’ve enjoyed at Parisian farmers’ markets; if you like, you can simply call it Better than Beer Can Chicken.
- 3 cloves garlic, halved lengthwise
- 1 large carrot, chopped into one inch pieces
- 1 onion, chopped into one inch pieces
- 1/2 pound (225 g) small potatoes, chopped into one inch pieces
- 1/2 medium zucchini, chopped into one inch pieces
- extra-virgin olive oil
- salt and pepper
- few sprigs fresh thyme
- 1 three to four pound (1.4 – 1.8 kg) roasting chicken
- Salt and pepper
- 1/2 lemon
- 1/4 cup (60 mL) chicken broth
- Remove your oven’s middle rack (and upper, if you have three racks) and preheat oven to 425F.
- Cover the central hole of the Bundt or tube pan with heavy duty foil.
- Drizzle a little olive oil in the bottom of the pan and use a pastry brush or your fingertips to spread it around.
- Scatter the vegetables into the Bundt pan, then drizzle with a little more olive oil and season with salt and pepper. With a spoon or your fingers, toss the vegetables to coat evenly with oil, then scatter several sprigs of fresh thyme on top of the vegetables.
- Rinse chicken, removing gizzards and/or neck from the cavity. Pat chicken dry with paper towels. Rub olive oil all over the skin of the chicken, then season generously with salt and pepper plus dried or fresh thyme leaves. Put the lemon half and a few sprigs of thyme inside the chicken’s cavity then place the chicken over the ‘post’ or covered hole of the Bundt pan.
- Put pan in preheated oven and after 30 minutes, drizzle the chicken stock over the vegetables.
- Bake until the chicken is cooked through (165F in the thickest part of the breast) and skin is golden, about 1 to 1 ½ hours, depending upon the size of the chicken. Remove from oven and let rest for 10 minutes before carving.
- Remove roasted vegetables to a serving platter and pour pan juices into a jug to pass at the table. Slice chicken and serve.
Posted in Chicken, dinner
Tagged beer can chicken, best ever roast chicken, better than beer can chicken, Bundt pan chicken, carrots, chicken, chicken and gravy, how to roast a chicken on a tube pan, onions, Paula Roy, potatoes, roast chicken, roast vegetables, tube pan chicken, zucchini
Thyme adds a tasty twist to a classic favourite
I adore all things lemon and this speedy sweet bread is one of my go-to recipes. The addition of fresh thyme leaves makes this loaf extra-special, providing a nice pop of flavour, particularly in the sweet glaze on top. Easy enough for a weekend brunch, this loaf is so delicious you could also serve it at a fancier event like a tea party or bridal shower. It’s great for gifting too!
- 3/4 cup (185 mL) salted butter, softened
- 1 cup (250 mL) white sugar
- zest of 1 lemon
- 2 tablespoons (30 mL) freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon (15 mL) finely chopped fresh thyme leaves
- 2 large eggs
- 2 tablespoons (30 mL) sour cream
- 1 3/4 cups (415 mL) flour
- 1 teaspoon (5 mL) baking powder
- 1/4 cup (60 mL) white sugar
- zest of 1 lemon
- 1/4 cup (60 mL) fresh lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons (10 mL) fresh thyme leaves
- 3 tablespoons (45 mL) water
- Preheat oven to 350F. Line an 8 x 4 inch (20 x 10 cm) loaf pan with parchment paper and set aside.
- Make the batter using a stand or electric hand mixer. In a large bowl beat together the butter, sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice and thyme until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time and blend thoroughly. Add sour cream and blend in.
- Sift together the flour and baking powder. Add in, half at a time, to the butter mixture and blend in. Spoon into the loaf pan, smoothing the top with the back of the spoon or your dampened fingertips.
- Bake for 50 – 60 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean.
- While loaf bakes, prepare the glaze. Put sugar, zest, lemon juice, thyme and water into a small saucepan. Bring to a boil then reduce heat so it simmers and reduce by half (about 6 – 8 minutes). Strain the hot syrup into a jug or glass measure to make it easier to drizzle.
- As soon as you remove the baked loaf from the oven, poke holes all over the top with a toothpick then pour the warm syrup slowly and evenly over the top. Press a few small sprigs of thyme into the top of the loaf; as the glaze cools, the thyme will adhere.
- Let cool for 20 minutes then lift out of the pan by the edges of the parchment paper and cool completely on a wire rack before slicing and serving.
- Well-wrapped, the loaf keeps for 3 days at room temperature or 3 months in the freezer.
Makes one loaf.
Posted in baking
Tagged baby shower food, baking, food for bridal shower, glazed lemon loaf, lemon, lemon loaf, loaf, Paula Roy, quick bread, sweet, thyme, treat
Pretty, portable and tasty treats!
I love it when I serve a dessert that delights people with its visual appeal and its taste. When I told recent dinner guests we were having apple pie for dessert, I’m quite certain they did not expect it to arrive at the table in this form. Perhaps they thought I was going to offer them these apple-cheddar biscuits that taste like pie, but I had another trick up my sleeve. These are fun to make and eat; I think they could be ideal for a summery picnic or potluck meal. Delicious on their own, they are even more delightful served with a scoop of ice cream.
- 2 large or 3 medium-sized apples
- 1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed but still cold
- 3 tablespoons (45 mL) white sugar
- 2 teaspoons (10 mL) ground cinnamon
- Preheat oven to 400F. Line a large baking tray with parchment paper and set aside.
- Wash apples and slice crosswise into 1/4 inch (6 cm) thick slices.
- With a one inch (2.5 cm) round cookie cutter or a sharp knife, remove core, making a circular hole in the centre of each slice. Don’t worry if the apple slice splits – you can still use it. Set cored apple slices aside.
- Combine cinnamon and sugar in a bowl big enough to hold the largest apple slice. Set aside.
- Roll lightly floured puff pastry out between two sheets of parchment paper to form a rectangle approximately 10 x 16 inches (24 x 40 cm).
- With a sharp knife, cut the puff pastry lengthwise into 1/2 inch wide strips – you should get approximately 18 – 20 strips.
- One at a time, dip both sides of an apple slice in the cinnamon and sugar mixture.
- Poke the end of one puff pastry strip through the centre of one apple ring. Gently wrap the pastry around the apple (going through the centre hole each time, leaving gaps between the wraps. Place wrapped apple rings on the parchment-lined baking sheet.
- Bake for 22- 25 minutes, until pastry has puffed and turned golden brown.
- Serve warm or at room temperature.
Makes 18 – 20 rings depending upon the size of apples.
Posted in Dessert, Fruit
Tagged apple, apple pie, apples, different way to make apple pie, fun dessert, ice cream, Paula Roy, picnic dessert, pie, potluck dessert, puff pastry
Show Mom you care with a delicious feast!
Truth be told, most Moms do NOT want to be served breakfast in bed on Mother’s Day. I can state from experience that it’s more than a little nerve wracking to be told one must stay in bed later than one would prefer, forced to listen to an array of mysterious, possibly messy and/or destructive, sounds coming from the kitchen. Then there’s the panic induced by the sound of young (or older) children trying valiantly to carry trays of food and drink up the stairs to their awaiting mother. It’s a sweet idea but honestly, let Mom do Mom (tea and reading for me, please) for the first hour or two of the day and then treat her to a scrumptious, lovingly-prepared brunch instead. I’ve got a few ideas for you below; search on ‘breakfast’ or ‘brunch’ on this blog and you’ll find loads more recipes that are sure to tickle Mom’s tastebuds. One more tip: be sure to leave the kitchen spotless after brunch is over – that is a gift that never goes unappreciated.
Here’s your tempting Brunch menu; click on the titles to view each recipe:
Posted in Breakfast, brunch
Tagged bacon, breakfast, breakfast in bed, brunch, brunch roundup, brunch salad, eggs, festive, frittata, fruit, gingerbread, melon, Mother's Day, Paula Roy, popovers, salad, smoked salmon, strawberries, vegetarian, waffles, what to serve for brunch, what to serve for Mother's Day
Entertain with ease thanks to this tasty make-ahead treat!
Have you ever played the hypothetical “deserted island food” game? In a nutshell, you identify one (or several) foods that you would be quite content to eat every day for the rest of your life, should you become stranded on a deserted island and have to rely on a limited selection of food. I’ve always maintained that my deserted island foods would be baguette, smoked salmon and salad. I think I’m ready to modify that list just a little, and substitute this smoked salmon spread instead. It’s so easy, so delicious and best of all, you can make it up to 48 hours before serving. It’s a huge hit whenever I offer it to friends and family, often leaving me wishing I’d made a double batch so I could enjoy a more substantial portion. I’ve served this at cocktail parties, book clubs and family brunches and there are never any leftovers. I guess that’s the highest praise a cook can hope for.
- 4 oz (120 g) package of smoked salmon, thawed
- 2 tablespoons (30 mL) butter, softened
- 2 tablespoons (30 mL) cream cheese, softened
- 1/4 cup (60 mL) finely chopped green onions or chives
- 1 tablespoon (30 mL) freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon (5 mL) Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon (15 mL) heavy (35%) cream
- Few grinds fresh black pepper
- Garnish: sprigs of fresh dill
- Pulse all ingredients except dill together in a food processor until thoroughly blended.
- Transfer to a serving dish; cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least one hour to allow butter and cream cheese to firm up and help the mixture solidify a little.
- To serve, garnish with dill. It’s delicious spread on sliced baguette, crostini or sturdy crackers.
Makes approximately 2 cups (500 mL) of spread.
Posted in appetizer, brunch, festive, fish
Tagged cream cheese based spread, delicious, dip, fish spread, make-ahead, Mother's Day, nutritious, Paula Roy, savoury spread, smoked salmon, smoked salmon dip, smoked salmon pate, smoked salmon spread, what to serve for brunch
Feliz Cinco de Mayo, amigos!
May 5 is a holiday celebrated in parts of Mexico and the United States in honour of a military victory in 1862 over the French forces of Napoleon III. Here’s a roundup of tasty treats perfect for your Cinco de Mayo party – click on the titles below to link to the recipes.
All are quite fast to make and can easily be scaled up to suit whatever size of gathering you’re planning. They’re all terrific for summertime entertaining, at home or at the cottage!