Set a large skillet over medium heat and add the sausage. Cook until browned and cooked through, 7 to 9 minutes. Remove the sausage with a slotted spoon and drain on a paper towel lined plate. Without cleaning the skillet, add the apples, onion and sage and cook until the onion has softened, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and set aside.
Mix together the eggs, milk and half-and-half in a large pitcher or bowl. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.
Grease a large casserole dish with some butter. Layer in half the English muffins, half the sausage, half the apple/onion mixture and half the cheese. Repeat with the other half of the same ingredients, ending with the cheese. Slowly pour the egg mixture all over the top. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
Remove the pan from the fridge 20 to 30 minutes before baking. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Replace the plastic wrap on top of the casserole with aluminum foil. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, then remove the foil and continue to bake until the top is golden brown and slightly crisp, 10 to 15 minutes more.
Sprinkle with the chopped parsley. Serve warm and enjoy.
An orange bell pepper-carved and ready for Halloween-becomes an edible bowl of creamy macaroni and cheese.
Bring a large pot of generously salted water to a boil. Fill a large bowl with ice water.
Cut the tops off the peppers and reserve. Remove the seeds and membranes. Put the peppers and the tops in the boiling water and cook until just tender, 2 to 3 minutes. Plunge the peppers into the ice bath. Once cool, remove them and use a sharp knife to carve a jack-o-lantern face into one side of each pepper.
Return the water to a boil, add the macaroni and cook until al dente, about 6 minutes. Reserve 1 cup of the pasta water and drain (don’t rinse the pasta).
Heat the half-and-half in a large saucepan over medium heat until it just comes to a simmer. Continue simmering until reduced to about 3/4 cup, about 10 minutes. Add the cream cheese and stir until melted. Whisk in the Cheddar until all the cheese is melted and the sauce is smooth.
Off the heat, add the macaroni to the saucepan and stir to combine. Stir in some of the reserved pasta water to thin the sauce if needed. Season with salt if needed. Let sit for 10 minutes, then divide the mac and cheese among the peppers and cap each with a pepper top.
Crispy Braised Chicken Thighs with Artichokes, Leeks and Tarragon cooked over baby potatoes. A simple spring dinner to highlight the season’s bounty.
This braised chicken recipe sings of Spring with fresh artichoke hearts, tarragon and leeks. The star of this dish is easily fresh artichokes- and it’s best to save this recipe until they are in season and in abundance. Not only will they be less expensive, they will be at their peak of flavor.
Pieces of chicken thighs are simply seasoned with kosher salt and pepper and seared in a skillet. In the same pan, fresh artichoke hearts are sauteed with leeks and baby potatoes, then de-glazed with vermouth (or white wine) and chicken stock. Fresh tarragon leaves and lemon zest are added along with a tiny little bit of cream. The chicken thighs are nestled down in this lovely spring goodness, and it all goes in the oven for a bit. When it comes out, the chicken is juicy and crispy, and the artichokes flavorful and tender. A delicious one-pot meal.
We’ve had a unusually warm Spring here and our city is exploding with blossoms.
Mothers day came and went, and the dogwood we planted (for my mother) burst out in white, shouting, I’m still here. The Lilies of the Valley returned quietly, laden with tiny white bells, unbelievably fragrant.
I’ve been thinking about flowers lately. How quickly they bloom… and then go – their sole purpose being opening,
becoming fully what they are, no matter how temporary.
Last evening, while walking through the lilac grove, smelling each one, I thought to myself (a little morbidly) that I probably only have forty more springs to experience all this loveliness, if I’m lucky. And suddenly all the blossoms and all the flower smells in the night air…seemed so much more important.
This morning, as I study at the sleepy blossoms outside my window, I wonder, will I ever fully open? Some things just can’t be forced. We are, what we are when we are. But today at least, I feel somewhat willing.
Through the years, I’ve been a witness to this in others- the gradual opening of those close to me. Watching them become more and more of who they are. It is a beautiful thing to behold. It moves me.
Prepare a bowl of cold water with lemon juice. This will keep the artichoke hearts from browning. Working quickly, one artichoke at a time, snap off the tough outer petals. I like to save mine for the next day, in a zip lock bag. These can be blanched, marinated and then grilled for a tasty side or appetizer. Here is a marinade for grilled artichokes that I use repeatedly with good success.
Once the tough green petals are snapped off, you will see silky yellow petals which must come off too. Just pull them off with your fingers. Remember to work quickly to prevent browning.
Finally, you will get to the fine thread-like filaments. These are inedible, even when cooked, so using a spoon, firmly and gently pry them off.
If you get the edge of your spoon, in just the right spot, they will come off easily.
Once these are off, using a sharp paring knife, quickly trim the artichoke edges and stem- removing the tough skin of the stem and the bottom 1/2 inch or so. Immediately immerse in a bowl of cold lemon water, to help prevent browning.
You can cut a whole chicken into pieces, or use chicken thighs. Pat dry, sprinkle with kosher salt and pepper and sear in a hot skillet. I usually cook the bottom side longer than the tops, because the tops will brown in the oven, and you don’t want them overly brown. Once seared, set them aside.
After draining off some of the chicken fat, in the same pan, you will saute the leeks, artichokes and potatoes with a little butter.
For this dish, I use tiny baby potatoes, just cut in half. Whatever potatoes you use, make sure they are cut to about a 1/2 inch thick, so they cook to the proper done-ness.
When ready to saute the artichokes, pull them out of the lemon water and slice them to 1/4 inch thick.
Sometimes I’ll throw in some pearl onions. Mushrooms would taste good too. Or fresh English peas. Or caramelized fennel bulb. Make it your own.
This recipe calls for a 1/4 cup of fresh tarragon, which to me, pairs really well with artichoke hearts. But, if you are not a fan of tarragon, fresh sage is a really good alternative.
Once the artichokes, leeks and potatoes are just tender, after about 10 minutes, de-glaze with Vermouth (or white wine). Bring to a boil and reduce by half, about 5 minutes.
Add stock, lemon zest and fresh tarragon and a little half and half. Once simmering, give a quick stir and taste for salt. You may need to add a pinch of salt and pepper. Nestle chicken into it so the undersides are immersed in the liquid and skin sides are up. Place in a hot 425F oven for 20-30 minutes or until thighs register 180F or breasts reach 160F. If not crisp enough, place under the broiler for a few minutes.
When it comes out, it will be fragrant and delicious. Serve with crusty bread, a salad and white wine.
Braised Crispy Chicken Thighs with Artichoke hearts, leeks, potatoes and tarragon- a delicious one-pan recipe perfect for spring!
Hope you enjoy this recipe and leave your notes in the comments below!
4 large artichokes, trimmed and sliced
one lemon, zest and juice.
6 chicken thighs (bone in skin on)
1 teaspoon Kosher Salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoon butter, divided.
1 large leek, sliced and rinsed, drained.
2 cups tiny potatoes sliced ( 1/4 thick in pieces)
1 tsp fennel seeds (optional)
1/2 cup vermouth or white wine.
1 Cup chicken stock
1 tsp whole grain mustard
1/2 Cup half and half
1/4 cup fresh tarragon, divided
Optional Addtions: Mushrooms, ramps, pearl onions, fresh English peas, fennel bulb
Zest the lemon, set zest aside.
Prep the artichokes. Fill a med bowl with 4 cups cold water and squeeze with the juice from the lemon. Because artichokes will easily brown, work on one at a time as quickly as possible. Snap off all the hard out leaves using your fingers ( Save for later) With a sharp paring knife, trim off all the outer green skin around the base and stem, keeping the stem in tact. Remove the yellowish soft leaves and using a spoon, gently scrape away the white or purple silk like threads. Immediately place in the lemon water, to prevent browning. Slice just before placing in the skillet.
Preheat oven to 425F. Pat chicken dry and season with kosher salt and pepper. Heat 1 T butter and 1 T olive oil in a heavy bottom oven proof skillet over med high heat. Place chicken skin side down and sear for until golden, about 5 minutes. Turn and brown undersides until golden, about 7-8 minutes. Remove chicken and set aside. Drain some of the chicken fat, leaving about 1 tablespoon oil in the pan. Add 1 tablespoon more butter. Add leeks, sliced artichokes, sliced potatoes and fennel seeds. Saute on med heat for 8-10 minutes, stirring frequently, until they just begin to soften. Season with a generous pinch of kosher salt and pepper.
Deglaze the pan with vermouth (or white wine). Reduce by half, about 4 minutes. Add stock, mustard and fennel seeds, half and half, half of the fresh tarragon and 1/2 of the zest. Give a stir, bring to a simmer, and taste broth adjusting salt and pepper. Nestle the chicken pieces into the stew with skin sides up, and roast in a hot 425 F oven for 20-30 minutes, until golden, and thigh internal temp is 170F, or breast internal temp is 160F. If needed, broil for a couple minutes to get skin extra crispy.
Garnish with remaining lemon zest and fresh tarragon before serving.
Are you looking for something delicious for dinner? Something easy to make and good enough to serve company? Then this One Skillet Creamy Tuscan Chicken is just the thing!
This dish is not only delicious it’s pretty too! The spinach and sun dried tomatoes give this dish a festive look. I serve it with steamed long grain rice or pasta. Oh, and by the way it’s keto friendly, just serve it with zucchini spaghetti!
But the best part about this Creamy Tuscan Chicken is that it’s so easy to make. You really just need one skillet. I use a pretty skillet that can double as the serving dish so clean up’s a breeze!