Tag Archives: baked

Dijon Mustard and Panko Breadcrumb Chicken

Panko chicken with brown rice and steamed green beans

Verdict: my most cooked recipe, three years running! It taste like a master chef prepared meal but is incredibly easy and oh so tasty.

I found this recipe on Serious Eats ‘Eat for $8 column’ four years ago. It was love at first bite and remains my favourite ‘go to’ recipe. The flavours and textures are incredible! The Dijon mustard keeps the chicken moist and provides a slight bite while the panko bread crumbs contrasts with crispiness and savoury flavour.

This dish is a modern twist on a classic French dish where chicken pieces are coated with Dijon mustard and bread crumbs, then baked to perfection. Instead of plain bread crumbs, this recipe uses Panko, a Japanese bread crumb that has a very subtle soya flavour and gets incredibly crispy when baked.

panko breadcrumbsPanko bread crumbs, the last step of the chicken seasoning process.

We make this all the time! Simple, delicious and affordable. Does anyone else wonder why chicken thighs can be so inexpensive? It’s one of the first recipes I taught Andrew (his sleeve is pictured below).

panko chicken with dijon mustardUsing a spoon to coat the chicken with Dijon mustard.

This chicken is great paired with brown rice because they cook at about the same time, 50 minutes in total. What I love about this recipe is after you have cooked your brown rice and put the chicken in the oven, there’s nothing more you need to do. You can take a long shower, chill out on the couch, or if you’re good, you can wash the dishes. After your break, a lovely dinner is ready for you!

Moist and tender chickenSuper moist and flavourful panko chicken.

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Easy Lemon Dill Salmon and the Truth about Fats

Dill and lemon salmon

Verdict: I love how simple, healthy and delicious this dish is. Salmon infused with lemon, complementary dill and a light crust of garlic. Can’t wait to make it again!

Quick Intro to Fats

Most fats are delicious and not all of them are bad! To begin our Beach Body Gourmet series, here’s a quick intro on the three main types of fat and a recipe that falls in the “good fat” group.

Types of Fat

(1) Saturated Fats – found in all animal foods and some vegetable oils such as coconut and palm oil.

Important note: eat less saturated fat (no more than 10% of your daily caloric intake).

Disclaimer: Saturated fat may not always be harmful.

Personally, I pick natural saturated fat over its hydrogenated version any day. For example, I’ll enjoy butter in small amounts but never margarine because it falls under the second fat category.

(2) Trans Fat aka Hydrogenated Fat – formed when vegetable oils are processed into margarine or shortening and found in high quantities in most processed foods.

Important note: eat fewer processed foods and restaurant meals.

(3) Polyunsaturated Fats aka Omega-6s and omega-3s
a) Omega-6s – found in all vegetable oils like soybean, sunflower, corn and sesame.

Important note: easy to overwhelm body with omega-6 because of the vegetable oil used in processed and fast foods.

b) Omega-3s – found in cold water fish such as salmon, sardines, trout and mackerel and plant foods such as soybeans, flax seeds and nuts.

IMG_9480Heart healthy salmon with dill and lemon plus a surprise garlic crust.

Important note: omega-3s have been known to lower risk of heart disease but many do not eat enough.

Reference: Leslie Beck’s 10 Steps to Healthy Eating: Boost Energy, Manage Weight, Prevent Disease With the Right Foods

Here’s a recipe to help you get your omega-3s!

IMG_9471The recipe uses generous amounts of dill, garlic and lemon.

IMG_9495And creates a nutritional powerhouse meal with salmon, quinoa and salad.

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Buttermilk and Paprika Roast Chicken

Easy and delicious buttermilk roast chicken

Andrew’s Verdict: This dish provides an excellent, quick, and delicious way to cook chicken, perfect for a Sunday family dinner, or as an easy dinner any night. Experienced and inexperienced cooks: give this one a go. It’s fantastic.

A short, telling introduction: once, while attempting to strain pasta, I came very close to burning down our home.  While I do love food (even if I did not, I believe that anyone who spends a significant amount of time around Linh would come away with at least some appreciation for food, even if it were merely peripheral, like wearing a black sweater and leaning against a chalk-covered blackboard written upon by a favorite professor), I do not possess the full passion which Linh does.

Buttermilk and paprika Buttermilk with Spanished smoked paprika marinade.

So, then, it should be clear: cooking is not my forte.  I’ve never had much experience with it, nor have I had a great deal of success on those rare times when I stretched myself and tried to make a more elaborate dish.

Given my past difficulties, when I asked Linh to suggest a meal that I could prepare, the number one criterion was simplicity. After some thinking, she suggested this dish which originates from Smitten Kitchen; it promised to be a simple, delicious way to prepare roast chicken.  The blurb, beginning with a mouth-watering description of chicken done to a golden-tinged exterior perfection with a rich, flavorful, moist interior from the marinade sold me.

Roast for 30 minutes at 350F Chicken roasted to perfection in 30 minutes.

The marinade was very simple and quick to make.  I used a smoked Spanish paprika, and we’ve since prepared it with regular paprika (paprika can be found in many varieties).  Both turned out delicious, it’s just a matter of taste as to whether you’d prefer a less spicy, smokier, woodsy chicken or a something in the spicier spectrum.  I whipped up the marinade, dumped it in the bag with the chicken, and let it soak overnight. Easy. The original recipe noted that a day-long soak makes a remarkable difference, so that’s what I stuck to this time.   We’ve since made this in a time-crunched two-hour soak, and while still yielding a tasty result, the 24 hour sit is definitely preferable.  Roasting the chicken was a simple matter of 30 minutes in the oven at 425 (for legs; 35 to 40 minutes for breasts is suggested).  As per the recipe, I drizzled the legs lightly with extra olive oil, and sprinkled paprika and some sea salt to taste.

Roast chicken with quinoa and broccoli Roast chicken with quinoa and broccoli.

Due to my lack of culinary experience (as previously noted), I messed up a bit and ended up with some soggy sides – a serving of broccoli that was on the limp side, and some ill-timed quinoa– which, in turn, caused me to leave the chicken in the oven a bit longer than I should have.  As it turns out, the marinade saved the day by helping to attenuate any errors incurred from my poor form.  The chicken came out of the oven moist and delicious.

Tender morsel of chicken Super moist buttermilk marinated chicken.

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