I have just a minute to spare this busy Monday, but I’ve decided to spend it sharing a short little post about the dinner I made this last weekend. It consisted of oven roasted EVERYTHING. Well, not everything. But mostly everything.
Oven roasted garlic cauliflower, oven roasted chicken marinated in some mustard-y stuff (I know, I need a better title…I’ll have one by the end of the post, I swear!), and non-oven-roasted apple, bleu cheese, caramelized pecan salad.
Cauliflower ready for roasting. Drizzled with lots of olive oil, garlic (about 3x more than the recommended amount because I love garlic and you know, it’s October so a little vampire-preparedness goes a long way), garlic salt (yes, more vampire wards), and freshly cracked black pepper.
Chicken thighs drenched in mustard and other stuff deliciousness. I forgot to take a picture before I put it in the oven, so please enjoy an inside look into my oven.
The finished product! Look at all that browned, delicious roasted garlic & cauliflower. I also drizzled a bit of lemon over the top at this point. (I’m not sure why this picture seems blurry-esque. Sorry. I was clearly too excited to eat to care about pictures.)
Annnnnd the main attraction, delicious chicken thighs coated in some nice caramelized brown sugar and mustard and stuff. Still working on a title but it’s coming soon I swear!
So, there’s no picture of the salad but here’s a picture that’s way prettier than the salad I made, courtesy of The Pioneer Woman. This one also has dried cherries, but her pecans aren’t candied. I like candied pecans. I think this salad should also have bacon, but then again, I think everything should have bacon.
Recipe time? Recipe time.
Apple, (caramelized) Pecans, & Bleu Cheese Salad
See here for the recipe from The Pioneer Woman – it’s delicious, so why mess with her recipe. Though, I will post the caramelized pecans recipe below.
1/2 cup pecan halves
1 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon brown sugar
Melt the butter in a frying pan over low heat. Add the brown sugar and pecans to the pan, stirring constantly. You may want to add more butter and/or brown sugar depending on your particular taste. Cook for 3-4 minutes or until caramelized. Spread the finished pecans on a sheet of parchment paper to cool. (Hot sugar is hot. No seriously, take extra care that you do not burn yourself on the hot sugar.)
Oven Roasted Garlic Cauliflower
Recipe adapted from “How Easy Is That?” by Ina Garten
6 tablespoons minced garlic
1 large head of cauliflower, trimmed, cut into large florets
4 1/2 tablespoons good olive oil (more or less, eyeball it to your liking, I like to give a good drizzle to make sure everything gets hit by the olive oil)
Garlic salt (this is to your liking – I would estimate I used about 1 teaspoon)
Kosher salt (so is this, estimate: 1/2 teaspoon)
Freshly ground black pepper (and this, estimate: 1 1/2 teaspoons)
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. On a sheet pan, toss the cauliflower with garlic, 3 tablespoons olive oil, garlic salt, salt, and black pepper. Spread mixture out in a single layer and roast for 30 – 40 minutes, until the cauliflower is tender and both the garlic and cauliflower are slightly browned.
Scrape the cauliflower into a large bowl/serving platter with garlic and pan juices. Add remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil and 1 tablespoon lemon juice. Sprinkle with another 1/2 teaspoon salt, toss and serve hot or warm.
Caramelized Brown Sugar & Mustard Chicken Thighs
How’s that for a title? Better? I suppose it’s better-ish. It’s only a sort of representation of what’s in the sauce.
Recipe by me :]
6 bone-in, skin on, chicken thighs (you can do this with boneless, skinless, but it just tastes better with the bone and the skin, in my opinion)
1/2 cup dijon mustard (I used the ever wonderful Safeway Stoneground Mustard with Horseradish)
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar (white or rice vinegar would probably work fine as well – you’re just looking to add a bit of tang)
1 tablespoon kecap manis (you can find this in most Asian markets – if you can’t find it, substitute by adding more brown sugar)
1 teaspoon ketchup
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon mustard powder
1/2 teaspoon sriracha (this can now be found in most supermarkets; if you do not have it, substitute by adding 1/2 teaspoon more cayenne – you may want to adjust this anyway, based on your taste for spicy)
1 tablespoon soy sauce
Salt (or garlic salt, as is my personal preference) and Black Pepper
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line a baking dish with foil, or if you don’t mind the clean up (or just plain forget like I did), just pull out a glass baking dish. Season both sides of each chicken thigh with a sprinkling of salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Take all of the above ingredients for the sauce and whisk (or stir) them all together in a bowl. Pour all of the deliciousness over the chicken thighs. Be sure to turn your thighs over a few times to make sure each thigh is thoroughly covered in the brown sugar-mustard-everything else deliciousness. Spoon the sauce over each thigh, if necessary.
Leave your chicken thighs skin up (if using thighs with skin). Place in the oven. Bake for 50 – 60 minutes (you will want an internal temperature of 165 degrees F). Baste the chicken thighs about halfway through (and by baste, I mean just take some of the surrounding liquid/sauce and spoon it over the top – no need to deal with an actual baster). The chicken thighs should have a crispy looking skin when complete – see above picture.
J pointed out after the fact that this meal was paleo – I don’t know if he’s really correct but it’s definitely carb free if that’s what you’re looking for – totally unintentional, I have to say. Anyway…
Enjoy using your oven this cool Autumn season!