Friday, October 24, 2008

Dinner Group 10/23: Rotisserie Chicken, Carrots in Dill Butter, and Zuccini Bread

I've had a recipe for rotisserie chicken for some time now that I've been wanting to try and finally found the opportunity. I absolutely love the rotisserie style chicken you can get at the grocery store but it's getting more and more expensive. I made it with mashed potatoes, Lemon-Dill Carrots and Zucchini bread Thursday night and it was one of my favorite dinners so far! You definitely have to try the chicken. It was super easy, super fast, and super tasty. It's definitely going to be a regular occurrence in this house as my boys recently love to eat "chicken on the bone." This had the perfect blend of seasonings and the slow roasing on low in the oven left it tender and moist. Also, I'm not a big fan of steamed carrots... I really don't like soft carrots, but I had a whole bag of them I needed to use and these turned out pretty tasty as far as steamed carrots go. Even Caden and Gavin ate them. As for the zucchini bread, I've had problems with my staple recipe lately and wanted to try something new. It was pretty standard but I found it really easy to substitute in some whole wheat flour and applesauce for the oil. The boys loved this one, too. All the recipes except for the mashed potatoes came from Allrecipes, which is quickly becoming my new favorite recipe site. You can find the recipe for anything and everything with tons of reviews and ratings which always makes me feel better about trying a new recipe. I would definitely recommend checking it out.

Best Ever Mashed Potatoes (here on blog)

Rotisserie Style Chicken (Love, love this one!)
4 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon white pepper (I omitted this because I don't have any)
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (I had to use red pepper flakes instead since I was out)
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
2 onions, quartered
2 (4 pound) whole chickens

In a small bowl, mix together salt, paprika, onion powder, thyme, white pepper, black pepper, cayenne pepper, and garlic powder. Remove and discard giblets from chicken. Rinse chicken cavity, and pat dry with paper towel. Rub each chicken inside and out with spice mixture. Place 1 onion into the cavity of each chicken. Place chickens in a resealable bag or double wrap with plastic wrap. Refrigerate overnight, or at least 4 to 6 hours. (A side note here: I was only able to refrigerate mine for about 3.5 hours and it still turned out very flavorful. But I'm anxious to try it overnight and see if it's even more flavorful; also, I used one rotisserie chicken but the same amount of seasonings... what can I say... I like things seasoned!)

Preheat oven to 250 degrees F (120 degrees C).

Place chickens in a roasting pan. Bake uncovered for 5 hours, to a minimum internal temperature of 180 degrees F (85 degrees C). Let the chickens stand for 10 minutes before carving. (Another sidenote: My 3 pound chicken only needed about 4 hours; make sure you use a meat thermometer... you won't be able to tell by color because the paprika stains the chicken breast a pinkish color. Also, the drippings in the bottom of your pan make the best gravy. Plus, if you pour it over the chicken, it will give it the nice glazed look.)

Carrots in Dill Butter
1 (16 ounce) package baby carrots (I used regular big carrots that were sliced on the diagonal)
2 tablespoons margarine (I used butter)
1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill (about 3/4 to 1 tsp. dried)
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice (I only used about 3/4 Tbsp.)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Place carrots in a saucepan with enough water to cover. (Steam them to keep more nutrients!)Bring to a boil, and cook 10 minutes, until tender. Remove from heat, and drain. Gently toss with margarine, dill, and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper.

Another Zucchini Bread

3 cups all-purpose flour (feel free to use 1 cup whole wheat)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3 eggs
1 cup vegetable oil (another way to make it healthier is to use 1/2 applesauce)
2 cups white sugar (I used 1 cup brown, 1 cup white)
3 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups grated zucchini
1 cup chopped walnuts (Of course I had to substitute chocolate chips here to get the boys to eat it!)

Grease and flour two 8 x 4 inch pans. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C).

Sift flour, salt, baking powder, soda, and cinnamon together in a bowl.
Beat eggs, oil, vanilla, and sugar together in a large bowl. Add sifted ingredients to the creamed mixture, and beat well. Stir in zucchini and nuts until well combined. Pour batter into prepared pans.
Bake for 40 to 60 minutes, or until tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in pan on rack for 20 minutes. Remove bread from pan, and completely cool.

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