Crazy Busy Cooking

We’ve been so busy learning to make new things in the kitchen that we haven’t had time to write about what we’ve been cooking. We’ve definitely enjoyed eating it, though.



Pictured: Chocolate Chip Cheesecake with Brownie Crust by Bake or Break

Tonight we are re-trying a recipe we’ve made once before, One Pan Lemon Garlic Chicken and Potato Bake by Recipe Tin Eats. It sounded amazing when I selected it, but only tasted okay the last time we made it due to the potatoes being undercooked–even after much more time–and the skin on the chicken not crisping.

I think the primary reason for this was the amount of food we have to make (1.5x what the recipe calls for) when cooking for 10 (now 9). However, in the notes section, the recipe suggests broiling the chicken and potatoes after all the rest is done–that’s what the blog’s author does–but that sounds like a real pain. So I had a few ideas…

First, we chopped the potatoes smaller than before and tossed them with the onions in olive oil, salt, and pepper.

We also chopped the tomatoes in half. I like how they look and maybe they will infuse more of their flavor into the dish like this.

We had marinated the chicken overnight, so I took it out of the bag and tossed it in olive oil to coat the skin before placing it atop a bed made from the potatoes. I am hoping this will help the skins crisp (being OUT of the sauce) and the potatoes to cook completely (being IN the sauce). I figure having marinated the meat for 24 hr, it shouldn’t suffer much from not cooking in the sauce.

We then placed the onions and tomatoes on top of the potatoes and chicken, poured in the marinade and chicken broth, and covered both (yes 2!) pans.

Now it’s in the oven where it will likely take much longer to cook than the original recipe lists. Here’s to hoping the alterations we made work out and the dish is as flavorful as it promises.

Meanwhile, there’s the vegetable side dish to prepare. Tonight we are having Slow Cooker Roast Vegetables by Chocolate Covered Kate. We’ve made these before, substituting different vegetables for the suggested ones listed because we already have several recipes using bell peppers on our menu–we eat them all the time.

I love this recipe because it is so versatile and simple. I’m working to perfect two different vegetable combinations to use with this recipe for my Pinterest menu. This recipe really draws out the flavors of the vegetables.

Today, however, I forgot to put them in the slow cooker earlier in the day because I was with Baby at the neurologist, so I’m going to try them in the Instant Pot tonight.

We were gifted our Instant Pot two years ago at Christmas by a friend, and I highly recommend owning one. I was hesitant at first to use it (after declaring online that I wanted one), but I now use it all the time.

The group of vegetables I am making tonight: 1 large sweet potato, 1 small butternut squash, 5 small zucchini, and 2 turnips. Balancing sweet and savory with the vegetables is my goal.

We’ve got the vegetables all cut up (and it looks like a lot!) but we need to wait on the chicken to cook some more before starting up the Instant Pot.

Let’s see how our changes worked out.

The chicken skin still didn’t crisp, so we’re going to put it in the broiler for a few minutes because crispy skin is the whole point of skin on chicken.

Confession: I also forgot to read through the recipe, so we baked the tomatoes the whole time and didn’t spice the chicken halfway through, nor did Chef flip the chicken when he removed the foil.

The potatoes, however, are baked through though, so the changes I made worked for them.

Update: After sprinkling some paprika on the chicken and putting it in the broiler for a few minutes, the skin is better, but not crisped to perfection. The flavor was there for the vegetables cooked in the sauce, but not really there for the chicken. The vegetables were so good, even Baby really enjoyed eating them.

And the Instant Pot veggies?

They worked out pretty well. The flavor is better in the slow cooker, and we overestimated the time needed (less than 10 min on manual setting, high pressure) but they were still good.

I’ll try the recipe for the chicken one more time with a few more tweaks because I really like the flavors in this sauce and if I ever figure out how to infuse the chicken with it, it will be delicious.

Overall, we made a good meal that has room for improvement.

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