Roast Chicken with Brussels Sprouts

OK, so Brussels Sprouts may not be the most favorite vegetable of the year, but it is one vegetable I try to cycle through our meals once in a while because—–they’re good for you, and are low in calories and carbohydrates.  But up until several years ago I wouldn’t eat them,  I think because they were too strong in their cabbagy flavor.  Then I was having dinner out somewhere  –don’t remember where–and I was served these vegetables.  Not wanting to be rude I ate them and  SURPRISE,   I liked them because they had been cooked with bacon.  Now we know that bacon does wonders for most things, and Brussels Sprouts are no exception.  Therefore this recipe was a no-brainer for me when I first came across it.

This is a wonderful one-pan dinner that tastes like you cooked all day, but only takes a short while to get it ready for the oven.  The flavors meld together, and the sprouts are so good that next time I make this I will double the amount.  Did I really just say that?  The only adjustment I made was to leave out the potatoes because of our current low-carb diet plan.



  • 4 slices bacon, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 lemon, thinly sliced
  • 5 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 pound Brussels sprouts, trimmed
  • 8 small red-skinned potatoes, quartered
  • 4 -5 pieces chicken (thighs with bone, or leg quarters work best)


1.  Place the bacon in a large, deep skillet, and cook over medium -high heat, turning occasionally, until lightly browned but not crisp.  Drain the bacon on a paper-towel lined plate.  Save the drippings.

2.  Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.  Coat a large baking dish or cast iron skillet with 1 tablespoon olive oil. ( My approach was to cook the bacon in a cast-iron skillet, save the drippings, and omit that 1 Tablespoon olive oil.)

3.  Arrange lemon slices in a single layer on the bottom of the baking dish.

4.  Stir remaining 5 tablespoons olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, kosher salt, and black pepper together in a large bowl.


5.  Toss the Brussels sprouts in lemon juice mixture to coat; transfer to the prepared baking dish with a slotted spoon, draining excess liquid back into the bowl.

6.   Place bacon on top of the Brussels sprouts.

7.  Toss potatoes in the same lemon juice mixture, remove with a slotted spoon and place around the inside edges of the baking dish.

8.  Coat chicken pieces thoroughly in the remaining lemon mixture, and place skin-side up on top of the vegetables in the skillet.  Pour any remaining lemon juice mixture over the chicken.

9.  Bake in the preheated oven until chicken is no longer pink and the juices run clear, about 60 minutes.  Chicken should be nicely browned and crisp.



Potato-Leek Soup

In up-scale restaurants this soup is called Vichyssoise.    ( vish_e_swaz’)  It is a thick soup made of pureed leeks, onions, potatoes, cream and chicken stock.  It is traditionally served cold, but can also be eaten hot.

There is much uncertainty about its origins;  Julia Childs calls it an “American invention”, whereas other food historians state that “the origins of the soup is definitely  French”.  Louis Diat, a chef at the Ritz-Carlton in New York City, is most often credited with its invention, in an attempt to recreate a potato-leek soup of his childhood that his mother used to make.

Wherever the soup came from or who invented it is immaterial to me, I’m just glad someone did invent it and that I have the recipe.  Turns out this is Mr. D’s favorite soup and he asks me to make it periodically throughout the year, whether its hot or cold outside.  We usually eat it hot the day I make it, but on a hot day, I like it cold as a lunch with just some crackers and cheese.


SERVINGS:  about  8

  • 4 – 5 leeks,  white and light green part only
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 4 Tablespoons butter
  • 4 medium potatoes,  all-purpose or baking–doesn’t matter
  • 6 cups chicken broth or homemade stock
  • 1 -2 cups heavy cream
  • salt, pepper, a little dill–to taste


Clean and cup up the leeks.  Leeks are very sandy, so remove several outer leaves, wash well, cut off the dark green tops, and use only the light green and white parts.  Cut each one in half lengthwise  (as pictured),  fan out and rinse under running water.   Then cut crosswise  into 1/2” slices.

Melt the 4 Tablespoons butter in a soup kettle .  Add the leeks and chopped onion.  With the heat on low, allow this mixture to “sweat” slowly and become tender.  Do not allow it to brown.   Meanwhile peel potatoes and cut into small cubes.

Add chicken broth and potatoes.  Bring mixture up to a simmer, and cook until potatoes are very soft.  Put the mixture through a blender or food processor to puree.  I like to use my immersion blender for this, as then there are no additional appliances to wash, and you can puree the whole quantity at once.

After the soup has been pureed,  taste and adjust seasonings;  adding a little dill enhances the flavor.  Depending on the type of chicken broth you use, you may not need any additional salt.   Finally,  add the cream.  I find 1 cup is adequate in giving a nice thick, creamy texture.  I have also used light cream and  half and half in place of the cream to reduce the fat and calories, and  those work fine as well.  The soup will taste as good, but not be as thick and rich.  On a cautionary note:  do not allow the soup to boil once the cream has been added—it will separate.

Enjoy with a salad or sandwich, and pretend you are enjoying lunch at a sidewalk cafe in Paris!

SOURCE:  Mastering the Art of French Cooking,  Julia Childs


Down on the Bayou

New Orleans, Cajun Cooking, Emeril Lagasse.  This part of the country, and this type of cuisine have held my interest for a long time.  Someday I hope to go there and experience it first hand, but for the present I must enjoy it vicariously, through the foods I prepare.  Unfortunately I cannot eat overly spicy foods, but my husband  loves them so I try to incorporate a little “heat” whenever I can.  This rub mixture came about as a result of my attempts to achieve that.  It is somewhat spicy but not overly so.  You can certainly “kick it up a notch”, by increasing the amount of cayenne pepper to suit your taste level.

Pork tenderloin cooks very quickly, so in preparing the potatoes be sure to cut them into pieces that will cook quickly as well.  This is a very easy and fairly quick meal to put together.  Once your meat and potatoes are seasoned and ready for the oven, you can spend the time while they cook making a salad or coleslaw.  In less than an hour your meal is ready.  Leftover pork thinly sliced with a little coleslaw on top makes a great sandwich.


Serves  4

  • 1 Tablespoon Bayou Blast Rub Mix  (see recipe below)
  • 1 large pork tenderloin–about 1 1/2 pounds
  • Kosher salt
  • 4 teaspoons olive oil, divided
  • 3-4 baking potatoes cut into wedges
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.    Sprinkle pork with 1/2 teaspoon salt and rub with about  2  teaspoons  rub mixture.  Heat 2 teaspoons olive oil in a large oven-proof skillet over medium heat.  Add the pork and sear until browned on all sides, about 5 minutes.  
  2. Sprinkle the potato wedges with 1/2 teaspoon salt, and about 1  teaspoons rub mix.  Drizzle with 2 teaspoons olive oil, and toss to coat well.  Add to skillet with the pork if there is room, or bake in another baking dish alongside the pork.
  3. Transfer to the oven and roast until a thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the meat registers 145 degrees, about 18 minutes.  Transfer the pork to a cutting board, tent with foil, and allow to rest a few minutes before slicing.
  4. Meanwhile allow the potatoes to continue cooking in the oven until they test done.  Probably only a few minutes longer.  You want them tender on the inside, but crusty and brown on the outside.
  5. Slice the pork,  surround it with the roast potatoes, and serve with a cool crisp coleslaw.


  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons black pepper
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder

Combine the above ingredients and stir until will blended.  Store in a container with tight fitting lid, or zip-lock bag.

This mixture may be used  to enhance pork, chicken or fish as a rub;  apply just before grilling or cooking.

SOURCE:   A Carolyn Original

Cheesy Potato Bake

This is a side dish which I serve often.  It seems to go with many different entrees, and if your oven is on to cook meatloaf, chicken, chops, or whatever else, then these potatoes can cook along side the main dish.  Everyone I have ever served this dish to, has loved it.  Those folks with hearty appetites will find this very satisfying, indeed.


Preheat oven to 425 degrees

  • 4 large baking potatoes, unpeeled
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 2 green onions, sliced; use both white and green parts
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
  1. Wash and slice the potatoes.  Arrange in a greased shallow 2-quart baking dish.
  2. In microwave heat butter, green onion, salt, thyme and pepper until butter is melted.  Drizzle over potatoes.
  3. Cover with foil and bake at 425 degrees for 45 minutes or until tender.
  4. Remove foil, sprinkle with cheese and parsley.  Bake, uncovered, another few minutes  until cheese is melted.
Yield:  4-6 servings
Source:  Taste of Home