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Lemon & Herb Roasted Chicken Thighs



Chicken, herbs and lemon are a wonderful trinity of taste, especially when you throw garlic into the mix!  I think you are really going to love this method of preparation I am sharing today! 



Not only are the flavours great, but the preparation is dead simple, and if you line your baking sheet with foil, no clean up of a dirty roasting pan either!


Today I have chosen to use bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs, which also adds to the succulence and flavours of the end result. You could certainly use skinless and boneless, but the cook time would need to be cut down considerably. I would say no longer than 20 minutes.



You create a basic and simple marinade using fresh lemon juice, fresh herbs and some light olive oil By that I mean light in colour, not extra virgin.  You can use EVOO if you want of course, but really I find it a waste to use a good one in cooking when it is better suited to and saved for something like a salad where you can really appreciate its finer qualities.



I have used fresh thyme and rosemary from the garden.  You can use any combination of fresh herbs which you enjoy, but thyme and rosemary go particularly well with garlic and lemon.   And chicken for that matter! 



The chicken pieces are seasoned and marinated in the marinade for at least an hour and up to four hours.  Obviously the longer you let it sit the more the marinade flavours will penetrate the meat. You don't want to marinade it for any less than an hour.


After that you put the chicken pieces (I include the marinade) skin side up on a baking sheet and scatter some bruised cloves of garlic in between them  . . .


Along with a quartered lemon.  The lemon roasts along side and imparts more flavour as does the garlic.
 


This really is lovely . . .  tender, juicy, delicious  . . .


I served Todd's with a Roasted New Potato Salad that I had created for another site and some vegetables.


Mine I served with some mashed swede and carrot, and cooked cabbage.  I also squeezed the juice from the roasted lemons over top.


Roasting takes away from the harshness of the lemon flesh, it really mellows out and it is truly delicious squeezed over top  . . .


Todd was happy. I was happy.  Goals were kept.


We were both in "Finger Lickin' Chicken" Heaven!

Yield: 2
Author:

Lemon & Herb Roasted Chicken Thighs

Herb infused marinated chicken thighs that you can either cook in the oven or on the BBQ.  Deliciously simple!

ingredients:

  • 4 bone-in, skin-on chicken thigh portions
  • 2 lemons
  • 1 TBS light olive oil
  • 1 TBS fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 TBS fresh rosemary leaves
  • coarse sea salt and black pepper to taste
  • 6 to 8 cloves of garlic, bruised and bashed

instructions:

How to cook Lemon & Herb Roasted Chicken Thighs

  1. Squeeze the juice of one lemon into a bowl. Add the salt and pepper, olive oil and herbs. Put the chicken thighs into the bowl, turning them to coat them well with the marinade. Cover and marinate for at one hour or up to 4 hours in the refrigerator.
  2. Preheat the oven to 200*C/400*F/ gas mark 6. Line a baking tray with foil. Dump the chicken pieces, skin side up, onto the baking tray. Scatter the garlic between them. Quarter the remaining lemon and place it on the baking tray with the chicken.
  3. Roast in the preheated oven for 35 to 40 minutes, until the chicken is tender, cooked through, and golden brown. The juices should run clear. Let rest for about 5 minutes before serving. Serve with a salad and your favourite vegetables. I like to squeeze the roasted lemons over top for additional flavour. Delicious!
Created using The Recipes Generator



To cook the swede/carrot, I just boiled them together until tender,  and then I  mashed them up.  For the cabbage I melted a small knob of butter in a skillet and cooked it over a moderate heat, covered, adding a ladle full of the water from the cooking swede/carrot so that it didn't burn.  Oh boy was this ever good!

Enjoy!



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Marie Rayner
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Proper Lemon Drizzle Loaf



I know, I got rather fanciful with the lavender which is blooming in the garden right now. It smells so nice and lavender and lemon go very well together  . . .  but there is no lavender in this recipe, just lemon.


To be honest I am not quite sure how I feel about eating lavender.  I have done . . . and I made lavender sugar every year, but the jury is still out as to whether we love it or not. 



As a decoration, absolutely  . . .  in my underwear drawer, pour surement . . . actually flavouring my food, not so in love . . .



We were having all of the missionaries over for our annual Summer BBQ that we love do for them, and that they love to come to and I wanted to make a dessert that was not only easy, but that the girls would love . . .


Girls are always watching their waistlines, young men, not so much  . . .  so I decided to bake a Lemon Drizzle Loaf and serve it with fresh berries and squirty cream.  



They were free to put it together as they wanted to  . . . with or without cake or cream.  More berries, less berries  . . .


This is a simple loaf with lovely lemon flavours and a deliciously tart lemon glaze. You can use either confectioners sugar in the glaze or granulated sugar.  On a lemon drizzle cake, I like the granulated best . . . but you go with whatever floats YOUR boat!



Moist, delicious, lemony  . . . proper lemony  . . .  with a sweet/tart crunchy crust on top  . . .



What's not to love about that???



You apply the drizzle while the loaf is still quite warm  . . .  some gets absorbed, some doesn't.  Some pools in the corners . . .


There was none left at the end of the BBQ.  NONE!  It went down a real treat! Go figure.

Yield: 1 largish loaf
Author:

Proper Lemon Drizzle Loaf

A moist and delicious loaf filled with lovely lemon flavours. You can either top it with an icing sugar glaze or a granulated sugar glaze. I prefer the granulated sugar one as it adds a bit of interest and crunch. Its your choice.  Goes wonderfully with a hot cuppa or a bowl of berries and some whipped cream.

ingredients:

For the cake:
  • 3 large free range eggs, lightly beaten
  • 170g self raising flour (1 1/4 cups)
  • 170g caster sugar (3/4 cup + 2 tsp)
  • 170g butter, at room temperature (3/4 cup)
  • the finely grated zest of 2 lemons
For the Lemon Drizzle Glaze:
  • the juice of 2 lemons
  • 130g icing sugar (1 cup) (You can also use 190g/1 cup granulated sugar for a grittier finish and crunch, which I prefer)

instructions:

How to cook Proper Lemon Drizzle Loaf

  1. Preheat your oven to 180*C/350*F/ gas mark 4. Butter your loaf tin and line with some baking paper. Set aside.
  2. Rub the lemon zest into the sugar until quite fragrant. Beat in the butter until fluffy. Beat in the eggs, a third at a time, until smooth. If it starts to curdle add a bit of the flour and continue. Fold in the flour until thoroughly combined. Pour into the prepared pan and bake in the oven for 30 to 35 minutes, until golden brown and risen and the top springs back when lightly touched.
  3. Prick the top all over with a toothpick.
  4. Whisk together the sugar and juice of the lemons until smooth. Spoon over the warm cake allowing it to be absorbed. Let cool in the tin. Once cold lift out and cut into slices to serve. Store any leftovers in an airtight container.
Created using The Recipes Generator



If you are looking for a superdy-duperdy lemon loaf to bake for your family, you can't really go wrong with this one!!  Oh I do so love it when people gobble up what I bake.  Don't you?



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Marie Rayner
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Chicken Nicoise Salad Platter



It was so lovely and sunny today that I decided to make us a salad for our supper.  I loosely based the flavours on a traditional Nicoise Salad (which uses Tuna), but used chicken instead and added some potatoes for my Carb Loving husband! 


My version was low carb, which meant no potatoes. Instead I had some leftover steamed asparagus that I used and some sliced cooked beetroot. In all truth I could not finish it, and it was delicious!


I have only recently discovered that you can roast frozen beans on a baking tray at the same time you roast other things like potatoes or meat.  They come out beautifully.  A bit caramelised on the edges, perfectly cooked, and the flavour is fantastic!


To be honest I have never been overly fond of frozen beans, but this way I love them.  We are funny in our family, we like tinned beans . . .  that's what we were brought up on.


I had some leftover Rotisserie Chicken from one we had bought at Costco.  This is the chicken I used. You could  could a couple of chicken breasts if you don't have any leftover. But the Rotisserie Chicken is lovely.


Roasted fingerling potatoes  . . .  just tossed with a bit of olive oil and seasoning and roasted along with the beans.  Perfect.


Ideally you should use Nicoise Olives, but I didn't have any. I did have a mix of Kalamata and Green with small cubes of feta cheese.  This is what I used. Yum!


Hard boiled eggs . . .  I always use free-range eggs.  Its the least I can do.  I refuse to support an industry that is inhumane, and if I can find them I use RS PCB approved.  Then I know for sure that they are really produced humanely.  Want to know my secret to perfectly cooked hard boiled eggs. Its a electric egg boiler just like this one.  They turn out perfectly no matter the degree of doneness you wish, every single time.


The dressing is a very simple one.  Just lemon juice, white wine vinegar, Dijon mustard, olive oil,  seasonings and fresh herbs.  A simple vinaigrette.  The original used 1 tsp of granulated sugar, which if you are not bothered you can use.  I am bothered so I used a tsp of sugar substitute. Without it, the dressing would be very tart.


My low carb salad was every bit as visually appealing as Todd's full carb one, and just as delicious.  Its very easy to  leave out the carbs for on without affecting the other!



Yield: 2
Author:

Chicken Nicoise Salad Platter

I have two ways of doing this. One is full carb and one is low carb.  Both are delicious. Simple, easy and very pretty on a plate.
prep time: cook time: total time:

ingredients:

You will need:
  • Leftover Roast chicken
  • 2 hard boiled free range eggs
  • 1/2 (4 serving size) bag of haricots verts (I used yellow wax)
  • 5 or 6 fingerling salad potatoes, washed and halved or quartered lengthwise (use only half the potatoes or leave out altogether if you are doing low carb)
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • olive oil to drizzle
  • a mix of nicoise olives and feta cheese (or kalamata) (about 1/4 cup)
  • about 6 cherry tomatoes, halved (I forgot these)
For the dressing:
  • 3 TBS fresh lemon juice
  • 3 TBS white wine vinegar
  • 3 TBS finely chopped herbs (I used parsley and dill)
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp sweetener or granulated sugar
  • 1 TBS Dijon mustard
  • salt and black pepper to taste

instructions:

How to cook Chicken Nicoise Salad Platter

  1. Preheat your oven to 230*C/425*F/ gas mark 7. Line a baking tray with foil. Place the frozen beans on one side of the baking tray and the potatoes on the other side. Drizzle with a bit of olive oil and season with some salt and black pepper. Toss each to coat. Roast in the preheated oven for 15 minutes or so, until the potatoes are golden and the beans are beginning to caramelise just a bit. Remove and set aside.
  2. Have ready two large dinner plates. Slice some roast chicken and put a portion on each plate. Peel and halve the eggs. Place two halves on each plate. Divide the potatoes between the two plates (Not if you are doing a low carb plate, then just put half the potatoes on one). Divide the beans between each plate also, as well as the olives, cheese and the tomatoes.
  3. Whisk together all of the ingredients for the dressing. (You will have plenty. You can store any leftovers for a few days in the refrigerator for another time.) Drizzle some of the dressing over each and serve immediately.
  4. If you are doing low carb, leave off the potatoes and replace with something else. Today I sliced myself up some cooked beetroot and had some leftover chilled asparagus. In all honesty I couldn't finish it all.

NOTES:

If you haven't got any leftover roast chicken (I used the breast meat of a Rotisserie Chicken), then you can always cook two chicken breasts to use in its place.
Created using The Recipes Generator 



I hope you are enjoying these new recipes I am sharing. I would really love your feedback. I promise you there will be something deliciously sweet tomorrow. I am trying to stay away from those things as much as possible, but its not fair to punish Todd for my sinful ways. 



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Marie Rayner
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Turkey Fajitas



This is another quick and simple supper we enjoyed recently that is low in fat, carbs and sugars.   That's because I make the fajita seasoning from scratch . . .  not from  packet.


It is quite surprising the amount of sugar that will be in a ready-prep seasoning packet!!  Or maybe not.  We have been conditioned through the years to eat sugar in just about everything without even knowing it.


Its only been in recent years that healthy studies have confirmed that it really isn't fat that is our enemy, but sugar. There are several generations of people who have been sadly misinformed about that, and I am one of them.


For years I have been buying and eating low fat this and low fat that, only to keep getting, well . . .  fatter.  When you take the fat out of things you take out a lot of the flavour and sadly the need to put the flavour back in has resulted in gross amounts of sugar being added to things in on form or another.


This recipe uses full fat Greek Yogurt as a garnish to the finished fajitas.  It is rich and creamy and a little bit goes a long way.  I add some green Tabasco sauce to it to give it some spark! 



Ideally you should use iceberg lettuce to hold the fajitas, as it forms a bit of a cupping shape, but I didn't have any, so used Cos (Romaine) lettuce on this occasion.  I just dolloped the fajita filling and the sour cream on top, and ate it like a salad.



If you are not bothered by carbs, by all means enjoy the filling in some warmed soft tortillas  . . .  Todd did.  He still eats them with a knife and a fork however. He thinks that eating with ones hands is a bit barbaric. 



I've been following this low carb, low sugar, low calorie diet for about a week or so now, and nothing had budged.  *Sniff*sniff*


I am trying very hard not to get discouraged.  In that week I have sniffed but not eaten  . . .  fresh strawberry pie  . . .


Just for-going the pastry was torture for me.  Pastry is my favourite thing.  Our whole family loves pastry. If it is in pastry, we are all over it like a rash.  Sweet or savoury. It doesn't matter.



I shall keep slogging along. After all I didn't gain the weight in a week and I won't lose it in a week.  I just hope I start to see some progress soon.  Its so easy to be discouraged!

Yield: 4
Author:

Turkey Fajitas

Spicy and yes, delicious. I am sure you get tired of that word.  Quick and easy as well. If you are not watching the carbs or calories, you can have this with some salsa and warmed tortillas. Maybe even some Guacamole. What's good about this dish is there is no sugar in it. You won't miss it. I promise.

ingredients:

For the turkey:
  • 1 TBS rapeseed oil
  • 400g turkey breast steaks, cut into thin strips (about 1 pound)
  • 1 medium red onion, peeled and cut into wedges
  • 1 red pepper trimmed, de-seeded and cut into thin strips
  • 1 yellow or green pepper trimmed, de-seeded and cut into thin strips
  • 1 tsp hot smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • salt and black pepper to taste
To serve:
  • 8 ice berg lettuce leaves (cup shaped)
  • a handful of fresh coriander leaf, coarsely chopped (cilantro)
  • 100g full fat Greek Yogurt (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1/2 tsp green Tabasco sauce
  • lime wedges

instructions:

How to cook Turkey Fajitas

  1. Heat the oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add the turkey, onion and peppers. Cook, stirring and tossing together, until the turkey is cooked through and the peppers and onions are crispy tender. Add all of the spices, and salt and black pepper to taste. Cook for another minute or two. Scatter the coriander leaf over top and serve immediately.
  2. Stir the Tabasco sauce into the Greek yogurt, just to marble it. Spoon the turkey mixture into lettuce leaves to serve. Top with a dollop of yogurt and pass the lime wedges.
Created using The Recipes Generator



There are less than 200 calories in this tasty dish, which is in fitting with the 800 Fast diet. If you are only low carbing it, you could certainly have some cheese on top, or even if you are not on a fast day a bit of cheese would be okay.  I don't think, on a non-fast day, a small tortilla would even be out of line, but I am holding to the less carbs the better school!!  Interestingly I haven't felt like I was starving.  Oh, I have had cravings for sure . . . but that's all they were.



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Marie Rayner
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