Deviled Chicken Divan


I admit it. There was a time when I was cooking Rachael Ray recipes nearly every time I made dinner. No, she’s not a “chef,” but I have almost every single one of her cookbooks because she makes simple, easy meals that are approachable. Half of those cookbooks are falling apart, I’ve used them so much. I’ve since moved on to others like my favorite Tyler Florence, but I come back to Rachael every now and then and enjoy every bite. This recipe is a variation on her chicken in mustard sauce (she sometimes has recipes that serve as a base and then a bunch of variations on them to change up the original). I love that it’s a one pot and incorporates the vegetable. And it’s one of those feel-good meals, creamy but tart from the Dijon mustard, and who doesn’t like broccoli topped with cheese?


TW’s Tips

  • I used fresh broccoli for this — when you boil it, cook until it’s crisp-tender and then proceed with the rest of the recipe
  • Cook everything in an oven-safe Dutch oven so you don’t have to dirty more than one pan/transfer to a casserole pan.


Deviled Chicken Divan


  • 4 (6-ounce) boneless skinless chicken breast halves
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves , chopped (from 4 sprigs)
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO)
  • 3/4 cup chicken stock or broth
  • 3 tablespoons (super-heaping) good quality Dijon mustard
  • 3 tablespoons (super-heaping) sour cream
  • 2 10-ounce boxes frozen broccoli spears
  • A few pieces of lemon peel
  • 2 tsp. hot sauce
  • 2 cups shredded Gruyere or Swiss cheese such as Emmentaler


Season the chicken with the thyme, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Heat a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat with the EVOO. Add the seasoned chicken breasts and cook for 5 to 6 minutes on each side, or until cooked through.

While the chicken is cooking, cook the broccoli in boiling water in a shallow pan with the lemon peel. Cook to just heat through—you want the broccoli spears to retain their bright color. Drain well.

Remove the chicken from the pan and cover with the foil. Turn up the heat on the skillet to high and add the chicken stock and mustard, whisking to combine. Bring up to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer for 3 minutes. Whisk in the sour cream and continue to cook until slightly thickened, about 2 more minutes. Add hot sauce when finished.

Preheat the broiler.

Place the cooked chicken breasts and broccoli in a shallow casserole and top with the deviled sauce and the cheese. Broil until the cheese is brown and bubbly. Serve with crusty bread.


Roasted Sage Rosemary Pork Loin, Potatoes Gratin and Oven-Roasted Broccoli


If you want a great Sunday night meal, this is a winner. It’s warm and hearty since it’s starting to feel like fall, and the leftovers are just irresistible. I’m a big fan of the pork loin. It’s really fast-cooking (much faster than I would have thought), very versatile and forgiving. Oh, and delicious. All that without trying too hard — just using some great, fresh ingredients. This recipe uses fresh rosemary and sage, plus garlic, with a sauce of milk and white wine. It’s simple. Truly.


IMG_3768I served Tyler Florence’s potatoes gratin and Alton Brown’s roasted broccoli alongside this great roast. Not fat free, but definitely delish.

TW’s Tips

  • Even though you cook the pork on the stovetop, this is a hefty oven meal — don’t make this on a hot day or you’ll hate your life. Perfect for a little chilly, warm-you-up night.
  • Cook the potatoes first, cover with foil and then turn up the heat for the broccoli.
  • Use the leftover pork in a sandwich or taco — yum!

IMG_3761 IMG_3769

Roasted Sage Rosemary Pork Loin


  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 5 garlic cloves, unpeeled
  • 3 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 12 fresh sage leaves
  • 2 1/2 pounds pork loin
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup whole milk


In a large Dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat until hot. Add the garlic, rosemary, and sage and sauté for 4 to 5 minutes, until the herbs start to crisp. Add the pork loin, laying it on top of the herbs, and cook for 5 minutes. Turn it over and cook the other side for 5 minutes. Add the wine to the Dutch oven, using a wooden spoon to scrape any browned bits from the bottom. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes, until the scent of alcohol has disappeared.

Reduce the heat to medium-low, season with salt and pepper to taste, and partially cover with the lid. Cook for about 1 hour, turning the meat and scraping the bottom of the pot every 15 to 20 minutes. If the sauce reduces too much, add warm water in small increments, 1⁄4 cup at a time. Remove the pot from the heat and place the pork loin on a cutting board to rest for 30 minutes.

When the sauce in the Dutch oven has cooled, add the milk and cook, stirring constantly to prevent curds from forming, over medium-low heat for 2 to 3 minutes, until the sauce is lightly creamy, but not thick. Thinly slice the pork loin and serve with the sauce poured on top.

Potatoes Gratin


  • 2 pounds baking potatoes, peeled and sliced paper-thin
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 2 garlic cloves, split
  • Leaves from 4 fresh thyme sprigs
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh chives, plus more for garnish
  • 1 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. In a large bowl combine all the ingredients, tossing to coat. Season with salt and pepper. Put the potato mixture into a casserole dish, flatten it out with a spatula, and bake for 40 minutes, until the potatoes are tender and the gratin is bubbly. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving. Garnish with fresh chives.

Oven Roasted Broccoli

  • 1 pound broccoli, rinsed and trimmed
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/3 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan or sharp Cheddar


Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Cut the broccoli florets into bite size pieces. Cut the stalk into 1/8-inch thick, round slices. Place the broccoli into a mixing bowl and toss with the olive oil, garlic, kosher salt and pepper and set aside.

Spread the panko into a 13 by 9-inch metal cake pan and place into the oven for 2 minutes or until lightly toasted. Remove the panko from the oven and add to the bowl with the broccoli mixture. Toss to combine. Return the mixture to the cake pan, place in the oven and roast just until the broccoli is tender, 8 to 10 more minutes. Remove from the oven, toss in the cheese and serve immediately.


The Most Amazing Fried Chicken



I’ve been a bit of a disaster in the kitchen lately. Last weekend I had a trifecta — my glass blender exploded, breaking into two pieces and spraying hot tomatillo sauce all over my kitchen; I left the oven on all night long (oops); and a defrosting bag of cranberries left a huge red cranberry stain on my granite countertops (managed to get it out, thank you, Google).

However, this fried chicken was far from a disaster. Oh no. No disaster here.


I admit I was a little intimidated. I’ve never cooked fried chicken before, and a lot can go wrong when you heat a big vat of oil to high temperatures. But the challenge was on. I followed a Tyler Florence recipe from his “The Ultimate” cookbook. You marinate the chicken in lemon juice while the oil heats, but otherwise the recipe is pretty simple. It’s your basic flour and egg wash combination. But wow does this make a juicy, delicious chicken. It was perhaps the most flavorful chicken I’ve ever had, inside an amazing, crispy crust that I was licking off my fingers.

One great secret — crisping up a combination of herbs and garlic in the oil while it warms up. Rosemary, thyme, sage…then you reserve it and sprinkle that crispy flavor over the chicken when it’s done. So good. With a squeeze of lemon for some acid, alongside some rich mashed potatoes, I was in home-cooking heaven.


Trust me, make this chicken. I reheated it the day after in the oven at 350 for about 15 minutes — not quite as crispy as the day before, but still quite delicious.

TW’s Tips

  • This probably goes without saying, but you must use a skin-on chicken. Non-negotiable.
  • You can save money by buying a whole chicken and breaking it down yourself. It’s actually not that bad if you have a good knife. Google it. I’ve found a quartered chicken at my local grocery store and that’s even easier — you don’t have to deal with the back, etc.
  • I found it hard to find peanut oil, so I used canola. Vegetable would work as well. I also bought a deep fry thermometer, which was worth it.
  • The mashed potatoes call for a ricer to mash them, but I used an immersion blender. An electric mixer or potato masher would work just as well.
  • The broccoli is excellent, but next time I’m going to try to roast it the whole time instead of pre-boiling it.

The Ultimate Fried Chicken


  • 1 (3 1/2 lb.) chicken, cut into 10 pieces
  • Juice of 2 lemons
  • 1 gallon peanut oil, for deep-frying
  • 1/4 bunch of fresh thyme
  • 3 big fresh rosemary sprigs
  • 1/4 bunch of fresh sage
  • 2 fresh bay leaves
  • 1/2 head of garlic, smashed, husk still attached
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • Sea salt and cracked black pepper
  • 4 large eggs
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • Lemon wedges, for serving


Rinse the chicken pieces and pat dry. Put them in a large bowl and squeeze the lemon juice over them, turning the chicken so that the lemon gets all through it. Let it marinate while you heat the oil.

Pour the peanut oil into a large pasta pot. Add the herbs and garlic and heat over medium-high heat until the oil registers 350 degrees on one of those clip-on deep-fry thermometers. The herbs and garlic will perfume the oil with their flavor as the oil comes up to temperature.

Meanwhile, put the flour in a large, shallow platter and hit it with a generous seasoning of salt and pepper. Crack the eggs into a large, shallow bowl, add a drizzle of olive oil and a couple of tablespoons of water and whisk it all together with a fork.

When the oil reached 350, skim off the herbs and garlic with a slotted spoon; reserve. Roll the chicken pieces around in the flour until well coated. Shake off the excess, then dunk them in the egg wash. Carefully drop the chicken into the hot oil (you can cook it all at the same time) and cook for about 20 minutes, turning it with tongs every now and then to keep the color even. The chicken is done when the skin is crisp and golden brown and the chicken floats at the surface of the oil.. Keep an eye on the temperature and adjust the heat to keep the temperature as even as possible.

When the chicken is done, take a big skimmer and remove all of it from the pot, shaking off as much oil as you can, and lay it on a tea towel or brown paper bag to soak up the oil. Sprinkle all over with more salt and a dusting of cracked black pepper. Scatter the reserved herbs and garlic over the top. Serve hot, with big lemon wedges.

Velvety Mashed Potatoes


  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 large Yukon gold potatoes, peeled
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Drizzle olive oil, optional


Warm the cream with the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat until the butter melts; set aside.

Put the potatoes in a medium saucepan with cold water to cover. Bring to boil then add 1 teaspoon of salt and reduce the heat and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, until the potatoes are very tender. Drain. Pass the potatoes through a food mill or a ricer into a large mixing bowl. Stir in the warm cream and butter mixture until the cream is absorbed and the mixture is smooth. Season the potatoes with salt and pepper and finish them off by stirring in 1/4 cup olive oil.

Parmesan Lemon Roasted Broccoli

  • 3 heads broccoli (about 3 pounds)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • 1 lemon, juiced


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Trim about 1 inch off the ends of the broccoli stalks and cut the broccoli lengthwise into spears. Arrange the broccoli on a nonstick cookie sheet, drizzle with some olive oil and season with a little bit of salt and a generous amount of freshly ground black pepper. Toss to coat evenly. Transfer to the oven and roast for 10 minutes.

Remove the broccoli from the oven and sprinkle the cheese evenly over the top and bake until the cheese melt and forms a crisp shell over the broccoli, about 10 minutes. Lift the broccoli out onto a platter with a spatula and drizzle with fresh lemon.

Broccoli Soup


I’m on a bit of a cold weather food kick, so needless to say, I have another soup in store for ya! My BFF Melissa made this for me a few weeks ago (it’s a Neelys recipe) and it’s so creamy and delicious, yet also surprisingly good for you! It uses only 1/2 cup of cream, and no cheese…and you would never know it. I made a triple (!!!) batch because I wanted to take meals to a couple of my girlfriends who just had babies. I figured they had probably seen way too many casseroles/pastas and were likely craving some vegetables, so this was the perfect solution (and also freezable if they didn’t want to eat it then).


To add a little richness to the soup, sprinkle some cheese on top or a little sour cream, and serve with a crusty baguette that you can dip. Yummmm.

TW’s TIps

  • It is SO worth the investment to buy an immersion blender if you make a lot of soups. It’s also great for mashed potatoes. Otherwise, you can use a blender or food processor but you’ll have to do it in batches.
  • Make sure you taste it and add more salt as needed (I added more than I would have thought…probably because it was a triple batch, but whatever!)
  • Use homemade chicken stock if you have it.
  • To freeze, ladle into ziploc freezer bags (quart or gallon depending on what portion you want to freeze) and lay flat in the freezer. Then you can stand them up once they’re frozen and they thaw more quickly.

Broccoli Soup


  • 4 tablespoons butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 pounds fresh broccoli
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup cream


Melt 4 tablespoons butter in heavy medium pot over medium-high heat. Add broccoli, onion, carrot, salt and pepper and saute until onion is translucent, about 6 minutes. Add the flour and cook for 1 minute, until the flour reaches a blonde color. Add stock and bring to boil.

Simmer uncovered until broccoli is tender, about 15 minutes. Pour in cream. With an immersion blender, puree the soup. Add salt and pepper, to taste, and then replace the lid back on the pot.

Turkey Meatloaf, Parmesan Smashed Potatoes and Chili-Garlic Roasted Broccoli

Christmas is the perfect time for some comfort food, so I just had to share this amazing turkey meatloaf recipe from Barefoot Contessa. I paired it with Parmesan smashed potatoes and my absolute favorite broccoli recipe ever — chili-garlic roasted broccoli — from Rachael Ray. It was home-cooked heaven on a plate.

Let’s start with the meatloaf. I was never a meatloaf eater until recently. My parents never made it — maybe because it had a bit of a 70s TV dinner bad rap. But this version is moist, full of flavor and so tender it practically falls apart. Who would think that could be possible with ground turkey?

Barefoot Contessa’s recipe below makes a massive meatloaf. Five pounds of turkey? Umm, yeah. I cut it in half, and it was still a ton of food. I still had to cook it for about an hour and a quarter to cook it all the way through. It’s also important to note that this is one of the few recipes including ketchup that I am willing to eat. I *hate* ketchup — but I think cooking it for so long must tone it down, because it’s actually quite good on top of this meatloaf!

On to the potatoes. First things first — they’re not low fat. We’re talking heavy cream, sour cream, butter, cheese…but all of that makes these some pretty incredible potatoes. When you start mixing in the warmed up cream mixture, you’re going to think you’re making the potatoes too watery, but don’t worry — the potatoes soak up all that goodness in no time, making some of the fluffiest, creamiest potatoes I’ve ever had.

And finally — my favorite broccoli.

Roasting the broccoli in the oven adds so much flavor — it’s nutty and sweet, and the garlic and chili powder add some zip. I could literally eat this as a main course, it’s so good. I will never again boil or steam broccoli! The only problem I encountered was that cooking it to go with the meatloaf was tough because it needs a much higher temp than the meatloaf, so you can’t put them in the oven at the same time. I’d recommend cooking the meatloaf first, then letting it rest under foil while you do the broccoli. You really need the high heat to make the broccoli work, otherwise, I’d just say put it in for a little longer. But the high heat crisps up the florets and caramelizes the broccoli — yum!

I hope you enjoy this meal… and Merry Christmas!

Turkey Meatloaf


  • 3 cups chopped yellow onions (2 large onions)
  • 2 tablespoons good olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves (1/2 teaspoon dried)
  • 1/3 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 3/4 cup chicken stock
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons tomato paste
  • 5 pounds ground turkey breast
  • 1 1/2 cups plain dry bread crumbs
  • 3 extra-large eggs, beaten
  • 3/4 cup ketchup


Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

In a medium saute pan, over medium-low heat, cook the onions, olive oil, salt, pepper, and thyme until translucent, but not browned, approximately 15 minutes. Add the Worcestershire sauce, chicken stock, and tomato paste and mix well. Allow to cool to room temperature.

Combine the ground turkey, bread crumbs, eggs, and onion mixture in a large bowl. Mix well and shape into a rectangular loaf on an ungreased sheet pan. Spread the ketchup evenly on top. Bake for 1 1/2 hours until the internal temperature is 160 degrees F. and the meatloaf is cooked through. (A pan of hot water in the oven under the meatloaf will keep the top from cracking.) Serve hot, at room temperature, or cold in a sandwich.

Parmesan Smashed Potatoes


  • 3 pounds red new potatoes, unpeeled
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt, plus 2 teaspoons
  • 1 1/2 cups half and half
  • 1/4 pound unsalted unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper


Place the potatoes and 1 tablespoon of salt in a 4-quart saucepan and add cold water to cover. Bring to a boil, lower the heat and simmer covered for 25 to 35 minutes, until completely tender. Drain.

In a small saucepan, heat the half-and-half and butter. Put the potatoes into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and mix the potatoes for a few seconds on low speed, to break them up. Slowly add the hot cream and butter to the potatoes, mixing on the lowest speed (the last quarter of the cream should be folded in by hand). Fold in the sour cream, Parmesan cheese, the remaining salt, and pepper; taste for seasoning and serve immediately. If the potatoes are too thick, add more hot cream and butter.

Chili-Garlic Roasted Broccoli


  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, eyeball it
  • 5 to 6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon grill seasoning blend (recommended:Montreal Steak Seasoning by McCormick Grill Mates)
  • 1 large head broccoli, cut into thin, long spears


Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

Place extra-virgin olive oil, garlic, chili powder and grill seasoning in the bottom of a large bowl and add the broccoli spears. Toss to coat broccoli evenly then transfer to a large nonstick baking sheet. Roast the broccoli until ends are crisp and brown and stalks are tender, 17 to 20 minutes.

Herb & Lemon-Roasted Chicken with Smashed Broccoli and Garlic

My post-farmers market trip on Sunday resulted in this delicious dinner I cooked for my BFF Melissa, courtesy of Tyler Florence: Herb & Lemon-Roasted Chicken with Smashed Broccoli and Garlic. The more I cook from Tyler Florence, the more I love him. This came from his “Real Kitchen” cookbook.

Tyler calls for marinating the chicken for at least five hours in an herb-infused oil — which made the chicken super tender and juicy. Yum. Add in the lemon slice and herbs you tuck under the skin before roasting, and the meat is exploding with flavor.

I was a little skeptical of the smashed broccoli, because I tend to like my vegetables al dente. But this turned out amazingly — I will definitely be making it again. It was super flavorful, and the yogurt mixed in at the last minute gave it a great tang. I didn’t even mind it being a little “smashed.”

TW’s Tips

  • I didn’t have bone-in chicken breasts on-hand, so I used chicken thighs, and it worked great. Just put one lemon slice under the skin per thigh.
  • Sauteing the chicken got rather splatter-y given the oil marinade and additional oil in the pan, plus the fat from the skin. If you have one of those handy splatter screens you set over a pan, highly recommend you use. Those things are awesome.
  • The thighs took longer to cook through than stated. Give them a little extra time.
  • I skipped the pan sauce because I was starving after cooking the chicken longer than I expected. And it was still delish. So if you want to save some time, go this route.
  • Putting the broccoli in a food processor didn’t work so well. It was pretty thick so I had to keep stirring it up to get it moving. If you have an immersion blender, you’ll save some hassle.

Here’s the recipe…have at it!

Herb & Lemon-Roasted Chicken with Smashed Broccoli and Garlic
1 1/4 hours to make + 5 hours to marinate                                                                             Serves 2


  • 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Zest of 1 lemon, peeled in big strips
  • 4 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 4 fresh thyme sprigs
  • 2 fresh rosemary sprigs
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh chives
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh tarragon
  • 1 lemon, sliced in paper-thin circles
  • 2 bone-in chicken breasts, 8 ounces each, skin on
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup low-sodium chicken stock
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter


  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 5 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
  • 1 bunch broccoli, about 1 pound, including stems, coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup low-sodium chicken stock
  • 1/4 cup plain yogurt
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper


Start by marinating the chicken because it will take the longest. To infuse the oil with flavor and create a base for the marinade, combine the olive oil with the lemon zest, garlic, thyme, rosemary, and bay leaves in a small pot and place over very low heat. You don’t want to fry the herbs, just steep them like you’re making tea. When the oil begins to simmer, shut off the heat and let it stand for 10 minutes. Pour the fragrant oil, solid pieces and all, into a bowl and put it in the refrigerator to cool.

Combine the chopped chives, parsley, and tarragon in a small bowl. Stuff 2 lemon slices under the skin of each chicken breast, along with half of the mixed chopped herbs. Put the chicken in a resealable food storage bag and pour in the cool herb oil, turning to coat really well. Toss in the remaining half of the chopped herbs, seal the bag, and refrigerate at least 5 hours or as long as all day.

Remove the chicken from the refrigerator about 15 minutes before cooking so it won’t be too cold when it goes into the pan; cold chicken takes longer to cook. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Put a cast-iron (or regular ovenproof) skillet over medium heat. Drizzle the bottom of the pan with a 2-count of olive oil and heat until almost smoking; this will keep the chicken from sticking. Season the chicken with a fair amount of salt and pepper and put it in the pan, skin side down. Cook for 5 minutes or until the skin begins to set and crisp. Flip the chicken and brown another 5 minutes. Flip it yet again, so the skin side is down, and transfer the entire pan to the oven. You want the chicken to render its fat and the skin to crisp up. Roast the chicken for 20 to 25 minutes or until cooked through. While that’s in the oven, move on to the broccoli.

Heat the olive oil in a medium pot; add the red pepper flakes and garlic. Throw in the broccoli and toss to coat in the garlic and oil. Pour in the chicken stock, cover, and let the broccoli steam for 10 minutes. When it is quite soft, pulse the broccoli a few times in a food processor, or better yet, use a handheld blender if you have one. The broccoli should be partly smooth and partly chunky. Stir in the yogurt to give the broccoli some body and season with salt and pepper.

Transfer the chicken to a platter and keep it warm while preparing the pan sauce. Pour out all but 1 tablespoon of the rendered chicken fat and return the skillet to the stovetop. Add the chicken stock and lemon juice and cook over medium heat, scraping up the flavors with a wooden spoon. Cook the liquid down to a syrup, about 5 minutes. Stir in the butter to smooth out the sauce and turn off the heat.

Spoon the smashed broccoli onto 2 plates, lay the chicken on top, and drizzle with the pan sauce. This is comfort food!