Winner, winner, chicken dinner!

It’s sooooo hot!! We are literally maintaining daily temperatures over 100, and having afternoons as high as 113! I don’t sweat, I steam. Scared to be outside long for fear that the soles of my shoes will melt off, I carefully plot my parking spaces in what little shade can be found and strategically plan my errand routes in the most efficient order. I am still, however, determined to make home-cooked, healthy meals for myself and the family. But how on earth do I dare turn on the stove or oven when it already feels like our house is inside a giant’s roasting pan?? Simple… I don’t.

One of the many things I love about The Pampered Chef’s Stoneware (besides the obvious features I’ve spoken of before: crispier crusts, moister food, more even cooking, easier cleanup) is that they are not only great in the oven, but also MICROWAVEABLE!! Yes indeed, I can avoid the hateful heat waves spewing from my oven door every time I need to test a temp. and still have a delicious HOME-MADE dinner! As I believe I’ve said before, I don’t generally suggest microwaves for cooking meals, but desperate[ly hot] times call for desperate measures. With the recipe for 30-Minute Chicken found in an old Season’s Best Cookbook(current season’s $1 cookbook linked there), I get the best of both worlds. My whole chicken literally comes out of that microwave juicy and delicious, just like a roasted chicken. EVERY. TIME.

practicing the art of ancient chicken massage

I made no major changes to the recipe (shocker, I know!), but I didn’t have any string to tie the chicken’s legs, so I had to MacGuyver that bad boy. I would be microwaving, so naturally couldn’t use anything I had easily accessible – twist ties, paperclips, etc. – and didn’t really want a hair band on my food… so I used toothpicks. Believe it or not, two toothpicks placed downward through the skin/meat of the legs actually held them together! This time preparing the dish, I followed the meal suggestion and spread baby yukon gold potatoes (already had them), carrots, and celery around the edges. They were also perfectly cooked and complemented the chicken well. Even better, since the recipe roasts a whole chicken, we had enough for all three of us to eat, twice! All in all, a very successful, cheap, fairly healthy, “cool,” hot home-made meal. Seriously, get yourself a PC Deep Covered Baker. Can’t afford it? Host a show with me, whether in person or online/with catalogs, and get one half-price or even FREE!! In fact, I’m so happy with mine that I’ll sweeten the deal. Anyone who orders the Deep Covered Baker from me or through my website will receive a free copy of the cookbook Dinner in Your Deep Covered Baker! Just because I love it so much. I’ll be posting about a meal I made from that cookbook soon, so stay tuned and happy cooking!

as if I’d roasted it for hours in the oven…

30-Minute Chicken

Chicken
1 whole chicken (3 1/2-4 pounds)
1 tablespoon olive oil

Seasoning Mixture
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme leaves

1. For chicken, lightly spray Deep Covered Baker with oil using Kitchen Spritzer. Remove and discard giblets and neck from chicken cavity. Rinse chicken with cold water; pat dry with paper towels. Trim excess fat using Professional Shears, if necessary. Tie ends of legs together with cotton string. Lift wing tips up toward neck, then tuck under back of chicken. Place chicken onto Cutting Board; brush with oil using Chef’s Silicone Basting Brush.

2. For seasoning mixture, combine ingredients in Prep Bowl; mix well. Completely coat outside of chicken with seasoning mixture. Place chicken, breast side up, into baker.

3. Microwave, uncovered, on HIGH 25-30 minutes or until Digital Pocket Thermometer registers 165F in thickest part of breast and juices run clear. Remove from microwave. Cover with lid and let stand 10 minutes (temperature will rise to 170F).

Yield: 4-6 servings
Nutrients per serving: Calories 490, Total Fat 29g, Saturated Fat 8g, Cholesterol 165mg, Carbohydrate 2g, Protein 52g, Sodium 450mg, Fiber 0g

not a gamble with this dinner!

Variation:
All-In-One Chicken Dinner

Prepare chicken as directed above and place into baker. Combine 1 cup each celery and carrots, cut into 1-inch pieces, and 3 cups red or russet potatoes, cut into 2-inch pieces, in Classic Batter Bowl. Toss with additional seasoning and oil, if desired. Arrange vegetables around chicken. Microwave, uncovered, on HIGH 35-40 minutes or until Digital Pocket Thermometer registers 165F in thickest part of breast and juices run clear. Remove from microwave. Cover with lid and let stand 10 minutes (temperature will rise to 170F).

Yield: 4 servings
Nutrients per serving: Calories 580, Total Fat 29g, Saturated Fat 8g, Cholesterol 165mg, Carbohydrate 23g Protein 54g, Sodium 500mg, Fiber 3g

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