Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Dutch Oven Cooking

Hey Everyone! So as you all know, I received this beautiful, enameled cast iron dutch oven for my birthday which I just absolutely love! You can cook with it on the stove top, or you can also put it into the oven for roasting or baking. It honestly has become my favorite piece of cookware in the kitchen. So, needless to say, I have been experimenting with it, and I tried a couple new recipes!

The first thing I tried was a roasted chicken. I'll be honest, I didn't really have a recipe for this per se, so I kinda....winged it. (ba dump bump chhhhhhh....Ok, that was bad! LOL) However, I did borrow the concept behind my roasted chicken from this recipe here , but did a totally different take on my chicken as I didn't have rosemary on hand, or lemon. I had cilantro, and lime. This recipe was very easy and it made for a really easy, throw together kinda meal. 

I used about a 5lb bird for my meal. So, preheat your oven to 475 degrees. I started by taking 1/2 stick of melted butter. To that melted butter, I added some fresh minced garlic, but you could use the garlic from the jar. I added some chopped cilantro and zest from my limes. I also seasoned the melted butter with some salt and pepper to taste. Next, I used salt and pepper to season the cavity liberally. I cut the limes in half, juiced them and set aside the juice as well as the rinds. 

I sliced some onions, a little bit on the thick side and lined the bottom of the dutch oven with them. I also drizzled a little bit of extra virgin olive oil ("EVOO" as Rachel Ray likes to say) over the onions as well. Save the scraps from your onions. By this time, the butter mixture has hardened some. Using your hands, get very friendly with your bird and slather him up with the butter mixture everywhere. Carefully peel the skin away on the breast and slather the butter where you can on the meat under the skin as well, but don't tear the skin. Place the chicken in the dutch over right on top of the onions. Stuff the cavity of the bird with the onion scraps, garlic, the lime rinds and extra cilantro. 

It is usually suggested that you tie the chickens legs together. They say it helps with the cooking process and helps with even cooking. I didn't have any kitchen twine, so I didn't tie up my chicken. But if you have some twine, or even PLAIN dental floss, now would be the time to tie up your chicken. Pour the reserved lime juice over the chicken.

Don't cover your chicken. Let it roast, but if you see that it's getting to dark for your taste, then cover it ajar so that your protect it from the direct heat. With that being said, place your chicken in the oven at 475 for the first 15 minutes and then turn the oven down to 350 and roast at 20 minutes per pound or until the internal temperature reads 165. You can also baste your chicken about half way through, if you want. Although I didn't. I tried not to disturb it too much and just keeping the good heat in the oven. 

This chicken turned out amazing. It was very tasty and moist. I am looking forward to making it again soon!! 

The next recipe I tried was this homemade apple cider beef stew from the Taste Of Home website. This is a wonderful recipe for fall. A little bit of a different twist from your standard beef stew. It has sweetness from the apple cider, (you can also use apple juice) and yet subtle savory flavor. I really enjoyed the sweetness in this stew though. 

We made this on Halloween evening as I had my mom over for dinner. I did make a slight alteration on this recipe though. The original recipe called for 3 cups of apple cider and 2 Tbsp of apple cider vinegar. After I added that with the stew beef, it just didn't seem like it would be enough for 4 people. My daughter and her boyfriend were here for dinner as well. Anyway, I actually added 6 cups of apple cider and 4 Tbsp aopple cider vinegar to my 2 lbs of stew beef. We adjusted the vegetables accordingly to a double recipe and the ratio of beef to liquid actually worked out pretty well. I don't know, please feel free to experiment, but after I added the liquid to the beef, I was fearful that it wouldn't be enough. I also found that although the cook time states 1-3/4 hours, we found that it took longer to get the veggies tender. Other than that, great recipe....tasty and pretty easy!! Below is the recipe that I altered, but you can get the original recipe here!!

 TOTAL TIME: Prep: 30 min. Cook: 1-3/4 hours (you will probably need more time than this)


  • 2 pounds beef stew meat, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 6 cups apple cider or juice
  • 4 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 4 teaspoons salt, optional
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 4 large potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 6-8 medium carrots, cut into 3/4-inch pieces
  • 6 celery ribs, cut into 3/4-inch pieces
  • 3 medium onions, cut into wedges
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup water

  1. In a Dutch oven, brown beef on all sides in oil over medium-high heat; drain. Add the cider, vinegar, salt if desired, thyme and pepper; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 1-1/4 hours.
  2. Add the potatoes, carrots, celery and onions; return to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 30-35 minutes or until beef and vegetables are tender.
  3. Combine flour and water until smooth; stir into stew. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Yield: 8 servings.

If there is nothing else I enjoy more, it is being together with family, cooking and having a meal together. I find I enjoy this the most when I am feeling down, or a bit stressed. Being with family and having meals together is one way that I find the good moments in my life, cherish them and embrace the positivity!! Thanks so much for reading.


Bowl Of Delicious
Taste Of Home

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