Last weekend, The JohnnyCakes and I went outlet mall shopping.  And he made the mistake of letting me go into the Le Creuset store…

And after some heavy wheeling, dealing, and discounting, I left the store with THIS:



So for my inaugural dish in this puppy, I knew I had to do something extra super special and yumtastically tasty!

So, what could I cook that required a huge pan and was a huge pain in the butt to make…???

Arroz Con Pollo!


Here are the ingredients:

  • 1- 3 1/2-4 lb chicken, cut into 8 pieces (or 3 1/2 lbs chicken parts of your choosing)
  • 2-3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 large red bell pepper, diced
  • 4-5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons paprika
  • 1/2 tsp white pepper
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp dried cumin
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes.  (Yes, mine is in a packet from a pizza place.  What, you don’t collect these too?  Why not?)
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 cups long-grain white rice
  • 1 1/4 cup dry white wine*
  • 1 14-oz can diced tomatoes, with juice
  • 1 3/4 cups chicken broth*
  • 3/4 tsp crumbled saffron threads
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1/2 cup pimiento-stuffed green olives, chopped

*The liquid in this dish should total 3 cups.  So you can use 3 cups chicken broth, or alter the quantities of wine and broth to total 3 cups.  One recipe I saw even used beer for the liquid part!  So the choice is yours…


  • Preheat your oven to 350.
  • Rinse your chicken really, really well.
  • If necessary, cut up your whole chicken into 8 pieces….  Oh, you don’t know how?  Well here’s a video just for you!

Now, wasn’t that easy?

  • Season the chicken with salt and pepper.
  • Heat the olive oil in the pan, and add the chicken.

  • Cook the chicken until it is golden brown on all sides, about 6-8 minutes total.

Your chicken should be browner than this. Just remember that it's not going to get any browner in the oven, and cook accordingly.

  • When the chicken is browned to your liking, transfer it to a plate for later.
  • Add the onion, garlic, and bell pepper to the pan.

  • Reduce heat to medium and saute for about 5 minutes.
  • Add paprika and wine.  Boil for 2 minutes.

  • Add saffron and rice and cook, stirring, for 1 minute.

  • Stir in the broth, white pepper, cumin, red pepper flakes, and oregano and bring to a simmer.

  • Return the chicken and any juices to the pan.

Your chicken should probably be browner than mine, but after 45 minutes in the oven, it will no longer be hazardous to your health. I promise!

  • Cover the pan, put in the oven, and bake for 45 minutes.
  • After 45 minutes, remove from the oven, and stir in the tomatoes, olives, and frozen peas.  (My olives were left whole.  BIG mistake.  If you chop them up a bit, the flavor will be more subtle in the dish and not quite so, um…shocking? when you eat them.)

  • After stirring in those ingredients, return the pan to the oven and bake for another 15 minutes.  (If you take out the pan and the liquid has already been absorbed, you can add another 1/2 cup or so of liquid if you want.)
  • After 15 minutes, you should get something like THIS:




Today we will be making a dish whose name confounds most Yankees:   Chicken Fried Chicken!  Yee Haw!

To make this, you will need:

  • 2-4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • flour
  • an egg or two
  • salt
  • pepper
  • cayenne pepper
  • garlic powder
  • oil or shortening for frying
  • 1 pkg PIONEER GRAVY(!!!!)


  • If you want to shorten the cooking time, put each chicken breast into a ziploc bag and pound it to 1/2″ thickness with a meat mallet.  But this is entirely optional…
  • Mix flour, salt, pepper, cayenne, and garlic powder, and put into a dredging receptacle.
  • Beat eggs in a bowl that is big enough to accommodate the chicken breasts.

  • Heat oil to 350-375 degrees.
  • Dredge each piece of chicken in flour, then egg, then flour.  Make sure the entire thing is coated.

  • Fry at medium-high heat, turning frequently, until brown.  After that, lower the heat a bit, cover, and cook for another 15-20 minutes, turning frequently to avoid burning the crust.

  • If needed, you can keep the cooked chicken in your oven at 175-200 while you make the rest of the food.
  • Make the Pioneer Gravy according to directions on the package.  (Yes, this is totally cheating.  But if you have ever tasted this stuff, you know that it tastes EXACTLY like the gravy that they use for chicken fingers at Whataburger.  And I wouldn’t lie to you about something as important as gravy…  So use it!)
  • Ladle gravy over chicken and EAT!

Well okay then…

Today I have an actual COMPLETE MEAL! Yay!

For dinner, we have a super delicious

Onion Soup Roasted Chicken with Veggies!

…and for dessert we have…. Well, you’ll just have to wait and see…

First of all, here is what you need for the chicken:


  • 1 envelope onion soup mix
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 4 bone-in chicken breast halves (Mine came in a pack of THREE. Why???)
  • 1 lb potatoes, cut into small chunks
  • sliced carrots. The Official Recipe says two, but I like carrots. I mean, I really, really like carrots. So I used a whole bunch. So whatever you want to do is fine. They’re carrots. They’ll be like veggie candy anyway once they’re cooked… (Yay!)


1. Preheat oven to 450F.

2. Combine all the ingredients in a bag or bowl, and mix well.

3. Dump everything into a roasting pan, and put the chicken breasts on top.

4. Bake, uncovered, for 45 minutes, or until the chicken is done. The usual directions say to baste halfway through, but I really didn’t. Baste with what? Olive oil and potato juices?

5. Anyway, when it’s done, you should get something like THIS:

6. Plate it up, add some greenish veggies if you want, and chow down!

7. (But save some room for dessert!)

…And for dessert we have….. (Drumroll, please….)

Strawberry Nutella Crepes!!!!


  • Crepes. You can probably find a recipe online somewhere, but my entire life is not about making crepes these days, so I just got the premade ones. Premade crepes will save you at least half an hour in the kitchen slaving over a hot stove, making WAY more crepes than you will need. Ever.
  • Strawberries. If you can find some good fresh ones, use those. I got mine frozen, because they are picked at the peak of freshness and…. Okay I won’t lie. They were on sale.
  • NUTELLA!!!! aka Food of the Gods.
  • Sugar: granulated for the strawberries, and powdered for the decoration.


1. If your strawberries are frozen, please, by all means, thaw them out.

2. If your strawberries are not frozen, trim and clean them. You don’t know where they’ve been!

3. Slice them into quarters and throw them into a bowl.

4. Add 2 or 3 tablespoons of sugar, and let them sit for a while.

5. After a while, they should look like THIS:

6. Preheat your favorite nonstick skillet to medium.

7. place a shmear of Nutella onto half of a crepe.

7. Fold in half, put into skillet, and brown on one side, flip, and brown on the other side. Like so:

8. Take crepe out of pan, fold into quarters, and plate.

9. Cover with juicy runny strawberries, and sprinkle with powdered sugar.

Now that wasn’t so hard, was it???

More low carby goodness for you today…

Philly Cream Cheese Chicken!

To make this, you will need:

  • .
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 4 oz cream cheese
  • 1 can condensed cream of mushroom soup
  • 1 pkg Zesty Italian salad dressing mix


1.  Grease/oil up a casserole dish.

2.  Preheat oven to 375F

3.  Put chicken parts in the casserole dish…

4.  Sprinkle salad dressing mix over chicken.

5.  If the cream cheese needs softening, throw it into the microwave for 20-30 seconds.  Then stir or whisk to get the lumps out.

6.  Add mushroom soup and mix into the cream cheese.

7.  Spread over the chicken.

8.  Put in the oven for 35-40 minutes if the chicken is already thawed.   If you are lazy and get your chicken breasts frozen and refuse to thaw them, keep them in the oven for 45-55 minutes.

9.  You will get THIS:

10.  Plate it up with your favorite veggies (and potatoes or noodles if you don’t care about the carb count).


Leftover Pot Pie!


Did you make a truckload of stew/chicken soup/random meaty substance and can’t stand the thought of having the exact same thing AGAIN for dinner?

Why not make THIS?


  • Leftover stewy substance
  • Frozen mixed veggies.  Or veggies that are in your refrigerator and are about to croak, so you really really need to use them, like, NOW.  But chop them up first…
  • Maybe some cornstarch?  (up to a tablespoon)
  • Frozen Puff Pastry – thawed for 30-40 minutes
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon water
  • Ramekins would be nice.


  1. Throw the leftovers into a pan on the stove.
  2. Heat to dissolve chunks of grease, coagulated animal particles, etc.
  3. Add a bit of cornstarch if you need to thicken the sauce a bit – The best way to do this is to remove a 1/4 cup of sauce, mix with cornstarch, then return the mixture to the pan.  That way, no lumps!
  4. Add the veggies of your choice and warm through.
  5. When the mixture is done, add it to your ramekins.  If you don’t have ramekins, you can probably use one big baking container or ramekin, but what fun is that, really?   Come on.  Go to the CorningWare outlet and pick up some ramekins.  They’re probably STILL on sale. Seriously.
  6. Unroll the puff pastry.  You can either cut the pastry into equal squares, or trace around your containers (with about 1/2 inch extra border) and then cut.  Whatever. 
  7. Break an egg into a small bowl, add 1 tsp water, and mix well.
  8. Brush egg wash onto rim of ramekins. 
  9. Add puff pastry and seal edges.
  10. Brush egg wash on top of pastry.
  11. If you want to get all artsy, add pastry shapes using egg wash as glue, then brush egg wash over those shapes too.
  12. Cut vent holes!  No ‘splosions!
  13. Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes.
  14. Bask in the yumminess.

When I was much younger, and I used to visit my grandpa every Sunday for dinner, he used to sometimes make cornflake chicken.  This week I was feeling nostalgic, and I decided to try making it for myself.  So I consulted my good friend Mr. Google, and I got the closest recipe I could find for his recipe…

So without further ado, here it is….

Cornflake chicken


  • 2 c. cornflake crumbs
  • 2 tsp. paprika
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp. ground thyme
  • 1/2 tsp. red pepper
  • 4-6 chicken breast halves, skinned
  • 1/4 c. buttermilk, or 2 beaten eggs
  • butter


  1. Rinse and dry chicken pieces.
  2. Put chicken into a zip-top bag, and pour buttermilk into bag.  Swirl it around to coat chicken.
  3. Let chicken sit for a while to brine in the buttermilk.  (At least an hour.)
  4. (Skip those last two steps if you are using eggs instead of buttermilk.)
  5. Combine first 5 ingredients in another plastic bag. Shake to mix well.
  6. Place chicken in bag of crumbs and shake to coat.
  7. Place chicken on broiler pan which has been sprayed with vegetable spray.
  8. Dot chicken with butter.  Or melt butter in microwave and drizzle over chicken.
  9. Bake at 400 degrees for 45 minutes or until done.
  10. Bask in the glorious glow of being worshiped by anyone who eats this.