Chicken parmesan ziti bake is a delicious, easy pasta bake that will feed a large family. It takes little time to assemble, making this the perfect dinner choice for evenings where you are in a hurry.
I simply adore citrus fruits, the sweet tanginess and the smell of the peels when cut or grated. I also love lazy Sundays with a roast in the oven and the sweet promise of dessert and an afternoon nap on a cool winter’s afternoon. If all of the above also appeals to you, you might want to consider trying this orange, honey and garlic chicken with sweet perfumed baby fennel bulbs. There is just something very festive about placing a roast on a set table and carving it after saying grace. I almost feel like doing it every day of the week. The ingredients all cook down to a sweet fragrant sauce, and the fennel bulbs soak in all the citrus flavour that complement their soft anise flavours.
I served this roast chicken with fluffy white Basmati rice garnished with fresh parsley, and a lightly sauteed greens and roasted baby beetroot salad.
Serves: 4 Takes: About 15 min to prepare and 1 1/2 hour to cook. Easy
- One large chicken (about 1.5kg)
- 1/2 orange
- 3 large hands full of mixed fresh herbs (parsley, thyme, sage, rosemary)
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/2 cup orange juice
- 4 cloves garlic (minced)
- 1/8 cup honey
- 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
- juice of half a lemon
- 2 heaped teaspoons chicken rub
- 3 whole oranges (cut into quarters)
- 1 teaspoon pink himalayan salt
- cracked black pepper
- 8 baby fennel bulbs (greens cut off)
- 2 large leeks (chopped into slices)
- Pre-heat your oven to 200°C
- Prepare the chicken by patting dry with a paper towel and removing excess fat.
- Place the 1/2 orange and the fresh herbs in the empty cavity and tie the legs together with string.
- Combine the olive oil, orange juice, garlic, honey, balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, salt and chicken rub in a container and whisk well.
- Place the chicken, fennel bulbs, orange quarters and leeks in a large dutch oven.
- Pour the prepared olive oil-mixture over the chicken and season with salt and pepper.
- Cover the dutch oven with it’s lid and roast for about one hour.
- After one hour remove the lid and further roast uncovered for another 30 minutes making sure all the juices run clear when a knife is inserted inbetween the leg and body before removing from the oven.
- Once removed from the oven, rest for another half an hour to let the juices redistribute before carving and serving with the fennel bulbs and leeks.
If you enjoyed this you might also like Vanilla and Rosemary Chicken
So eating healthy does not need to be a drag. Throwing this healthy salad together for lunch will take you less than twenty minutes and will prevent the late afternoon slump from getting hold of you. Both my teenagers seemed to be impressed with this tasty ensamble as a post-exam filler.
1 Tbsp garlic infused avocado oil
one chicken breast butterflied
salt and pepper
1/2 an avocado pear
1 cup of torn lettuce
1/2 cup of dried cranberries
1/2 cup of walnuts
1/2 a cup of olive oil
1/2 a cup of balsamic vinegar
1 Tbsp honey
juice of one lemon
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
a pinch of salt
- Heat the avocado oil in a heavy based frying pan.
- Season the chicken breast with salt and pepper.
- Fry the chicken breast in the oil for about 3 minutes on each side untill the chicken breast is cooked through.
- Add all the ingredients for the salad dressing in a glass jar and shake well with a closed lid.
- Add the lettuce as a base for the salad on a plate.
- Slice both the pear and the avocado pear in thin slices and arrange on the lettuce together with the chicken breast, wall nuts and dried cranberries.
- Drizzle with the salad dressing and save the rest of the dressing left over for another salad for later.
- Season with salt and pepper to your preference.
Vanilla and Rosemary chicken the perfect summer food:
One of my family’s favorite meals remains the humble roast chicken. Golden roasted, I find this Vanilla and Rosemary Chicken hard to declare not being one of my favourites to make. I usually can’t wait for it to come out of the oven. Especially during the summer months, when it is sweltering hot in Pretoria, I like to prepare it early and store it in the refrigerator to cool down. Served with a green salad and fresh bread it is the perfect summer food.
My husband, who is probably also the biggest fan of my food, bless his dolly heart, told me about a radio interview which he overheard the other day. In this interview, the various uses of vanilla were being discussed, which also included using it in chicken dishes. Being the explorer I am, I decided to give this a try, and so this recipe for an easy vanilla and rosemary chicken was created.
Although, this is slightly different from the way I usually roast chicken, I thought the taste to be quite interesting. I never thought that vanilla could work well with chicken, after all vanilla ( I have always thought) is for baking but somehow it just does.
So if you are feeling a bit adventurous, maybe you should like to have a bash at it. You might be pleasantly surprised.
How to make this easy vanilla and rosemary chicken:
- 1 Medium sized chicken approximately 1-1.5 kg
- Salt (about one teaspoon) and freshly ground pepper to season
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla paste
- 3 Tablespoons of butter
- Zest of 1 lemon
- Freshly squeezed lemon juice of one lemon.
- 12 Sprigs of fresh Rosemary
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
- 1 Roasting bag
- Preheat the oven to 200 ° C
- Rub the chicken on the inside of the cavity as well as the the outside with the salt and pepper to taste
- Loosen the skin carefully on top of the breast and rub with vanilla paste and butter
- Place some of the rosemary inside of the chicken’s cavity and tie the chicken’s legs together with string.
- Place the chicken in the roasting bag
- Mix the rest of the ingredients together and pour over the chicken in the roasting bag. Rub the mixture into the chicken. Place the remaining rosemary under the chicken in the bag
- Tie the roasting bag and place into the oven for approximately 2 hours
- Turn the roasting bag every 1/2 hour so that the meat can brown on both sides and the juices can baste the chicken
- When the chicken has turned golden on both sides and the juices run clear, remove from the oven and cool slightly before serving
I served this on a hot summers day with fresh flat breads, green salad and corn on the cob.
If you enjoyed this post you might enjoy:
For another, awesome vanilla chicken recipe, head over to The Olive Scene for this Vanilla Balsamic Chicken recipe.
Vanilla and Rosemary chicken
Roasting bag and Oven
- 1 med free-range chicken
- 1 tsp salt
- freshly ground pepper to taste
- 3 tbsp butter
- 1 lemon's zest and juice
- 12 sprigs fresh rosemary
- 1 tsp vanilla paste
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 200°C
Rub the chicken with salt and pepper all over, including the inside cavity.
Loosen se skin around the breast carefully by inserting your hand and rub the vanilla paste and butter between the breast of the chicken and the skin.
Place half of the rosemary and the juiced halves of the lemon in the chicken cavity and tie the chicken's legs together with string.
Place the chicken inside of the roasting bag on top of the remaining rosemary
Mix the zest, lemon juice, vanilla extract and pour over the chicken in the roasting bag.
Bake for approximately 1 ½ hour until the juices of the chicken runs clear. During this time turn the bag every ½ hour to baste the chicken and make sure it roasts golden on both sides.
Remove from oven when cooked and rest.
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As I am sitting here I am happy to announce that we have been blessed with a holiday at one of the most beautiful parts of South-Africa, Kwazulu, Natal. It has been quite cool in the rest of our otherwise sunny country, but fortunately we have not felt too much of the cold snap here at the South-coast. Lucky us! Since we have arrived yesterday morning we have only seen blue skies and sunshine resulting in some swimming and picnicking on the beach.
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Our evenings have been slightly cooler and therefore I have felt the need for my warm pajamas and some comfort food. I have to admit that I have been in a serious holiday mood since arriving and did not feel like slaving away in the kitchen. So this afternoon I decided to make a simple but delicious roast for us. The great taste lies in the plain but good quality ingredients. Also, I decided to not make too much of a to do, and kept the veggies chunky, not peeling the butternut but roasting it with the peel which added to the rustic feel of the dish. The good old garlic also got to keep its skin on, roasting sweet and soft, perfect to spread on a chunky piece if ciabatta. Because this is roasted at a high temperature the skin of the chicken becomes crispy enveloping the hot steamy flesh! Yum!
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I am also not just the not so skinny cook , I am also the little bit of lazy, hasty cook and this dish will be done in less than 45 minutes! Just enough time to go and take a stroll down the beach and work up an appetite or if you are not on holiday it will be enough time to bathe the kids and set the table…
Well then Bon Appetit….
This will feed your family of 4 and maybe leave you with some left overs for a sandwich.
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- About 1kg chicken pieces
- 1/2 butternut chopped chunky and lengthwise (leave the peal on)
- 1 sweet red pepper cut into chunky pieces
- 1 onion chopped into chunky pieces
- 6 large garlic cloves (resist the urge to peel!)
- few sprigs of thyme, and origanum
- 1/4 cup lemon infused olive oil (unflavored, extra virgin oil of good quality will also do just fine)
- freshly ground salt and pepper to taste
Preheat your oven to 220º C
Place all of the above ingredients into a mixing bowl and mix together. Transfer to a roasting pan and season with freshly ground salt and pepper. Roast for about 40 minutes until the chicken is golden, the skin is crispy and veggies has caramelized. Serve with a rustic ciabatta bread.
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This is another one of my quick Sunday evening or Saturday-lunch favorites. I find the thought of melty, oozy cheese always extremely comforting, therefore this is just the thing to help me cope with my Sunday evening blues. The great thing about this almost quesadilla-like meal is that you have endless possibilities with fillings. It thus makes it very easy to cater for all tastes in your family. Also, it is a great way to consume left over chicken or meat from your previous meal. Waste not, want not.