Wednesday, October 16, 2013

A True Classic in the Crawford Family

Over the years cooking I have learned that recipes are kind of like friends...Some come and some go, some are good while others are terrible, some smell great while others just totally reek. Some recipes taste really good for a while but then they fall out of favor and you just don't make them anymore. But there are always a couple of recipes that stay with you throughout the years, in good times and bad, and in good weather or crappy weather. These are the recipes you can count on, like good friends. So I thought I would share this recipe with everyone...It is Roasted Chicken with Smoked Paprika, Tomatoes, and Garbanzo Beans and it is a home run and a recipe to die for. Not only does it taste great right out of the oven, it makes even better leftovers. This is not my recipe. I snared it out of Bon Appetit a few years ago and it is a staple now in our family. We make this during the week because it is fast, fairly cheap, and it makes great leftovers for sandwiches the next day.

The backbone of this recipe is the smoked paprika, which is probably almost as expensive as the chicken. It is worth it. Good paprika is an amazing, powerful, underrated spice that everyone should have in their pantry.

Another reason I like this recipe is that we could use the cherry tomatoes that came from our garden. The tomatoes were coming out of our ass this year so we had to use them up! This is a great way to do that.

This recipe uses boneless, skinless chicken breasts so it is also very healthy.

This recipe also uses a fair amount of garlic so your house will smell super good. This picture below shows the sauce that you make to rub on the chicken. It is the smoked paprika, garlic, olive oil, salt, pepper, and cayenne pepper.

After you have made the sauce, you rub about 1/4 of it on the chicken, coating it well.

Once the chicken has been coated, the sauce is added to the beans, tomatoes, and cilantro. A couple of tablespoons of the sauce also goes into 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt

Here is a picture of the yogurt sauce to spread on the chicken once it is out of the oven and the dish itself ready for a hot 450 degree oven.


1) 1/4 Cup olive oil
2) 4 garlic cloves, minced
3) 1 Tablespoon smoked paprika (very powerful stuff)
4) 1 teaspoon cumin
5) 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
6) 1/2 cup Greek yogurt
7) 4 large chicken breasts (you can cut these into smaller pieces)
8) 1 15 oz. can garbanzo beans
9) 1 12 oz. container cherry tomatoes
10) 1 cup chopped cilantro

Preheat your oven to 450 degrees. Mix the first five ingredients in a bowl and set it aside. Pour a spoonful of the mixture into the yogurt...If you want more kick to the yogurt sauce, add more. Rub a couple of tablespoons of the mixture all over the chicken breasts to coat them well. Salt and pepper the breasts. Add the beans, tomatoes, and 1/2 cup cilantro to the remaining paprika sauce, mix it well and then dump the mixture over the chicken breasts. Add a little more salt and pepper to the dish. Bake it in the oven for about 20 minutes and then let it sit when you take it out for a minute or two. Dish up the chicken and spread the bean mixture all over. Serve with the yogurt sauce.
The leftovers are AWESOME in a pita pocket. Just cut the chicken up, spoon some of the bean mixture in, and then put some yogurt sauce on top. Great and I hope you enjoy it as much as we do.   

Monday, October 7, 2013

Cured Salmon

This was a great year out in Puget Sound for fishing. It is an odd year so that means the return of Pink salmon into the into the rivers and sound. The Coho and Chinook are still coming in as we speak but the Pink run has pretty much ended. My good friend and I were able to hook into a bunch of salmon this summer. That allows you to experiment with the fish because you have so much of it. Most of the fish that I caught this year were out of my new fishing kayak.

We would usually fish near the mouth of the Puyallup river because that was where the fish were headed. If we were not out in the kayaks we were casting from the bank.

The Pink salmon is known to have so-so meat compared to the Chinook, Coho, and Sockeye. I think it tastes great but you have to bleed the fish right after you catch it and keep it on ice. This can be a little tricky in a kayak...Luckily mine has room for an ice chest!

Once we caught what we wanted - you are allowed up to four in a day - we headed home to clean them.

I cleaned the fish on my front porch but I could not wait to sample them...With wasabi, soy, and Sriracha!

I BBQ'd, baked, and broiled salmon. So I decided I was going to cure some fillets. Curing is very easy. You basically salt the fish, wrap it up and place a brick on it, and then wait for a couple of days. I added some fresh herbs, zest of lemon, lime, and orange, and some pepper.

After putting the salmon in foil with the salt, sugar, etc., you then need to weight the fish down.

Below is the finished cured salmon. You can see how clear it is...

I slice it super thin when it is still partially frozen so I can get smaller pieces of fish. The piece of fish, cream cheese, pickled onion, capers, and a bagel chip and you are good to go!!!


1) 1/2 Cup salt
2) 1/4 Cup sugar
3) Small hand full of dill, thyme, etc.
4) 1 T each of lemon and lime zest
5) 1 T fennel seed
6) 1 T black pepper
7) Sprinkle of gin

Clean the salmon fillet and dry it off. Place a sheet of foil in a baking dish. Mix all ingredients together except gin...Spread about half the salt mixture on the skin side of the fillet and the other half of the mixture on the fleshy side to coat the fillet. Place the fillet skin side down, sprinkle the gin on it and wrap the foil around it tightly. Place a brick on top to weight it down and place in the refer. After one day turn the salmon over and look at how much juice has come out. Let it sit for another day and then it is done. Put it in the freezer for about 1/2 an hour to firm it up and cut it into thin slices and serve. Excellent!