Daring Cooks Challenge a Medley of Ingredients!

Honey Balsamic Glazed Chicken and Veg_032812_0018

Our Daring Cooks challenge this month was more like a scene from “Chopped”, contestants,  open your baskets.

In basket 1 you have Parsnips, Eggplant, and Cauliflower

In basket 2 you have Balsamic Vinegar, Goat cheese and chipotle peppers

In basket 3 you have maple syrup, instant coffee, and bananas

The challenge was to pick one ingredient from each list and create a main meal from them.   The challenge this month is hosted by David and Karen from Twenty-Fingered Cooking.  The purpose behind this challenge was NOT to have a “Chopped” challenge, it was to inspire original…truly original recipes from a set of ingredients.

Although I am a laaaaazy cook, when a challenge is thrown down I can’t just meet the minimum, I must go above in beyond.  I decided to make 3 main dishes (on different days of course…I not that motivated to do it all in a day), I made each dish from one of the “baskets”.

The first dish I made was the roasted chicken (see picture above), but I’ll get to that later.

The second dish I made was a Cowboy Steak with Pureed Cauliflower and Goat Cheese topped with a Red Eye Gravy.  For this manly dish the mandatory ingredients were: cauliflower, goat cheese and instant coffee.  Cowpokes, lemme tell you this is one of the best steaks I’ve ever made in my life, and that’s all I have to say about that.

1 Cowboy Steak & Cauliflower Puree_040112_0017

Dish number three, was pan seared Salmon with roasted parsnips and carrots topped with a maple chipotle sauce.  The mandatory ingredients were: parsnips, chipotle peppers and maple syrup.  Thank goodness I was at home and didn’t have to mind my manners so I could guilt free lick the plate.

1 Salmon & roasted parsnips with maple chipotle glaze_040512_0004

Back to dish number one, here I made roasted chicken, eggplant and plantains with a honey balsamic glaze.  The mandatory ingredients were: eggplant, balsamic vinegar and bananas (plantains in my case).  Another delish recipe.

Did you notice that I also use three different proteins and three different cooking methods for them?  That was a little extra personal challenge set up by moi.

1 Honey Balsamic Glazed Chicken and Veg_032812_0005

I absolutely adored the glaze on the chicken and vegetable, the honey and vinegar were very complimentary of each other, kind of that sweet/tart thing that keeps you coming back for more.  Out of every dish I made I was least happy with the veggie side to this one.  All the flavors were there, the under ripe plantain roasted beautiful, crisp on the outside and tender on the inside, but….they all turned into a very unappetizing color once fully roasted!  I would not serve them again due to the unfortunate coloring (which is why in the completed photo up top, they are under the chicken.

Because I’m wordy and have so much more I want to say about the other two dishes, and for the sake of my dear readers and fellow Daring Cooks who have little precious time like the rest of us, I am only posting the roasted chicken recipe today.  I invite, no I implore you to come back and check out the other two dishes, it’ll be worth it…pinky swear!

If you’d like to check out more about the challenge please visit The Daring Kitchen.


Balsamic Honey Roasted Chicken, Eggplant and Plantains
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  1. 1 roaster chicken, rinsed and patted dry
  2. 1/2 stick butter, slightly softened and cut into slices
  3. Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper
  4. 1 eggplant, cut into 1" dice
  5. 1 green plantain, peeled and cut into a 1" dice
  6. 1 onion, diced
  7. 1 green pepper, diced
  8. 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  9. 2 tablespoons honey
  10. 2 tablespoons coarse ground Dijon
  11. 1 tablespoon rosemary, minced
  12. 1 tablespoon thyme, minced
  1. Preheat oven to 375F. Rinse and clean chicken, pat dry. Using your fingers carefully slip them under the skin and separate the skin from the flesh in every place possible. Be careful not to tear the skin. Slide the thin slices under the skin and distribute evenly. After all except 1 1/2 to 2 tbsp. of the butter is under the skin, gently massage the butter to spread out over as much of the meat as possible.
  2. Melt the remaining butter and brush it over the outside of the chicken. Liberally sprinkle with kosher salt and black pepper. Place chicken on a v-rack breast side up in a roasting pan. Roast breast side up for 45 minutes. Remove from the oven, turn the oven down to 200F then carefully turn the chicken over so it is breast side down. Roast the chicken for an additional hour.
  3. After 1 hour, turn the oven up to 400F add the diced vegetable to the pan, pour 1/2 the balsamic vinegar glaze over chicken and vegetables, and roast for 10 more minutes, next remove the chicken from the oven and turn it back to breast side up and pour the remaining glaze over the chicken. Place back in the oven for another 10 to 15 minutes or until a meat thermometer reaches 170F to 175F.
  4. While chicken is resting, stir the vegetables and continue to roast the vegetables until the plantain is tender, about 10 to 15 more minutes.
The Kitchen Witch http://www.thekitchenwitchblog.com/

Informal Cookery Definitions A to Z

Buffet.  (BUFF-eh).  Originally it was a piece of furniture or other set up where the food was laid out in a banquet hall.  Now, it is more commonly used to refer to serve yourself dinners, especially in all you can eat restaurants.

Bulgur.  It is wheat that has been cracked into coarse fragments after it has been cooked, dried and some of the bran removed.  It’s a Turkish term and is used in making couscous and many other Middle-Eastern dishes.

Bully Beef.  Another term for Corned Beef.

Burgoo.  (Bur-GOO).  The true origins of the name are not known but may have come from Kentucky.  During the frontier days there would be huge community get togethers where everyone would add to a stew that was cooked in a huge cast iron pot called a burgoo.

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4 Responses to Daring Cooks Challenge a Medley of Ingredients!

  1. BigFatBaker April 14, 2012 at 5:00 pm #

    Wow. All of the dishes look amazing. I want that chicken tonight!! Great job with the challenge.

  2. Mcgyver April 14, 2012 at 5:29 pm #

    Seriously, the STEAK, seriously

    We have steak houses here (how could we not?) they really need to do this

    Mcgyver, out

  3. Eliot April 15, 2012 at 3:02 pm #

    Well, you truly threw down the gauntlet for everyone else in this challenge. Good grief, girl! I do not think you are a lazy cook! (And way to hide the veggies under the chicken for the perfect photo op!)

    • Giggles April 15, 2012 at 10:19 pm #

      Oh I am a lazy cook…I work in spurts and then fizzle! I know, right, about hiding the veggies. Must be all those years experience as a mom and hiding veggies.