Saturday, June 12, 2010

What's for Dinner Tonight (WfDT): Adventure 1

Friday evening we had a casual get-together dinner with my parents. I decided to make my famous Creamy Macaroni and Cheese, a broccoli salad, steamed corn-on-the-cob, and a wonderful Lemon Chicken recipe by Annie's Eats. Then for dessert, I made Coconut Cupcakes from A Kitchen in Brooklyn. The only changes I made to the original cupcake recipe are: I did not make the icing blue, and I also used toasted coconut flakes as garnish instead of regular ones. Hope you enjoy these dishes as much as my family did!

Lemon Chicken

2 tbsp. lemon zest
1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tsp. fresh thyme leaves
1 tsp. fresh rosemary leaves, finely minced
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. black pepper
2-4 lbs. of bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs or drumsticks
2-3 tbsp. melted butter
Thinly sliced lemons, for garnished

Combine the lemon zest, lemon juice, garlic, thyme, rosemary, salt and pepper in a large zipper-lock plastic bag.  Seal the bag and shake well to blend.  Place the chicken pieces in the bag with the marinade, pressing out excess air and sealing once more.  Refrigerate and let marinate for 2 hours. 

Preheat the oven to 425˚ F.  Remove the chicken pieces from the marinade and transfer to a baking dish, skin-side up, reserving the leftover marinade.  Brush the top of each piece of chicken with melted butter. 

Bake for 50-55 minutes, until the skins are crispy and well-browned.  Halfway through baking, pour the remaining marinade over the chicken pieces in the baking dish.  Once fully baked, cover loosely with foil and let rest 10 minutes before serving.  Transfer to a serving platter, garnish with lemon slices and serve. 
Source: Annie's Eats

Coconut Cupcakes
1 1/2 sticks of butter
1 cup sugar
3 large eggs
3/4 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 tsp almond extract
1 1/2 cup flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup buttermilk
7 oz shredded coconut (sweetened)

8 oz cream cheese
1 1/2 stick of butter
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp almond extract
4 cups confectioner's sugar
toasted shredded coconut for garnish
drop of gel food coloring (if so desired)

Preheat the oven to 325.  First, mix the dry ingredients for the cupcakes in a bowl.  Add the shredded coconut, and set aside.  Beat the butter and sugar in the basin of your mixer on high speed for several minutes (about 5) until light and fluffy. With the mixer on low speed, add the eggs, one at a time.  Mix in the extracts.

Next, alternate between adding the dry ingredients and the buttermilk to the batter, mixing on medium speed for a few minutes until well combined, and there are no lumps.  Fill regular-sized muffin pan that is lined with paper or foil liners about 3/4 full.  Bake the cupcakes for 20 to 25 minutes at 325 until the tops are lightly browned and a toothpick comes out clean.

Allow the cupcakes to cool.  Make the frosting by beating the cream cheese, confectioner's sugar and butter at high speed.  Beat in the food coloring.  Pipe the frosting using a frosting bag, and top with some of the toasted shredded coconut.

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