Recently, we were able to take a trip to visit our COVID-vaccinated parents/grandparents. Yay! My mother-in-law made us a delicious buttermilk-brined roasted turkey breast. I had already bookmarked this recipe, so I had to make it myself after we returned home. Yum.
This recipe is from The New York Times, contributed by Samin Nosrat. Using this simple brine, the meat was incredibly moist and tender. The skin also browned beautifully. I marinated the chicken for 24 hours, used a 10-inch cast iron skillet for roasting, and served the chicken with broccoli, gold potatoes, and sweet potatoes that I roasted simultaneously in the same oven. Easy and absolutely perfect.
Yield: Serves 4
1 chicken (3 1/2 to 4 pounds)
2 cups buttermilk (I used low-fat)
The day before you plan to cook the chicken, remove the wing tips by cutting through the first wing joint with poultry shears or a sharp knife.
Season chicken generously with salt and let it sit for 30 minutes.
In a glass measuring cup, stir 2 tablespoons of kosher salt into the buttermilk to dissolve.
Place the seasoned chicken in a gallon-size (or 2 gallon-size) resealable plastic bag and pour in the buttermilk.
Seal the bag, removing as much air as possible, place in a rimmed dish or plate, and refrigerate for 12 to 24 hours. If you’re so inclined, you can turn the bag periodically so every part of the chicken gets marinated, but it’s not essential. (I turned it upside down after 12 hours.)
Remove the chicken from the fridge an hour before you plan to cook it.
Heat the oven to 425 degrees with a rack set in the center position. (I set my oven to convection roast.)
Remove the chicken from the plastic bag and scrape off as much buttermilk as you can. (I just let it drip off.)
Tightly tie together the legs with a piece of butcher’s twine.
Place the chicken in a 10-inch cast iron skillet or a shallow roasting pan.
Slide the pan all the way to the back of the oven on the center rack. Rotate the pan so that the legs are pointing toward the rear left corner and the breast is pointing toward the center of the oven. (The back corners tend to be the hottest spots in the oven, so this orientation protects the breast from overcooking before the legs are done.)
After about 20 minutes, when the chicken starts to brown, reduce the heat to 400 degrees and continue roasting for 10 minutes.
Rotate the pan so the legs are facing the rear right corner of the oven. Continue cooking for another 30 minutes or so, until the chicken is brown all over and the juices run clear when you insert a knife down to the bone between the leg and the thigh, and/or the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F on an instant read thermometer. If the skin is getting too brown before it is cooked through, use a foil tent. (I tented the chicken in this step after 20 minutes.)
Remove from the oven and let it rest for 10 minutes before carving and serving.
This is another “healthyish” cast iron skillet recipe from Bon Appétit. It was almost my entire CSA box in a pie. 🙂 I incorporated CSA leeks, butternut squash, and Toscano kale. Very seasonal- perfect.
I had an abundance of kale, so I made the pie in a large (12-inch) skillet. I also incorporated kohlrabi greens. Because this recipe is very adaptable, the finished pie size can be modified depending upon the volume of filling. Any other greens would work too.
The recipe was adapted from Bon Appétit, contributed by Anna Jones. The lemon zest was essential. We had a green salad made with my CSA romaine lettuce on the side. 🙂
Yield: 6 servings
3 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for brushing
2 large leeks, white and light green portions, cut into 1/4-inch half-moons and soaked OR 2 medium red onions, finely chopped
1/2 small butternut squash (about 1 to 1 1/2 pounds), peeled, cut into 3/4-inch pieces
1 1/2 teaspoons fresh thyme
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 bunch Tuscan kale, ribs and stems removed, thinly sliced into 1/4-inch crosswise ribbons (I used about 8 cups)
2 to 3 large eggs, beaten to blend (I used 3 eggs for a 12-inch pie)
3 ounces Parmesan, grated (I used Parmigiano-Reggiano)
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest (I used the zest of one lemon)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
8 ounces frozen phyllo pastry, thawed (half a 1-pound package)
4 to 6 ounces fresh goat cheese or feta, crumbled, divided
Place a rack in lower third of oven; preheat to 400°, preferably on convection.
Heat 3 tablespoons of oil in a large ovenproof skillet over medium. Add leeks or onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened but not browned, 6–8 minutes.
Add squash and cook, stirring occasionally, until almost tender, 8–10 minutes.
Mix in thyme and red pepper flakes and transfer to a large bowl; let cool.
Wipe out and reserve skillet.
Add kale, eggs, Parmesan, and lemon zest to squash mixture and gently mix to combine; season with salt and pepper.
If using 6 ounces of cheese, incorporate 2 ounces into the kale-squash mixture.
Working quickly so that the phyllo doesn’t dry out, layer phyllo sheets inside reserved skillet, letting 2-3 inches hang over the edge. (I placed them in a circular fashion. I also brushed some oil between every few layers.)
Spoon kale-and-squash mixture into phyllo and dot top with cheese.
Brush edges of phyllo lightly with oil and fold over filling, overlapping slightly, leaving center exposed.
Cook pie over low to medium-low heat until bottom of pastry is just golden (carefully lift up on one side with a heatproof rubber spatula so that you can take a peek), about 3 minutes.
Transfer skillet to oven and bake pie until kale is wilted and tender and phyllo is golden brown and crisp, 20–25 minutes.
Let pie cool in skillet at least 10 to 15 minutes before slicing into wedges.
Do Ahead: Pie can be baked 6 hours ahead. Let cool; store uncovered at room temperature.
This phyllo-crusted savory pie is packed with caramelized summer zucchini. It is a wonderful way to gobble up an abundance of fresh squash from the garden or your CSA share. 🙂 I loved that it was baked in a cast iron skillet too.
The recipe was adapted from thekitchn.com, contributed by Grace Elkus. We ate it for dinner with a green salad but it could also be served for a special brunch or lunch- an amazing summer meal.
This is another crowd-pleasing, one-pot, comfort food dish. I was immediately drawn to this recipe because making cast iron skillet cornbread on top of skillet chili is genius. Calling it a pie makes it even more fabulous!
This recipe was adapted from HowSweetEats.com. I modified the proportions and added thinly sliced kale to the chili. The smoked paprika was essential to the finished dish. Great.
Yield: Serves 6
For the Chili:
2 T olive oil
1 large sweet or yellow onion,diced
4 largegarlic cloves,minced
4 cups thinly sliced kale (ribs and stems removed)
1(4 ounce)can diced green chiles
1 1/2 cupscooked,shredded chicken (I used grilled chicken thighs)
1 1/2tspground cumin
¼tsp freshly ground blackpepper
1(15 ounce)can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1cupcorn(fresh or frozen)
2cups chicken stock
For the Cornbread Topping:
1cupfinely ground yellow cornmeal
1cupall-purpose or whole wheat pastry flour
1 T light brown sugar
1 T baking powder
1(4 ounce) can diced green chiles
plain greek yogurt or sour cream
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F, preferably on convection.
Heat a large skillet over medium-low heat and add the olive oil. (I used a 12-inch cast iron skillet.)
Add the onions and garlic with a pinch of salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until they soften, about 3 minutes.
Add the thinly sliced kale leaves and continue to cook until tender, about 5 additional minutes.
Stir in the diced green chiles and shredded chicken.
Add in the cumin, paprika, salt and pepper. Stir well until the spices are combined with the mixture.
Stir in the cannellini beans, corn and chicken stock. Taste and add more salt and pepper, if needed. Reduce the heat to low while you make the cornbread topping.
In a large bowl, stir together the cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, soda and salt.
In a smaller bowl, stir together the eggs and milk.
Pour the egg mixture into the dry ingredients, stirring until just almost combined.
Stir in the green chiles. Stir in the melted butter until combined.
Drop spoonfuls of the cornbread over the chili, using the back of the spoon to spread it slightly, if necessary.
Bake the skillet for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the cornbread layer it set. Be sure to check that the cornbread is set in the center- sometimes it needs a few extra minutes to cook through.
Serve with sour cream/greek yogurt, cilantro, scallions, corn, jalapeño, and limes for spritzing, as desired.
I have been looking for an excuse to make this skillet cake since last summer. Graham crackers… peaches and blueberries… streusel topping… and baked in a cast iron skillet? Irresistible. I finally had to make it after having too many ripe peaches on the counter. 😉 What an excuse!
This recipe was adapted from Food and Wine, contributed by Chicago chef Stephanie Izard. (I have loved her since she won Top Chef.) The cake is baked on the grill in the original recipe. Delicious!
Yield: Serves 10 to 12
For the Streusel:
3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs (from 7 whole crackers)
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
For the Fruit:
3 large peaches, each cut into 1-inch wedges (I used 4 medium white peaches)
3/4 cup blueberries
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
For the Cake:
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole-wheat flour
1/2 cup fine graham cracker crumbs (from 4 whole crackers)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 stick plus 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 1/4 cups light brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons honey
4 large eggs
1 1/4 cups buttermilk
1/3 cup canola oil
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
Vanilla ice cream, for serving
Make the Streusel:
In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle, beat all of the ingredients together at medium speed until crumbs form.
Press together to form a large mass.
Transfer to a bowl and break into clumps.
Refrigerate until chilled, about 15 minutes.
Prepare the Fruit:
Preheat an oven to 300° F, preferably on convection.
In a medium bowl, toss the peaches with the blueberries, sugar, lemon juice and cornstarch.
In a 12-inch cast-iron skillet, melt the butter over low heat. Remove from the heat.
Scrape the fruit and any juices into the skillet.
Make the Cake:
In a medium bowl, whisk both flours with the graham cracker crumbs, baking powder and salt.
In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle, beat the butter with both sugars and the honey at medium speed until fluffy.
Beat in the eggs one at a time, then beat in the buttermilk, oil and vanilla.
Scrape down the side of the bowl and beat in the dry ingredients until just smooth.
Spread the batter in the skillet in an even layer.
Scatter the streusel evenly on top.
Place the skillet on a parchment paper-lined cookie sheet. Bake for about 1 hour and 15 minutes to 1 hour and 30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the cake comes out clean. (The cake is cooked off of the heat in a grill for the same amount of time in the original recipe.)
Let the cake cool for 1 hour. Cut into wedges and serve with vanilla ice cream.