Saturday, May 21, 2022

Braised Chicken Legs with Carrots and, Potatoes


 A rustic chicken dinner doesn't get much easier than this. You can make the entire meal in pot, which makes cleanup a breeze.  I like to use bone-in, skin-on whole chicken legs that include the chicken thigh and the drumstick. I think they are the most flavorful cut of the chicken.

Braised Chicken Legs with Carrots and, Potatoes 

2 tablespoons olive oil 

2 pounds or 3 whole chicken legs (thighs attached)  

1 teaspoon salt, divided 

1 teaspoon ground pepper, divided 

2 teaspoons paprika

1 teaspoon thyme, divided

1 teaspoon garlic powder

6 cloves garlic, sliced  

1 large onion, thinly sliced 

1 pack of baby bella mushrooms, whole or sliced

1 pound baby carrots, cut into 2-inch pieces  

4 potatoes cut into large pieces (you can peel or leave the skin on)

1 cup low sodium chicken broth, divided

Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Pat chicken dry with paper towels. Season the chicken generously with the paprika, and then add thyme, salt and pepper. 















Add the chicken legs and cook, turning once, until browned, about 2 minutes per side. You want a nice brown sear on both sides so usually cook for about 5 minutes total. Transfer the chicken to a clean plate and set aside.














Add sliced garlic and onion to the same pot; cook, stirring often, until fragrant, about 1 minute. 















NOTE:  Be sure to slice the garlic instead of mincing or chopping it. This will assure that your garlic will caramelize and not burn.












Add carrots, mushrooms and potatoes and sprinkle with the remaining seasonings.  Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are lightly browned but still crisp, 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in chicken broth, scraping the pan to loosen browned bits. 












Nestle the chicken into the vegetable mixture in the Dutch oven.  Pour in any leftover juices from plate.  Raise the temp to medium high and bring to a quick boil. Turn down the heat to a simmer and cover the pot with tight fitting lid.  Add more chicken broth if needed.  










Cook for 2-3 hours or until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the chicken registers 165 degrees and the vegetables are tender. 








The juiciest, most tender chicken surrounded by perfectly seasoned vegetables.  So good!  








Melt in your mouth good!  Want a bite?

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Sunday, April 24, 2022

My Banana Split Dessert














So light and airy. So delicious. Between the graham cracker pie crust, cheesecake filling, pineapple and bananas and all the way to the cherry on top, I am hooked.  You can’t eat just one slice. YUM!

Banana Split Dessert

1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs

1 1/4 cup sugar, divided

1/2 cup butter, melted

16 oz cream cheese, softened

20 oz crushed pineapple, drained

5 medium bananas, divided

2 cups cold milk

2 (4 ounce) packages Jello instant cheesecake pudding mix

2 cups thawed whipped topping, such as cool whip, divided

1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts

Maraschino cherries

Chocolate syrup


Combine the graham cracker crumbs, 1/4 cup of sugar and the melted butter in a bowl and mix to combine. Press the crumbs evenly into a 9x13" cake pan and freeze for 10 minutes.


















Meanwhile beat the cream cheese and 1 cup of sugar until smooth and creamy. Carefully spread over the graham cracker crust into an even layer.

Top with a layer of the crushed pineapple (make sure to drain very well). I put it in a colander over a bowl and allow it to drain by pressing it against the sides. 

















Slice the bananas into discs and layer on top of the pineapple. Make sure to cover completely with no gaps.

Combine the cold milk and 2 pudding mixes in a bowl and whisk until smooth. Add 1/2 cup of the thawed whipped topping and fold in until combined. Spread over the bananas into an even layer. 












Top with the remaining whipped topping. Cover and chill until ready to serve (best if chilled at least 2 to 5 hours).













Sprinkle with nuts.  And don’t forget the cherry on top!












 Want a bite?














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Wednesday, April 20, 2022

15 Minute Ham and Bean Soup











One of my favorite recipes that I use my leftover ham for is soup.  My Mom used to soak those beans and rinse them and soak them again.  Then she would cook the soup on top of the stove for hours.  Well, who has time for that?  This is my replica of my Mom’s delicious Navy Bean and Ham soup, only it took me all of 15 minutes from start to finish.  Trust me, you won’t know the difference!


15 Minute Ham and Bean Soup


2 tablespoons olive oil

1 onion diced

1 large carrot peeled and diced

1/2 cup finely chopped celery

4 cloves garlic minced

2 cups shredded cooked ham

6 cups chicken stock or broth

1 tablespoon fresh chopped thyme

3 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

4 (15 ounce) cans cannellini beans rinsed and drained

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

pinch of salt, if needed


In a large pot or saucepan, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add onion, carrots and celery.






















Cook for about 5 minutes or until onions are softened. Add in the garlic and sauté for another minute.
























Heat the ham on low heat for about 2-3 minutes.  Then pour in the chicken stock.























Add in the thyme and parsley and bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Stir in beans and season with pepper. Let simmer for 2 minutes, taste test and season with salt if needed. 










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