Cast iron conversation

So as promised, I thought I would touch on the benefits and care of cast iron. I will admit that I am fairly new to the world of cast iron, but I love it and I’m not going back!

First of all cast iron pots and pans literally last forever! You’ll frequently find them in antique marts or buy a new one at just about any local super market. I bought mine at Target!

When choosing a cast iron piece think about the most used piece of cookware you have currently and replace it with a cast iron piece. I know it seems like you’re jumping in head first but do it! Once you discover the joys of these pieces you’ll be looking for excuses to use it all the time.

The one I bought is enameled on the outside, as far as I know this is purely aesthetic, I just thought it looked a little nicer for my kitchen. They are super affordable a large stove top cast iron skillet runs from $24.99-$35.99 depending on manufacturer and where you’re buying from.

Many new pieces come pre-seasoned. Seasoning a pan is an intimidating process for some people. But it’s actually pretty simple. If your pan is pre-seasoned there is no need to go through the process again. Seasoning consists of applying oil to the pan and heating it creating a barrier around the surfaces of the pan that will be both non-stick, and protective to the pan itself.

A well seasoned pan is a cinch to clean! Food will practically fall out of the pan and then wipe down with warm soapy water, dry thoroughly, and apply a light coating of oil to the cooking surface before putting it away. If you have a little stubborn spot that food is sticking simply apply a bit of baking soda and scrub it off, this works like a charm!

Drying your pan thoroughly is very important as cast iron pans can rust if not cared for properly. If rust develops in your pan it can be removed with a lot of elbow grease, and some steel wool but this is not a fun process, and the pan will need to be seasoned again once restored.

When cooking with cast iron always preheat the pan. Cast iron does not heat up very evenly but once hot it works like a charm. Start your pan on med-high heat for a few minutes before adding anything to the pan. To check readiness try the pop and sizzle test. Take some water and add a bit to the pan if it pops and then sizzles away the pan is ready. If it doesn’t it’s too cool, and if the water steams off immediately the pan is too hot! If the pan is too hot and you add oil you’ll have a smoky stinky mess! Just remember pop and sizzle!

Another thing to consider when cooking in your cast iron pans is that the whole pan will get hot, including the handles! So have oven mitts or hot pads ready for when you want to remove it from the heat or place it in the oven.

The ability for these pans to be used on the cook top or in the oven is another great feature! Imagine making chicken, pizza, cornbread, or casseroles all on the same one pan! It’s brilliant!

There is so much to share I may have to post more later. I’ll go into more detail on seasoning these pans too. Bottom line though try it! You will really love these pans!

Skillet Chicken with Cream Sauce

Time for another Sunday dinner! Today we are keeping it simple. I made this awesome skillet chicken with cream sauce it’s fast, easy, and super flavorful!

I really love meals that I can make in one dish or pan. I especially love my cast iron skillet. This thing is a kitchen beast. If you haven’t tried using cast iron for cooking it’s a must! I’ll post more on the care and benefits of using cast iron later.

You’ll love this chicken recipe though. Here’s what you need.

6Tbsp butter

2lbs chicken tenders

2Tbsp chili powder

1Tbsp onion powder

1Tbsp garlic powder

1.5 tsp salt

2tbsp paprika

1 c water or chicken broth

1/2 c heavy cream

1/2tsp xantham gum this helps to thicken the sauce, you can buy this at most health food store and large grocery chains.

Preheat your skillet and melt 3Tbsp of the butter. Mix together the seasonings, and use all of the seasonings mix to thoroughly coat the chicken. Add chicken to the skillet. Cook 6min on med-high heat turning once. Add the other 3 Tbsp of butter, water, and cream. Allow butter to melt and sauce to bubble then add the xantham gum. Mix in well and allow to cook on medium heat for an additional 10-12 minutes turning chicken occasionally. The sauce will thicken up slowly but is not meant to be a super thick sauce. Serve hot with a spoonful of the sauce on top and enjoy! It’s that easy!

Broccoli Stuffed Chicken

For some reason I have a lot of stuffed chicken recipes. This one is a fave though! This tangy mixture stuffed with cheese into chicken makes for a perfect evening meal and the leftovers are even better! 

Here’s what you’ll need:

6 chicken breasts

2 small heads of broccoli finely chopped

1sm yellow onion finely chopped

1 red bell pepper finely chopped

1md egg

1/2c miracle whip

1tsp dill

3cloves garlic

Salt

Pepper

6 mild cheddar cheese slices

Butterfly the chicken breast and set aside. In a large bowl mix together all of the remaining ingredients except the cheese. Heat a cast iron pan with a tbsp. of oil on my high heat, and preheat the oven to 350°F. Stuff the chicken with the cheese and broccoli mixture and place on the hot pan. Cook 5-7 min each side turning once. If you had any extra broccoli mix spoon this into the pan, lightly cover with foil and place in the oven for 20-25 minutes or until internal temp of the chicken is at least 165°F. Allow to stand for a couple minutes before serving! Enjoy!