Another weekday dinner to plan!

I did my research and found this wonderful recipe, courtesy of Giada De Laurentis.

This is one of my family’s favorite meals. It is simple and tasty. Who knew that “agrodolce sauce” could be so easy! It may sound intimidating, but trust me it is not! Agrodolce sauce is an Italian sweet and sour sauce. “Agro” means sour and “dolce” means sweet. It is made by cooking down, or reducing sweet and sour ingredients, such as the vinegar and honey in this recipe.  

You can serve it with rice or potatoes. Just make sure to put a little bit of glaze on anything you make with it, because it will be delicious on those as well.

Her original recipe was made with pork chops. Feel free to make it with those. I substituted chicken bottoms and it was was delightful.

Giada never disappoints. Her recipes are always dependable and fantastic.

Add this one to your list of “must make”. It really was wonderful! This recipe will serve 4 people who will love this delicious sauce!

Ingredients for the Chicken

1/4 cup of olive oil
3 chicken bottoms, (thighs and legs attached)
1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
1 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. pepper

Ingredients for the Glaze 
(Agrodolce Sauce)

1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup honey
3 garlic cloves, minced
3 scallions, pale green and white parts only, chopped
1 tsp. fresh rosemary, chopped
1/2 stick of unsalted butter (4 tbsp. cut into 1 inch cubes at room temperature
1 tsp, kosher salt
1 tsp. pepper

Preheat oven to 350.

In a heavy, oven-ready skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Season the chicken thighs with salt and pepper, and sprinkle with the red pepper flakes.

Place chicken bottoms (skin side down) in the skillet and set your timer for 7 minutes. After 7 minutes, thighs should be golden brown. Turn thighs over and set your timer for an additional 7 minutes.

Place pan in oven for about 15 to 20 minutes.

Take out of oven and set aside.

Glaze:

In a small saucepan, bring the vinegar, honey, garlic, scallions and rosemary to a boil over medium-high heat.

Stir occasionally until honey has dissolved.

Simmer for 9 minutes (set your timer) until mixture is slightly reduced.

Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the butter until smooth.

sweet sour sauce

Add salt and pepper.

Arrange the chicken thighs on a platter and drizzle with the glaze.

It’s that simple!


I was first introduced to Michael Symon when he had to cook a Passover meal in a strict, kosher kitchen on a TV show. He was hilarious, and I have been a big fan of his since then.

He has such a big personality and always seems genuine. I have been enjoying his recipes for many years now.

This recipe is adapted from his book, 5 in 5. He used boneless, skin-on chicken thighs for this recipe, but I chose to use bone-in, skin-on thighs instead. I just like them better, and didn’t want to pound the thighs too thinly, as he instructed to do in his recipe. I also used chicken broth instead of water. Basically, the ingredients are the identical, but because I used bone-in thighs, the cooking time had to be adjusted. You can get the original recipe here.

This recipe is wonderful. The rosemary, garlic and olives give it a deep, rich flavor which tastes like it has been cooking all day, whereas, in reality, it was prepared quickly. The tomatoes, orange zest and juice forms a  luscious combination and the red pepper flakes give it that delightful “kick”.

I will definitely make this recipe again, especially when I need to make dinner quickly. 

This recipe will serve 4 happy, dark meat chicken lovers.

Ingredients for Chicken Thighs in Tomato and Olive Sauce

1/4 cup olive oil
4 bone-in skin-on chicken thighs
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 garlic cloves, sliced
2 tbsp. fresh rosemary, chopped
1 (14-ounce can crushed San Marzano tomatoes with juices
1 cup kalamata olives, chopped
1/2 cup of chicken broth
Zest of 1 orange
Juice of 1 orange
Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes

Put a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the olive oil.

Season both sides of the chicken thighs with kosher salt and pepper.

Put the chicken thighs skin side down in the pan and cook until golden brown, about 7 minutes.

chicken thighs tomato chicken browning in pan

Turn the chicken over, add the garlic and rosemary and cook for 4-5 minutes.

Chicken thighs tomato chiken brown

Add the chicken broth and deglaze the pan, scraping with a wooden spoon to get up the browned bits on the bottom of the pan.

Add the tomatoes and juice, olives, orange zest and juice and the red pepper flakes.

chicken thighs tomato rosemary olives and zest

Cover and cook until chicken is cooked through, about 20-30 minutes.

Taste and adjust the seasoning, adding salt and pepper as needed.

Remove from the heat and serve.

It’s that simple!


My construction is finally over! It was a long 5 months, and I’m so glad to be back! My goal was to be back in business by Thanksgiving, and thankfully, all went fairly smoothly. Sure, there were a few glitches, but overall, I can’t complain.

A week before Thanksgiving, (a holiday at which I host 50 people), my house was still a construction site! It was challenging, but somehow we managed to get the house clean and ready for the holiday. Whew! Glad it is over! 

Enough of that, let’s talk about cooking. I missed writing my blog and I am so happy to be back!

I found this chicken recipe online, but made so many changes that I now consider it one of my own.

Many recipes do not call for browning or crisping the skin first. I think this is one of the most important steps in any chicken recipe. Nothing beats chicken with a crisp, caramelized skin. This will add only 10 minutes to the cooking time, yet yields  a wonderful texture and enticing flavor to any chicken dish. If you can, try to spend the extra time to brown it, it is so worth it.

Although this recipe is made with couscous, you can make the balsamic chicken with any grain such as barley or farro. I prefer to use chicken broth instead of water to prepare it. The chicken broth will add a nice dimension of flavor.

I love this recipe. The chicken thighs are so moist, accompanied by a delicious, uncomplicated sauce that makes this an easy go-to meal.

You can use this recipe with chicken breasts, but be sure to get bone-in breasts. They have much more flavor and will be tender and just as good.

This recipe will serve 4 people, but you want might to make a little extra. I am sure they will be asking for seconds!

Today’s Hint: For crispier skin on chicken, or for a better browning on meat, always pat them dry with a paper towel. If you leave any moisture on the chicken or meat, it will impede the browning process. Do not overcrowd the pan or your meat or poultry will steam and not brown! Remember, the brown part is always the best tasting part of the poultry or meat. It is also known as caramelizing, which ensures the best (and yummy) results.

Ingredients for Chicken

4 chicken thighs (or chicken bottoms (thigh and leg)
4 tbsp. olive oil
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup chicken stock
1-2 tbsp. sugar (optional)
2 cloves garlic crushed

Ingredients for Couscous

1 1/2 cups couscous
2 1/4 cups chicken stock
3 tbsp. margarine or butter
4 cloves garlic, chopped
3 tbsp. fresh oregano, finely chopped

Pat the chicken bottoms dry with a paper towel. Sprinkle both sides with a good amount of salt and pepper.

balsamic chick cous with salt and pepper

Place skillet on stove, over medium heat. Add chicken, skin side down. Let cook, without moving it for 6-7 minutes. Turn the chicken over and repeat on the other side for about 4-5 minutes.

balsamic chic cous skin browned

*The pan becomes hotter as it cooks, so the browning time for the other side will be less.

Set pan aside.

Prepare the marinade. Combine the vinegar, chicken stock, sugar and garlic in a shallow bowl. 

balsamic chic cous sauce

Place chicken in marinade 10 minutes for each side.

Prepare the couscous.

Boil chicken stock and pour over couscous in a medium bowl. Cover the bowl tightly with a plate or aluminum foil  and let it sit for 5-7 minutes, until all the liquid is absorbed. If you have any remaining liquid, just pour it out. Set aside.

Cut butter into small pieces (this will help it melt faster) and place in skillet (different than the one you used for the chicken) over medium-low heat.

Add the garlic and oregano and cook for 1-2 minutes. Be careful, you do not want the garlic to turn brown or burn.

Add the couscous into the pan and stir it for about 3-4 minutes. Set aside.

balsmaic chic cous cous cous

Add the chicken and the marinade back into the original pan and let it cook on medium-low for 10-15 minutes. The marinade will thicken.

balsamic chic cous chicken in sauce

Place couscous on a serving platter and pour the chicken and sauce over it.

Dinner served!

thanksgiving full table

It’s that simple!


Just a reminder that I am undergoing a kitchen renovation, so I will not be posting as much as I usually do. I am truly missing cooking and posting!

Stay with me, the best is yet to come.

This recipe is a quick and easy way to get dinner on the table.

Cooking with chicken thighs (instead of breasts) are always a way to ensure that you will be getting  tender, juicy meat. Unless you overcook them, they always come out beautifully.

Just follow this recipe and you will have a simple, delicious meal on the table in minutes.

I always try to include the dried alternative to herbs, but it is summer, so you should try to use fresh herbs whenever possible.

See my post, http://www.simplebycindyblog.com/simple-herbs/ to grow your own.

These chicken thighs were so succulent, accompanied by a perfect sauce that is uncomplicated and scrumptious. This is a wonderful, healthy meal you “must try” for any weeknight dinner. It will serve 4 people.

Ingredients for Chicken Skillet

2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1/2 onion, thinly sliced
8 ounces fresh mushrooms
2 red bell peppers. thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, chopped
4 sprigs fresh oregano, or 2 tbsp. dried
1 cup chicken broth
1 (14 oz.) can crushed tomatoes
4 large leaves fresh basil, or 1 tsp. dried

Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.

Season chicken on both sides with salt and pepper and cook until golden brown each side, about  7 minutes each side. Transfer to a plate.

chicken skillet browning in pan

In the skillet, add onion and peppers. Sauté until softened, about 5 minutes.

chicken skillet onions and peppers

Add mushrooms. cook for about 2 minutes.

chicken skillet onions peppers and mushrooms

Add garlic and cook for 1 minute. 

chicken skillet, add garlic

Deglaze pan with chicken broth and crushed tomatoes. Add oregano.

chicken skillet chicken broth and crushed tomatoes

Bring to a boil.

Reduce heat to simmer and let it cook for 10-15 minutes.

Return chicken to pan, spoon sauce over it and let it cook for 10 minutes.

chicken skillet add back to pan

Remove from heat and garnish with basil.

It’s that simple!


I was looking for some fast and easy chicken recipes. After selecting a few, I chose all my favorite ingredients and created my own recipe.

The most important thing to know about cooking chicken is how to brown it. The crispy skin gives it a delicious added texture and yummy goodness that will ensure a flavorful outcome. You do not even need to add a sauce if you want a quick dinner. Just brown it up and serve; it will still be wonderful and tasty.

I found the sauce to be a perfect compliment to this dish. It was sweet and salty, and added a whole new layer of flavor. 

It was on the dinner table in less than an hour and my family adored it!

It serves 6 people and I know they will love it!

Ingredients for Chicken with Honey-Soy Sauce

1/2 cup of butter or margarine (1 stick)
4-5 garlic cloves, minced
3 tbsp. soy sauce (you can also use low-sodium)
3 tbsp. honey
3 tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped
4 tbsp. olive oil
2 tbsp. salt, divided
1 tbsp. pepper, divided
6 chicken thighs, skin-on

Drizzle chicken thighs with 1 tbsp. salt and 1/2 tbsp pepper.

Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.

Place chicken thighs, skin down in skillet. Do not overcrowd skillet, or chicken thighs will not brown.

chiicken soy skin down in pot

Set your timer for 7 minutes. Do not move chicken thighs.

Drizzle 1 tbsp. salt and 1/2 tbsp. pepper over the other side of chicken thighs.

After 7 minutes, turn over chicken thighs and cook for about 5 minutes.

chicken soy browned

If you have to do this in batches, lower your timing by 3 minutes each side. This is because the oil gets very hot and the chicken will cook faster after each batch.

Preheat oven to 350.

Take chicken out of skillet and set aside.

In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the butter or margarine, garlic, soy sauce, honey and parsley.

Cook until the butter melts, take off stove and set aside.

Chicken soy butter and herbs

Place chicken in a baking dish, skin side down, and pour the butter mixture over it.

chicken soy in baking pan

Place in the pre-heated oven. Set your timer for 10 minutes.

After the 10 minutes, turn the chicken over and set oven to 425.

Place the chicken into the oven for 15 more minutes, or until tops of chicken are crispy golden brown.

If they are not, turn your oven to “broil” and cook for 2 minutes, until tops are crispy golden brown.

Remember each person’s oven cooks at different times, so watch carefully.

Take chicken out of oven and place on serving dish. Serve hot.

It’s that simple!