Orange-Glazed Chicken with Carrots and BulgurI was excited by the combination of chicken drumsticks, orange marmalade, bulgur, and lime, with the recipe for “Orange-Glazed Chicken with Carrots and Bulgur,” from the April 2009 issue of Everyday Food. This turned out to be a nice collection of flavors, although the baking process was quite messy. An oven this hot (475 degrees) turned my baking sheet into a charred mess. The relief was in the bulgur, which is fluffier than rice and cooks quicker. We should definitely explore this starch option more often.

I used 10 drumsticks. I believe drumsticks always promise fun in a recipe. I first roasted the chicken for 10 minutes, brushed on some marmalade, then cooked for another 32 minutes, until “browned and cooked through.” I cooked the carrots for 10 minutes, then added the bulgur and water and cooked for another 12 minutes. I added 1 1/2 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. black pepper to this mix. The lime and carrot flavors made a good team, as did the chicken and orange marmalade, although my young child was “so-so” about the marmalade flavor (Dave liked it). I thought this was an impressive dish, tasty, and nontypical. Try it.

Green Squash SoupI also made the “Green Squash Soup,” from Drweil.com, happy to use my immersion blender in a big soup pot, once again. This was a nondescript soup, yet my young child liked it (go figure!). I first sauteed the squash for 8 minutes 30 seconds, then added vegetable-bouillon broth and dried marjoram. I added 1 1/2 tsp. salt and 1/2 tsp. black pepper -- and may have over-salted this a bit.

I followed the recipe’s advice for making an “artichoke purée,” which was basically pureeing a jar of artichoke hearts, and using 2 Tbsp. of the mash. It was an interesting element and a lesson as to how you can add mashed anything to your pureed soups, in order to achieve deeper flavors and texture. Use this soup recipe as a blank slate for your own, more creative concoctions.

RECIPES: marmalade-bulgur-lime make an almost exotic combo; squash soup is a vegetal canvas
PREP TIMES: the chicken and soup are edible within an hour (cleanup might take longer!)
TASTES: enjoy the brightness of lime + carrots, chicken + orange; if you like squash, you like squash

Let’s stay on this chicken wagon, and next time cook “Pineapple Chicken Delight,” from Allrecipes.com. Ready for some more fun? Come back to my site on Saturday, October 24, to share my joy with this one.