Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day.
You forgot, didn’t you?
Yeah, it’s too late to make reservations, plus you’d just be paying extra for the holiday and it’s not going to be that great because the restaurant will be jam-packed and overbooked.
What are you going to do?
Hey, stop freaking out. This is where I come in. I’ve got an easy dinner and dessert recipe for you that you can make TODAY and not freak out tomorrow when you’re running around trying to find a decent bouquet of flowers that doesn’t look like it’s been trampled.
Both of these recipes are fantastic and should only take a couple hours overall. The Chicken Ragù with Bacon is fantastic and even better the next day. The Muddy Buddy pie is so easy and you don’t even have to turn on the oven. You can do this, I promise.
Alright, so here we go (with a little back story):
I got the Chicken Ragù with Bacon recipe in the The Kitchn daily email. I jumped at the chance to make something new with ingredients I wasn’t sure about but knew I could stomach even if it wasn’t my favorite. Apparently I thought I didn’t like fennel. I was very, VERY wrong.
This dish takes about an hour and a half to make start to finish.
Go shopping, pick up everything you need for dinner and dessert and get to it. These aren’t scary recipes, and you’ll end up looking like a champ.
I wish I had taken more pictures of the cooking process when I made this on Sunday, but I got distracted and just took one. It came out looking very similar to the pictures in the original post though!
For the Ragú
Buy a yellow onion that’s about the size of your fist. Same size for the fennel too.
Cutting onions can also be somewhat intimidating, but my man Gordon Ramsay is here to help. Watch this video to learn how to quickly dice an onion. Use the same method for the fennel.
The chop does not have to be that small, as both will break down as they cook. The recipe calls for chicken thighs, but I used boneless, skinless chicken breasts when I made this, and it came out great. Chicken is chicken.
I threw in a little bit of paprika towards the end of cooking along with salt and pepper. Only do this after you taste the broth, because you may not need it depending on how salty the bacon is.
I also recommend using low sodium chicken broth. It helps you control how salty your dish is and doesn’t overpower a meal.
Be sure to make something to go with the ragù as you’ll need some kind of starchy thing. Root vegetables, pasta, gnocchi, rice, spaetzle, something needs to be there to soak up the deliciousness when you serve it up.
I love The Crepes of Wrath. Sydney is awesome and this was one of the first recipes I found after discovering her blog a month or so ago and have needed an excuse to make it since.
I love desserts that aren’t too sweet, but that are decadent and satisfying. Ladies and Gents, I give you my adaptation of The Muddy Buddy Pie.
For the Pie
Make the pie first.
I mean it.
It needs a few hours / overnight to set and it’ll be ready to go when it’s time to slice and devour.
Since I’m still out an oven (until our new one gets delivered!), I made a no bake crust which made this even easier.
Basically, make the crust as directed and put it in the freezer for 20-30 minutes before filling it. The filling won’t take long, so if you want, go sit down and rest for a few minutes before making it.
I used semi-sweet chocolate instead of milk chocolate, but that’s more out of preference than anything.
Once you’ve let the pie sit in the fridge for a few hours, it’s good to go, BUT you’re going to have to let it thaw a bit before you can slice it.
Take the pie out a couple hours before you’re going to eat it and you should be just fine. Enjoy!
Let us know how your Valentine’s Day was, especially if you made either of these recipes!