roasted brussels sprouts

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Bacon and Chicken

Sometimes you can come up with the most interesting combinations purely by circumstance. In this case, I had Brussels sprouts that needed to be used. They had been in the fridge for a while and I was beginning to worry about their freshness. I had been procrastinating because they can take a lot of time to prepare. But I LOVE them when I do take the time to make them.

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So, I was finally committed to cooking them last weekend. I asked Don what he thought I should make with them, since he wasn’t going to be home. He suggested two frozen chicken thighs that were marinated and ready to go. Initially, we thought of just grilling the chicken whole but then Don suggested that I dice it up and add it to my roasted Brussels sprouts, sort of like a tossed chicken and roasted Brussels sprouts. But I was planning to add walnuts and bacon, since that’s an awesome combination, but Don suggested I skip the walnuts and try macadamia nuts instead. So that’s what I did.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups (roughly) of Brussels sprouts
  • 6 pieces of bacon
  • 2 chicken thighs
  • handful of macadamia nuts
  • bit of olive oil
  • dash of salt

To roast sprouts, I prefer to wash them, cut off the ends, and then cut them in half.

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While I worked on the sprouts, I cooked my bacon in the oven at 350 degrees for about 40 minutes. While I waited for the bacon, I also diced up my chicken and set it aside.

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When the bacon was done I took it out, set it aside, and turned the oven up to 400. I took a little bit of the bacon grease and used it to cook up the chicken, in my GreenPan. Still LOVE it btw.

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The rest of the grease stayed in the bacon pan and I added the Brussels sprouts, making sure they were well covered by the bacon grease and added a tiny bit of olive oil and a dash of salt.

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They went in the oven for about 40 minutes (total.) I checked on them frequently, stirring them to get a good coverage of roastiness.

While waiting on the sprouts, I diced up my macadamia nuts and reduced my bacon to bacon bits.

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IMG_0653When my sprouts were looking almost done, I added the bacon and chicken to the pan. Mixed it well and put it back in for 5 minutes. Then I added the nuts and put it back in for another 5 minutes.

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Then, it was time to test the flavor.

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It was good. But it seemed to be lacking something. So I pulled up my first roasted Brussels sprouts post for reference and made a quick dressing with mustard, honey, and apple cider vinegar. It helped give the dish a bit more flavor. I liked it. 🙂 I call this new creation a success!

Take risks: if you win, you will be happy; if you lose, you will be wise.
~ Anonymous

Roasted Brussels Sprouts

I know, we all cringe when we hear Brussels sprouts. What the heck kind of name is that anyway? But I’m telling you, if you cook them right, they are truly delicious. Forget about steaming them or boiling them. Don made them once for me like that about a year ago. Blech! They tasted dirty and rough. Saute them or roast them, with a little olive oil, and O.M.G. It will blow your mind.

We made a Brussels Sprouts Salad with Walnuts, Cranberries, and Bacon once and it was divine. I’ve been meaning to buy them again for some time but you know how it is, one thing or another getting in the way, you forget, you fall back into old patterns thinking maybe they won’t be all that tasty after all. I conquered that fear and made them again this past week, using another recipe from Things My Belly Likes for inspiration. (Thanks again Cat for a great recipe! The mustard goes really well with the sprouts.)

Ingredients

  • 1 lb Brussel Sprouts, washed and the ends trimmed
  • 1/2 onion, roughly chopped
  • salt
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 2 tsp yellow mustard
  • 1.5 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 3 tsp honey
  1. I placed the sprouts and onions in a parchment-lined pan and sprinkled them with salt and drizzled them with olive oil. No measurements, just eyeballed it.
  2. We roasted them at 400 degrees for about 35-40 minutes.
  3. While roasting, I mixed the mustard, cider vinegar, and honey in a small bowl and set it aside for dressing the sprouts.
  4. Five minutes before taking the pan out of the oven, I added the walnuts and roasted them for the last five minutes.
  5. Then I dumped it all into one bowl and mixed it all together well.

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I was cooking alongside Don and he doesn’t like to follow recipes so I wasn’t reading Cat’s recipe closely. She has a few different steps that you might like to try. I would like to make it again, with pecans, as her recipe actually calls for. Just to see how the nuts change the flavor.

These were great though. We ate them all. One whole pound of sprouts. We realized afterwards that we probably ate 4 servings of sprouts each. Oh well. We didn’t have much else to the meal except some smothered venison over cauliflower rice.

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Really, do those 13 sprouts really look like much anyway? 🙂 They are very dense little heads of cabbage. Five or six per person is probably a better portion…next time.

The cabbage surpasses all other vegetables. If, at a banquet, you wish to dine a lot and enjoy your dinner, then eat as much cabbage as you wish, seasoned with vinegar, before dinner, and likewise after dinner eat some half-dozen leaves. It will make you feel as if you had not eaten, and you can drink as much as you like.
~ Cato