Autumn is our favorite season, and now that it's officially here, we're experimenting with cast-iron cooking and spice-filled baking. This meat lovers cast-iron dish is delicious, mouthwatering, and packed with flavor. Of course, a tasty dish wouldn't be complete without a cozy table setting.
This simple table for two is highlighted with autumn colors and natural accents. The checked table linens are by Potterton Hill, and we paired them with white Shabby Chic linens wrapped in an acorn wood napkin ring.
Most of the fall dishes and decor are still packed away begging to come out, but we found some lingering around. We picked up these darling Mazey plates from Pier One before they went out of business.
We paired the Mazey dishes with white plates and rattan chargers. The faux Antler Crown flatware from Black Forest Décor was a fun purchase, and we used them last year in our Rustic Autumn Tablescape by the lake.
There's Mazey the Squirrel, Margaret Deer, and Daisey Fox, and all adorable.
You can find some here and there on E-bay and at Replacements.com, and I’m sure in antique and consignment shops in the future.
The acorn vase is from a consignment shop a few years ago, and a favorite piece. To achieve a nice look without the container shown, place a smaller vase within a clear vase and use small acorns to fill in the gap between the two vases.
The flowers we used were various greens, gerbera daisies, roses, mums and white alstroemeria (commonly called Peruvian lily). We also clipped a few of the remaining buds from our lavender phlox for a pop of color and it made the arrangement so fragrant.
Roses are a perennial favorite, whether from the garden or a hothouse.
Autumn is when we start trying out all the comfort-food recipes we've bookmarked and collected over the summer, and what else rings fall comfort than meals prepared in cast iron.
This is a delicious one-dish dinner, and quite simple to make. We only had thick-cut bacon on hand at the time, and had already halved all the slices since that is how we freeze it in smaller quantities. I prefer leaner cut rashers (from the loin, not the belly), but it's not readily available where I live. I gained a preference for the British cut of bacon when I was in Scotland. You can read more about it at The English Breakfast Society.
One step skipped in the recipe, and so skipped in my first attempt at said recipe, was to par cook the bacon until it is lightly browned, but still malleable so it can be wrapped around the chicken. I highly recommend this step before wrapping bacon around anything. Do this by roasting the bacon on a rack (set a baking dish of some kind beneath the rack to catch any grease), and roast at 400°F (204° C) just until both sides begin to brown, or about 5 minutes. A thinner cut of bacon may take less time, so keep watch. You do not want it to crisp. You can also par cook in a pan on the stove, but do so on low heat so the bacon doesn't cook all the way through or crisp.
So many foods just taste better when cooked in cast-iron, or so I think.
The bacon didn't crisp, again because it wasn't par cooked on this go-around, but the flavor seeped into the chicken to create a delicious combination. The chicken also came out incredibly moist.
The sauce is equally delicious, and oh, my goodness, don't get me started on the addition of the molasses—mouthwatering. The chicken dish itself is so rich and filling that nothing else was desired beyond the simple addition of steamed green beans. There was a lot of leftover chicken since one was plenty, so the bacon was unwrapped and saved along side the chicken. They were then layered in sandwiches.
This recipe came from Cast Iron Comfort Foods, 2018. You can view a preview of the magazine here, or get a digital edition here. A little searching will bring up a few copies of the print version. We always snatch these up when they first release. I find that 90% of the recipes I do try from these turn out perfectly, and it's possible the 10% failure rate can be blamed on the cook, and not the recipe.
The recipe is available online at SouthernCastIron.com.