I love using my Dutch oven for solar cooking. It’s perfect for browning meats before putting them in the Sun Oven and can easily be transferred to the stove if the weather changes unexpectedly.
Sun Oven Chicken in White Wine
(Adapted for the Sun Oven from Weight Watchers One Pot Cookbook)
3 slices bacon, chopped
1 (3 1/2-pound) chicken, cut into 8 pieces
1 onion, chopped
2 stalks celery, sliced
1 head garlic, cloves peeled
1 tablespoon tomato paste
I had a window of opportunity for solar cooking today but it turned out to be too small. No problem, this recipe, like most of the ones in this blog, works equally well in a conventional oven. Just leave the baking pan uncovered for non-solar cooking.
Sun Oven Chili-Chicken
1 tablespoon chili powder
2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
8 chicken thighs with skin and bone, rinsed and patted dry
Set Sun Oven out to preheat. Place a toaster oven-sized rack in a baking pan and coat with cooking spray.
In a small bowl, combine the chili powder, paprika, oregano, cumin, and garlic. Stir in enough water to form a thick paste. Gently loosen the skin on the thighs and rub the paste under the skin. Arrange the thighs in a single layer on the rack, cover with aluminum foil and a dark tea towel or a silicone mat. Cook in Sun Oven until juices run clear, 45 minutes to 1 1/2 hours.
Makes 4 servings
Harissa is a Tunisian hot chili sauce similar to an Indian curry. It can be found in middle eastern markets or import stores such as Cost Plus World Market. It’s used to season meats, soups, and stews and goes perfectly with couscous.
Easy Sun Oven Tunisian Chicken Stew
8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed of excess fat
Fruit canned in juice, as opposed to syrup, comes in handy for all kinds of dishes, both sweet and savory. It’s something I always have in my pantry.
Sun Oven Apricot Chicken
1 (15-ounce) can apricot halves in juice, undrained
2 tablespoons orange juice
1 1/2 tablespoons honey
2 teaspoons fresh rosemary, chopped
1 teaspoon grated orange zest
Anyone who’s ever had Sun Oven roasted chicken will tell you that it’s some of the juiciest chicken they’ve ever tasted. The meat is fall-off-the-bone tender and infused with flavor.
Crisp skin can be a challenge though. Too often you get a little bit of crispy skin on the very top of the breast while the rest of the bird is submersed in the cooking liquid. And nobody likes soggy skin.
Placing a rack on the bottom of the roasting pan will elevate the chicken, or any other kind of roast, just enough to keep it dry. But don’t discard the juice, drizzle a little bit over each serving just before bringing it to the table.
Fresh rosemary, garlic, salt, pepper, a lemon, and a drizzle of olive oil is all the seasoning you need for delicious solar roasted chicken. Two stackable pots and the Sun Oven will do the rest. Peel the garlic, slice up the lemon; put some under the skin of each piece of chicken along with a sprig of rosemary, toss a few more cloves of garlic, a sprig or two of rosemary, and any remaining lemon on top, season with salt and pepper, add a drizzle of oil, cover and roast it in the Sun Oven until the skin is golden and the meat is fall off the bone tender. In the other pot roast some baby potatoes, prepare a salad while everything is cooking and you’ve got dinner.
This classic Italian stew goes great with good, crusty bread or a nice pot of Sun Oven Polenta.
Sun Oven Pollo alla Cacciatora
1 (4 to 4 1/2 pound) chicken, cut into eight pieces
6 bay leaves
2 sprigs of fresh rosemary
3 cloves garlic, 1 crushed, 2 sliced
2 cups dry red wine
flour, for dusting
1 tablespoon olive oil
6 anchovy fillets
1/2 cup black olives
2 (14-ounce) cans plum tomatoes, with their juices, roughly chopped
Season the chicken pieces with salt and pepper and put them in a bowl. Add the bay leaves, rosemary, and the crushed clove of garlic. Pour the wine over the chicken, cover and marinate at least one hour or overnight in the refrigerator.
Set the Sun Oven out to preheat. Drain the chicken, reserving the marinade, and pat dry. Heat the oil in a Dutch oven. Dredge the chicken in the flour, shaking off any excess. Brown the chicken and transfer to a plate. Add the sliced garlic to the Dutch oven and cook for about 1 minute. Add the anchovies and then the reserved marinade. Use a wooden spoon to scape up any browned bits and continue cooking until the wine is reduced by about one half. Add the olives and tomatoes. Return the chicken pieces to the Dutch oven, cover, and transfer to the Sun Oven. Cook until the chicken is fork tender, 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Skim off excess fat from the top of the sauce. Remove and discard the bay leaves and rosemary. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Makes 4 servings.
We’ve been fighting off the sniffles around here for the past few days and what could be better than some solar cooked chicken soup? First thing this morning I got the stock going. Things were a little touch and go there for a while, with the sun going in and out behind the clouds, but the Sun Oven’s temperature never dropped below 200F and it was ready by noon. That left plenty of time, and sunshine, to make a nice pot of comforting soup for dinner.
Sun Oven Chicken Soup
Sun Oven cooking, or any other method of cooking, doesn’t always require a recipe or even planning ahead.
If you have some chicken in the freezer and vegetables in the fridge you’ve probably got all the ingredients for dinner. Earlier today I chopped up a rutabaga, a red onion, and some butternut squash (all were dangerously close to becoming compost) tossed them with some olive oil, and topped them with some frozen chicken pieces.
After a few hours in the Sun Oven dinner was ready to be served.