Italian Herb Butter

Remember my love for all things butter and how we talked about Paula Deen being my hero?  I thought it would be a good time to share with you a recipe for Italian Herb butter.  I’ll be using it over either asparagus or broccoli tonight.  The flavor won’t conflict with the Rosemary Chicken that we’re having tonight.

THIS is how to dress up boring vegetables.  I’m always trying to come up with something BESIDES the regular cheese sauce or just plain ole butter.

Besides, it gives me an excuse to use my cute little butter crock!

Italian Herb Butter (from my Aunt Betty’s handwritten recipes)


1/2 cup softened, salted butter (1 stick)

1 TBSP chopped fresh basil

1 TBSP chopped fresh oregano

1 clove garlic, minced


In a small bowl, combine all ingredients.  Pack into a butter crock or on waxed paper, shape into 1 x7 inch log.  Chill or freeze.  Roll butter log in chopped parsley, if desired, before slicing into patties.

*  From the notes of Aunt Betty:  This zesty spread is easy to prepare and works magic on the most humble of dishes.  Butter may be frozen up to 6 months.

Rosemary Chicken, a one dish wonder!

As I’ve mentioned before, I have a collection of cookbooks that come in handy on my “uninspired” days.  The cook book I pulled out today is, “A Skillet Full”, of Traditional Southern LODGE Cast Iron Recipes and Memories.  I LOVE using this book, in part because I bought it on one of my many trips to The Great Smoky Mountains at an old mill and restaurant called, simply, “The Old Mill” in Pigeon Forge Tennessee (you know, the home of Dolly Parton, right?).  I’ve told everyone that if I was ever going to move from my home, it would be to the Smoky Mountains.  Being there takes me to a place that FEELS like home to me.  I can picture an old grandma, sitting in her rocking chair, snapping green beans, fresh from her garden and I just want to BE that grandma.  Back to the cook book…. these recipes just work.  They’re designed to use with cast iron cookware.

Here’s the one I’ll be using today.  The flavor is TO DIE FOR, with the smoky bacon, the onions and wine sauce.  You’ll thank me for this later 😉  I love that it’s easy and all done in one pan!

Chicken Rosemary


6 slices raw bacon

3 pounds chicken pieces (*I’ve always used boneless, skinless breasts)

4-6 potatoes, peeled and quartered

1 cup sliced green peppers

1 cup sliced mushrooms (optional)

2 cups sliced onions (I use 1 large sweet onion, sliced in rings)

1/2 tsp dried crushed rosemary (I use 1 tsp)

1 bay leaf

Salt and Pepper to taste  (I ALWAYS season the chicken itself before placing in the pan)

1 large tomato, sliced  (I’m using a can of diced tomatoes, drained)

1 cup white wine


Preheat oven to 375 F.  Layer ingredients in Dutch oven in the order given.  Cover.  Bake 1 1/2 hours until done (chicken will be fork tender).  Spoon wine sauce over all before serving.

(pictured: cast iron Dutch oven)

The one I use is from Ben’s great Grandma and it’s over 100 years old!

**My notes:  I have used a regular 9×13 glass casserole dish and covered with foil when I’ve doubled the recipe (because it won’t fit in my cast iron Dutch oven if doubled).  It works great too, you just have to cook a little longer.  BUT, I always prefer cast iron because the evenness of the cooking.