Chic Chef: Garlic & Herb Pressed Chicken & Tips on Elegant Table Decor

Today, Joanna is serving up more than an amazing dinner dish idea. Although, yes, she's doing that too... 

Every time I have dinner at their apartment, I leave always wanting to know how she pulled that off! Two busy kids, two dogs and she still manages to make the most delicious meals and have fresh flowers!! So, for all of you out there wondering the same thing, I've asked her how she does it; make my mouth drop and water all at the same time. 

Here's how she likes to make a lasting impression.. as if her cooking isn't enough!

"I pretty much use this table setting all the time with the variation of flowers and candles. For the most formal or informal gatherings I like to keep it simple. I love the natural and warm look of the rattan place matts against the Italian China. I rarely ever use table cloths, but always use really nice pressed napkins. It makes a huge difference, when they are nicely pressed." - Joanna Moeller 

"I make this dish quite often when I'm entertaining. It's versatile, ( you can always alter the recipe with whatever herbs or veggies you have on hand),  easy to make (since its all in one pan!) and everyone loves it!" - Joanna Moeller


  • 4 large bone in and skin on organic chicken breasts cut each breast in half so that you have 8 pieces.
  • a bag of baby Yukon gold potatoes cut into 3rds
  • 5 shallots cut in halves
  • 10-12 pieces of frozen (thawed) quartered artichoke hearts 
  • 2 lemons

Marinade mixture:

  • 4 cloves garlic 
  • 5 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 3 sprigs fresh rosemary 
  • 3 sprigs fresh oregano
  • the zest of one fresh lemon
  • 2 tbs lemon pepper seasoning
  • about 1/4 cup of olive oil
  • salt to taste 
  • a squeeze of fresh lemon juice
  • Preheat oven to 425 Degrees
  1. Start by either in a food processor or chopping by hand, the garlic and the herbs. Add in the lemon pepper seasoning, fresh lemon zest, olive oil , a squeeze of one whole lemon and plenty of salt. 
  2. Rub all over washed and completely dried chicken pieces and marinade for up to 2 hrs. (if you dot have time to marinate, this dish comes out just fine!)
  3. In a large skillet such as a cast iron, add a little olive oil to the pan on medium high, wait for pan to get nice and hot, arrange your chicken pieces skin side down. Put another heavier pot directly on top of the chicken so that it is pressed down. Be patient and let the chicken get lots of color before turning. This should take about 8 min. Once the chicken is very brown and crispy turn over and press again but only for about 4 min. 
  4. Remove chicken and put aside. 
  5. Add Potatoes and shallots to the pan season with salt and pepper. 
  6. Cook on medium high heat until potatoes and shallots are caramelized.
  7. Add the thawed artichoke hearts and cook for a few more min.
  8. Squeeze the juice of one whole lemon on the potato mixture. 
  9. Add the Chicken and Juices to the pan and put into the oven for about 25 min. Until the potatoes are tender.
  10. Finish the dish with more fresh lemon juice

**I love serving a nice big green salad along with this dish and dinner is done**

Chic Chef: Italian Wedding Soup

Check out our Featured Mom, Joanna Moeller's, at home version of Italian Wedding Soup. 

There is something in this dish everyone in the family will enjoy.  I know it looks so hard... but here is how she does it! It's so simple. See how she breaks down each step.

This is a wonderful and easy soup recipe that both children and grown ups love. It's great for a week night dinner or also to serve for guests.

Ingredients for Meatballs:

  • 1lb. Of ground pork. (You may also substitute ground chicken or turkey) 
  • I cup of grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 cloves of minced garlic
  • 1/4 cup of seasoned breadcrumbs
  • 1 egg
  • About a 1/2 cup of whole milk ( you want the meatball mixture to be very moist) 
  • Salt and pepper

Remainder Ingredients:

  • 1/2 of yellow onion chopped
  • 1 carrot diced
  • 1 celery stalk diced
  • 1 and 1/2 container of chicken broth
  • 1/2 lb or box of small pasta such as orzo
  • 1 bunch of fresh spinach chopped
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/3 cup Olive oil

Here are the steps:

  1. Start by making your meatball mixture. 
  2. Put olive oil into pot set stove to medium high
  3. Brown in batches in a heavy bottom pot such as a Dutch oven or any soup pot is fine. Set aside browned meatballs.
  4. Put in your vegetables except for the spinach. (That goes in last. )
  5. Sauté for about 2 min. 
  6. Add stock, salt/ pepper meatballs
  7. Summer for about 20 Min. 
  8. Add pasta directly to pot and cook for another 8 min. 
  9. Throw in the chopped spinach
  10. And serve with plenty of grated Parmesan