Next up in my Canadian Tire Kitchen Crew series of missions? Test out the Black and Decker Convection Rotisserie Toaster Oven. Yes, you read that right – a “rotisserie toaster oven”. Sounds like an oxymoron, no? I was quite intrigued to test the rotisserie part of the oven. Since my Mission was as follows:
Thanksgiving. For some, just hearing the word makes them shudder, especially thinking about all the work creating a Thanksgiving feast for your family entails. Your mission this week is to get inspired and take a new view on old Thanksgiving classics. From side dishes to the main event – anything goes!
I wanted to see if I could change things up a little and roast a chicken instead of a turkey for the perfect Thanksgiving meal for two people (it’s hard to buy a 3lb turkey!). Even though I owned a couple of different toaster ovens when I lived in Paris and had NO counterspace, I never had one big enough for roasting a chicken.
Well here’s the thing, this one isn’t really either.
Neil makes a mean roast chicken (the secret is BUTTER!) so I set him to work, first of all finding a small chicken that would fit in the oven. Our 3lb chicken fit but there was no room for it to turn on the rotisserie. Kind of defeats the purpose, so our chicken cooked (beautifully considering it was a small appliance) just sitting in the pan. Maybe a cornish hen could fit but that’s about it.. So if you don’t need your bird to turn, this oven does a pretty good job.
One thing we didn’t much like about this was the digital controls. Instead of simply having one button for temperatures, there are a bunch of presets that you have to look up in the book to see what they are as 1. it’s not immediately obvious what the pictures are of and 2. what Black and Decker recommend for cooking temperatures doesn’t necessarily fit with my ideas.
The digital controls played into one big problem we had which was that the oven gets hot. REALLY hot. So much so that during the preheating stage, we had to turn it off and move it off the table where we had put it, we were worried about it damaging the wood. When we plugged it in after stetting it in on the stove, it took nearly 20 minutes to “pre-heat” to 425, even though it was clearly already at that temperature. I’m not a fan of the digital controls and settings but I think once I get to know them a little better it would be easier. But note to manufacturers: digital does not always equal easier.
So I gave up on the idea of the “mini” Thanksgiving for 2 and decided to focus on something that often gets left unattended – options for vegetarians. If we are around on Thanksgiving weekend (early October in Canada), we always plan a meal with our next door neighbours, Lois and Orest. Lois is a strict vegetarian so the idea of turkey and all the trimmings doesn’t really do it for her. She always brings wonderful veggie side dishes but I often think I need to broaden my repertoire of appropriate dishes to serve so that Lois doesn’t feel left out. Enter our recent trip to France where I discovered pre-rolled butter puff pastry and experienced a lot of success making savoury tarts à go-go – they are an excellent way to use up whatever’s in the fridge when you are leaving a rental house 🙂 I bought a small recipe book of Burgundian classics and the recipe I wanted to try out in this mini oven is a take on the classic “Tarte Dijonnaise” – basically a tomato, onion, cheese and mustard tart. I’ve added some eggs for some extra protein which makes this more of a dinner meal than a light lunch, though I have actually eaten this for breakfast, lunch and dinner (and would again, quite happily) and it’s perfect.
Even better than how good it tastes, is the fact that it takes about 15 minutes to prepare, then you just put it in the oven and forget about it. This is where having a second (even tabletop) oven is really useful. It means you can get the vegetarian main course on the go whilst the turkey does its thing in the main oven. In this sense, it’s a bit of a lifesaver – we always struggle to serve hot side-dishes because of the oven being taken up for so long by the turkey (or chicken or whatever..)
And the result?
We really love this dish and have eaten it many different ways since I discovered how to make it (not like there’s a secret recipe but still…). It’s useful for breakfast, lunch or dinner and so so easy and versatile. Does it need to be made in the Black and Decker Convection Rotisserie Toaster Oven? Of course not. But it you are serving it as a vegetarian option at your holiday table, it would be handy to have a second oven so that everyone’s meal would be served hot.
You might also like: Chez Loulou’s Tarte Dijonnaise
Disclaimer: I was provided with compensation as well as a Black and Decker Convection Rotisserie Toaster Oven in exchange for writing two posts about the product. All opinions are 100% my own. The Kitchen Crew series highlights my stories, recipes and tips with promotional consideration made possibly by Canadian Tire. If you want to uncover your kitchen’s true potential, stay tuned to the Kitchen Crew for my weekly missions.