Delicious Roast Chicken

This is the best roast chicken recipe I have ever tried. It comes from The Canal House and it’s really based on a few simple techniques. I’m not sure I will every try another roast chicken recipe – I will just work on variations from this.

1 T kosher salt

1 whole approximately 4 lb chicken, giblets reserved for another use (I use organic)

1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted

Rinse chicken. Rub salt all over chicken and place in a resealable plastic bag. I double bag mine for insurance against messy leaks! Place breast side up in the refrigerator for 8 hours and up to 2 days. This dry brining technique works with other meats as well (turkey, pork) and I first discovered it from Judy Rodgers of Zuni Cafe in San Francisco.

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Arrange oven rack in upper third of oven. Preheat to 500 degrees. Set a wire roasting rack in a large roasting pan. Pat the chicken dry, but do not rinse. Place the chicken in the rack, breast side up. Loosely tie the legs together with kitchen twine and tuck the wings under. Brush the chicken all over with butter. Pour 1 cup of water into the pan.

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Roast the chicken, brushing with butter after 15 minutes, until the skin is light golden brown – about 30 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees. Remove the chicken, brush with butter and let it rest for 15 – 20 minutes.

Return the chicken to the oven, adding more water to the pan if it is dry and roast, basting with butter about every 10 minutes – until the skin is golden brown and a thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh registers 165 degrees. This will take approximately 30 to 45 minutes, depending on the size of the chicken. Let chicken rest for 20 minutes. Carve and serve with pan juices.

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Enjoy the moist and delicious rewards of your efforts – Yum !!

Note: you may want to turn on your overhead fan while the chicken is cooking in the first phase at 500 degrees. Smoke alarms will thank you.

5 Things I Like To Freeze

 

5-things-to-freeze

I love to freeze food to prolong their shelf life.   My husband is always complaining that my freezers that I just keep adding to the freezer rather than take stuff out.   I don’t really buy a lot of frozen food and I have recently stopped buying a lot of meat or fish to freeze because I prefer it fresh.  Five of my favorite things to freeze are:

Bananas – I eat a banana a day and usually buy a bunch a week.  However if the weather is extremely hot or I don’t get to eat them right away, they start to ripen really fast.  Rather than throw them out, I stick them in the freezer.  Then when I have a lot and I feel like baking, I will make a big batch of banana bread.  Or I will stick a frozen banana in a smoothie drink in lieu of ice.

Beans - I learned this in Cooking school.  Rather than use canned beans, boil up a package of dry beans and when cooled, stick them in an airtight container and put them in the freezer.  Then when you want to make some hummus, or throw some in a salad or make a quick batch of Chili, you only have to thaw and voila, your good to go.

Nuts – Because I buy nuts in bulk and they can go rancid on the shelf, I extend their life by sticking them in the freezer.  I am sure there is a recommended timeframe for them to stay frozen but honestly, I never date them and have never had a nut go bad this way.

Butter – I learned this from America’s Test Kitchen.  Evidently butter is prone to pick up smells in your fridge.  When I bring butter home from the store it goes into my freezer and I only use what I need while the rest stays frozen.

Wine -  A good way to save leftover red or white wine is to pour the leftover wine into ice cube trays and freeze.  When the cubes are solid put them into an airtight plastic bag.  Then when a recipe calls for a small amount of wine just plop in as many wine cubes that are necessary.

Other things I like to freeze are flour, homemade pesto (which I make when I have a lot of greens and herbs that will go bad soon), lemon and lime juice and their zest, homemade stock and grated cheese.

 

 

 

 

Make Ahead Grains

quinoa

 

Here is a technique that I have been using lately to incorporate more whole grains into my family’s diet: I cook a variety of whole grains that I have on hand over the weekend, simply and plainly with water and a touch of salt. Then I store them in the refrigerator in a covered container.

quinoa 2

Whenever I’m ready (which can be daily!), I combine them with whatever I have on hand. In this case I cooked red quinoa on Sunday, then a few days later I combined it with cucumbers, tomatoes, feta, cilantro, extra virgin olive oil and fresh lemon juice, salt and pepper. There are endless combinations that are easy to tackle when the grains are already prepared. Bon Appetit !