Cold winter days call out for rich and hearty beef stew.Read More
I have been reducing my soy intake and so switched up my roast chicken recipe by swapping soy sauce out entirely in favor of more garlic salt. My family has been loving this new version even more.
Simple Whole Roast Chicken
3 - 4 lb chicken (preferably pasture raised)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
Preheat oven to 425°F.
Let chicken sit out to come to room temp, pat dry, about 1 - 1.5 hours.
Melt the butter in the microwave or on the stove. Set aside.
Coat the chicken with a light sprinkling of garlic salt. Then place the chicken in its baking vessel. Then brush melted butter over the entire chicken. Once done, sprinkle some more garlic salt everywhere.
Pop it into the oven and bake for about 45 mins to - 75 mins. Take the chicken out and test for doneness at 45 mins. The chicken is done when an instant-read thermometer reads 165°F when inserted into the thickest part of the thigh and any juices run clear (the legs of the chicken should wiggle easily from the sockets too.)
Once cooked, place the chicken on a cutting board and let sit for about 15 - 20 minutes before carving. It is up to you if you want to tent it with foil when it comes out. It will keep it warmer but it will also cause the crispy skin to loose some crispness. I don't bother to cover anymore. The chicken still stays pretty warm.
The Next Day
Save the carcass and any left over chicken meat to make chicken soup the next day. Simple start with equal parts water and chicken stock (Brodo's chicken bone broth is divine!), let it come to a boil, add the chicken bones and any left over meat. Add a few large pieces of carrots and celery. After it all comes to a boil, let is simmer for about 3 hours. Remove the soft carrots and celery. Any meat left on the chicken bones should come off easily. Take it all off and then discard the bones. You'll be left with nutrient rich chicken soup and tender chicken meat. I usually leave some in the fridge for my next lunch or dinner and freeze the rest. When I'm ready to eat the soup, I bring it to a boil again on the stove adding some more water and then some vegetables. Even just some chopped cabbage is nice! For my daughter I add in just some diced carrots. Add a little salt for the vegetables and let it simmer until the vegetables are as soft as you want them and serve. Good as is, extra good with a nice piece of bread with butter.
This is super simple yet the rewards ample. You simply baste the ham as it warms and crisps up in the over with a basic glaze, which will has the added benefit of scenting the air with deliciousness enticing everyone as soon as they walk in the door. It presents well on a cutting board and it yummy warm or cold. For my family it has always accompanied our Easter meal, and sometime other holiday gatherings like Thanksgiving or Christmas. It is also the perfect anchor for any large weekend brunch.
Buy the best ham you can buy, preferably local and pasture raised. It might be more expensive but it really matters as far as nutrition, flavor, texture and of course for sustainability and animal welfare.
Glaze (courtesy of my aunt Michelle)
1 cup honey
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
(though I will admit, the last time we made it we left out the ginger and mustard and it was still awesome)
Take your ham out of the fridge for 2 hours before you plan to put it in the oven. It will cook better and more evenly at room temperature.
Preheat your oven to 280°F. Place your ham on the bottom of a roasting rack. I put the ham right in the rack when I pull it out of the fridge to warm up so it's ready to go later.
Measure out all of the glaze ingredients into small sauce pan and warm gently to combine into a very thick syrup.
Baste the entire ham with the glaze using a basting brush or baster. The glaze should be thick so it sticks to the ham versus running off. But it if is too thick to even work with, you can thin by working in a little warm water.
Cook the glazed ham for about 12 minutes per pound, glazing every 20 - 30 minutes. If toward the end of the cook time it isn't getting crispy on the outside you can increase the temperature a bit to create a nice crispy exterior.
Let stand until it is cool enough to touch. Then slice on a cutting board and serve. Unless you are portioning out individual plates, I recommend slicing only a portion of the ham to start and then slicing a bunch more as needed. Take a look at the photos to see what I mean. It helps the meat not dry out too much before it is eaten and it looks great. You can leave it on the cutting board if you have a nice one, or transfer to a plate.
It is great with mashed or roasted potatoes and Roasted Carrots with Parsley Mint Yogurt Sauce. For a brunch buffet, like the Easter one we had over the weekend, I like to put out a couple types of mustard and some fresh mini rolls so our guests can make little ham sandwiches if they wish. It's a nice option to add a starch yet nothing that needs much effort or to be kept warm, like mashed or roasted potatoes.
There is something so satisfying about a freshly roasted chicken. My husband improved upon it for me by sharing that his grandmother used to make roast chicken for him as a child and she would serve it with rice and gravy. I made gravy one day with our roast and have never skipped making gravy again. The addition of gravy and rice make this the ultimate comfort food.
Now you too can make this easily at home for your family and friends. Thanks to my father-in-law who's recipe this is based on.
Simple Roast Chicken
3 - 4 lb chicken (preferably pasture raised)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
soy sauce (leave this out if you are avoiding soy, I do now)
Preheat oven to 425°F.
Let chicken sit out to come to room temp, pat dry, about 1 - 1.5 hours. Also, leave the butter out to come to room temperature.
Douse with soy sauce, let it sit for 2 minutes and then sprinkle garlic salt over the entire chicken. Let sit for another 15 minutes or so to dry a bit. Then rub butter onto chicken, take your time with this, the butter will not want to adhere to the chicken at first. Continue to try to work it in and it will start to stick.
Put in a baking dish and bake for 1 - 1.5 hours. Take the chicken out and test for doneness. The chicken is done when an instant-read thermometer reads 165°F when inserted into the thickest part of the thigh and any juices run clear (the legs of the chicken should wiggle easily from the sockets too.)
Cover loosely with foil and let sit for 15 minutes before cutting.
What to serve with this dish?
Best served with white rice and gravy. Other nice choices would be roasted potatoes or Yorkshire pudding also with gravy. Of course, you should also have a side of any vegetable to you like.
Gravy recipe to come soon!
So comforting and so easy to make. Perfect for groups, you can make it a day ahead and just reheat for your gathering. Or if just for your, you will have extra portions to store in your freezer for easy future meals.Read More
Inspired by the to die for curries at G’raj Mahal we enjoyed on a trip to Austin, TX and the amazing pasture chicken we used to get from Surfside Chickens when we lived in California, we decided to try our hand at making an Indian dish a few years ago and it is now a staple. We landed on Jamie Oliver’s Chicken Korma from his Food Revolution cookbook. The recipe is straightforward and easy to shop for. It does use a curry paste, but still has plenty of freshness.
There is a wonderful depth of flavor (surprising considering it doesn’t even cook for that long!), great texture and flavor contrast from the mix of soft onions, tender chicken meat and buttery chickpeas. And while we love Indian food, it can often seem a bit oily and heavy. This dish is not. It is comforting yet not heavy or greasy. We serve it over a pile of brown basmati rice. Yum.
If you are not familiar with Indian curries, this is a wonderful one to start with. It is mild (I’m a wimp when it comes to hot spices) with only a hint of heat yet has great flavor.
I have never had chickpeas in Korma before but I like it. They took on a wonderful flavor and buttery smooth texture and it is a wonderful way to help stretch out the chicken since they add to the heartiness of the dish.
We actually halved the recipe since it was just the 2 of us and it worked out perfectly with the portion of chicken breast we were able to get from that week’s Surfside Chicken. I divided up the rest of the chicken too, so we had vacuum sealed packs of 2 chicken thighs, 2 wings, 2 drumsticks and the body in the freezer waiting to be turned into another meal.
This is a great dish to make for company since you can make it before your guests arrive, leave it on the stove and simply warm back up before serving. In fact, the first time we made it, my husband finished cooking it by 5pm, we left it on to simmer for a little longer and then turned off the flame, and left it covered on the stove. We warmed it back up at 7pm when we were ready for dinner. I bet the curry flavors developed even further with the extra time. Our brown basmati rice was also just waiting for us to be ready sitting piping hot in our rice cooker.
From Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution cookbook with notes from our experience.
1 3/4 pound skinless boneless chicken breast, preferably free-range or organic
2 medium onions
optional: 1 fresh green chile (we left it out since I’m a wimp)
a thumb-sized piece of fresh ginger
a small bunch of cilantro (an easy herb to grow in your yard!)
1 15oz can of garbanzo bean (chickpeas)
peanut or vegetable oil (We used olive oil. Using Ghee would probably be delicious as well)
1/2 cup korma or mild curry paste, such as Patak’s
1 14oz can of coconut milk
a small handful of sliced almonds, plus extra for serving
2 heaping tablespoons of unsweetened shredded coconut
2 cups natural yogurt
To prepare your curry
Cut the chicken into approximately 1-inch pieces or thin slices. I find slices will result in more tender and flavorful chicken.
Peel and finely slice the onions.
Halve, seed and finely chop the chile if using it.
Peel and finely chop the ginger. If you don’t like eating ginger, be sure to chop it finely so that it melts away in the dish or cut slightly large pieces/slices so you get the flavor but you can easily opt to not eat the ginger pieces themselves.
Pick the cilantro leaves and finely chop the stalks. (love that both stalks and leaves are used!)
Drain the garbanzo beans.
To make your curry
Put a large casserole-type pan on high heat and add a couple lugs of oil. Once hot, add the onions, chile, ginger, and cilantro stalks with the butter. Keep stirring it enough so it doesn’t catch and burn but turns evenly golden. Cook for around 10 minutes. Add the curry paste, coconut milk, half the sliced almonds, the drained garbanzo beans, unsweetened shredded coconut and chicken breasts. Half fill the empty coconut milk can with water, pour it into the pan and stir again. Bring to a boil, then turn the heat down and simmer for 30 minutes with the lid on.
Check the curry regularly to make sure it’s not drying out, and add extra water if necessary. When the chicken is tender and cooked, taste and season with salt and pepper – please season carefully. I did add a fair amount of salt, you’ll want to taste, add some salt if needed, stir and let cook for a few minutes, then taste again to see if it still needs more or not. Better to add little by little than overdoing it.
To serve your curry
Jamie includes various recipes for making rice as options to serve with this dish. Good old plain basmati rice works well. In fact, we used brown basmati rice and thought it was perfect.
Jamie also suggests: Add a few spoonfuls of natural yogurt dolloped on top and sprinkling over the rest of the sliced almonds. Finish by scattering over the cilantro leaves and serve with lemon wedges for squeezing over.
We served individual plates, since it was just 2 of us. I put a heafty scoop of rice on my plate (really a pasta bowl), hollowed out the middle and filled it with a few serving spoons full of korma. Very pretty. We skipped the yogurt, even though we had gotten a small container of Greek yogurt for the dish. We found the dish rich enough that we didn’t feel it needed the yoghurt. We did sprinkle on the cilantro leaves (we chopped them a little first) which made the dish look extra pretty and added nice fresh flavor. We completely forgot about the lemon wedges since we were hungry and excited to eat! It was still amazing, so if you don’t happen to have lemons, don’t sweat it.
Great for: Cozy dinner, company/groups
Ever since I had the pleasure of enjoying (going totally gaga for!) the lentils and sausage entrée at Les Pyrenees in Old Montreal I have been on the hunt for a recipe to try to replicate the sublime cozy tastes of that dish. After trying a few, this one is my current favorite. I just made it again last week and decided I had to share with you.
The dish is incredible silky and texturally interesting with layer upon layer of intense flavor. It is such a warm and hearty dish it will make any chilly gloomy day better…in fact you may look forward to such days so you have an excuse to make this dish! Not that you really need an excuse. It is also fairly easy to make and lasts well in the fridge for days! I like eating it with fresh bread, such as a french batard.
The original recipe is from a blog, Becks & Posh, and I have tweaked it just slightly as I found the original slightly acidic and I like to cook my lentils slightly longer, requiring more chicken broth. I also like extra sauce for mopping up with bread. I do use Toulouse sausage as she suggests in the original recipe – it is a mild garlicky sausage. Given how she touted the amazingness of Fatted Calf sausages, I made sure to get some to try with my first batch along with some of their bacon. Just hunting them down was part of the fun. However, I have to say, I was not thrilled with the sausages, there was something about their flavor that I didn’t love but the overall dish was still heavenly. I have since tried Toulouse sausages from Fabrique’s Delices which I can get at our local Palo Alto farmer’s market. They are the winner, the sausages have amazing flavor and are perfect for this dish. If you can’t find Toulouse sausage, mild Italian sausage would be a fine substitute. That said, Fatted Calf bacon has completely won me over, its deep flavor and thick cut stand up so well with this preparation adding another layer of great flavor. If you can get your hands on some, you really should! If you are in the San Francisco area, they have a stand at the Ferry Building farmer’s market and the Berkeley Farmer’s marketing on Saturdays and let you place special orders through their website. They have store fronts at the Oxbow Public Market in Napa, and in Hayes Valley. We had a great time visiting it on our trip up to Napa a few weeks ago, and we of course, brought home some bacon.
Lentils and Sausage
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup diced carrot
1 medium onion, decided
5 cloves garlic, roughly minced
1 cup green lentils
2 bay leaves (if using fresh, use 3)
a few fronds of parsley tied together
2 cups low sodium chicken stock + another 2 cups to add in later as needed
1 cup tomato juice (tomato sauce works fine too)
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups red wine
4 fat sausages
6 rashers of bacon, cut into bite-sized portions
salt and pepper to season
chopped parsley to garnish
Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the carrots, onion and garlic and cook slowly until the onions are soft and translucent. Add the washed lentils and stir for a couple of minutes until they are fully coated with oil. Add the tomato juice, salt, first 2 cups of chicken stock, parsley, bay leaf, parsley and red wine. Bring to a boil. Turn down the heat and simmer for an hour. Remove the bay leaves and parsley.
In another large skillet fry the bacon and sausages in their own fat until lightly golden. Slice the sausages into fat, bite-sized chunks and add them, the bacon and all (or some) of the fat they rendered to the lentil mixture. Add however much fat you feel comfortable with. I never add all of it as I feel it will make the dish too greasy, but I do add a generous amount since it is full of great flavor. Cook for a further 15 minute. Add some more chicken stock if you want to loosen up the mixture and continue cooking for another 15-30 minutes. Keep adding chicken stock if you feel it is getting too thick. Just go with your gut on how much stock you need to add, the recipe is very forgiving. If you add too much, just cook it a bit longer to reduce. If you do let it reduce a lot be sure to taste it and add some water if it gets too salty – that is also why it is important to use low sodium chicken broth.
Check again for seasoning and add salt or pepper to taste. Garnish with chopped parsley to serve up with some great bread.
This is also a great recipe for company since you can make it ahead and leave it on the stove on simmer until you are ready to serve. Just be sure to have some of that extra chicken stock nearby to top it off if it gets dry and check for seasoning, adding a little water if it starts to get too salty.