SIMPLE WHOLE ROASTED CHICKEN

IMG_0730.JPG

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

Ingredients 

3 - 4 lb chicken (preferably pasture raised)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
garlic salt

Directions

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. 

Enjoy!! 

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.  

 

DROOL WORTHY ROAST HAM

 Photo Credit:  Betty FONG

Photo Credit: Betty FONG

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. 

Roast Ham

Smoked Ham

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)

Directions

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. 

 Photo Credit: Kasia Bloom of  PROJEKT BLOOM

Photo Credit: Kasia Bloom of PROJEKT BLOOM

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.  

SIMPLE ROAST CHICKEN (with Soy)

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

Ingredients 

3 - 4 lb chicken (preferably pasture raised)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
soy sauce (leave this out if you are avoiding soy, I do now)
garlic salt

Directions

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.

 Chicken in the oven

Chicken in the oven

 What it will look like when done

What it will look like when done

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! 


JAMIE OLIVER'S CHICKEN KORMA

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.


CHICKEN KORMA

From Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution cookbook with notes from our experience.

Serves 4-6

Ingredients

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

1 lemon

Directions

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.