Thomas Keller. He's a genius. Pure genius. He's known for many culinary achievements in his day....The French Laundry, Per Se, Bouchon to name a few. He's also now known for helping me roast the best chicken of my life. On Valentine's for my Valentine. I think I made my Valentine fall more in love with me because of it.
This is THE only way to make a chicken. Period. It's so simple that why would you want to make it any other way??
P.S. Sorry for the lack of pictures. The people were hungry and it was devoured before I could find my camera.
One 2- to 3-pound farm-raised chicken Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons minced thyme (optional)
Unsalted butter Dijon mustard
Preheat the oven to 450°F. Rinse the chicken, then dry it very well with paper towels, inside and out. The less it steams, the drier the heat, the better.
Salt and pepper the cavity, then truss the bird. Trussing is not difficult, and if you roast chicken often, it's a good technique to feel comfortable with. When you truss a bird, the wings and legs stay close to the body; the ends of the drumsticks cover the top of the breast and keep it from drying out. Trussing helps the chicken to cook evenly, and it also makes for a more beautiful roasted bird.
Now, salt the chicken—I like to rain the salt over the bird so that it has a nice uniform coating that will result in a crisp, salty, flavorful skin (about 1 tablespoon). When it's cooked, you should still be able to make out the salt baked onto the crisp skin. Season to taste with pepper.
Place the chicken in a sauté pan or roasting pan and, when the oven is up to temperature, put the chicken in the oven. I leave it alone—I don't baste it, I don't add butter; you can if you wish, but I feel this creates steam, which I don't want. Roast it until it's done, 50 to 60 minutes. Remove it from the oven and add the thyme, if using, to the pan. Baste the chicken with the juices and thyme and let it rest for 15 minutes on a cutting board.
Remove the twine. Separate the middle wing joint and eat that immediately. Remove the legs and thighs. I like to take off the backbone and eat one of the oysters, the two succulent morsels of meat embedded here, and give the other to the person I'm cooking with. But I take the chicken butt for myself. I could never understand why my brothers always fought over that triangular tip—until one day I got the crispy, juicy fat myself. These are the cook's rewards. Cut the breast down the middle and serve it on the bone, with one wing joint still attached to each. The preparation is not meant to be superelegant. Slather the meat with fresh butter. Serve with mustard on the side and, if you wish, a simple green salad. You'll start using a knife and fork, but finish with your fingers, because it's so good.
Oh how I love Proof Bakery in Atwater Village. It's ahhh-mazing! Here's a snapshot of a latte with their pumpkin egg strata. They make phenom croissants and other baked items, but I love it when bakeries make egg dishes, too. So you can at least get a little protein amidst all of the sugar. Right. I'm sure that's what you think about when you go to a bakery.
Check it out sometime. It's what this hood has needed for a while...
3165 Glendale Blvd.
Los Angeles, 90039
P.S. - Yes, I know I haven't blogged in a year. Whew, it was a hectic 2010. I'm trying to be back. I'm trying to be good. We'll see how long it lasts ;)
Happy New Year all! A little on the belated side, but that's the way our family seems to do things right now. Once Baby Whine 'N Dine turned 1 in Oct., life has been a tad crazier, messier. Busy toddlers will kind of do that to you. My current pace of life is leaving me with less time to blog. It's sad, but the honest truth. But I do miss you, and hopefully, you've missed me, too!
We did a considerable amount of traveling over the holidays, so I'm including a picture of the airplane snacks that I carefully laid out before our trip: Leftover roasted carrots, Crunchy Green Beans from Trader Joe's, mini whole wheat banana muffins (recipe will be posted soon) & rice cakes. This picture makes me look pretty organized. Don't be fooled, though. I'm really not. As soon as we got on the plane, it was such a mess. Sigh. At least I tried.
2010 is in full swing and you may or may not be holding to your New Year's resolutions. (They say that 70% of us have given up by Jan. 15). It's not easy, but I'm trying my darndest to eat a healthy, less processed food diet. You know, more whole foods. More vegetables. More fruit. Less sugar.
Do you have any resolutions for your family? Are you still keeping them?
Ahhhh....homemade chicken noodle soup. So good and so good for you. It's cold in LA right now (I can see all of you folks elsewhere rolling your eyes), but is just what the dr. ordered (or, uh, this doctor).
I'm tickled with delight that I've finally found my go-to recipe! It's chock full of fresh herbs and it's got a secret twist to it Trust me here. You won't be disappointed.
Great tip from friend Stephanie whose husband is out-of-country for work. She makes a pot of homemade chicken soup with lots of veggies, and she and her kids eat it all week. An easy way to get multiple healthy meals during a busy week!
So here it is....
2 1/2 cups wide egg noodles
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
12 cups chicken broth
1 1/2 tablespoons salt
1 teaspoon poultry seasoning (optional)
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped carrots*
1/3 cup cornstarch
1/4 cup water
1 rotisserie chicken or roasted whole chicken (or can use 3 cups
diced, cooked chicken meat)
1 bay leaf
Fresh herbs – I add a few sprigs of thyme, oregano, sage, basil
*You can add other veggies
like winter squash, zucchini, peas. I love to add frozen peas at the end.
Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a
boil. Add egg noodles and oil, and boil for 8 minutes, or until tender.
Drain, and rinse under cool running water.
In a large saucepan or Dutch oven, combine
broth, salt, bay leaf, poultry seasoning. Add the whole chicken in the pot
(the secret for a tasty broth!!). Bring to a boil. Stir in celery, onion,
carrots plus other veggies. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer 15 minutes. Remove chicken.
In a small bowl, mix cornstarch and water
together until cornstarch is completely dissolved. Gradually add to soup,
stirring constantly. Stir in noodles, chicken, fresh herbs and heat
I've been on a pumpkin kick lately. I've also been on a non-blogging
kick. I'm sorry about that. I truly am! Lots of life happening around here.
We're still cooking, though, and have lots of yummy things to tell you about.
what I did....I took our go-to oatmeal muffin recipe and turned it into a Pumpkin
Oatmeal Muffin recipe. It's even better this way!! It's the kind of thing
that makes me proud. So. Very. Proud.Since I'm so crazy for pumpkin, I took it
a step further and enjoyed them with what I like to call my lazy, super skinny
pumpkin pie spice latte (coffee + a little non-fat creamer + pumpkin pie spice.
See, told you I was lazy). But man, was it good!
always, my little whiner helped me make these...
(Recipe adapted from Epicurious.com
1 cup old-fashioned
cup can of Libby's pumpkin pie filling
1 large egg, beaten
1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
½ tsp. cinnamon
¼ tsp. nutmeg
large bowl, combine oats and buttermilk and let stand 1 hour.
oven to 400°F. and butter twelve 1/2-cup muffin tins.
molasses, egg, sugar and butter to oat mixture, stirring until just combined.
another large bowl, sift together flour, salt, spices, baking powder, baking soda
and add to oat mixture, stirring until just combined.
batter into prepared muffin tins. Bake until golden and a tester comes out
clean, about 20 minutes.
Foil packs aren't just for camping!!Cooking food in a packet is not only great fun, but it is super easy. Kids love it, too, because it adds an element of surprise. Like a little present of yumminess.
Jamie Oliver might as well be the king of cooking food in packets. He has several recipes for chicken, fish, veggies in foil packs. Since I'm trying to experiment with all sorts of veggies, I decided to go with his roasted beets recipe in a packet. The keyword is "experiment" here as beets have always had a major ick factor for me conjuring up visions of passing slimy pickled beets 'round the table at my grandmother's house. Eew!
BUT, beets really can be tasty roasted. A"fantastic veg" as Jamie calls them (LOVE the way that guy talks). If only someone had shown me the light when I was younger, I could have spent more of the last 33 years eating beets. Oh well.
This is a fun recipe to make with kids. Since we've started an herb garden, picky whine 'n dine girl has been picking my herbs for recipes and lovin' it. Sounds like a Mc Donald's commercial, but for herbs.
This recipe did pass the Toddler Test Kitchen's pickiest customer, my 3 yr. old. Oh, I should also mention that baby whine 'n dine loved these. A side that appeased to all in our family. Love that.
Whew, enough talking, here's the recipe....
Baked Beets with Balsamic Vinegar, Marjoram & Garlic
from "The Naked Chef Takes Off," by Jamie Oliver
lb. fresh raw beets, preferably golf-ball size, scrubbed
cloves of garlic, unpeeled and squashed
handful fresh marjoram or sweet oregano, leaves picked from stems
Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
the oven to 400 F. Tear off around 5 ft. of aluminum foil and fold it in half
to double the thickness. If you have large beets, halve them to speed up the
cooking time otherwise cook them whole. Place them in the middle of the foil
with the garlic and marjoram (or oregano), season generously with salt and
pepper. Then fold the sides in to the middle. Before you seal the foil, add the
vinegar and olive oil. Scrunch or fold the foil together to seal at the top.
Put on a baking sheet and place in the preheated oven and cook for around 1
hour, until tender. Serve in the bag at the table.
A new series for my blog called "Delicious Bites" will highlight yummy recipes and tips and inspiring blog posts that I've found. I come across too many fabulous, kid-friendly recipes to try (if only I could just cook all day!), so I want to share them with you. I'll also add these links into the Whining 'N Dining Fruit & Recipe Guide There's a lot of yummy stuff out there and just because I don't have time to take a bite, perhaps you do?
I hope you are like me and that you can't get enough of all things pumpkin. It's not fall until you make yourself some Buttermilk Pumpkin Cornbread.Honest to gosh it is so good. We all swooned and ooh la la'ed when this pure deliciousness came out of the oven.
Obviously, this recipe isn't the healthiest, but it sure is great for a special fall treat. Rest assured you'll still get a little boost of beta-carotene from Mr. Pumpkin.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (175 degrees C).
Grease an 8 inch square pan.
Mix melted butter and sugar in bowl. Quickly
add eggs and beat until well blended. Combine buttermilk with pumpkin pie
filling and stir 1 cup into mixture. Stir in cornmeal, flour, baking soda
and salt until well blended and few lumps remain. Pour batter into the
Bake in the preheated oven for 30 to 40
minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.