Rustic Roast Chicken

Simple and understated is often the best approach to food, fashion, and reacting to your friend’s horrific new haircut. It always surprises me how delicious a simple whole roast chicken is and it’s one of my absolute favorite foods.  This recipe is pretty foolproof, too. Toss the bird in with your favorite veggies and roast for an hour and a half. The trickiest part  is carving the golden bird. But, that’s where YouTube comes into play. Hope you enjoy this chicken as much as I do.

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Rustic Roasted Chicken

Adapted from Ina Garten

1 whole chicken (about 3.5 lbs)

olive oil

salt and pepper

1 bunch of thyme

1 lemon, cut in half

1 head of garlic, cut in half crosswise

fingerling potatoes (small bag)

4 carrots, cut into 2-inch chunks

1 bulb of fennel, top removed and cut into wedges

2 yellow onions, cut into chunks

Preheat your oven to 425. Rinse your chicken and pat dry with paper towels. Season the inside of the chicken with salt and pepper. Stuff the cavity with the lemon, garlic and thyme. Brush the bird with about a tablespoon of olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Toss veggies with olive oil and a good amount of salt and pepper and any leftover thyme that you have. Put the veggies in a roasting pan or dutch oven and place the chicken on top. Roast for 1 1/2 hours. See YouTube for helpful carving advice.

 

 

 

Apple, Gruyere & Caramelized Onion Tarts

Loyal fans, (hi, Mom) how I’ve missed you! Spring has sprung and while everyone is loading up their shopping carts with Matzah and macaroons (no, not the chic ones), I’m busy whipping up little party snacks for the heck of it. These. Will. Blow. Your. Mind.  I can’t even write my usual sharp little intro, these are just too delicious to not swoon over immediately. The combination of tart apple, caramelized onion,  savory mushroom and that sharp gruyere cheese will take your tastebuds to a whole new planet.  These little delights are really out of this world. Plus, the petite size allows you to eat at least five before feeling any sort of food remorse.

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Don’t judge me by my brand name spatula…

 

 

photo 4photo 5photo 5Apple, Gruyere, Caramelized Onion Tarts

Source: Williams-Sonoma 

2 tbsp olive oil

1 medium onion, thinly sliced

4 oz. mushrooms, sliced

1 tbsp butter

1 granny smith apple, peeled and cubed

1 tsp sugar

1½ oz. shredded gruyere cheese

½ tsp dried thyme

1 sheet of frozen puff pastry, thawed

1 egg, beaten

Heat olive oil over medium heat in a large skillet and throw in sliced onions. Saute for about 20 minutes with a pinch of salt until the onions are nicely brown and caramelized. Set aside in a bowl. Cook mushrooms in the same pan for about 5 minutes and put them in the bowl with the onions. In the same pan, melt butter and sauté apples with the the sugar for about 10 minutes. Remove from the pan and add to the onion and mushroom mixture. Add the cheese and thyme and season with salt and pepper. Using a pizza cutter, cut the puff pastry into 2 inch rectangles and place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Brush the puff pastry with egg and put a tablespoon of the filling in the center of each rectangle. Bake in a 400 degree oven for 15 minutes or until golden brown. Lock yourself in a room with them. Enjoy with good friends.

 

Comfort Pot Pie

Sunday night is downright depressing.  With Monday looming over your head like a dark cloud, it’s important to treat yo’ self, especially in these cold winter months.  Mac and cheese, homemade pizza, a nice hearty soup or chili are all good options. But if you’re feeling fancy and all-American, which is pretty much how I feel all the time, chicken pot pie is the way to go for a cozy Sunday night supper. There’s something so incredible about that herbaceous, brothy gravy, crisp veggies and tender chunks of chicken all under a golden puff pastry roof. Now, that’s a house I would like to live in. All year round. Utensil advice: use a spoon for this. It’s that good.

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Chicken Pot Pie 

Based on Mark Bittman’s Chicken and Vegetable Cobbler recipe 

3 tbsp olive oil

1 leek, washed well and choppedpicstitch (42)

2 carrots chopped

2 cups quartered button mushrooms

1 1/2 cups of chicken broth

3 boneless skinless chicken thighs, diced

salt and pepper

1 cup frozen peas (or any mixed veggies you like)

4 sprigs of thyme

2 tsp corn starch

1 sheet frozen puff pastry dough

1 egg, lightly beaten

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Heat oil in a large frying pan over medium heat and add chopped leek. Add salt and pepper and cook for about 5 minutes until soft. Add mushrooms and saute for 8-10 minutes. Add chicken stock, thyme leaves, carrots and chicken. Cook until chicken and carrots are tender, about 10 minutes. Add frozen peas and cook for another minute or so. Whisk the cornstarch and a few tablespoons of the broth together and add the mixture back into the pan. Stir until the liquid thickens a bit. Pour into a baking dish, top with one sheet of puff pastry. Make sure there are no holes as the liquid will seep out and prevent the crust from cooking. Brush with lightly beaten egg and bake for about 30 minutes. If the crust is getting too brown just cover loosely with foil and continue baking.

Notes: The first time I made this, I put slits in the crust which resulted in lots of liquid seeping out and pooling on top of the crust. Bad news. Don’t make clever slits like I did. Also, I’ve used boneless skinless chicken breasts instead of thighs, and it’s just ok.  I found the thighs to be infinitely better. They stay super tender and moist.

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