Tuesday, March 27, 2012

The Secret to a Juicy Roast Chicken

Nope, it's not a can of beer up the bum... it's really simple... salt and rest!

My friend told me that this was the secret and I've been roasting chickens with a pretty good measure of success for a long time and I didn't know it so I wasn't sure I believed her until I tried it. She was right!

So what you do is, get your whole roasting chicken (thawed) and salt it inside and out, then bag it and throw it in your fridge for about 24 hours (yes, this requires some planning... my friend says she salts and bags all her meats right when she gets them home... a good idea for those busy moms out there).

Once you are ready to cook it, pre-heat your oven to about 375 F or 200 C and make sure to pre-heat your pan with it (this I kinda forgot to do... whoops... I was distracted because I was roasting veggies too), so you can seal in more of the juiciness by searing the skin a little... you will want to flip it over after about 10 minutes so that both sides get the searing... again, I forgot about that part.

I rubbed my chicken with garlic, oregano and cayenne pepper before adding it to the pan.

Once it was done, it was the juiciest chicken ever... I've been using it for meals for the past 4 days and it's still juicy and tasty... and not salty tasting either, which was a surprise.

Happy Eating!

Baked Sweet Potato and Zucchini Fries

I know it's all the rage to do this and I looked a few different recipes and this is what I came up with for my spicy version:

I'm also just one person so my measurements reflect that.

1/2 a peeled large sweet potato cut into wedges or whatever fry shape you like
4 baby zucchinis cut into 1/4s length wise
1/2 cup corn meal (you could use bread crumbs but I went with the corn meal)
1 tsp basil (dried)
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp salt
1 tsp garlic powder
1/4 cup grated fresh parmesan
1 cup sunflower oil

Okay... I mixed the corn meal, cheese and the spices together in one bowl and I poured the oil into another bowl. I pre-heated my oven to about 400 degrees Fahrenheit or 220 degrees Celsius. The temperature in Fahrenheit is approximate since my Turkish oven doesn't convert it... basically you want a good and hot oven.

Then I dumped my cut up sweet potatoes into the oil and then put them onto a baking sheet so they were just one layer. I did the same with the zucchini except that I then tossed them in the corn meal mixture before laying them out on the baking sheet.

I popped them in the oven for about 10 minutes or until I thought they were crispy and brown (some got a little charred because of the difference in temperature at the back of my oven compared to the front but just 3 or 4 I think).

Then I made a dipping sauce with a little ranch dressing and some chipotle tobasco... spicy and YUMMY!!!

Happy Eating!