Roasted Whole Free-Range Chicken – adapted from The Art of Simple Food by Alice Waters
1 chicken, 4lbs. or so.
Salt and fresh-ground black pepper
Rinse and dry chicken, saving the innards for stock. Salt and pepper the inside and the outside of the chicken extremely well. Do this as far ahead of cooking as possible. Up to a day and store in refrigerator. Tuck in the wings so they don’t burn, and tie the legs. If your chicken is refrigerated, remove it at least an hour before cooking and let come to room temp. Place it in a small, oiled baking dish (not much bigger than the chicken itself) with any veg you want to roast alongside. I used whole garlic pieces, carrots and onion, chopped in big pieces. Put it in a preheated 400 degree oven for 20 minutes, roast and then turn, breast-side down. Roast for another 20 minutes. Turn the chicken breast-side up again and roast until done, another 10-20 minutes, depending on the size of the bird. (Note – a 5lb bird will take an extra 10 minutes or so.)
Let rest for 10-15 minutes before carving. Make gravy from the drippings and serve with the roasted veg and mashed potatoes for an awesome Sunday supper.
Falafel with cucumber sauce
This is based loosely on Guy Fieri’s recipe that you can find on the Food Network
1/2 onion, chopped
1/2 green or red pepper, chopped
2-3 cloves of garlic (depending on taste), chopped
1 T. olive oil
Sautee vegetables (adding garlic in after 5 minutes) until soft and translucent. Meanwhile, in a food processor, add:
1 can Garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
decent sprinkle of red chili flakes (depending on taste)
1 tsp. ground cumin
Pulse together until it is a coarse consistency. Then, along with the sauteed vegetables, add:
a few tablespoons of flour
1 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
2-3 T. olive oil
Pulse until silky and incorporated. Taste for seasoning – I added a little salt. Cover and chill for a few hours.
Using a small ice cream scoop, drop by balls into about 2-3″ of hot oil to fry. Watch carefully and flip over when browned. Drain and eat immediately on a pita with lettuce, chopped tomato, chopped onion and cucumber sauce.
Makes about 20 Falafel.
1 small container of plain Greek yogurt – pour into a paper towel lined sieve and let sit in fridge for a few hours
1 cumber, peeled, seeded and chopped or minced – do the same as the yogurt – put it in a paper towel and let it sit for a bit to draw out some of the water. You can salt it a little as well.
When the yogurt and cucumber are ready, mix together with minced fresh dill, minced fresh parsley or cilantro, salt, pepper, a squeeze of fresh lemon and a pinch of sugar to taste.
This recipe can be used for almost anything you need cooked chicken for. It is so much better than boiling, and just as simple. You can just do this for dinner as well.
Chicken pieces (preferably skin on, although I’ve done it sans skin and sans bone), bone in – any cuts, breast, thighs, legs, etc.
*extra, but not needed – any kind of dried spice you like that goes with your meal: basil, oregano, thyme, etc. – just crush it in your palm before sprinkling.
Preheat oven to 425. Line a jelly roll pan with foil (for easy clean up). Place chicken on pan, dry chicken with paper towels, sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper and any other dried spice. Drizzle with olive oil and rub in.
Roast for about 45 minutes, or until juices run clear. Let rest for 5 minutes for the juices to redistribute before eating or shredding/chopping for recipe.