Archive for October, 2015

October 20, 2015

Roasted Chicken and Vegetables

roast chicken 1

Very easy and surprisingly fast weeknight dinner! Feel free to mix and match herbs/seasonings and veggies to your preference. This is great for when you crave roasted chicken but don’t have enough people to feed to justify a full bird. I used 3 pieces of leg and 3 thighs. Dark meat is tastier. My baking pan also fits 6 pieces perfectly. Extra veggies can be spread on a second pan and placed on the top rack. Proportions don’t matter that much for this recipe.

This technique is HIGH HEAT AND FAST, not low and slow. Results in a crisp skin. Another reason why I prefer dark meat for roasting. Juicier. Doesn’t dry out.

INGREDIENTS

  • chicken pieces (I prefer legs and thighs only)
  • assorted veggies, chopped into chunks
  • onions, sliced
  • garlic cloves, halved
  • fresh rosemary
  • paprika
  • garlic salt
  • olive oil
  • butter

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 425F
  2. Take chicken out of fridge to bring to room temp
  3. Rub chicken generously all over with garlic salt, sprinkle with paprika. Set aside.
  4. Chop veggies. Carrots take longer to get soft than sweet potatoes, so cut them smaller. Toss, with onion slices and garlic, in plenty of olive oil and garlic salt. Pour in aluminum lined baking pan.
  5. Scatter rosemary sprigs, breaking them up if needed.
  6. Place chicken over veggies, spacing them out evenly. Skin side up. (I lined up some extra rosemary sprigs directly under the chicken pieces). The edges of my pans tend to heat up more than the center, so I put thighs in the middle (thinner) and legs on the outside.
  7. Top chicken with a chunk of butter, about 1cm cubed, right in the middle of the skin.
  8. Place chicken on bottom rack (my oven heats from the bottom), and a pan of any extra veggies on the top rack. Roast 30 min or until veggies blacken on the edges and chicken skin begins to brown. Internal temp of chicken should be about 160F – make sure when you take the temperature the probe isn’t up against a bone, this will result in an artificially high temp. Just insert to center-most part of the meat. Juices will run clear when you remove the probe.
  9. Turn on broiler at the end to REALLY crisp up and brown the skin. It’ll blister and blacken a little. This is good. It only takes 5 min or so, so stay and keep watch. You may need to remove and plate the thighs first as the legs tend to take a bit longer.
  10. Mix veggies together (’cause the ones in the chicken pan will be yummier from the juices and butter), top with chicken and serve.

roast chicken 2

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October 6, 2015

Pad Gra Pow

Here’s my version/attempt at a favorite Thai dish of mine. Honestly, mine comes out tasting like Chinese food. Maybe ’cause I added sesame oil in the end. Don’t add sesame oil. Otherwise very tasty and simple stir fry that’s very “下飯“ or “makes you down a lot of rice”. My picture isn’t as pretty ’cause it’s missing the bright red chilis. Baby does not like spicy so we had to do without.

pad gra prow

Mmmm…comfort food.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 lb ground pork/chicken/turkey/beef, whatever. I prefer pork.
  • 0.5 lb green beans (hericots are more tender) chopped into 1/2 cm length pieces
  • 2-3 large shallots, minced (about 0.5 cup)
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic, minced (about 1.5 tbs)
  • 3 tbs fish sauce
  • 1.5 tbs soy sauce
  • 1 tsp brown sugar
  • 1-2 tsp lime juice
  • 1.5 tsp salt
  • 2 pinches kaffir/makrut lime leaves, dried. 2 fresh leaves if you can find it
  • 5-7 thai chilies, sliced
  • handful of asian basil leaves
  • optional: sliced cucumbers
  • optional: fried egg

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Heat large wok/frying pan over med high heat until you can’t hold your hand over it for over 5 sec.
  2. Add 1-2 tbs high smoke point cooking oil (peanut, avocado, etc), when oil is just shimmering, add minced shallots, garlic, salt and stir until fragrant, ~1-2 min. Do not burn the garlic. Bad.
  3. Add ground meat and break it up with the spatula. Add all seasonings except basil. Mix well. When meat is juuuust barely cooked through, remove and set aside. Pour remaining meat juice back into the pan.
  4. Add chopped green beans, cover and let steam in meat juice (mmmm) 3-4 min or so or until just tender. Add meat back in and mix well. Scoop a little hole in the middle of the pan and add a bit of oil, fry basil, then mix everything together. Season to taste with soy sauce and lime juice if needed.
  5. Plate with sliced cucumbers, serve with rice.
  6. Optional: Top with fried egg