Recipe: Roasted Chicken Times Three

  • October 16, 2011 9:59 am

Hi there!  Glenny here with another post from my kitchen.

As I mentioned before, I plan on visiting Fleisher’s new shop in Park Slope as often as possible.  I certainly do not eat too much meat, but am very happy to indulge in the very good, well-raised stuff when I can.  This past week I stopped by for a whole chicken.  Roasting a chicken is extremely easy, and a great way to make a few meals in one evening.  You’re saving energy by only using your oven once, and you’re exercising some creativity in the kitchen – what to do with the leftovers?  Here is what I did, complete with a basic recipe for your autumnal roast chicken:

Roasted Chicken with Apples and Sage

3-4 lb whole chicken

4 apples, quartered and deseeded (I used Golden Delicious, but almost all will do)

1 apple, chopped into 1 inch cubes

3 tablespoons butter

3 tablespoons chopped sage

2 tablespoons thyme

1 cup white wine (I used a full bodied chardonnay, but a pick your favorite – you’ll be drinking the rest!)

salt and pepper

Prep your chicken.  Season with salt and pepper and put in a roasting pan.  Spread quartered apples around the outside and sprinkle them with half of your herbs.  Mix the chopped apples with a little butter, salt and pepper and stuff in the cavity of the chicken.  Mix the remaining herbs and butter together and spread it both under and on top of the chicken skin.  Pour the wine around the bird, over your apples.

In a 425F oven, cook for 30 minutes, and then reduce temperature to 375F.  Continue cooking for about 40 minutes more or until a thermometer reads 160F and the juices run clear (opposed to red).  Let it sit for about 15 minutes before carving.  Serve with the roasted apples and their juices.

Delicious!  After enjoying this one evening, I still had a lot of chicken left and wasn’t too interested in having the same meal two nights in a row.  So, for lunch the next day it was roasted chicken sandwiches with feta, olives, and market tomatoes.  Followed by a wonderful soup for dinner.  I simply sauteed garlic, onions, carrots and butternut squash in a deep sauce pan.  Added chicken stock, tomatoes, kale, a few cups of farro and the leftover chicken.  Drizzled with homemade pesto, it celebrates lots of flavors; perfect for an October evening.  And the best news?  I’ll be eating that soup for days – this chicken has provided for many many meals.  Easy.

Farro soup, day two.

Stockposting

  • July 31, 2011 8:30 pm

The New York Times Dining section printed a wonderfully conscious, fun, and eco article about using everything when you cook this past Wednesday, called That’s Not Trash, That’s Dinner. Cute. Read it here.

It reminded me of a section I wrote in The Conscious Kitchen about what I call stockposting–I use what most people put in the compost pile (or the trash) to make stock. Well it’s really more like scrap broth than stock but whatever you call it, it’s making use of every last bit of kitchen odds and ends to add flavor to your next dish. Basically it’s common sense. Back in the day it was frugal grandma territory. Now it’s hip. I love it!

Here’s the stockposting section from The Conscious Kitchen:

Restaurants never waste a scrap; they can’t afford to.  But at home, we all do.  It’s alarming how much useable food we toss.  Before composting, see what you can still use.  Things like celery fronds, spinach stems, and the outer layers of onions can be used to make vegetable stock, for example.  I call it stockposting.  Keep a bowl in the fridge or a jar in the freezer to collect these odds and ends in, too, and when you have a full container (and the time) toss them on the stove in a pot of water with some seasoning.  Strain it and store the resulting broth in the fridge or freezer.  What could be better than homemade veggie stock out of what you thought was nothing?  For similar chicken stock, boil stockposting ingredients with a bound-for-the-garbage roast chicken carcass.  It won’t be as hearty as a traditional stock, but it does the trick to add flavor and liquid to grains, sauces, and more.

CSA Overload: How To Use Every Last Morsel (aka Glenny Makes Cocktails, Vinegar, Gin, And Syrup)

  • July 16, 2011 8:59 am

I was out of town on Tuesday and offered my CSA share to my lovely editorial assistant Glenny. The catch: she had to trek to get it in one zillion degree weather (subway plus a walk). I love it when people who adore produce do it justice when I’m unable to (even though I get jealous! I missed the first week of the fruit share! argh! I’ve never had blueberries from this CSA before!). When I sniffed around and asked Glenny what she made with the goods, one of her answers floored me. She made cocktails with the thai basil! It has never, ever occurred to me in ten years of being a member of this CSA (check out the farm here) to make a cocktail with my herbs. I guess my age is showing. All I do is shove it all together and try to get it on the table before my five-year-old is too hungry. But how good does this sound? Also — props to her for using everything. I know from experience that I sometimes let the herbs go to waste. All too often I use a few sprigs and then toss them in the compost when they start to look worse for wear. So much so that I tend to put them on the CSA swap table at pick up and take something else I know I will use. No longer. I’m totally inspired by Glenny’s recipes below. Cheers!

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This past week I was gifted a wonderful surprise: Alexandra’s CSA share!  As she was out of town, I was the lucky girl who collected her family’s allotment of fresh produce.  What a treat!  Summer squash, heirloom cucumbers, lots of lettuce, and (swoon!) blueberries, apricots, and red currants.  I’ve been eating very well for the past few days, and have plenty more feasts on the horizon.  While most of the vegetables are staying fresh in my refrigerator, the two huge bunches of thai basil were already starting to wilt on my (sweltering) walk from the pick-up location.  Not wanting to waste a scrap, I decided quickly that the basil would have to be put to use immediately.  Some was used for infusing vinegar, infusing gin, and making simple syrup, but I was still overwhelmed with the amount I had left.  Lucky for me, my boyfriend is a bit of a cocktail ace and was excited to play around with new ingredients.  Here are two delicious, refreshing, and seasonal cocktails for those humid summer evenings when you find yourself with just too much thai basil.

A BOOZY, BASILY BLUEBERRY COCKTAIL

3 to 5 thai basil leaves

1/3 cup blueberries

Muddle in base of a cocktail shaker.

Add:

2 oz dry gin

1 oz fresh lime juice

1 oz honey (or agave nectar)

Fill shaker to the top with ice and shake for 20 seconds.  Strain into ice-filled cocktail glasses.  Garnish with a basil leaf and some whole blueberries.


CUCUMBER BASIL MARTINI

3 to 5 cucumber slices, peeled

3 to 5 basil leaves

Muddle in base of a cocktail shaker.

Add:

2 oz dry gin (or vodka)

3/4 oz Dolin Blanc (vermouth blanc)

Fill shaker to the top with ice and shake for 20 seconds.  Don’t strain the mixture, just pour into cocktail glasses.  Garnish with a cucumber round.

THAI BASIL VINEGAR

Mix 1 quart white wine vinegar with 2 cups chopped basil in a large jam jar.  Let stand in a cool, dark place for 2 weeks.  Strain basil leaves and use for salad dressings and marinades.

THAI BASIL GIN

Mix 2 cups dry gin with 1 cup chopped basil in a medium jam jar.  Let stand in a cool, dark place for 2 to 3 months, depending on how strong you’d like the flavor to be.  Strain the basil and use gin for cocktails, or simply drink on ice.

THAI BASIL SIMPLE SYRUP

Combine 1 cup water, 1 cup sugar, and 1 cup chopped basil in a medium saucepan.  Bring to a boil and stir until sugar is dissolved.  Remove from heat and let stand for 15 to 20 minutes.  Strain basil and use syrup to flavor baked goods, lemonade, or as a base for a sorbet.


What You Don’t Know: You Can Afford Well-Raised Meat

  • July 6, 2011 10:03 am

One of my absolute favorite things from The Butcher’s Guide To Well-Raised Meat is where we explain how to afford well-raised meat. So many people lament it can’t be done. I disagree. Here’s how I do it, excerpted from the book. Enjoy!

People often complain that grass-fed and organic meat (and everything else organic) is too expensive, that they can’t afford it, that it’s not for them, or that it’s elitist.  We firmly believe that well-raised meat is for everyone.  If you share any of these concerns, first consider the amount of meat you eat- generally Americans buy and eat too much meat.  You don’t need mountains of sausages or pounds of ground beef to make a sauce.  Reduce portion sizes.  It’s better for you, and it will make well-raised meat affordable.  If you would like to try something like filet but can’t get over the sticker shock, buy 1/4 pound of it and don’t make it the centerpiece of your meal.  Beyond eating less and shrinking portion size, you can also lower costs by buying cheaper cuts instead of rib eyes and strips.  And plan for leftovers – a big roast can be dinner tonight and sandwiches tomorrow.  If you buy smart and cook smart, you can make up the price difference between conventional and pastured meat.  When people say our prices are too high, Jess invites them to throw $50 on the counter and watch her work.  She can get them ten meals for half a bill.  When she first made the claim, I must admit even I didn’t believe her.  But she proved me wrong.

TEN MEALS FOR HALF A BILL

Here is Jessica’s list of ten quick, delicious, easy-to-prepare meals for four.  The meat costs only $50 and change.  If you don’t eat meat every day, that means enough meals for two weeks.

1. Ground Beef (1/2 pound) $3

Beef and Bean Enchiladas

2. Bacon (1/4 pound, or about 3 slices) $3

Collard Green and Black-Eyed Pea Soup

3. More Bacon and Eggs (1/4 pound, or about 3 slices, and 3 eggs) $5

Spaghetti alla Carbonara

4. Sausages (3/4 pound, or 3 sausages) $6

Chinese Broccoli with Sausage and Polenta

5. Chicken Thighs (1 pound) $5

Thai Chicken Stir-fry with Vegetables

6. Pork Stew Meat (1 pound) $8

Quick Pork and Chile Stew with Hominy

7. Stir-fry Beef (1/2 pound) $4.50

Stir-fry Beef with Rice Noodles

8. Whole Chicken (3 to 4 pounds) $12

Roast Chicken

9. Eggs $4

Frittata

10. Roast Chicken Bones $0

Chicken Soup


Savoy Is Closing!? We’ll Always Have Okra Pickles.

  • May 7, 2011 10:06 am

Peter Hoffman recently announced that his wonderful restaurant, Savoy, will be closing as of June 18th.  As one of the foremost farm-to-table restaurants, New Yorkers will certainly miss this landmark, but Hoffman’s promise of reopening in the fall with a new name and a more informal vibe sounds promising. And he still has Back Forty. (I’m there often).

When writing The Complete Organic Pregnancy I reached out to him for a pregnancy-themed recipe. He sent me a fantastic pickled okra recipe. Five and a half years later, I’m still not sure which is better–the pickles or the fun anecdote that goes along with them. Here are both.

Peter Hoffman’s Pickled Okra

“Caribbean folklore is that okra helps the baby come on and starts labor.  My wife decided that she had enough of being pregnant the second time around, so she ate a big jar of pickled okra (she also took some castor oil, which certainly didn’t hurt), and she started her labor fast and furious,” recalls Hoffman.  “One hour, to be exact.  And I delivered the baby on the front steps of our apartment.

1 pound small okra pods (cut off any darkened stems but leave whole)

3 cloves garlic, halved

1 cup cider vinegar

1 cup rice wine vinegar

1 cup water

3 tablespoons kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes

2 teaspoons mustard seeds

1 teaspoon dill seeds

Pack three 1-pint canning jars with the okra vertical and alternating stems and tips.  Put a halved garlic clove in each jar as well.  In a nonreactive metal pot, bring the liquids to a boil.  Add the salt and spices.  Allow to steep for 20 minutes.  Fill the jars with the liquid to within 1 inch of the rims.  Wipe the rims and put on the lids.  Put the glass jars on a rack in a deep kettle and cover with hot water by 2 inches.  Bring to a boil, cover, and boil for 10 minutes.  Remove the jars from the bath and leave to cool.  Let the pickles mellow for 2 weeks minimum before tasting.  Best at 1 month.