Hello readers – Elizabeth here! Emily has been swamped with work for the past week, so today it’s my turn to reveal our latest recipe, and answer to Hint No.4 : Alcohol-Infused Caramel Apples. The post claims that Emily published this recipe, but ’tis a […]
It is finally oven weather!! I don’t know about you, but baking anything in the oven during the summer makes my entire apartment turn into an inferno. I avoid the oven temperatures by sticking to stove top and cold meals during those months. When it finally cools down I can bake, roast, and broil all day with no complaints. This is why a classic oven roasted chicken is perfect for the colder months. When using the oven, I don’t even turn on our heating system. Our apartment’s oven is horrible at containing heat, so within a few minutes all the rooms are nice and toasty.
Like so many before me, my earliest childhood memories are with my family in the kitchen. When young, I stayed underfoot (though some would argue that I still tend to be) waiting to be handed a tidbit to taste here, be asked to help with a little task there, or just talking everyone’s ears off. It is through my parents that I learned how to be in the kitchen, and I can only hope to mimic the quality of food they continuously produce.
When my father is cooking, the results are a fabulous dinner and a HUGE mess to clean up. My father is a natural born cook. To him, the engineer, cooking is nothing more than a science experiment. If you put the right ratios of this and that into the mix, the end result will be nothing less than spectacular. The only setback is that when he walks out with his masterpiece in hand, he leaves a trail of scraps, supplies, and endless amounts of dirty dishes behind him.
My mother’s cooking is not a God given gift. Instead, she gained her talents through hard work and a dedication to learning the art of cooking and eating. Because it is learned, without intense concentration a mistake is bound to happen. If she is distracted an error often does occur. To help keep herself organized, my mother cannot start cooking until everything is completely clean, the ingredients are pre-measured in bowls, and everyone is quiet, so she can concentrate.
I would like to think I have the best qualities of both parents, the ingenuity of my father with the patiently pristine habits of my mother. However, each one tells me I’m more like the other every time I play their sous-chef.
Classic oven roasted chicken is my mother’s family comfort food. She refined the recipe over the years. Now, she has passed onto my sister and me. It is easy to cook and easy to clean up, taking no time to get into the oven. Adapted from Craig Claiborne’s roasted chicken, she made it her own. Whether you are cooking for yourself, your family, or friends, this recipe is a crowd pleaser, leaving the entire party satisfied and well fed. Just remember, the key to a browned and tender oven roasted chicken is the continuous turning you provide, allowing it to simmer in its own juices.
Here are a few hints to getting that perfect classic oven roasted chicken.
- I believe roasted chicken cooked in a cast iron skillet is the best. Skillets are very heavy and retains heat within the metal. When you place food into the skillet, it will not cool off as much as other types of pans. This leads to food cooking at a uniformly hot temperature, leading to superior flavor. If you do not have a skillet, a roasting pan will suffice. I highly recommend getting one. I couldn’t live without mine!
- Some people say to flip the chicken, others say don’t bother. I am on the flipping side. To get that perfect crust, each side needs to have its surface exposed in the oven. Otherwise it sits in the juices and oils, unable to get nice and crispy. Flipping also keeps the bird juicy and prevents any meat drying out.
- Throw anything you want to roast with the chicken in and around the bird. I am partial to garlic and onions. Once in a while I will throw in potatoes, carrots, and/or squash. It is up to you. For this recipe. I am sticking to my typical onion and garlic combo.
- If you don’t have a thermometer, cut into the chicken breast. The fully cooked chicken’s liquid will run clear. It will not be bloody or murky. If not, it will need more time in the oven.
Classic Oven Roasted Chicken
- 1 medium chicken (3-5 lbs)
- 2-3 medium yellow onions cut into quarters
- 10 cloves of garlic
- 2 bay leaves
- Kosher salt
- Freshly Ground Black Pepper
- 1 tsp of thyme
- 1 tsp of sage
- 4 tbsp of Butter
- Step 1 Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
- Step 2 First check the inside of the chicken for the giblets (this refers to the heart, liver, and gizzard.) Sometimes there will be a packet remaining on the inside. If there, remove the packet and throw it away. Rinse the chicken inside and out removing the excess fat. Pat the chicken dry.
- Step 3 Sprinkle the chicken inside and out liberally with the salt and pepper. Stuff the cavity with one of the onions, 3 cloves of garlic, the bay leaves, half the thyme, and half the sage inside the chicken and tie the legs together with bakers twine (you can skip tying the legs if you don’t have the twine).
- Step 4 Heat the butter in a large ovenproof cast iron skillet or roasting pan on the stove. Quickly turn the chicken in butter until it has coated all the sides. (For those using olive oil just coat the outside with the oil.) Do not allow the chicken to cook. Once coated, place the remaining onions and garlic around the chicken and sprinkle the remaining thyme and sage over the top.
- Step 5 Place the Chicken in the oven and set the timer for 15 minutes. Once the timer runs out, take the chicken out and flip it upside down. Baste the chicken in it’s juices. Place the chicken back in the oven and set the timer for another 15 minutes. Repeat until the chicken is cooked through. The cooking time is between 45 minutes to 11/2 hours.
- Step 6 To test the chicken, cut between the leg and thigh. If the meat is still pink, continue to cook the chicken. Whenthe juices run clear it is done. The chicken should be 165 degrees F, when using a thermometer. (Be careful to not touch the bone with the thermometer. It will give a false reading.) Besides the chicken, the garlic and onions should be cooked down and fully roasted.
- Step 7 Carve the meat and serve! Make sure to also give each plate some garlic and onions!
Fall is here, which means the countdown to Thanksgiving has officially begun!!! It is my favorite time of the year…warm drinks re-enter our lives, the leaves begin changing, and there is a crispness to the morning air. In the United States, we have Thanksgiving, […]
While my sister and I agree on most things, what to eat for dinner, weekend activities, and TV shows (as siblings, we cohabit extremely well together), we cannot agree on coffee. I love it and cannot get enough of it. My favorite time is a weekend early morning. I enjoy sitting on the porch, reading, and having that first sip of the day. Elizabeth can’t stand coffee. No amount of cream, sugar, or pumpkin spice in the world could make her drink the stuff. She doesn’t even like tiramisu! Shocker!
So, when I suggested coffee macarons, she groaned in protest, stating that I am “ruining a perfectly good dessert” by adding “that bitter rubbish.”
After that, I set out with a new challenge to make a recipe that was definitely coffee tasting in nature, but wasn’t so overpowering that my sister would gloatingly hate it. Honestly it wasn’t very easy. When baking, if I added too much coffee the texture would be all wrong, too little and I couldn’t call it a “coffee” macaron. Then, when it came to the filling, I couldn’t settle on any coffee flavor. Everything I tried was too overpowering and bitter. Even I couldn’t stomach it. Instead, I fell in love with a vanilla buttercream that complimented the coffee in the macaron shells. To me, it was the perfect balance of the creamy vanilla, nutty almonds, and a hint of bitter coffee.
In the end, when I was fully satisfied, I proudly presented the macarons to my sister. She was definitely wary, turning up her nose and giving it an uncertain sniff. When she finally conceded and tasted a macaroon, she made sure to let me know she was doing it under protest. To both her surprise and mine, she liked it!!!
I think I can count that as a little sister win for me!
Congratulations to @abigail_buckner for correctly guessing this week’s hint as revealing Macarons!
- 200 grams of powdered sugar
- 110 grams of almond flour
- 1 tsp of instant coffee powder*
- 90 grams of egg whites
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
- 25 grams of granulated sugar
- Vanilla Filling:
- 1 stick of butter (approximately 4 ounces or 113 grams)
- 250 grams (16 ounces) of powdered sugar
- 1 tablespoon of whole milk or heavy whipping cream
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
- Pinch of salt
- Step 1 Preheat the oven to 280°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Draw 1-inch circles on the back of the sheet. Make sure it is the back so the pencil marks do not stain the macarons.
- Step 2 Combine the powdered sugar, almond flour, and instant coffee. Once mixed together, sift the mixture twice through a mesh sieve.
- Step 3 Combine the egg whites and vanilla extract. Whip with a standing or hand mixer until there is a bubbly foam. When the eggs are frothy, gradually add the granulated sugar 1 tablespoon at a time. Continue to beat the eggs until there is a glossy meringue that holds stiff peaks.
- Step 4 Add 1/4 of the sifted almond mixture, and gently fold it into the meringue using a flexible silicone spatula. Lift from the bottom, up around the sides and fold into the middle. Be careful not to lose too much air. Repeat until all of the mixture is incorporated. It will be a sticky thick mass.
- Step 5 Using the flat of the spatula, “punch” down the center of the batter, then scrape from the sides to the center and repeat. You will need to repeat this until the batter slowly and continuously drips back into the bowl if you lifting it up with the spatula. Do not make the batter too runny or the macarons will not rise.
- Step 6 Transfer the mixture into a piping bag. Pipe out 1-inch rounds in the circles you drew. Holding the baking sheet in both hands, tap each baking sheet firmly on the counter two or three times. This helps for the pied foot on the bottom of the macarons. If there is still tip in the center from piping, wet your finger with a bit of cold water and gently push the tip down.
- Step 7 Allow the piped macarons to sit on the counter “drying” for 30 minutes. The macarons should form a very thin, smooth crust. If you touch it the batter would not stick to your finger. This can take much longer on humid days.
- Step 8 Place both baking sheets In the oven and bake for 15-18 minutes. After the first two minutes, crack the oven to allow humidity to escape. Keep it cracked for the remainder of the cooking time. Half way through swap the oven racks and rotate the sheets.**
- Step 9 When cooked remove from the oven and place on baking sheet until completely cool.
- Step 10 While the macarons cool, prepare the vanilla filling. First beat the butter until smooth, about 3 minutes. Slowly incorporate the powdered sugar.
- Step 11 Once the sugar is mixed in, add the milk, vanilla extract, and salt. Fill a piping bag and pipe into the macarons. Macarons can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one week.
- Step 12 *Not all instant coffee or espresso is gluten free. Be careful of what you pick.
- Step 13 **Not every oven is created equal. Some cook more or less evenly. Some keep the appropriate temperature better than others. You will have to watch and learn about your oven. Keep an eye on the macarons the entire time they cook.
After graduating from college, Elizabeth worked for a firm in our home town of Savannah, GA, while I moved across the globe to teach English in South Korea. I had an extremely difficult year being apart from our family and friends, especially during birthdays and […]
Elizabeth and I are excited to announce the release of our very first hint! For those of you who haven’t read our “about us” page, we will explain the rules. Each week Elizabeth and I will introduce a hint displayed on an envelope. Inside the envelope will be the secret recipe. Throughout the week you, the readers, have the chance to guess what the dish in question could possibly be. Some will be harder than others. They could be classic recipes or something completely new and foreign to you. It is really in the “luck of the recipe cards.” The first reader to guess correctly in the comments section of the post will receive the week’s recipe card, a hand written note from us, and on random special occasions, a hidden surprise!
This week, the hint is in the picture as well as on the card. Look carefully! Remember that you have only one chance. Everyone has until 12 p.m. EST on Friday, September 15th, 2017 to guess! Have fun with it ~ we definitely are!