Thursday, March 15, 2012

Oprah's Roast Chicken

This one was juicy, flavorful, and delicious! And since whole chickens are often cheaper per lb than pieces, why don't I cook this more often??

•1 (4- to 5-pound) whole chicken
•Kosher salt and ground black pepper
•2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
•2 cups milk
•Zest of 2 lemons
•10 cloves garlic, peeled and lightly smashed
•½ cinnamon stick
•5 to 8 large sage leaves or dried chopped sage about 1 T
•2 (3") sprigs rosemary or about 1 T dried


Active time: 25 minutes
Total time: 2 hours

Preheat oven to 375°. Discard chicken neck and any included giblets. Pat chicken dry with paper towels and season generously with kosher salt and black pepper, including inside the cavity.

Place a 4-quart (or larger) Dutch oven or heavy oven-safe pot or pan over high heat. Add butter; when it melts and foams, add chicken. Brown chicken over high heat 10 minutes, using tongs to turn over. When chicken is evenly golden brown, turn it breast side down in pot and pour in milk. Bring to a simmer, then turn off heat.

Add to milk the lemon zest, garlic cloves, cinnamon, sage, and rosemary. Cover pot with a lid or foil and roast 45 minutes. Remove lid and roast until a thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the thigh registers 165°, 30 to 45 minutes more. Remove from oven and carve or shred chicken (it should pull off the bone easily). If needed, add salt to sauce to taste. Serve, spooning sauce from pan over meat.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Stir Fry 911

I need a Stir Fry rescue-- please help! I love stir fry but am not very good at making it. What are your tricks? Sauce recipes? Cooking techniques?
Here is what I made last week: I chopped chicken breasts, onion, and carrots (carrots always seem to need more cooking time) and fried them up with sesame oil, garlic, and ginger. Then in a bowl, I mixed a sauce of soy sauce, brown sugar, and more garlic. I poured the sauce over the cooked chicken and added whatever veggies I had on hand. I tried to only cook it enough to soften not wilt the veggies. It turned out pretty well, but I still feel like I need help with stir fry. Any tips?