Monday, October 29, 2012
Let's start with an old grandma recipe...
Hello y'all. I have finally got in my senses and I've decided not to continue with the punishment I put you under. Starting today I will make your life easier by posting here the yummy stuff I cook, giving you all the tips you need in order to have it done in (hopefully) just a few minutes.
Just a few tips for the beginners and unexperienced in the kitchen:
-Cooking must be something you enjoy doing. Take your time (I'm not buying the whole "I'm so busy and I have no time for it", you always DO) and relax, play some music, have the ingredients ready and let yourself go.
-Don't be afraid to take risks. Even if I give you my tips or steps for a concrete recipe, you can always think "seriously, what's wrong with you? why would you add sugar to that savory dish?". Add your own touch to your recipes, and please, once you're done, let me know. "SHARING IS CARING".
Having said that, let's inaugurate this blog by talking about one of my favorite's.
"Grandma Style Roasted Chicken"
-One whole clean chicken.
-1 large white onion
-4 medium size carrots
-1 pear or apple cut in 4 pieces (extra touch, roasted fruits really make a good combination with meat)
-Some dry raisins (optional)
-2 large potatoes
-Herbs and olive oil to marinate the chicken.
-Salt & Pepper
-1/2 splashes of wine/sake
-1 tablespoon of maple syrup/honey to caramelize the chicken and make it look brillantly roasted (optional)
For starters, the oven needs to be preheated at about 180ºCelsius for at least 20 minutes.
First, you will need a whole clean chicken. I always get them at Carrefour for about 4'50/5 euros (if you live in Madrid). They are usually pretty big so they'll do the deal for you and 2 more people. Once you're done with the canibalism session, you can always save the leftovers for croquettes or chicken stock (both recipes I'll show you further on)
Once you have taken it out of the plastic bag, give it a rinse in the sink and then dry it up with paper towel. Put the chicken in a plastic bowl or a large plate and marinate it with the herbs, the olive oil and the salt and pepper. I usually add some bayleaf, dried basil, pinch of cummin, fresh rosemary and then I add the salt, black pepper (depending on how you like it, I add quite a lot of pepper) and about a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil. Next step: caress the chicken like if you were doing a massage to your lover (in kitchen, you'll find, it's all about love). This way you'll get the whole chicken covered in yummyness. Now let it rest while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.
In a large oven trail place the potatoes first (cut into slices, about 1 to 2 centimeters each, if you cut them thiner they will melt and become mash potatoes), then add some salt and pepper on top. Now the next layer, place the onions (also cut into thin slices). Put the cut apples or pears on the corner edges of the tray and the carrots in the remaining edgy spaces (the distribution is not that important but you NEED to leave some space in the middle because that chicken has been naughty and he may not fit in) After that sprinkle some raisins over the tray, add one splash of wine or sake and place the marinated chicken in the middle of the cooking tray.
Finally, place your baby in the preheated oven and low the temperature to 160ºCelsius. Let it cook for at least 1:45/2 hours. Don't get the chicken out of the oven too quickly because the meat may not be fully cooked and we don't want that, riiiiight?
*I strongly recommend tossing the chicken at least once. For that you will have to take the tray out of the oven unless you want to do a mess and burn yourself.
*You can add more splashes of wine or sake depending on how dry the layered ingredients look.
*During the last minutes of cooking, you may or may not add the honey/maple syrup to get the skin golden brown. I recommend doing it, it definitely adds a touch.
*Tying the chicken legs up is completely optional, but it looks more fancy (so do it if you're having friends coming over for lunch/dinner)
And voilà, that's the result. Hope some of you give it a try once (I know it takes time and will power but hey, the dish is worth it)
P.S: if you make any adjustments please share it here. It'd be great to know your ideas. ;)