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How to Roast Chicken (and then eat it all week.)

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How to Roast Chicken (and then eat it all week.)

The very best roasting technique comes from one of the very best chefs in California: Thomas Keller of French Laundry. Luckily, it is also very simple and very rewarding.  Learn this recipe by heart and you will never go wrong.

One Pot Roast Chicken

Inspired by In the Green Kitchen, Alice Waters

Serves 4-6

Salt and fresh-ground pepper

2 or 3 thyme sprigs

2 bay leaves

2-3 Tbls butter (or olive oil.)

3 potatoes, peeled and thickly sliced

2 carrots, peeled and thickly sliced

2 celery stalks, thickly sliced

4 large shallots

5 cloves garlic, whole and peeled.

1 lemon chopped in 1/2

Fennel, squash, turnips, parsnips or your favorite root vegetable

To begin, prepare the chicken by bringing to room temperature 1 hour before your ready to begin cooking.  Remove the giblets if kept inside, wash, dry well and heavily season with salt and fresh ground pepper.

Preheat the over to 450.

Season the inside cavity as well and take a few sprigs of fresh herbs, 2 garlic cloves and 1/2 a lemon and place inside the chicken.  Truss your chicken by tying the legs together with string and tucking the wing tips up and under the back of the neck.

With your remaining fresh herbs, chop them loosely and mix with the butter or olive oil.  Using your fingers to pull the skin away from the bird, rub the butter herb mix between the chicken breast and the outside skin.  This will help you to create perfect crispy skin.

Toss your chopped vegetables with a tablespoon of olive oil, salt, fresh pepper and whole, peeled garlic cloves.  Lay them in a deep roasting pan, making a space in the center for the chicken.  Take a long piece of tin foil and crumple and round it to make a ring for the chicken to sit on.  Place the ring in the center of the veggies and the chicken on top, breast side up.

Roast the chicken for 20 minutes before flipping over and roasting 20 more minutes with the breast side down.  Flip one last time, breast side up and lower the temperature to 400 for the last 20 minutes.  During the final 20 minutes continuously check the chicken every 5 minutes. The internal temp should read 160. Be sure to take the temperature where the breast and thigh meet.  If you do not have a meat thermometer, simply stick the tip of a knife where the breast and thigh meet. When the chicken is done the juices should run clear, not pink.

Remove the chicken from the oven and transfer to a cutting board or platter.  Allow to rest for 10- 15 minutes before carving.

And then eat it all week....

A roast chicken is one of those classic dishes that is so versatile you could transform the leftovers into at least 4 more dishes before you tire of it. Here are a few ideas:

Breakfast

  • Jook is a savory, Asian breakfast porrage. Make steel cut oats or polenta for the base and add shredded chicken, scallions, fresh ginger, soy sauce and sesame oil!
  • Sweet potato hash is a great way to start the day chop up 1/2  a sweet potato, onion, bell pepper and left over chicken.  While your at it, might as well poach an egg to go over the top.

Lunch

  • Transform your lunch time salad using your freshly roasted chicken. Add white beans, roasted fennel and toasted pine nuts for a delicious, filling salad.
  • I love a good chicken salad sandwich. Chop the leftover chicken and mix with yogurt or avocado to bind it. Then add curry, currents, sliced grapes and chopped walnuts. Serve open face on a hearty bread with arugula.

Dinner

  • Enchiladas or tacos: Shred the chicken, mix with cheese, black beans and fresh cilantro for enchiladas.  Or shred and sauté with kale, red bell pepper and chili flakes for fantastic taco filling. Serve with black beans and fresh avocado!
  • Chicken Soup is the most obvious choice for left over chicken, but get creative and try a chicken white bean chili or a chicken tortilla soup.

The Skinny

As we know chicken is a fantastic source of lean protein.It is also relitivly cheap to buy and easy to prepare. Chicken contains high levels of niacin, selenium, and vitamin B6. When cooked in a soup, chicken is an age old recipe known to boost the immune and fight the common cold. And in chinese medicine chicken is regarded as an energy booster and digestive support.

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Pre-workout energy boosters

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Pre-workout energy boosters

Wondering what to eat before and after you workout? The mantra is: carbohydrates for energy, and protein for recovery! Try to eat carbohydrates before, and protein after a workout to help maximize your efforts. 

Carbohydrates, stored in your body as glycogen, are the main source of muscle energy, and will help you train stronger and longer.  Amino acid-rich protein, when eaten 30 minutes after exercise (your "anabolic window"), will help repair and build muscles.
You're probably familiar with sports bars and protein shakes, but for today, let's look at a more nutritious, whole- foods approach:
PRE-WORKOUT
Oatmeal: Oatmeal is a low-glycemic carbohydrate, meaning that it releases energy slowly to the muscles.
Tip: Make a large batch the day before and reheat. We like ours with coconut milk, chia seeds, and cardamum.
Bananas and Almond butter: An update on a childhood favorite, almond butters often have less additives and hydrogenated oils then its popular cousin peanut butter, and are rich in the good, essential fatty acids. Bananas are the perfect compliment, a carbohydrate-rich fruit high in potassium to prevent muscle cramping.   Tip: We like almond butter on a brown rice cracker with bananas sliced on top.
 
POST-WORKOUT
Kiefer: a high-protein dairy drink full of good bacteria to help your body digest and build strong immune function.
Tip: Go for plain varieties and sweeten it yourself. Try 1 cup of plain Kiefer, a dash of cinnamon and 1/2 Tbs of ground flax seeds.
Hardboiled Eggs:  Eggs are the unsung heros of the balanced eater, as just one egg has six grams of protein.
Tip: Cook a half-dozen eggs at the start of the week, and have them on stand-by for a quick snack. For energy rich eggs, try 1-2 chopped hardboiled eggs with a handful of arugula, dash of flax-oil, and salt and pepper to taste.
Remember, the mantra: carbohydrates for energy, and protein for recovery! Building  strength and loosing weight shouldn't stop after boot-camp is over. Let your food be your ally. Remember, the mantra: carbohydrates for energy, and protein for recovery!
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