(Note: SKGR is starting up today with a new concept called FOOD. From recipe, to market, to kitchen, to table, she's going to be providing tips and resources to keep the home fires burning and good food on your table. As with every post, comments and additions are welcome and add to the stew.)
One of the pleasures of knowing a little bit about cooking is that friends often call me for help in the kitchen. One of the most common inquiries I get is "how do I make a simple ______?" (Fill in the blank with things like tomato sauce, apple pie, risotto, salad dressing, roast chicken.)
Knowing how to prepare a basic recipe like a roast chicken is infinitely useful. Once you master the technique, you can begin to add your own flourishes. This is the best way to learn how to cook.
Although I have done some professional training, I can say I've learned the most from experimenting on my own.
This week, in honor of the damp spring weather, let's try a basic roast chicken recipe.
Get inside, bundle up with your honey or a friend, and start with this simple recipe. If you've done it before, begin to experiment with herbs tucked under the skin, stuffing the cavity, or different marinating and brining techniques.
For the rest of you, start simple. Some of the finest cooking is done with few ingredients. Let the quality of the food speak for itself.
A word about meat: consider buying an organic, small-farm raised chicken. These days it is easy to find meat that is raised by caring farmers instead of the industrial, commercial meat found in most grocery stores. In New York City try Fairway, Citarella, LifeThyme, the larger farmers markets (Union Square, Grand Army Plaza), and many local butchers.
I hope you enjoy this chicken. If you'd like to share your own tips, flourishes, questions, or requests for other recipes and techniques use the comments section. skgr
Simple Roast Chicken
1 whole organic roasting chicken, 3- 4 lbs.
1 yellow onion, sliced cross-wise, 1/2" thick
salt and pepper
Serves 4 for dinner, 2 for dinner, and lunch the next day, or 1 for dinner and several lunches this week.