The Best Roasted Chicken, Thomas Keller Style

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A heavenly roasted chicken that requires almost no work. 

Oh boy, oh boy. Are you in for a real treat with Thomas Keller’s Roasted Chicken recipe. Not only is the chicken moist, tender, and the skin ridiculously flavorful and crispy, but it takes barely any work to come together. That’s right, barely any work. There is absolutely not one iota of basting. Once it goes into the oven, you forget about it until the timer dings.

Simple Prep + Stunning Results = Recipe Staple. I literally roast two chickens every 10 days using this method.

What I love even more about this recipe is that for 15 minutes of prep work I get a roasted chicken for dinner, two carcasses and some meat for a stunning chicken soup (from which I make chicken soup ice cubes to use in Quick & Healthy Toddler food recipes), and additional cooked chicken that I use for toddler snacks and as the main protein for one or two quick to prep meals later in the week (I highly recommend Kimchi Fried Rice).

Honestly, even in 90+ degree weather, it is worth turning your oven on for these babies.

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A Visual Guide to Trussing a Chicken

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Take your chickens up a notch by learning how to truss.

Trussing poultry. You either do it or you don’t. There are arguments for both sides. Some say the bird cooks more evenly, some say it has the opposite effect. Some say it depends on the size of the bird, with trussing being better for a smaller (under 4lbs) fowl.

I tend towards trussing as it makes the presentation much nicer and is quite easy once you do it a few times. Plus, the main recipe I use to roast a chicken–Thomas Keller’s–states that the bird is to be trussed. The amazing recipe has made me a trussing convert.

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Hearty Ham Hock and White Navy Bean Soup via the Crockpot

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Lovely comfort food on a cold winter’s day

Originally, I grabbed a bag of small white navy beans to make a beautiful sausage and white bean dish, but when the norovirus took our entire family out of commission last weekend that dish (and anything but minimal effort to cook this week) went out the window.

Have no fear, this quick to prep dish is superb. It’s flavors are complex, the soup is extremely filling, and at around $3 a portion for all organic ingredients, the price tag can’t be beat.  

In a way, I’m kind of glad we were ridiculously ill. I got to eat ice pops, watch tv, and rediscover my crockpot.  

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Indian Jamaican Stew (baby-friendly!)

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Warning: Your house will smell incredible when making this dish.

I came across this recipe years ago when I was searching for vegan meals that didn’t suck, and even though we now eat meat it’s been a fall and winter staple ever since. Although it takes about 45 minutes to cook, the prep time is short–especially if you buy the butternut squash peeled and cubed–and clean up is quick. Leftovers taste even better as the flavors have time to meld. It’s definitely a winner in my book. It also happens to be vegan and gluten-free, so is a fabulous dish to put together for mixed diner company.  

To make future Tracy’s life easier, I like to fill up two or three small bell jars with the stew and freeze them. That way, Faye has a healthy meal when I don’t have any time or groceries in the house. Continue reading

Slow Roasted Pork Soup with Kimchi (aka What to Do with Bo Ssam Leftovers Soup)

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A healthy dinner for four from leftovers in 6 minutes flat.

After making that 10lb Bo Ssam dish, you may be left with a little bit of meat and a tiny bit of accompanying sides and no clue with how to use them to feed more than ½ a person. This is exactly the predicament I was in 3 years ago after our 20lb Christmas Bo Ssam Feast. A quick soup was a simple solution to using the stray bits and pieces. It comes together in approximately 6 minutes and reheats quite well. The soup can be easily stretched to feed more people by adding more stock or a few more ingredients here and there. If you don’t have one of the leftovers listed, just leave it out. I honestly think the soup would still be lovely.

Note: I always make the noodles in a separate pot because 1) they are easier to distribute amongst bowls and 2) if you have leftovers, the noodles will soak in all of the broth and turn your soup into a wet sponge.

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Bo Ssäm, David Chang Momofuku Style

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David Chang’s version of bo ssäm is easily one of my favorite meals in the world. His somewhat American BBQ style spin to the traditional Korean dish creates an immensely satisfying and memorable meal with such a minute amount of prep it’s ridiculous not to make this the next time you are having friends or family over for dinner.

Marcus and I first experienced the wonders of this dish 3 years prior when I made 20 lbs of pork shoulder (twice this recipe) for a Christmas Day feast. It has lived in our hearts and minds, as well as the hearts and minds of those who partook in its fabulousness since that time.

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Roasting Hour 4 of 6.

Maybe it’s the cold; maybe it’s cabin fever; maybe I’m just really bored these days and need a new hobby–who knows–but I couldn’t get the thought of this succulent, crispy, gooey, salty and sweet loveliness  out of my head. For weeks I had been talking about bo ssäm–I just needed an excuse to purchase and make 10 lbs of roast pork. When a back-to-back dinner for four on Thursday and for five on Friday presented itself, I jumped at the opportunity.

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Broccoli, Cheddar and Bacon Stuffed Baked Potato

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Today, as I was chatting on the phone with my mom while putting these potatoes together for ‘lunch,’ she informed me that it was ten to five at night. Exactly how much time did I spend hanging out reading stories and singing with Faye? Do babies have special Jedi-like powers? Are they in possession of a Dr. Who memory worm?

On the plus side, I like these potatoes. I like them a lot. They taste good, are easy to put together, have a giant serving of green veggies, and I’m not left with a disaster area in my kitchen afterwards.

On an even happier note, Faye has started showing immense interest in food this past month. Every time I put something in my mouth, she imitates chewing which is ridiculously adorable. These stuffed baked potatoes were no exception and she chewed intensely on air while staring at Marcus and I as we shoveled forkful upon forkful of tasty cheesy goodness down our gullets. I felt it only fair to give her a taste and she made good work of sucking the juices off a broccoli stem. I guess the kid has good taste.

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