Spatchcocked chicken, chicory & blood orange salad, and amazing salt-roasted root vegetables. Easy. Delicious.
Give me the simple life.
There's a place for recipes and menus that are extravagant and finely-machined. But that's not usually what people have time for, much less me, with a busy household and two firecracker kiddos -- well, let's be honest, they're more than firecrackers. They're a factory for Chinese New Year explosives, costumes, and parade implements.
So I love simple, delicious food that's not so hard to put together. As long as it also offers a bit of magic.
Herewith, my menu for such simple food. Chicken, salad, and root vegetables.
I hope you find it beautiful and tempting, so you can fuel your life of doing beautiful, tempting things.
Lemon and shallot spatchcocked chicken
You spatchcock a chicken by splitting and flattening it, which is helped by slicing out the backbone (easier than it might sound, with a pair of kitchen shears). It exposes more skin, which really crisps up at high temperatures, and, don't we all know it, crispy skin is the bomb.
Also, because spatchcocking flattens the bird, it cooks faster than a full-on roasted chicken. Easy -- and time-saving. See, I'm looking out for you.
- 1 whole organic free range chicken, 4-6 pounds
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- Kosher salt and cracked black pepper
- 3 lemons halved, then cut into thirds
- 5 shallots peeled and cut into quarters
- Preheat your oven to 425 degrees F.
- Place the chicken, breast side down, on a clean work surface. Starting at the thigh end, cut along one side of backbone with kitchen shears.
- Turn the chicken around; cut along other side. The backbone should now be detached from the bird.
- Discard the backbone, or save it for stock.
- Flip the chicken, and open it like a book.
- Press firmly on the breastbone to flatten then use the kitchen shears to snip the bone between the breasts to flatten it further.
- Rub the chicken with 1 tablespoon olive oil, and season with 1 tablespoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper.
- In the top of your EuroCAST roasting pan, place the chicken breast side up. Scatter the lemons and shallots around the bird.
- Roast chicken for 20 minutes then begin basting with the juices.
The final step: Continue to roast the chicken until a thermometer inserted into thickest part of breast reaches 165 degrees, 25 to 30 minutes more, or juices run clear when you poke the breast with the sharp point of a knife.
Transfer chicken to a carving board, and let rest 10 minutes. Cut chicken into 8 pieces, and serve with the roasted lemons and shallots.
Salad of chicory and blood oranges
Salads to me are what makes dinner dinner. My father would say, “A person's not quite civilized without a proper salad on the dinner table.” I think being civilized requires a bit more than a salad, but I'll not battle my dad on this -- I'm putting on gear for other battles. (The things we do for love and humanity.)
This salad, like a lot of my salads is composed of about 47 items. Plus or minus. And, like all my salad recipes, I insist you create your salad how you love it. By the way, radicchio, which I call for, is a type of chicory. Because it has a purple color, it looks stunning next to the deep, bloody color of the orange.
- Sweet, buttery lettuce (Bibb is awesome)
- Spiky red onion slices (I like them cut thin)
- Radicchio for a little bitter contrast
- Toasted sunflower seeds for crunch
- You should definitely consider the salty purr of an aged Parmesan,
- Softly sautéed leaves from purple Brussels sprouts
- And, the star, this season's brightest little acid punch: segments of a gorgeous, sensual blood orange.
- You could add avocado, wafer thin radish, goats cheese, gruyere, tomatoes, olives, cucumbers.
Mix and match and choose what you like. There is no real right or wrong way to do it. Just be you doing it.
Salt-roasted root vegetables
Salt-roasting. It's a thing of beauty. And it's awesome fun.
Whole beets, baby potatoes (whatever you prefer), and purple sweet potatoes get covered in a blanket of snowy salt and roasted. It's simple (our theme today, and on most days). And it's exotic to look at.
The root vegetables season beautifully inside that salt crust. The sugars caramelize as they roast and they wind up evenly cooked to a final soft pierce.
Plus, it’s super cool cracking that shell off to get those little beauties out! Call the kids!
Yes, its a bit of salt, but don’t shy away as the taste is a marvel.
- 1 pound kosher salt
- 3/4 pound baby potatoes. I’ve used new potatoes in this version, but fingerlings are great, too. Cleaned and trimmed to your preference (I like the skin on).
- See the pic: I love using these gem-colored but vanilla-fleshed sweet potatoes. Cleaned and trimmed.
- 4-5 beets, cleaned and trimmed
- Preheat oven to 350
- In your Eurocast deep sided fryer, or NEW square sauté pan add half the salt. Nudge the vegetables into the salt and then pour the remaining salt on top.
- Bake until the vegetables are fork tender to the center. 45-60 minutes approx.
- Remove from the oven and let cool slightly. Remove the beets from salt and gently rub away the skins of the beets with your fingers. Potatoes can be eaten if preferred with the skin on.
- You can dress them as you would a baked potato. Or rest them on a few dollops of yogurt (use your imagination if you want to add things to the yogurt).
What's new at EuroCAST?
The Olympics, our garlic recipe challenge, a brand new pan (at a limited time special price) and our Family Set blow-out!
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We made this just for you.
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Deep, and 10" across, it offers new ways to brown meats with less mess and to build layers of flavor when cooking recipes from top chefs worldwide.
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Create dishes for parties and cook ahead for a busy week. It's practical, beautiful -- and comes with a glass lid that fits it perfectly.
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The olympics and greatness: What's worth working hard for?
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