Thursday, October 13, 2011

This and That - Thomas Keller's Roast Chicken and Adapted Zuni Salad

The travel portion of the year is basically over for me until Thanksgiving, and after a trip to Louisville, Kentucky to see my Boyfriend's family, we're settling into a fairly domesticated routine. I had never been to Louisville before. I got the grand tour, complete with apple picking at a local orchard, and a visit to Churchill Downs. I came back feeling like fall was in the air, inspired to make some of my favorite warm and comforting dishes.

That started with homemade pizza, hummus, and a beef stew. The weekend includes plans for homemade tomato sauce and a new recipe for lasagna. Last night, it was Thomas Keller's roast chicken, with a modified Zuni Bread Salad.

Roast chicken is really the perfect dinner. It requires minimal prep, you can toss in whatever you want, shove it in the oven for an hour or so, and you're done. It tastes like hours and hours of work went into it. Those are really the best kinds of dinners, aren't they?

Thomas Keller never steers you wrong. And his recipe for simple roast chicken doesn't disappoint. I washed the chicken, and put it in the fridge uncovered in the morning. Took it out at 6pm that evening, seasoned it generously with salt and pepper and a little oil, massaged the inside with 3 crushed garlic cloves and a couple sprigs of time, topped the breasts with a bit of butter, and stuck in in the oven on top of some potatoes, onions and carrots in a skillet at 475 for 25 minutes. When that step was done, I lowered the heat to 400 for 45 minutes, and took it out when the meat thermometer read 160.

I let the bird rest for 20 minutes, and re-heated the vegetables in the skillet over the stove. I tossed in some fresh arugula and croutons with the vegetables and served that on the side with the carved chicken.

It couldn't have been better, or easier.

How's that for a recipe? Easy enough, eh?