Friendly Food Snobs

killer roast chicken

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I started roasting a chicken every other Sunday a few years ago, the ultimate comfort food. The house smells amazing and leftovers abound. I simmer the bones for stock. If you don’t have time, just store in the freezer for the next time you make soup. Roasting a big piece of meat can be intimidating, and chicken is a great way to start. After the recipe see my tricks for roasting.

Back to the main event – this killer roast chicken. It might seem like a lot of garlic. It’s not as it gets sweet as it roasts. If you’re a fan of roasted garlic, add even more. Serves 4-6.

killer roast chicken

Ingredients:
1 organic chicken – approximately 1.5-2 kg
1/2 cup olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
1 onion peeled and quartered
5 cloves of garlic
2 sprigs of rosemary
1/2 cup water

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly dry off the chicken with paper towel. Place the chicken breast side down on baking dish. This keeps the meat moist. Drizzle oil on top. Snuggle the onion and garlic and one rosemary stick in the chicken cavity. It will all fit. I promise. Wiggle the other rosemary stick underneath some of the skin.

Season the top of the chicken generously with pepper and a generous shake of salt. Pour water into the pan, avoiding the chicken. Roast in the oven for 1 hour at 400 degrees, basting twice. Reduce heat to 350 degrees for a final 30 minutes. Use less time at the end or more depending on the weight of your chicken. Insert a knife to check to see if cooked when the juices run clear. Let rest for 15 mins. Carve and dive in.

1. Buy the best meat you can afford. Find a butcher in your neighbourhood. Always cheaper and better quality than the grocery store. Go organic if you can, the difference in taste and texture is worth it. My favourite organic produce is from Mama Earth, and meat is from Blue Goose.

3. Let it rest. Always. 15 minutes minimum. Flavours get to know each other and all the juices redistribute. Get yourself something to drink and go chat with your guests and sit down on the couch. You deserve it after slaving in the kitchen.

2. Timing is everything. Prep the sides before and reheat them if this is the first time pulling off a roast for a crowd. This means you can focus on the meat. My strategy is always start hot (400 degrees or more) for 45 – 60 minutes and then take down the heat. Works well for pork, chicken, lamb and beef.

honey garlic sticky chicken

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Sweet, spicy, crispy. Chicken at its best. This tastes like really good take out. Pair with a green salad, or rice to make a perfect weeknight meal. I make the marinade in the morning or night before so the chicken absorbs lots of flavour. This marinade works for up to eight chicken thighs or drumsticks, or a dozen chicken wings.

honey garlic sticky chicken

Ingredients:
2 cloves chopped garlic
4 heaping tablespoons honey
2 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
2-3 tablespoons siracha (depending on how spicy you prefer)
6-8 chicken thighs or drumsticks
Mix marinade and pour over chicken. If making chicken wings reserve half of marinade to brush on wings in last 5 minutes of cooking. Bake at 400 degrees on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet for 25-30 minutes, flipping halfway through. Broil for an additional 2 minutes, if you like.

roasted root vegetables

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Roasting is my favourite cooking method for vegetables, hands down. Texture wins every time. Crisp and browned on the outside and moist and flavourful inside. If hosting people for dinner. I often make this earlier in the day and just reheat. They’re that good. Nourishing, unpretentious and earthy with a touch of cumin. This could easily pass for a Thanksgiving, Christmas or holiday side dish. Delicious made into a frittata or thrown with some arugula and goat cheese for a lunch the next day. Serves four.

roasted root vegetables

Ingredients:
1 carrot chopped
1 red onion chopped
1 large sweet potatoe roughly peeled and chopped
2 yukon gold potatoes roughly peeled and chopped
50 ml of olive oil
Salt and black pepper to taste
Pinch of red pepper flakes
Heaping teaspoon of cumin

Bake at 375 degrees for 40 minutes, flipping halfway.

Peach smoothie

IMG_2565Late summer and the peaches are ripe. This smoothie reminds me of peach pie and lazy afternoons. I made this with super ripe peaches from the end of a bushel on a hot Saturday morning. Serves two. 

peach smoothie

Ingredients:
1 cup chopped and unpeeled fresh or frozen peaches
2 tablespoons plain greek yogurt
1/2 cup almond milk
2 dates
1 scoop sprouted brown rice protein power (optional)
2 ice cubes (reduce to 1 if using frozen peaches)
1 tablespoon almond butter
generous dash cinnamon
Combine all ingredients in blender and off you go.

mango coconut almond granola

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I love to shop for food. Fruits and vegetables. Salt. Wine. Cheese. Meat. If we are travelling and I spy a spice store I will run to it.

This week I was shopping at my local health food store Evergreen. I was about to throw a box of granola in my cart when I glanced at the price, and then the price of a bag of organic rolled oats. Show’s over. Time to try making granola.

One bite of this and I was a convert. Except for the dried mango, I had all the other ingredients in my pantry. Great tossed over plain yogurt. Or eaten by the handful. You could easily swap out the mango for some raisins or any dried fruit you have on hand.

mango coconut almond granola

Ingredients:
1 and 1/2 cup rolled oats
½ cup sliced almonds
½ cup unsalted sunflower seeds (optional)
½ cup unsalted pepita seeds (optional)
¾ cup shredded coconut
½ cup coconut oil (melted)
1/4 – 1/2 cup maple syrup (depending on how sweet you prefer)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Pinch salt + tiny pinch nutmeg
1 cup chopped dried mango

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Combine all ingredients, except for the mango. Tumble onto parchment paper lined cookie sheet or large glass baking dish. Bake for 30-40 minutes. Stirring every 10 minutes to ensure it browns evenly. In the last 5 minutes add the dried mango. Let granola cool for at least at hour before packaging. The texture crunches up as it cools. Store in airtight container for 10 days or freezes well.

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