Friendly Food Snobs


killer roast chicken


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

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


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

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

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

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.

Diablo shrimp pasta


This is a pasta you’ll want to steal just one more bite of. I too have been a victim of the devil’s ways. The combination of sundried tomatoes, garlic, shrimp, chili creates that savory umaminess that I really love. Easily doubled for four or leftovers for tomorrow. And takes from 15-20 minutes start to finish.

Diablo shrimp pasta

16 shrimp fresh or if frozen slightly thawed and tails pinched off
Half of a jar tomato passata
1 onion diced
6 sundried tomatoes roughly chopped
3 cloves garlic chopped
Olive oil for pan and 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
Smidge of oil from the jar of sundried tomatoes
¼ teaspoon chili powder (more if spicier preferred)
6 turns of fresh ground black pepper and salt to taste
Pasta cooked to package (I like tagliatelle, spaghetti, linguini)

Sautee the onion in olive oil and a shake of salt until fragrant. Add the garlic, and then shrimp and tomatoes. Time for the pepper and chili powder. The chili is a matter of taste. A quarter of a teaspoon will impart little to any heat, so increase as you like. Stir in the tomato passata just as the shrimp start to turn opaque. They’ll finish cooking in the sauce and stay tender. Simmer for 3 minutes and then add the balsamic and tomato jar oil. Toss the cooked pasta in the sauce. Turn onto plates and skip parmesean in favour of chopped Italian parsley if you like to garnish. Serves two. Enjoy!

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