Tuesday, May 24, 2011

slow-roasted garlic chicken

cooking a whole chicken freaked me out for years... it just looked so daunting. but when i got married i had this weird desire to be able to cook one for my husband and me. maybe i have some hidden desire to be a housewife in the 1950's. but then i got this recipe (from where or whom i don't know - please identify yourself!) and it looked do-able. and i can say wholeheartedly: it is do-able and delicious, to boot! this is one of james's top 5 recipes that i make. i've included a couple pictures to show what i mean by seasoning under the skin and how i tie penny's (henny penny reference) thigh's together after stuffing her. the cool part of this is the first hour she cooks under foil, getting all juicy throughout, but then you take the foil off and crank the temp up to give her a nice tan - extra yummies! join me in 1950 and cook penny up tonight. (sorry - i forgot to take a picture of penny all cooked and golden... guess we just got too excited about carving her up.)

slow-roasted garlic chicken
2 T. kosher salt (or regular)
1 t. black pepper
1 ~5 lb. chicken
4 garlic heads, top 1" cut off
1 medium lemon, halved
2 T. olive oil
1 medium onion, quartered
1 c. low-sodium chicken broth

heat oven to 375. mix salt & pepper and set aside. remove giblets & pat chicken dry. rub chicken all over with one garlic head, rub all over (under skin, too - see picture) with oil & season with salt and pepper (in cavity, also). place 1 garlic head, top pieces of garlic and half the lemon in cavity & tie thighs together (see picture). arrange remaining garlic, lemon & onion on bottom of baking dish and place chicken in middle. add broth to pan and cover tightly with foil. roast until chicken reaches 135-140 degrees, about 1 hour. remove foil, brush chicken with juices and increase oven temp to 450. basting occasionally until temp of chicken in inner thigh is 165 degrees, skin is golden brown and juices run clear - about 30-40 minutes more. let rest 10 minutes before carving. (optional: pour pan juices into small saucepan and simmer over med. heat until thickened; about 7-10 minutes)

Saturday, May 21, 2011

texas sheet cake

this is my favorite cake, hands-down. growing up, when my mom would ask what kind of cake i wanted for my birthday i always chose this one. i'm not a big frosting girl, but this cake and frosting - oh man. it's because there's buttermilk in both, making them not overly sweet. i'm so excited i'm making this today! i hope i can wait to eat it til tonight... it's not as good of a birthday cake with a big section missing and crumbs around the cook's mouth.

texas sheet cake from gretchen riedel
2 c. flour
2 c. sugar
1/2 t. salt
1/2 c. butter
1/2 c. oil
1 c. water
1/2 c. cocoa
1/3 c. buttermilk
2 eggs
1 t. baking soda
1 t. vanilla

preheat oven to 400. grease and flour an 11x17" cookie sheet. mix flour, sugar & salt in a large bowl, set aside. in a small saucepan, combine butter, oil, water & cocoa and bring to a low boil. pour cocoa mixture into flour mixture and stir. add remaining ingredients, mix until combined and pour into pan. bake for 20-25 minutes and spread frosting when cooled.

chocolate buttermilk frosting
1/2 c. butter
1/4 c. cocoa
1/3 c. buttermilk
4 c. powdered sugar
1 t. vanilla
dash of salt

bring butter, cocoa & buttermilk to low boil, pour over sugar and stir to combine. add vanilla and salt and beat well. spread over cooled cake.