Modern Wife Test Kitchen: Quinoa flour

Welcome to the Modern Wife Test Kitchen! Today I will share with you some of my most recent happenings in the kitchen, this is where I test out new recipes and techniques just before turning out the final product. I guess you can call it an experiment of sorts. Well without further ado…

Did you know that you can make your own Gluten-free flours? This thought kind of hit me today. I’ve been working on a recipe to combine Quinoa, shrimp, and grapefruit in a unique way that wouldn’t be extremely complicated. And it hit me like a bolt of lightning, why not toast the Quinoa, then add in some oats and almonds and grind everything in a food processor to create a mealy type of flour to coat the shrimp in? Sounds easy enough right? I think the flavors will balance very well together, the nuttiness of the Quinoa will compliment the almonds and the oats will bring a sweet kind of mellowness to the mix. This new development has brought on several new possibilities to the current recipe I’m working on. I will leave you without any further details (I know how mean of me), but if you were in my kitchen at the moment you could expect to see grapefruit, oranges, lemon ginger loose-leaf tea, and various spices including crushed red pepper. That’s all for now,  stay tuned to see what this Modern Wife has up her sleeve!

Featuring Spotlight!

As I have previously mentioned, this year I will be sharing some of my behind-the-scenes work on how I do what I do. A large part of what inspires my cooking is the ingredients I use. That may seem very simplistic and well..obvious but it’s true. Something will catch my eye at the market and before I know it I am loading my cart with squash or apples or some kind of interesting green and dreaming up all the different ways that I can use that particular ingredient. I think this partly stems from the fact that my husband used to be a very picky eater in the vegetable department, and so I spent the first several months of my marriage learning every single way to cook the vegetables he enjoyed. I think I can say with confidence that I have prepared Butternut squash at least 10 different ways, maybe more! It really has helped broaden my cooking experience quite a bit. I digress..today I will introduce to you “Spotlight!” a feature I have been testing for a while now. The Spotlight feature will show you my current favorite ingredient to work with, and will hopefully encourage you to maybe try something new. When you see the featured ingredient updated, you will also know what to expect in the upcoming recipe, so you can be on the lookout for it when you’re shopping. You are also able to request Spotlight ingredients, simply leave a comment in the most recent post and it will be submitted for consideration. Stay tuned!

Holiday Nostalgia & Traditions

The wonderful and slightly romantic thing about being newly married is that your life experiences are intermingled in such a way that each new memory you create is a shared one. Each person in a marriage grew up with some sort of family tradition (albeit good or bad) that they have somehow kept alive over the years and now as an “adult” (we use that term pretty loosely around here) they continue to light that torch of family tradition into their marriage. Some of my fondest childhood memories are of being propped up on a kitchen chair to help my mother with her holiday baking. I remember feeling so grown up, though I could hardly see over the counter, as I carefully mixed the pecan halves into the pecan pie filling and pouring it into the pie crust. Pecan pie, is and always will be a Thanksgiving tradition for me. When Sam &I first started dating, (just before Christmas of 2008) the Linvilles invited me over for dinner and I brought them my mother’s famous pecan pie…and the rest as they say is history! I have been baking it for them ever since. And who can forget Christmas cookies. I’ll never forget the way my mother patiently instructed me to roll peanut butter cookie dough, and then dust the cookie balls in sugar, and finally smash the formed dough crosswise with the tines of a fork (as an artistic kid I loved that part). So last year in all my newlywed zeal, I set out to experiment with several different kinds of holiday cookies and lined the kitchen counter tops with dozens and dozens of cookies. The hubs, of course, loved this as he got to be the executive taste tester (who wouldn’t love that job?!). And this year I hopelessly continued the tradition, adding new and different recipes to the arsenal. They were the perfect holiday party tray and worked very well in gift baskets (don’t worry the hubs still got first tasting privileges). I love the thought of combining each of our favorite holiday traditions and also adding some new ones of our own. This Christmas I was able to visit my husband’s home town in Oklahoma, and see the famous Chickasha Festival of Lights, one of his families annual traditions. It was really beautiful. We also got our first Christmas tree this year, a beautiful Douglas Fir (which I am sad to say will meet his untimely fate with the wood chipper very soon) and have started a new tradition of buying Christmas ornaments each year to decorate the tree with little by little. So despite the holiday rush, it really has been a wonderful Holiday season. I can only smile at the year to come and hold the ones that I love close to me as time pulls us forward.

The Wonders of Oatmeal

Sometimes even the most mundane things can become pretty extraordinary. This philosophy is one that inspires my daily cooking (and living for that matter). It’s one that has fostered (in my opinion) some of my best ideas. Start with one simple ingredient, add a little of this to compliment it, and a little of that for a nutrition boost, and always add a bit of something unexpected..something to contrast what you’re working with but in a pleasant way. And there you go! Today’s recipe uses old fashioned rolled oats as the main ingredient, think of the kind your mother (or grandmother) used to cook on the stove-top. These are a pantry staple of mine for several reasons: they are inexpensive, easily available, they are multi-purpose, packed with nutritional benefits, minimally processed, natural and they keep very well. I’ve researched & tried many baked oatmeal recipes and frequently run into two major problems. One  is that the recipe is very simple on the prep end but uses low-quality (health-wise) ingredients, in other words, it uses loads of butter& white sugar without offering any healthful substance. And the second  conundrum is that the ingredients are healthful but not easily available to me and the process to prepare it is usually somewhat complicated. So as a solution to this I created my own version. I think it strikes the perfect balance between wholesome,versatile, and simple. And if that isn’t enough of a sales pitch let me also mention that they can be made ahead, portioned into little oatmeal squares, and tucked into your purse, bag, kiddos lunchbox etc. for those days when you are in a rush to get out the door. Pretty clever for a tiny little oat huh?

Baked Cinnamon Raisin Oatmeal Bars

My recipe states that you should soak the oatmeal mixture over night before baking, I know this may seem strange or unnecessary, but the soaking time is very important to ensure the final texture is moist and together and not crumbly. If you are pressed for time another option is to make it early in the morning and allow it to soak during the daytime, then bake later that night. I have tried both, and in my experience both soaking methods work well.

–  1/4 c. unsalted butter
– 3 or more large eggs (I personally like the Omega3 enriched eggs because of their added nutrition, but regular eggs are great too)
– 1/2 c. dark brown sugar
– 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
– 1 1/2 tsp. pure vanilla
– 2 tsp. cinnamon
-1/4 tsp. sea salt
– 1 c. raisins
– 1c. + 2 Tbsp. whole milk
– 3 c. Old Fashioned Rolled Oats (slightly larger than “quick oats”)
– Pure Maple Syrup
*Optional add-ins: crumbles of lean bacon,dried fruit pieces, banana slices, finely chopped apples, walnuts, nutmeg, allspice etc.
1) Melt butter in a Pyrex style glass measuring cup or bowl and set aside.
2) Grease baking dish & drop in eggs. Beat them well.
3) In the same baking dish, add brown sugar, baking powder, vanilla, cinnamon, and salt. Mix well so the mixture is blended consistently.
4) Whisk in the melted butter, all of the milk, the raisins and any other add-ins you wish. Then add oats the the mixture. Equally combine all ingredients. Refrigerate overnight or for several consecutive hours.
5) Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Just before baking, drizzle the top with a bit of maple syrup if you desire to add a bit of extra sweetness. Bake for 35 minutes or until fully cooked. When completely cool, you may create individual portable portions, simply divide into squares and wrap in parchment, then refrigerate to store. You will then be able to take these with you on-the-go, or enjoy them warmed as an effortless sit-down breakfast. I like to enjoy mine warmed with a bit of milk or plain yogurt, it’s delicious!

Thank You Mr. Bird

There’s a skeleton in my icebox..and in my freezer. I guess you can say I’ve had a habit of collecting them for quite some time now.

Okay no need to fear, I haven’t committed any crime. My only offense is making rich and delicious stock. For the better part of a year I’ve been studying, cooking, and tasting anything and everything regarding the skill of making homemade stock. I truly believe it is one of the most useful skills that can be learned in the kitchen, and it is worth every minute of the work it requires. So that being said and with the holiday season in full swing I know many of you will be stalking your local grocery store to buy those last-minute ingredients for your families Thanksgiving meal. Well I am here for you! With my user-friendly recipe and tips you can save yourself a trip to the grocery store, some major cash (commercial stock can be up to $5 per quart!), and best of all your sanity. And for that you can be truly thankful this Thanksgiving!

So why go through all of the trouble? I realize this may be a completely new venture for some of you. I am always a bit surprised and flattered by the reaction I get when I mention my stock-making to friends and acquaintances. The end result sounds like it should be extremely complicated and difficult. I know I was a bit overwhelmed with the thought of it before I actually tried it. The truth is when you learn the basics of it, it is actually pretty simple. It does take some time in the preparation department, but the yield makes it completely worth it. Cynthia Lair states in her book Feeding the Whole Family that, “Stock is the secret elixir that can change soup from a humble lunch to fine dining, from meal to medicine.” I couldn’t have said it better myself. So without delay, here is my simple tips on how to make the perfect stock.

1) Use the bones/carcass of a previously cooked turkey or chicken. This not only utilizes every part of the bird and saves prep time, but using cooked bones gives your stock a darker color and stronger flavor. This is what you are looking for in a good quality stock. I recommend roasting (I’m not a fan of the boiling method) your bird a couple of days ahead of time, serve it for dinner, refrigerate leftovers and then the next day separate the remaining meat& bones. You would then have cooked and sliced chicken/turkey to use for a second meal and the bones you need for stock. That’s a lot of value for one bird.

2) Maximize the flavor of your stock by using  Alliums. Alliums are vegetables like onion, garlic, leeks, shallots, and chives. They are known for their strong flavor, nutritional benefits, and versatility. The addition of these will really enhance your stock in many ways.

3) Use vinegar to add calcium and other beneficial minerals to your stock. When you add a bit of vinegar (I use Rice Vinegar) to your stock as it is cooking, the beneficial minerals will slowly leech from the bones of your chicken/turkey to your stock broth. You won’t even be able to detect its flavor as it will be lost in the stock, and you will get the added bonus of nutrition that you cannot receive from boxed stock.

4) If possible, use whole spices. This is optional, but using whole spices are great because they are more concentrated than ground spices and can give a stronger flavor and make straining the liquid much easier.

5) Leave it on the stove. It’s very important to simmer the stock for at least a couple of hours. The longer you allow it to simmer, the darker, richer, and more flavorful it will become. It requires no supervision, just leave it on the stove and check back occasionally. Patience is a virtue.

Anise Spiked- Chicken Stock

I love the depth that star anise gives my classic chicken stock, but if you do not care for it’s flavor or do not have it readily available, feel free to use the spices you enjoy. Turkey bones can also be substituted to make a turkey stock.

– olive oil
– 1 yellow onion, peeled and quartered
– 10 cloves garlic (2 Tbsp. minced), peeled and smashed open with a knife
– sea salt
– bones& carcass of a cooked chicken (previously roasted, meat and fats removed)
–  2Tbsp. Rice Vinegar (or other clear vinegar)
– additional spices: 2-3 bay leaves, 3 star anise, & small handful black peppercorns (ground black pepper also works)
1) Heat olive oil in a deep soup pot. Salt then saute onion wedges and garlic for a few seconds till they render their juices and become softened. Fill pot with water leaving a little room at the top. Add the chicken bones/carcass, rice vinegar, and all other spices. Bring pot to a slow boil, then reduce to a simmer.
2) Allow to simmer, undisturbed for a minimum of two hours. Then check, salt, and taste. If you wish for a darker more flavorful stock, keep it on the stove until you are satisfied.
3) When stock is to your liking, remove from heat and allow to cool slightly. Strain well (several times) into a gallon pitcher or large container or several glass pint jars. The stock will keep refrigerated for a week or more, but if you wish to freeze it keeps much longer.
My method for freezing is to pour stock into plastic ice cube trays and when stock cubes are completely frozen, pop them into a large gallon sized freezer bag. The ice cubes melt quickly and don’t require defrosting. (In case you’re wondering how they measure out, 8 cubes= 1 c. stock.) This method has proved successful for me, but feel free to explore other options that are more convenient for you.

Harvest Quinoa Bake

There’s just something wonderful and inviting about this time of year. The weather is just starting to get that crisp Fall chill to it, beckoning all of its victims to add another layer or two. It’s when the hubs and I begin our ritual herbal tea and cider drinking and spend our precious Sundays snuggled up with stacks and stacks of books. I am nearly giddy while adding Butternut and Acorn squash to my grocery cart, dreaming up all the wonderful ways I will pay tribute to their golden goodness this season. And of course who can ignore the glowing orange pumpkins that seem to be everywhere you turn. So with all of the tastes, color, and textures as my inspiration, I dreamed up this little creation, I call it the Harvest Quinoa Bake. I first made a variation of this for a friend’s birthday potluck (which is a genius idea for a Fall b-day) mostly on a whim and because everyone enjoyed it so much I decided to try to re-create it using some of this seasons delicious varieties of squash. This recipe sounds much more laborious than it really is, let me assure you that after you get through the peeling and hacking of squash it becomes quite simple. So try it out and let me know what you think!

 

Harvest Quinoa Bake

Note: A common problem I find with Quinoa is how to enhance its flavor and keep it from being bland. The method I use slightly toasts the grain in an onion infused olive oil, giving it a deeper and aromatic nutty flavor. This takes a bit of extra time but is well worth the effort. All of the vegetables can be prepped/chopped ahead of time to reduce the cooking time.

– 2-3 c. Butternut squash (about 1/3 of whole squash)
– 1 sweet potato
– 1/2  Summer squash (yellow variety)
– 1/2 yellow bell pepper
– 1 carrot
– 1/2 large Granny Smith apple
– 1 small bunch fresh parsley
– 1/2 yellow onion
– 2 c. Quinoa
– extra virgin olive oil
– 3-4 c. or less freshly grated Parmesan
– 1/2 c. Feta
– handful dried cranberries
– spices: several sprigs of fresh (or dried) Rosemary, dried Thyme, Sea salt & cracked pepper

1) Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

With a cleaver (or other very sharp heavy knife) chop off the top third of the Butternut squash, remove seeds if any, and then peel skin with a vegetable peeler. Once peeled, cut squash into 1 inch cubes.

Peel sweet potato, and cut into 1 inch cubes as well. Toss Butternut squash and sweet potato in a small bit of olive oil and arrange on a cookie sheet. Sprinkle with generous amounts of Rosemary, Thyme, and sea salt and bake for 20 minutes or until fully cooked and slightly crispy on the edges.

2) While those are roasting in the oven…

finely dice the onion and parsley, and coarsely chop the yellow squash, bell pepper, carrot & apple. Set aside, but do not mix together.

3) In a medium-sized pot, saute the onion in a small amount of olive oil till softened and translucent. Add in the Quinoa and allow to toast for about 30 seconds, then add 3 c. hot water to the pot and bring to a boil. When water comes to a rapid boil, lower the heat and allow Quinoa to simmer (much like you would steam rice).

Meanwhile… in another deep skillet or pot saute the remaining vegetables and apples in a small bit of olive oil. When they are almost cooked, stir in the parsley and cook for a few seconds until wilted yet still bright green.

4) In a 9×12 casserole dish layer the cooked Quinoa and onion, next add the sautéed vegetables & parsley, then the roasted Butternut squash & sweet potato, and finally top with Feta, Parmesan, & cranberries. Salt & pepper and bake for a few minutes until the cheese is melted and bubbly.




 

Homemade Tomato Sauce

Is it a fruit or a vegetable?  That’s the question I often ask myself while sorting freshly bought produce in the crisper bins of my icebox. I always seem to be momentarily stumped when I get to the tomatoes. Yes, they are technically classified as a fruit..or at least that’s what I’ve always known..but on the other hand, they are not eaten like a fruit, they are prepared and used like a vegetable. When I’m feeling rebellious, they go in the vegetable crisper with an indignant thump. When I’m feeling like being a perfectionist, they get safely tucked away in the fruit crisper. And on those days when I just can’t muster up the energy to think it through, they go wherever they will fit. And that’s that.

I have recently grown to love tomatoes. When I was a little girl, I wouldn’t touch them. But as I grow older I am learning that the many many things I turned my nose up as a girl, are resurfacing one by one and rocking my world in a completely new way. So as a result I have been eating a lot of tomatoes lately. Tomatoes are widely available in Texas and come in such a variety of species that they are virtually always in season. Another perk is that they are very versatile to cook with and can (when prepared cleverly) take on numerous tastes and textures. So with my new-found love for tomatoes and a few pounds of beautifully ripe Roma’s and Vines, I set out to make this tomato sauce. My first ever, and I must say I’m very pleased with how it turned out. I’d love to know, what vegetables or fruits you have come to love as a grown-up?

Homemade Tomato Sauce

My recipe is seasoned by a garlic and red pepper infused olive oil (we like it spicy), but you can easily add your favorite dried herbs during cook time. I recommend keeping it simple so you can use it for a wider variety of dishes.  

– 3-5 lbs. ripe tomatoes (Roma’s work well  for a thicker sauce, but Vine tomatoes also give it a hearty flavor, so I used a mixture of both. Feel free to use whatever grows well in your hometown!)
– extra virgin olive oil
-4 cloves garlic, minced
*(optional) dried red pepper flakes
– sea salt

1) Thoroughly clean/rinse your kitchen sink. Fill one side of the sink with HOT boiling water (from a tea kettle), and the other with COLD water and ice cubes.

2) Soak tomatoes in the hot bath for about 5 minutes, then transfer them to the ice bath. Let tomatoes soak until the skins crack and begin to peel. This will help loosen up the tomato skins so the skins can be easily removed with a small pairing knife.

*If the skin does not crack within about 5 minutes of being in the cold bath, return to hot bath and repeat this step again. Make sure your water temperatures stay hot/cold.

3) Peel skins completely and chop tomatoes in quarters. Puree in a blender or food processor until smooth. Careful not to over-blend or it will liquefy.

4) In a deep stew pot, drizzle olive oil to coat and form a thin puddle, when hot saute garlic and red pepper flakes. Add pureed tomatoes,sea salt to taste, and cook on low heat for 1-2 hours until the sauce is fully concentrated and thick. Cool and store in jars.

Recipe yields approx. 8 cups or 64 oz. Extra sauce stores well in the freezer for future use.

 

 

Smokey Skillet Burgers /w Dilled Oven Fries

With the summer season slowly coming to a close, our routines change to follow suit. Fall brings milder weather, crisp colorful leaves, and a cozy sense of comfort in the great indoors.

Grilling season may be over, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a nice juicy burger. If it’s burgers and homemade fries that you crave you’ve come to the right place. My smokey spice blend gives the burgers a fresh from the grill mesquite flavor and the sautéed peppers,onions, and mushrooms take it to the next level. My homemade oven fries are a lighter alternative of the traditional french fries, and have the perfect balance of crisp and softness. The fresh dill really gives them a brightness and delicious salty taste. This recipe makes a great weeknight dinner and can be easily doubled to fit a larger family. Hope you enjoy it as much as we did!

Skillet Burgers with Dilled Oven Fries

For optimal use of time, I recommend starting the fries first to allow proper cooking time and then add the burgers to the skillet  later. Notes on prep order are included, but are of course optional, so feel free to deviate. This recipe makes a standard size baking sheet portion of fries, but if a larger amount is needed simply double the recipe using an additional baking sheet.

Fries

-2 or 3 large russet potatoes (or several small ones)
– olive oil spray
– small bunch of fresh dill
– spices: onion powder and sea salt

1)Preheat oven to 425.

Scrub potatoes well with warm water and a clean sponge or scrub brush. Keeping the skin on, slice in moderately thin wedges. Try to keep length and thickness consistent  so fries will cook evenly.

2)Coat with a thin layer of olive oil spray (or toss just enough EVOO to coat evenly), generously season with freshly snipped dill, onion powder and sea salt. Bake at 425  for 30 minutes, then turn fries over with a spatula and continue to cook for an additional 13-15 minutes. The fries should be crisp and evenly browned yet soft inside.

Burgers

{I did prep for the burgers after the fries were in the oven, this allowed plenty of cooking time for the fries while not over-cooking the burgers.}

-1 Lb. lean ground beef
(90/10 or better makes the best burger, but lesser cuts can be used as well)
– spice blend: equal parts of Liquid Smoke sauce, steak sauce,
chili powder, and black pepper
-5 or 6 button mushrooms
-1/2 green bell pepper
-1/4 yellow onion

1) With your hands (yes, that’s the only way to do it!) combine the spice blend with the ground beef allowing enough of the sauce to season and coat it without making it too wet to be workable. When blend and meat are combined well, divide meat into four portions and gently but firmly pat out four burger patties. Set aside in a plate or dish.

2) Remove tops and slice mushrooms from top to stem. Slice peppers and onions into 1/2″ strips.

3) In a large stainless steel/non-stick skillet grill up burgers according to preference. (I like mine well done on the outside and a bit pink on the inside,approx. 4 min. on each side more or less.) Remove when cooked and place on a clean plate/dish.

Drain pan of any excess oil and wipe clean. Add one turn of olive oil to the skillet and allow to heat through. Add vegetables and saute till just fully cooked. Season with salt and ground pepper.

4) Serve burgers open-faced or on a bun with a thin sliver of cheddar or pepper jack cheese and sautéed vegetables. Serve alongside fries hot from the oven. Add extra snippets if dill to fries when plate is assembled.

Smoothie Love

To tell you the truth I’ve never been much of a breakfast person or a morning person for that matter.  Back in the single days my main morning foods were coffee and wheat toast (usually with peanut butter) eaten in a mad rush to get to work on time. Now my schedule is quite different and I have grown a slight fondness for getting up early. I like to wake up just before the sun, head to the gym, return about an hour later and shower etc, then sit down with a hot cup of coffee, breakfast, and my Bible. This for me is the perfect start to a busy day. I know now that breakfast is very important, so I make it a point to eat in the morning, but i must admit morning foods have always kind of eluded me. Whenever I make breakfast for myself during the week I like foods that are easy to prepare, not too sweet or heavy, and as nutritious as possible. I also have to consider my husband who leaves for work very early (usually as I am waking up). I like to have things made so he can have a quick breakfast before he leaves for work. So we have created the perfect solution..smoothie sharing. Before I go to bed I’ll prep the blender with all the smoothie ingredients needed and then place the blender pitcher in the fridge, then when the hubs is ready for breakfast in the morning all he has to do is add a few ice cubes and blend it, and since my recipe makes two portions he will take half and leave the rest for me in the fridge. So when I wake up I have a delicious smoothie waiting for me. Pretty sweet deal huh? Here are some of our favorite smoothie recipes.

Strawberry Love Smoothie
-1 6 oz. container of low-fat Strawberry yogurt
-1/2 Jonathan apple, cored and sliced
– 6-7 strawberries, tops removed
– splash of Orange Juice (100% Pasteurized, like “Simply Orange” brand)
-2 tsp. Raw cane sugar *(optional)
– a few ice cubes
1) Blend well and serve.
Pear Berry Smoothie
-1 6 oz. container low-fat Vanilla yogurt
-2 pears, cored and sliced in chunks
– 4-5 strawberries, tops removed
-1/2 c blueberries
– splash 2% milk
– a few ice cubes
1) Blend well and serve.
Carrot Juice Smoothie
-1 6 oz. container low-fat Vanilla yogurt
-16 oz. (2 c.) Organic Carrot juice
-2 bananas
-1 Navel orange
-a few ice cubes
1)Blend well and serve, sweeten to taste if needed
Banana Berry Smoothie
-1 6oz. container low-fat Vanilla yogurt
-1 banana
-4-5 strawberries, tops removed
-1/2 c blueberries
– splash 2% milk
– a few ice cubes
1) blend well and serve.
Berry Mango Smoothie
-1 6oz. container Raspberry yogurt
-1 banana
-1 mango, peeled/cored/chopped
-4 strawberries
– splash of your favorite fruit juice
-a few ice cubes
1) blend well and serve.
Nectarine and such Smoothie
-1 6oz. container Vanilla yogurt
-6 oz. (2 c.) Organic Carrot juice
-2 nectarines, pitted and chopped
-1 banana
-6 strawberries
-a few ice cubes
1) blend well and serve.






Poulet Roti

“Many chefs claim to be able to tell everything about a prospective cook by how he or she roasts a chicken – and I can well believe it.”      Anthony Bourdain, from the Les Halles Cookbook

Although I am not accustomed to posting recipes that are not originals, I must admit I cannot take credit for this one…well entirely. As much as I would love to boast, I did not invent the roast chicken. This beautiful bird has been introduced in numerous kitchens long before I was born. I will say that through my experience as a novice cook, I have learned the tricks of the trade when it comes to this classic dish. My favorite thing about Poulet Roti, or French style roast chicken, is its simplicity. It requires little, just a little care and time and the results are fantastic. This deliciously understated recipe is loosely based on the traditional French Poulet Roti, and it is similar to the great Anthony Bourdain’s version, as well as the recipe of the beloved Julia Child. Poulet Roti has become a Linville family favorite, and hopefully it will make its way into your homes as well!

Poulet Roti
This dish is so versatile it can be paired with many different sides, roasted new potatoes and carrots with garlic, creamy mashed potatoes, a savory barley dish, or roasted root vegetables all are great choices. Be creative, but keep it simple!
1 whole chicken, approx. 4 lbs
sea salt & cracked black pepper
1- 1 1/2 oz. unsalted butter
1 sprig of fresh Rosemary
1 lemon, sliced in quarters
*optional : 1 onion, sliced in quarters and 1 sprig of fresh Thyme
1 1/4 cups good quality Chicken Stock (homemade would be best, but a good boxed Organic stock will do)
1) Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
2)Prepare the bird by trimming off excess skin and removing the giblets bag and excess fat from the inside cavity.
(I like to snip the tail with kitchen shears as well) rinse well with cold water and gently pat dry with a clean kitchen towel or paper towel.
3) Salt and pepper inside the cavity, and place half of the butter, both the Rosemary& Thyme sprigs, and half of the lemon wedges inside the chicken.
4) Truss the chicken with twine or kitchen string and tuck the wing tips under. Gently rub the remaining butter on the outside skin of the chicken and generously salt& pepper. Be careful not to tear the skin!
5)Place in a large roasting pan, breast side down, and add the stock, remaining lemon, and onion wedges.
Roast for 60-70 minutes, basting every 30 minutes or so. Be sure to rotate the pan’s position  in the oven as you baste, so that it cooks and browns evenly.
**Repeat after me: “I will not over-cook this bird. I will not over-cook this bird!”  Please I beg you, do not ruin all of your hard work by destroying the integrity of the bird and turning it into a dry mess. To check, just poke the inside of the thigh with a small knife or skewer and if the juices are completely clear it’s done! Be sure to let it rest for a couple of minutes outside of the oven before you carve it. Now relax and enjoy the fruits of your labor.
Please note: If you would like,  you can save the liquids from the roasting pan to create a simple rich sauce to serve alongside it. Simply skim off any fat residue, remove onion and lemon, and pour liquids into a sauce pan. Bring to a rapid boil until it forms a slightly thick syrupy sauce and pour into a serving dish. Serve over hot slices of roasted chicken.