Kosher Salt-Roasted Chicken!

One of the things I love most about food is that you can take a very minimalistic approach to things, with just a few simple ingredients you can make something incredibly impressive.  I think we tend to season food so much that we miss out on the beautiful flavor of the ingredient we are preparing.  That’s what I really love about this chicken, it’s only two ingredients, chicken and salt.  I’m going to give you a thyme butter sauce recipe to go with it, but this simple roast chicken is delicious all by itself.

Let’s get started on this super simple and delicious chicken that tastes like, chicken!

Ingredients: 

1 whole chicken (about 4 pounds)

Kosher salt (I can’t really give you an amount here)

For The Sauce: 

1 lemon, juiced

2 Tablespoons of cold butter, cut into 8 pieces

1 Tablespoon Thyme leaves

1/3 cup of chicken stock

Salt & Pepper to taste

Instructions: 

Get your chicken out of the refrigerator and set it on the counter about an hour before you plan to start cooking. Preheat your oven to 450°. Next, get some paper towels and dry your bird off really well.  Moisture on the outside = no crispy bird for you.

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Also, tuck the wing tips up and under the front of the bird.  I like to do this so they don’t get burnt. I didn’t take a picture of this because I’m trying to save some money on production, or I forgot. 

Ok, now that our bird is dried off and our wing tips are tucked, let’s talk about this chickens butt! I always just snip it off.  A very prestigious university did an authentic and scientific study on chicken butts, the study showed that if you clip that part off, the chicken tastes better.  That could be something I completely made up, but that’s what I’m going with.  Either way just clip that little bugger off.

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After you have clipped that off for no apparent reason, it’s time to salt our chicken. I urge you to use kosher salt here, however regular table salt will work.  Just make sure you salt the chicken liberally and don’t forget the cavity (inside) and bottom of the bird, they need a liberal coating as well. Next, we need to tie the legs together.  Some folks may feel the need to truss the chicken, but I don’t think all that work is necessary, plus I’m pretty lazy.

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Next, we need to place the bird in our roasting vessel! Use a pan that you can also use on top of the stove, so we can make the sauce after the chicken is done.  Salt the breasts of the chicken one last time.  Also, don’t get nervous and start thinking ‘I’m using too much salt’ you’re not, stay calm.  20170411_000049

Take a paper towel (or something) and try to get any salt that has fallen off the bird out of your roasting pan. We’re going to be using that pan to make our sauce and we don’t want the sauce to be WAY too salty, like some people I know.  Place the chicken in the preheated oven for about 55 minutes (or until a thermometer in the thigh reads 160°).  After that 55 minutes is up you should have something that looks like this….

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You should have a nice golden brown and very crispy bird.  Remove the chicken from the pan and let it rest for about 10 minutes.  Meanwhile, let’s start the sauce! Go back to the pan and remove most, not all, but most of the rendered chicken fat from the pan.

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Turn your heat to medium high and add in the Thyme leaves.  Let those cook for about 20 seconds, stirring.

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Next, add in your lemon juice and chicken stock. Stir all that around and simultaneously begin scraping all that beautiful fond (delicious little brown bits stuck to the bottom of the pan) off the pan. Let that cook for about 2 minutes, just to let it reduce a little.  Now, turn your heat to low and add in some of your butter.

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It’s really important here that when you add the butter in you really need to stir and sorta keep your pan moving. After that butter is melted and incorporated, add in the juices off the plate where the chicken has been resting.  Add in the rest of your butter and keep stirrin’ and movin’, stirrin’ and movin’ until all the butter is melted and incorporated.  The thickness or consistency of the sauce is completely up to you, if you want it a little thicker reduce it more, a little thinner add a little more stock.  Taste for seasoning, I added a little pepper. Mix that in and once it is thoroughly mixed, turn off the heat and your sauce is done!

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Now just plate up your beautiful roast chicken and decorate the plate/platter a little if you’re feeling fancy.

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All that’s left to do now is enjoy one of the most moist and delicious roast chickens you have ever had! This chicken accompanied with that thyme butter sauce is going to blow you away and seriously impress any and all guests you have over for dinner.

Anyway, I seriously hope you try this recipe out for yourself, it’s so simple and fairly inexpensive.  Let me know how it turns out in the comments!  Don’t forget to follow the blog so you get notified first when something is posted, that makes you a V.I.P. don’t cha know. Also, find me on Facebook @isbutteracarbblog and follow me there as well! Thanks for stopping by! Ciao!

Sugo di Pomodoro (Tomato Sauce)

I thought I would class things up a bit with my first recipe, hence the title.  I know what you’re thinking right now, you just said to yourself, “why use some crazy foreign word, when you could just say tomato sauce?”  Well, it’s very simple actually, it sounds more enticing than if it was carrying an English identification.

Sugo di Pomodoro, those soft and soothing syllables conjure up the image of you, sitting on a sun-bathed terrace, overlooking the picturesque canals of Venice, about to enjoy the very first forkfull of pasta that’s been cooked to perfection.

Tomato sauce on the other hand, brings back memories of something that was sloppily thrown over mushy noodles with the odd after taste only a high school cafeteria can provide.

Tomato sauces are a very personal thing. You may think my perfect all-purpose sauce is the best you’ve ever had, then again you may think it’s the worst one in the world and that’s completely fine (it’s your prerogative to be wrong).

Anyway, let’s get stared on my basic, all-purpose tomato sauce and please be relatively gentle when you compare it to your Italian grandmothers clearly superior version.

Ingredients:

2 (28-oz) cans of San Marzano tomatoes (whole and peeled)

1/4 cup of olive oil

1 onion, diced

1 rib of celery, finely diced

4 cloves of garlic, finely minced

1 teaspoon of salt

2 teaspoons of sugar

1/2 teaspoon of dried Italian herbs

1/4 teaspoon of red pepper flakes

1 teaspoon Anchovy paste

1 teaspoon white wine vinegar

1 tablespoon tomato paste

2 tablespoons fresh Italian parsley, chopped

Water as needed

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Only use wooden utensils with this, no metal! It’s the obligatory wooden utensil or nothing!

 

First finely dice the onion and celery and get it ready to go in the cooking vessel.

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Diced celery and onions. 

Next we want to add our oil, celery, onion and just a pinch of salt to the pot (on medium low heat ).

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You’re going to sweat the veggies on medium low heat for a long time, like 15 minutes.  We want them to get really soft and have a nice golden color.  In the meantime, let’s get our tomatoes ready!

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You have to use your hands for this.  Mainly because it feels awesome and I want you to feel what I feel! 

 

 

We are using San Marzano tomatoes imported from Italy.  They are the true diva in this sauce.  They are very unique tomatoes, very meaty, long, small amount of seeds. They are just a marvelous product.  You must use these…. no substitutions!  It will be worth it, I swear.

Just put them in a bowl and crush them up with your hands.  Sure, there are better ways to do this, however there is no other way you should do this.  Just crush them up into puree type constancy.  By now your onions and celery should be sweet, golden, and beautiful!

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This is what they should look like, give or take. 

You don’t want them to brown necessarily. We just want them to get nice and sweet. It’s time to add in the garlic and cook it for about 1 minute. Next add the salt, sugar, red pepper flakes, dried Italian herbs, and the anchovy paste.  That’s right, I said anchovy paste! Relax, you won’t be able to taste it. Don’t even let people know you put it in there.  Just call it a “secret ingredient” and move on.  Also, add the white vinegar.

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See that sneaky “secret ingredient”… you’re going to love it.

Turn the heat up to medium and cook for a couple minutes.  You want to evaporate the majority of the liquid. You want it to look fairly dry.  Add your tomato paste and cook for about two minutes.

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Look at my obligatory wooden sauce tool.

Add your San Marzano tomatoes and the fresh Italian parsley.

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Add just a little bit of water to the sauce. You’re going to add some occasionally as the sauce cooks.  Bring the sauce up to a simmer, then reduce the heat to low and simmer for an hour and a half.  Every now and then give it a little stir, maybe add just a touch more water if it needs it. That’s it!

After an hour and a half of simmering you’re going to have a gorgeously delicious all-purpose tomato sauce!  It’s the perfect base for meat sauces and is just an basic overall workhorse of a sauce!

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Finished product. I took the picture before I stirred it, but you get the picture here geez. 

I hope you’ll give this recipe a try for yourself and don’t worry it’s going to turn out perfectly(I believe in you)!  Feel free to adjust the seasonings and spices to your tastes, after all you’re the Rick Ross of this sauce! Thanks for the visit and until next time, Ciao!