Monday, February 18, 2013

Best Thing I Ever Ate: French Pastries (Dominique Ansel Bakery 189 Spring Street New York, NY 10012)

Their pastries are so good that I agreed to drive into the city on a Saturday, be dragged along shopping, and did I mention that it was raining?  I struck gold the first time by ordering a DKA and a cannelle (now I refuse to order anything else to prevent lessening my professed love for their pastries):

- DKA: is a lightly glazed / sugared croissant.  Crunchy and sweet on the outside and buttery soft on the inside (simple indulgence).

- Cannelle: imagine a soft caramel crust with custard inside.  You will stare at amazement at the miracle performed with egg, sugar, milk, flour, rum, and vanilla.

Their pastries must have mini boomerangs in them because as soon as I eat one, I return back the next day to get more. 

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Butterflied Roast Chicken Recipe

Roast chicken is simple to make, but difficult to master.  I was tired of making picture perfect roast chicken and biting into the leg to find blood near the leg bone.  Although cooked through, it always turned me off to roasting whole chickens (in addition to cleaning the damn roasting pan - ugh!).  I read about butterflying (AKA spatchcocking) the chicken to get an even cook throughout the entire bird.  The heat distributes evenly, doesn't dry out the breast, and all of the skin surface area gets crispy (instead of just the top of the bird).  Grab your favorite spices, abandon your roasting pan (I used Pyrex this time around), and enjoy your spatchcock chicken (which was super easy to break down into 6-8 pieces).


4lb - Whole Chicken
Olive Oil
Freshly Cracked Black Pepper (Coarse)
Kosher Salt
Fennel Seeds (grind them in your pepper mill with the pepper)
Granulated Garlic
Smoked Paprika
Cayenne Pepper

1) Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.  With a chef knife, run your knife down both sides of the backbone to remove it (you can save the backbone for stock or toss it).  Grab the legs and invert the chicken inside out and lay it flat.
2) Season the chicken and massage it with olive oil thoroughly.
3) Roast the chicken for an hour and a half.  Baste it constantly with a pastry brush to maintain a lacquered look (add more olive oil if there isn't enough chicken juice).
4) Let the chicken rest for 10 minutes and divide it up into easy to cut portions (leg/thigh, wings, breast).