Monday, November 19, 2012

Chinese five spice roasted chicken

You will need:
1(6 pound) whole chicken that has been cleaned and patted dry.
5 carrots cut into large chunks
5 large celery stalks cut into large chunks
1 pound of small, baby potatoes cut in half
1 bulb of garlic cut in half
1 stalk of bruised lemongrass(trimmed)
1 package of roasted potatoes spices(follow the directions on the package but only rub about 1 Tbsp onto the actual potatoes)
3 Tbsp of softened butter
black pepper

Dry rub for chicken:
1 Tbsp of Chinese five spice
1/2 tsp of poultry seasoning
1/2 tsp of paprika
1 1/4 tsp of salt
1 tsp of black pepper
2 tsp of garlic powder
1 tsp of onion powder
3 tsp of sugar
1/4 tsp of msg(optional)
Kitchen twine or string

For the gravy:
3 Tbsp of butter
3 Tbsp of sifted all purpose flour
about 2 cups of chicken broth(use your pan drippings and mix with chicken broth to total 2 cups)
salt, pepper, and sugar to taste

First, make your dry rub and then set aside. Next, remove giblets from the chicken, then wash it thoroughly(don't forget to clean the inside as well). Generously coat the chicken with the dry rub. Then, add some softened underneath the skin. Once done, salt and pepper the cavity and then add in your garlic and lemongrass. Take some kitchen twine and securely tie the legs together. Allow the chicken to rest overnight.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees

Take your chicken out of the fridge and allow it to come to room temp. Next, take your celery and carrots and place them into your roasting pan. Drizzle in some olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Do the same with the baby potatoes or use a package of roasted potato seasoning like I did in the video. Put your chicken directly on top of all the veggies and bake in the oven for 1 1/2 hours or until internal temp reaches 165 degrees. You may tent the chicken with foil if it gets too dark looking for you. Let chicken rest for 30 minutes before cutting into it. Remove the veggies from roasting pan and pour the liquid/drippings from the pan into a fat separator or measuring cup and scoop out most of the fat. Add in some chicken broth to make a total of 2 cups. Set aside.

On medium high heat, add in 3 Tbsp of butter into a hot, cast iron skillet. Turn the heat down to medium and cook until butter has completely melted. Then, add in 3 Tbsp of sifted flour and continue to whisk until smooth. Once it has started to turn color, slowly pour in your reserved drippings/chicken broth mix and continue to whisk. Add in some salt, pepper, and sugar, and taste check as you go along. Continue to cook until gravy has thickened, about 15 minutes or so. Transfer to gravy bowl.

Cut up your chicken and place on a platter along with your roasted veggies and homemade gravy!! YUMMY!!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Baked brie wrapped in phyllo

You will need:
6 sheets of phyllo dough(thawed and defrosted)
8 ounces of brie(I like the President's brand), cut in half
1 cup of red seedless grapes, cleaned and cut in half
1 cup of diced white onion
2 Tbsp of brown sugar
1 Tbsp of water
1 Tbsp of unsalted butter
2 pinches of salt
2 Tbsp of extra virgin olive oil
Butter flavored Pam baking spray and/or a couple of Tbsp of melted butter

brown sugar paste:
1 Tbsp of brown sugar
1 Tbsp of melted, unsalted butter

some toasted almond slices for garnish(optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Add 2 Tbsp of olive oil into a hot cast iron skillet. Add in your onions, a pinch of salt, and 1 Tbsp of brown sugar. Turn heat down to medium low and continue to cook until browned, stirring constantly. After about 10 minutes, add in your cut grapes, 1 Tbsp of unsalted butter,1 Tbsp of brown sugar, another pinch of salt, and 1 Tbsp of water. Continue to cook for another 5 minutes or so and take off heat and allow to cool slightly. Next, make your brown sugar paste and set aside. Carefully, unfold your phyllo dough and place it on a piece of parchment paper, set on a cookie sheet. Take a pastry brush, and carefully brush on some melted butter. Repeat with the remaining 5 sheets of phyllo. You may use butter for all 6 layers but I like to use butter flavored cooking spray for the remaining sheets. Take 1/2 of the brie and place it in the center of the phyllo sheets. Add the brown sugar paste(make sure you stir it first) and then place the other half of the brie on top, followed by the grape and caramelized onion mixture(make sure to reserve some for garnish). Finally, bring all corners of the phyllo dough together, and scrunch it together lightly, to seal. Spray with more baking spray or melted butter. Bake in 350 degree for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven and garnish with leftover grape and onion mixture. Top with toasted almond slices and plate with crackers of your choice. Serve immediately.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Easy shrimp and mushroom stir fry

You will need:

1 pound of jumbo prawns, peeled and deveined
1/2 cup of diced white onion
2 green onions chopped(use both green and white parts) plus more for garnish
2 cups of sliced mushroom
3 garlic cloves chopped
1 1/2-2 Tbsp of good oyster sauce(I like the Lee Kum Kee brand)
1 Tbsp of good fish sauce(I like the 3 crabs brand)
1 tsp of sugar
black pepper
1/4 tsp of msg(optional)
1 tsp of cornstarch
1 Tbsp of OMG sun dried tomato balsamic dipping oil(optional)
peanut oil

Put your prawns in a mixing bowl and add in your fish sauce, black pepper, sugar, msg(if using), and cornstarch. Mix to combine and set aside. In a hot skillet set over medium heat, pour in some peanut oil. Add in your onions, a pinch of salt, and cook until translucent. Next, add in your garlic and cook for 15 seconds(or until you can smell the garlic). Then, throw in your prawns and mushrooms and cook until the prawns turn slightly pink. Turn up the heat slightly to get a good simmer. Add in your chopped green onions and oyster sauce. Stir and cook until shrimp is done but be careful not to overcook. Taste check and adjust seasoning as needed. Turn off and remove from heat. Drizzle on 1 Tbsp of OMG sun dried tomato oil. Serve immediately with white rice.

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