He’s a cookbook author, food writer, professional photographer and a trained chef! Whew! Chef Tom Hirschfeld is a busy guy, but not too busy to make time for family suppers on Sunday! Chef Tom shows us hot to make a Simple Roast Chicken and two easy sides!
5 Steps to a better roast chicken-
1. Salt early and evenly
2. To truss or not to truss.
3. Let the bird dry out for an even crisp skin
4. Rotate the chicken 180 degrees at the half way mark
5. Let the chicken rest and then carve
Easy sides for a great dinner-
1. Roasted Asparagus with button mushrooms
2. Easy herb roasted potatoes
Here are today’s recipes:
Perfectly Simple Roasted Potatoes (serves 4)
-12 yellow fleshed potatoes (Yukon gold is good) walnut sized
-2 TBS. extra-virgin olive oil, plus more
-2 tsp. fresh thyme minced
-1 TBS. fresh rosemary, minced
-1 TBS. fresh parsley, minced
-1 TBS garlic, finely minced
-1 tsp. kosher salt
-1/4 tsp. fresh ground white pepper
1. Heat the oven to 400 degrees. While the oven is heating slice the potatoes in half lengthwise. Place them into a mixing bowl.
2. Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil to the potatoes and using your hands (the ones you washed) turn the potatoes in the bowl to coat. Add more oil if the potatoes seem dry.
3. Season the potatoes with the salt and pepper. Sprinkle the thyme and rosemary one the top. Toss them again evenly distributing the seasonings.
4. Spread the out onto a sheet tray cut side up. Slide the tray into the oven.
5. Bake for 45 minutes or until a knife inserted into the largest potato easily slips to the center.
6. Remove the potatoes and place them back into the bowl. Add parsley, garlic and another glug of olive oil. Use a spoon and gently turn the potatoes to coat with the garlic and herbs.
7. Serve immediately.
A Perfect Roast Chicken For Sunday Supper (or any night really)
-1 teaspoon fennel seeds
-3/4 teaspoon dried thyme
-1 teaspoon paprika
-1/4 teaspoon black pepper
-1 chicken, about 4 pounds
1. Salt the chicken the day before you want to cook it or at least 4 hours before you want to cook it. To do this sprinkle salt onto all sides of the bird including inside the cavity. Place the bird onto a tray with side and put it back into the fridge.
2. Crush the fennel seeds either using the bottom of a heavy pan to grind it or with a mortar and pestle. Combine the fennel with the rest of the spices and, again, sprinkle the spice rub all over the bird including the cavity. I like to slice the chicken before serving. I like to slice the breast off the bone so I have a carcass for soup at the end of the night. I like to slice the chicken before serving. I like to slice the breast off the bone so I have a carcass for soup at the end of the night.
3. Let the bird sit at room temperature for a half an hour or up to an hour.
4. Heat the oven to 400° F. Place the chicken, still on a tray with sides, into the oven and let it roast for 30 minutes. Bast the chicken with the pan juices. Bake another 35 minutes. Check to see if it is done. I can usually tell by the legs. If the meat has pulled away from the knee bones then there is a good chance the rest of the bird is done. Wiggle a thigh. If it seems loose then you are probably good to go. Tilt the bird backwards and see if the juices running out from the cavity are red. If all three of these test are passed letting the bird rest will finish the cooking. Let the bird rest cover with foil for 15 minutes.
5. Carve and serve.
Roasted Asparagus and Shiitake Mushrooms (serves 4)
-1 pound of asparagus, the ends trimmed (I like to peel the asparagus stems but only about an inch or two, just the bottom to remove any tough skin)
-4 ounces shiitake mushrooms, wiped of dirt with a paper towel, stems removed and thinly sliced a scant handful of rosemary sprigs, broken in half
-extra virgin olive oil
1. Heat the oven to 400° F.
2. Trim the stem ends and using a peeler peel the stalk, also at the stem end. Toss the asparagus with olive oil to coat and season the spears with salt and pepper.
3. Toss the spears with the rosemary and spread it out onto a sheet tray. Bake the spears for 10 minutes being sure to shake the tray in order to turn the stalks after five minutes.
4. While the asparagus is cooking heat a saute pan over high heat. Add a glug or two of oil to coat the bottom of the pan. Once the oil is close to smoking add the mushrooms and sear them. Season them with salt and pepper. Cook them until they are well browned and crispy.
5. Remove the asparagus from the oven. Transfer them to a platter and garnish with the mushrooms and serve.
For more recipes dedicated to the home cook, visit www.tomhirschfeld.com.