Perfectly Roasted Chicken and Duck Fat Fries

I know, I know… It’s hard sometimes to get excited about chicken. I also know that there is a great big myth that your chicken should be lean and void of any of the skin and you should only eat the breast. This is a big misconception. In actuality, the chicken skin and fat actually provides plenty of necessary nutrients and energy to our bodies, not to mention a delicious flavor that is like no other. Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing like biting into a perfectly grilled grass-fed steak but a close second is a perfectly roasted chicken. This recipe is extremely easy to follow and we highly recommend you eat this chicken with your hands, because the finger-licking at the end is like the applause a pianist receives after a flawless concerto. 

I decided to stick with the fowl theme on this week’s post, so tagging along with the roasted chicken are some crispy duck fat fries. You’ll most likely have to order your duck fat online, or you may be able to find it in a gourmet market (i.e.Norman Brothers, Gardeners Market, Fresh Market, and Whole Foods) in your area. I haven’t seen it myself in any grocery stores, but then again I haven’t ever really looked for it. I ordered mine from (http://www.olivenation.com/Rougie-Duck-Fat-P4389.aspx) and it came out to $20 including shipping via UPS 2-3 day delivery… Duck fat is not as “unhealthy” as most assume or think it is. It is actually a very healthy and delicious fat you can use for frying and/or searing, as it has a higher tolerance for heat and hotter smoking point. However, that being said, we are not going beyond 375˚ Farenheidt, while frying our potatoes. If you absolutely can’t wait for the duck fat to come in the mail, then you can always make the fries with coconut oil ( at 350˚ temperature) or avocado oil (375˚ temperature). We highly recommend you wait for the duck fat to arrive in the mail or find it in your local gourmet market… Alright, that’s enough chatting. Let’s cook!!!

 

Perfectly Roasted Chicken (Ingredients):

  • 1 whole chicken (organic/ free-range)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Mix these three ingredients together to make a spice rub:
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

Method:

  1. Start off by preheating your oven to 400˚. While the oven is heating, prep your chicken by splitting the chicken in half. You’ll want to start by cutting the remainder of the neck off by making a diagonal cut starting at the base of the neck on both sides. In essence, making a “V” with the cuts. Once you’ve removed the neck, use a kitchen knife to evenly cut the remainder of the chicken in half, forcing the breast bone to break and split in two. Take a deep roasting pan and lay the chicken flat on its carcass with the skin facing up. You are ready to season.
  2. You want to start off by pouring the olive oil on the chicken and evenly coating the chicken with your hands. Then proceed to sprinkle the chicken with salt, pepper, and garlic powder mixture. Make sure to evenly season the chicken on all sides. Cover the roasting pan with aluminum foil and place in the oven for 35 minutes.
  3. Once the 35 minutes has passed, carefully take the roasting pan out of the oven and place on the stovetop, where you can work with it. Make sure to keep the oven on! Carefully remove the foil from the roasting pan and discard. Carefully tilt the roasting pan to one side to allow all the chicken fat/stock to accumulate to one side. Grab a large serving spoon and begin to baste the chicken. Pour over the juices from the bottom of the pan all over the chicken several times and place back in the oven for 20 minutes. Once the 20 minutes has lapsed, you will repeat the process again of basting. This is SUPER important to giving the chicken its awesome flavor. After the second basting, your chicken should be nice and brown on the top. Depending on the size of your chicken, you may need to baste a third time and place in the oven for another 20 minutes. 
  4. Once the chicken reads and internal temperature of 165˚ you are ready to dig in… But make sure to let it cool down a little first.

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Duck Fat Fries (Ingredients):

  • 1/2 cup of duck fat (or enough to be 2-3 inches deep inside saucepan)
  • 8-10 russet potatoes
  • salt

Method:

  1. Roughly peel the potatoes or if you prefer to keep the skin on, make sure to scrub them thoroughly to remove any dirt. Slice the potatoes into 1/2 inch sticks and place into a large bowl of ice cold water. By placing the potatoes in water, you will remove the majority of the starch. Allow the potatoes to soak in water for at least 30 minutes. After 30 minutes remove potatoes from water and spread out over paper towels to dry.
  2. Heat duck fat in a deep sauce pan on medium-high heat or wherever you need to set your stove to be at a 350˚ temperature. Once the fat is heated at the appropriate temperature you are ready to FRY! Begin to carefully place the fries into the duck fat. Don’t put too many potatoes in the saucepan as you want the potatoes to be covered by the duck fat. You will be making this in batches, which works out since the chicken will be in the oven throughout this process. Allow the potatoes to fry for 9 minutes. 
  3. Remove fries from sauce pan with a deep fryer spoon or a slotted spoon and place on a baking sheet lined with paper towel and season with salt to taste. Repeat the process. 

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I recommend you open a nice bottle of French Bordeaux or Pinot Noir or whatever beverage you prefer to accompany this simple yet delicious meal… Buon apetito!

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casear for your salad

This is pretty much everyone’s favorite dish that Chris makes- the caesar salad.  “This is the best caesar salad I’ve ever eaten” said our friend on Sunday night when we had them over for pizza and salad. It was a “cheat weekend” for us, so don’t judge us for falling off the Paleo/Primal wagon. Chris didn’t make the pizza from scratch this time, but that will be in a post soon for the Non-Paleo in us all!  This salad can be a meal in and of itself, with the creamy and cheesy dressing that lavishly coats each piece of romaine lettuce. However, this salad makes a great side dish with a nice juicy steak or a perfect plate of pasta, among many of your other favorites.

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To create this recipe, you need the following tools and ingredients:

  • Large mixing bowl (for salad)
  • Small mixing bowl (for dressing)
  • Pestle & Mortar
  • Whisk / Fork
  • Salad spoons

For the salad:

  • 3 Heads of Romaine Lettuce
  • 1 cup of grated parmesan cheese

For the dressing:

  • 4 Garlic cloves (whole)
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 anchovy filet
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon mustard powder
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil

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Method:

  1. Take the three heads of romaine lettuce and thoroughly rinse with cold water. Allow water to drain from lettuce before cutting into 1 inch pieces and placing in the large mixing bowl. Place bowl in refrigerator until your ready to mix the salad.
  2. Start with partially cooking the egg. Place the egg in a small saucepan on medium-high heat until the water begins to boil. Watch it carefully, as this step is time-sensitive. Once the water begins to boil, allow the egg to boil for 2 minutes and immediately run the egg under cold water to stop the cooking process. Drain water and set aside.
  3. Place garlic gloves, salt, pepper, mustard, and anchovy filet in mortar. Slowly begin to smash the ingredients with the pestle. Take your time or else this will get messy quick. Smash until a paste is made and the ingredients are well combined.
  4. In the small mixing bowl combine red wine vinegar, worcestershire sauce, garlic paste from Step 2, and squeeze juice from lemon. Take the partially-cooked egg and carefully crack it open to separate the egg yolk. Add ONLY the egg yolk into the mixing bowl. Now you can whisk the ingredients together as you slowly pour in olive oil. The dressing is ready!
  5. Now we’re ready to put it all together… Mix in the dressing with romaine lettuce until lettuce is evenly coated. At this point your ready to pour the cheese in and continue to mix the salad A LOT. Just when you think it’s all mixed and ready to eat… mix it some more!! The final touch is cracking some fresh pepper and BUON APETITO!

This recipe serves 4 to 6 people.

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First Post

Hi all, this blog was created by us (Chris and Steph) to support food lovers with home recipes, food advice, and life’s simple pleasures. Chris is a third generation chef and the chef de cuisine at home. He grew up learning to cook at an early age in his grandparents Italian restaurant in Miami and also under his fathers tutelage at home. We work full time jobs with pretty busy schedules, but in the midst of it, we believe in living a healthy lifestyle by working out and eating good.

Chris is a meat lover, whose mouth waters at the very thought of a juicy steak, while I am a pescatarian- a vegetarian, who eats fish and seafood. I guess opposites do attract? We both follow a primal/paleo style diet which consists of various animal proteins, fruits, vegetables, nuts, and some legumes. We look forward to sharing with you our scrumptious meals. They are healthy, but we will never compromise taste. We hope you enjoy the recipe ideas and our take on different foods and ingredients.

Love,

Chris and Steph

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