Monday, March 12, 2012

Roast it!

As part of my "journey to healthy living", I promised myself to use less oil (if I can help it), cook viands that was less creamy, and always include vegetables on my menu.  My family has always been excited about what they would have for lunch and dinner. My kids, most especially, would ask me what I was preparing whenever they see me in the kitchen. Often I'd get "wow!" and "oohs and aaahs" when am finally done cooking! :) One of the dish they love so much is Roasted chicken which I often pair with baked potatoes. This is such a versatile dish, I'll tell you in a while. Let me begin with this simple recipe.

For this dish, you'll need the following:

Roast Chicken
1 whole chicken (we normally use only half a chicken on regular days) 
   *half a chicken is good for 2 adults and 3 kids :)
Salt to taste
Ground pepper

No offense to chicken advocates but we jokingly
 call this Chicken Bukangkang 
Just rub salt and ground pepper all over the chicken, and roast it in the oven for about 45 mins or until golden brown. (Refer to the picture on how the chicken should look like before putting it inside the oven). Such cut is to ensure that the insides are cooked evenly. I watched an episode in Aarti Party once where I saw Aarti rub the inside of the skin (that space between the skin and chicken flesh) with butter. She mentioned that this will not only make the skin crisp but will add more flavor. However, this is something that I don't do. You'll notice how much better tasting food is when simply cooked. Besides, chicken skin itself is so saturated in fat, you would not want more oil targetting your heart, right?

I mentioned earlier how versatile this recipe is...why? Because just rub it with Rosemary Leaves and you'd have Rosemary Chicken. You can also use lemon grass which I normally put inside the chicken cavity, this will give it a "lemony" flavor or you can use a whole lemon. Just pierce the lemon skin all over with fork and place inside the chicken cavity, then proceed as normal. :)

Now for the baked potatoes. You'll need large ones :)

Baked Potatoes
3-4 large potatoes cut in half
salt and pepper to taste
cummin or rosemary
2 tbsp butter or olive oil
1/4 cup milk

1. Wash the potatoes thoroughly, leave the skin on. 
2. Scoop out the center of each potato halves with a spoon (this will leave the potato halves with pockets) and place the "scooped out potatoes" in a bowl. Set aside.
3. Rub the potato halves with salt and pepper and roast in the oven until golden brown.
4. While roasting the potato halves, boil the potato scoops that you've taken out and simmer in 1/4 cup of milk under low fire until done. Mashed the potatoes and season with a little salt and pepper (just a little as your potato halves are already salty). 
5. Once the potato halves are roasted, put the mashed potatoes inside the "pocket" of the baked ones. You can top this with cheddar, mozzarella or cottage cheese. and bake for about 2 more minutes.

For your veggies, you can prepare steamed vegetables or fresh green salad with balsamic or vinaigrette dressing. 

Now this is my plate :) Bon Apetit!

Buon Apetito!

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