A good meal should have one simple classic dish and one complex highly flavored one. The new York Times Food section delivered this yesterday in two recipes from two of their star writers. Melissa Clark gives us hints and instructions on how to create the perfect roast chicken while David Tanis has a great recipe for Moroccan herbed jelly. Bring them together for a dinner party for a widely varied meal, full of flavors and textures.
Novice home chefs would do well by reading A Good Appetite in yesterday's New York Times' food section.Melissa Clark show how to easily roast a chicken. It starts with a trip to your local supermarket or butcher's shop and try to get the best, usually a free range , antibiotic bird is the best choice. Once you bring it home, then salt it.It should b brined about a day before the actual roasting. Also leave it uncovered in the fridge so the skin can dry out a it Doing this gives the finished roast a nce golden, burnished look.For flavoring, salt and pepper = that goes without saying - but also herbs. Try the "twiggy" ones like rosemary, bay leaves and thyme. These will release less moisture than other herbs.If you prefer a lemony flavor , then use curls of lemon rind as opposed to lemon wedges.You can truss or tie up the legs if you want but it really doesn't male a difference. Ms. Clark recommends using a sauce such as chimichurri or Béarnaise, but personally I'd go with just the plain chicken. A roast chicken is flavorful on it's own.
You could make David Tanis. herbed Moroccan jam to go with the roast. The recipe was taken from Paula Wolfert's 1973 cookbook, "Couscous And Other Good Food From Morocco."It's not a jam in the traditional sense, it refers to the slow cooking down of ingredients. It's a favorite dish of acclaimed chef Russell, Moore of Camino Restaurant in Oakland, California and he has put it in his newly released cookbook "This Is Camino" He has tweaked the recipe so that instead of using foraged greens it uses the more domesticated ones such as lettuce along with parsley and carrots. Kale and broccoli rabe are also added along with celery tops and cilantro. Spice and heat come in the form of cumin and hot chiles.The jam method begins with first steaming the greens, completely drying them out and then cooking the down in pepper infused olive oil.The process only takes ten to fifteen minutes and then you can be served. Finish with a squeeze of fresh lemon. Mr. Tanis recommends serving it with pita but if you want try it as a sauce with Ms. Clark's roast chicken if you want.
Try Melissa Clark's roasted chicken recipe for an elegant dish. Serve it or have it follow Dave Tanis' exotic herbed jelly .They're a perfect blend of simple and complex, great for dinner or even supper.