Basic Vinaigrette

Now that you know how to make a basic roast chicken, if you can make a basic salad dressing from oil and vinegar, you’ll be set.

The main thing to remember is the proportion: 2 parts of oil to 1 part of vinegar.

Use any kind of oil you like: a good olive oil if you want to be fancy or a cheaper vegetable oil if that’s all you have.

The same with the vinegar: anything you like, from good balsamic to Heinz white vinegar.

Shake it up in a jar with any seasonings you like: a dollop of dijon mustard, a minced clove of garlic, a little grated ginger . . . the sky is the limit!

Food Network Magazine Review

Hi.  I’m here to tell you all about the cool stuff in my new issue of Food Network Magazine that just came this weekend.

There’s an article about how to make homemade Pop Tarts that I can’t wait to try.

There was also a feature explaining what items were the biggest bargain at those salad bars where you pay by the pound. It’s actually cheaper to get things like grilled chicken and blue cheese that way. But watch out for garbanzo beans and cucumbers. You pay a big premium for those.

If you are over 18 you can also enter a “Design Your Own Food Truck” contest sponsored by Food Network. My mom entered a truck called “Let’s Get Rollin'” that would serve all kinds of international variations on Chinese egg rolls. (She got that idea from my brother, back when he was thinking about different jobs he might want. He decided to join the circus though instead. If she wins she will have to split the prize with him.)

What cooking magazines do you guys read?

That Leftover Chicken

How about a pot pie?

Just get all the meat off the bones–careful not to include any fat or gristle.

Combine it in a bowl with your favorite cooked vegetables–peas and carrots are good!

Now for the super handy shortcuts that will have dinner on the table in no time. Add a jar of prepared gravy and place in an oven-proof dish. Top with refrigerated biscuits (the kind in a tube, like Pillsbury0 and bake the whole thing in a 350 degree oven until it’s heated throughout and the biscuits are golden brown. (They’ll be a little moist, like a dumpling, on the bottom.)

It’s that easy!

My Famous Roast Chicken

 

I turned 10 last year and my mother decided I better learn to make  at least a few basic but satisfying meals so that I would always be able to feed myself, family, and friends.

It doesn’t get more basic than a nice roast chicken. Here’s how I make mine.

*Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

*Get a 2 to 3 pound chicken. Pick a high-quality one. Organic or kosher is good!

*Reach in and take the giblets out. (They’re usually wrapped up, but it’s still no fun. It has to be done though. You don’t want to leave them in by mistake!) Wash the chicken well and pat it dry. Pull out any little pin feathers. You might need tweezers for that.

*Cut either a lemon or orange in half and put it inside the chicken. (Squeeze it a little to make it fit and release some flavor.) If you have a few cloves of garlic and some fresh herbs (thyme is good!), put them in too.

*Rub the chicken all over with a little oil. Sprinkle on your favorite powdered seasoning. Paprika is pretty!

*Place a rack in the bottom of the roasting pan and put your chicken on that.

*Roast for about 1 1/2 hours. Keep checking. The chicken is done when it’s a beautiful golden color and the juices are clear instead of pink.

If you make a nice tossed salad with this, you have a great meal, fit even for company!

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So–tell me, what are some of your favorite seasonings to go with chicken?

What do you do with your leftover roast chicken? I like to make a pot pie, but that’s a whole other post!