Roasted Chicken and veggies with lemon asparagus sauce

Annie made this absolutely delicious meal with less than an hour of prep. She took a whole chicken and rubbed it with kosher salt and let it sit in the fridge for about 6 hours. Ground some pepper and sprinkled a little sugar on the skin before putting it in the oven. Roasted at 450*F for 30 minutes breast-side down, then flipped and roast for another 20 minutes.

The sauce started with sauteeing chopped garlic and artichoke hearts in olive oil. Then added a mixture of chicken stock, lemon juice, and vermouth. Added defatted pan drippings from the chicken. Simmered to reduce.

Cut up some carrots, broccoli, and cauliflower, then tossed with some olive oil, salt, fresh cracked black pepper, and Italian seasoning. Spread out on a foiled baking sheet and roasted with the chicken for the last 20 minutes. Boiled some russet potatoes until fork tender and then drained, then mashed with salt, white pepper, heavy cream and granulated garlic.

The chicken skin was nice and crispy from the sugar. The meat (including the breast) was juicy and tasty all the way through. Definite do-over!

Chicken and sauce recipes were from Fine Cooking Magazine, February/March 2005 issue. Veggies were simply hantam.

Aloha, Nate

Turkey Soup

We usually make turkey jook with the carcass from the bird but this time I decided to do something more Western in application.

Boiled the carcass, leg bones and wings in 8 cups of water for 2 hours with 1-1/2 onions, 1 large carrot, and 4 ribs of celery, chopped, along with a half tablespoon of whole black peppercorns and a couple of bay leaves. Removed the bones and skimmed the fat off the broth.

Stripped the meat off the bones and returned to the pot. Added a couple of cups of sliced mushrooms. Season with salt, ground pepper, Italian seasoning, ground sage, and a teaspoon of soy sauce. Added some alphabet pasta at the end for the kids, but found that the soup also works well with mashed potatoes at the bottom of the bowl.

I wanted a larger noodle, like bowtie pasta. Still, it tasted pretty good. I like that everything was from scratch.

Aloha, Nate

Green Bean Casserole

This is a much maligned dish which is often served but hardly touched at a lot of Thanksgiving meals. The classic recipe calls for canned or frozen beans, cans of cream of mushroom soup, and a can of fried onions. Ugh. No wonder no one wants to eat it.

I felt challenged to make a green bean casserole that people would actually want to eat. USA Today had a recipe adopted from America’s Test Kitchen:

Green Bean Casserole

Serves 10 to 12


4 slices white sandwich bread, each slice torn into quarters
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1/4 teaspoon table salt
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
3 cups canned fried onions (about 6 ounces)

Beans and sauce:

Table salt
2 pounds green beans, ends trimmed, and halved
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 pound white button mushrooms, stems trimmed, wiped clean, and broken into 1/2-inch pieces
3 medium garlic cloves, minced or pressed through garlic press (about 1 tablespoon)
Ground black pepper
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 1/2 cups heavy cream

1. For the topping: Pulse bread, butter, salt and pepper in food processor until mixture resembles coarse crumbs, about 10 one-second pulses. Transfer to large bowl and toss with onions; set aside.

2. For the beans and sauce: Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 425 degrees. Fill large bowl with ice water. Bring 4 quarts water to boil in large Dutch oven. Add 2 tablespoons salt and beans. Cook beans until bright green and crisp-tender, about 6 minutes.

Drain beans in colander and plunge immediately into ice water to stop cooking. Spread beans on paper-towel-lined baking sheet to drain.

3. Add butter to now-empty Dutch oven and melt over medium-high heat until foaming subsides. Add mushrooms, garlic, 3/4 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper; cook until mushrooms release moisture and liquid evaporates, about 6 minutes. Add flour and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Stir in broth and bring to simmer, stirring constantly. Add cream, reduce heat to medium and simmer until sauce is thickened and reduced to 3 1/2 cups, about 12 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

4. Add green beans to sauce and stir until evenly coated. Arrange in even layer in 3-quart (or 13-by-9-inch) baking dish. Sprinkle with topping and bake until top is golden brown and sauce is bubbling around edges, about 15 minutes. Serve immediately.

Instead of fried onions, I took a cue from Tyler Florence’s Food 911 recipe and added grated Parmesan, thyme, and rosemary to the breadcrumbs. I also used half white and half crimini mushrooms.

In this photo, about 1/3 of the casserole is left, with most of the guests having seconds and thirds. I’d call that a success!

I think the beans can be blanched for less time to keep them crispy. Next time I want to see if I can cut the fat by using half and half instead of full cream, using gravy in the sauce, add some chopped turkey to the beans, topping the beans with stuffing before adding the breadcrumbs. Of course, this means that the casserole comes after Turkey Day…

Aloha, Nate

Turkey Hash on Fried Stuffing

Decided to do something a little different than the regular microwaved Thanksgiving leftovers for lunch.

I heated up some turkey shmaltz in a pan and added about 1-1/2 cups of stuffing (sausage, bacon and chestnut with homemade croutons) and fried that up for a few minutes until heated through. Laid that down on the plate.

I diced some turkey and fried that up in more shmaltz until the turkey had some nice browning on the edges. Laid that on top of the stuffing.

Finally, I spooned some reheated giblet gravy on top of the whole pile.

Came out pretty good. For the second helping, I added a beaten egg to the stuffing to see if it would hold together better (I had in mind a kind of “French toast” concept). Ehh. Don’t think I needed to do that.

Aloha, Nate

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My Photo Annie is mistress of the kitchen while Nate is the master of the grill and smoker. We cook the homestyle Asian and Hawaiian foods of our younger days while also exploring the wider worlds of Western foods.

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