Dinners

Recipe—Herb Roasted Chicken

I would say 95% of the time when I am cooking chicken I am working solely with the breast. Boneless skinless breasts seem to be the quickest and easiest to work with, but you pay a little bit more for the convenience factor. However, there isn’t really anything special or fancy about a plain chicken breast. On occasion I really do enjoy cooking a whole chicken. It just seems much more impressive to roast the whole thing. While the ingredients are incredibly simple in this recipe, it is the most fabulous and flavorful chicken you will ever have. I’m not one to typically sit there and eat the skin off a chicken but when I am carving up this chicken I can’t stop eating it once I start. The skin has just the perfect amount of crispiness and more flavor than you can imagine. You are lucky if there is any skin left on your piece of chicken by the time it makes it to the table. It is that good! Once you make this recipe you will understand. I guarantee this will be the best roasted chicken you will ever have.

Note: The most complicated part of this recipe is brining the chicken, which really isn’t complicated at all, people just think it is. If you aren’t familiar with brining I will bring you up to speed. Brining a chicken is when you soak it in salt water for a good amount of time. Giving it this “salt bath” ensures your chicken will be moist and juicy and it also allows the salt to soak into the meat, which really enhances the chicken’s natural flavors. I personally feel it makes a huge difference in the taste. In my opinion, brining is the difference between a good chicken, and a great chicken.

INGREDIENTS
3–4 lb chicken
1/2 c kosher salt
2 tbsp butter, melted
2 tsp garlic, minced
1 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp dried sage
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper

STEPS

  • Remove the neck and giblets from the chicken and place it in a large pot.
  • Pour the kosher salt over the chicken and fill the pot with water until it is submerged.
  • Cover the pot with the lid and place in the fridge for 4–8 hours.
  • Remove the chicken from the pot, rinse with cold water, and pat dry.
  • Place the chicken on a rack in a shallow roasting pan breast side down. (If you do not have a rack just place it in a large baking dish.)
  • Preheat the oven to 375º.
  • Combine the melted butter and garlic in a small bowl.
  • Combine the basil, sage, thyme, salt, and pepper in a second small bowl.
  • Use a basting brush or your hands to lather the chicken in half of the garlic butter.
  • Sprinkle half of the herb mixture over the chicken.
  • Flip the chicken over so that it is now breast side up.
  • Repeat with remaining butter and herb mixture.
  • Roast the chicken uncovered for 1.5–1.75 hours or until cooked through. (I like to baste mine every 20–30 minutes.)
  • Allow the chicken to sit for 5–10 minutes and then transfer to a cutting board to be carved.
Dinners

Recipe—Buttery Lemon Dill Salmon

A couple times a year I like to complete an 11-day cleanse. It is just a way to flush out all these impurities and reset my digestive system. The weight loss is a huge perk too (Down 8 lbs! Wahoo!). For some reason during this last round I was craving salmon! And I mean REALLY craving it, like every day! I was daydreaming about a big slab of salmon covered in butter, lemon, and dill. I knew that would be one of the first dinners I would prepare for myself once I was done with the cleanse. This recipe did not disappoint. The fish was super moist and all the flavors and buttery goodness really seeped into the meat. I was shocked when even my 3-year old son devoured a huge chunk of the tasty fish. This recipe for oven baked salmon is ridiculously easy to make and super quick to get on the table. It also makes for a beautiful presentation. This may just be on the menu at my next dinner party.

INGREDIENTS
1 salmon filet (1 1/2–2 lbs)
2 tbsp butter, softened
1/4 c white wine
2 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp lemon pepper
1/2 tsp dried dill
lemon slices (optional)

STEPS

  • Preheat oven to 425º.
  • Pat the salmon dry and place it in a greased baking dish.
  • Rub the butter all over the fish.
  • Combine the wine and lemon juice in a small bowl and stir.
  • Pour the liquid over the fish.
  • Sprinkle the salt, lemon pepper, and dill over the fish.
  • If you are using the lemon slices place over the top of the fish.
  • Bake the fish for 20–25 minutes or until the fish flakes off easily with a fork.