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Quiche is, as Thomas Keller called it, “the sexiest pie.” Photo by Donna Turner Ruhlman. I’ve been in LA on an entertainment project and to see the opening of my friend and collaborator Richard LaGravenese ‘s new movie Beautiful Creatures . I’d never been to an opening before. But quiche has been on my mind, so I’ve been using travel time to work on some variations of this infinitely variable fat custard tart. If I had time I’d head to Bouchon in Beverly Hills , which makes perfect quiche. Bouchon, and working on that book , is where I learned that, while America was taught to make quiche in premade pie shells, this deprives the quiche of its true greatness: depth. In order to achieve that voluptuous texture, it has be about two inches thick. For this, you need to have a ring. When I told this to my partner in tools, Mac Dalton , he said, I can make that! I said great. And so we did. The recipe here is for my favorite quiche, simply bacon and onion enriched with delicious cheese. I made it for Kai Ryssdal when he interviewed me about my book Ratio . Because I found myself writing about quiche on the CLE-to-LAX flight, I thought I’d post on it here, this simple but extraordinary creation, what Thomas Keller described as “the sexiest pie.” I couldn’t agree more. Trimming the crust off the quiche ring. Quiche Lorraine For the crust: 12 ounces flour 8 ounces butter (or lard, shortening, or any combination thereof), cut into small pieces, cold or even frozen 2 to 4 ounces ice water (quantity depends on the fat—whole butter has water in it so you need only a couple ounces; shortening and lard do not contain water) three-finger pinch of salt (about 1/2 teaspoon) For the quiche: 2 large Spanish onions, thinly sliced canola oil as needed 1 3-2-1 savory pie dough (see recipe above) 1 pound slab bacon cut into 1/4-inch lardons* 2 cups milk 1 cup cream 6 eggs 2 teaspoons kosher salt 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper nutmeg to taste (about 5 gratings) 1/2 cup grated Comté or Emmentaler cheese To make the crust: Combine the flour and fat in a mixing bowl and rub the fat between your fingers until you have small beads of fat and plenty of pea-sized chunks. (If you’re making a bigger batch, this can be done in a standing mixer with a paddle attachment, but remember not to paddle too much after you add the water, just enough so that it comes together.) Add the ice water gradually and a good pinch of salt, and mix gently, just until combined—if you work the dough too hard it will become tough. Shape into two equal discs and refrigerate for 15 minutes or until ready to roll. To make the quiche: Sauté the onions over medium heat in a few tablespoons of canola oil. You might cover them for the first 15 minutes to get them steaming and releasing their moisture, then uncover, reduce the heat to medium low, and continue cooking them until they are cooked down but not overly brown, 45 minutes to 1 hour. Set them aside when they’re finished. Preheat your oven to 350°F/177°C. Roll out the dough to a thickness of about 1/4 inch. Place a 2-x-9-inch ring mold or a 9-inch cake pan on a baking sheet (line the baking sheet with parchment if you’re using a ring mold; if you’re using a cake pan, line its bottom with parchment). Lightly oil the inside of your ring mold. Lay the dough into the mold—there should be plenty of dough overhanging the edges to help it maintain its shape. Reserve a small piece of dough to fill any cracks that might open in the dough as it bakes. Line the dough with parchment or foil and fill it with dried beans or pie weights so that the crust bakes flat. After a half hour, remove the weights and parchment or foil. Gently patch any cracks that may have formed with the reserved dough, and continue baking until the bottom of the crust is golden and cooked, about 15 more minutes. Remove it from the oven and patch any cracks that may have opened; this is especially important if you’re using a ring mold, or the batter will leak out. The shell should be anywhere between cold and warm when you add the batter, not piping hot from the oven. Reduce the oven temperature to 325°F/163°C. Sauté the bacon gently until it’s cooked as you like it (crisp on the outside, tender on the inside is best!). Drain the bacon and combine it with the onions. In a six- or eight-cup liquid measuring cup, combine the milk, cream, eggs, salt, pepper, and nutmeg and, using a hand blender, blend until frothy. This can be done in a standing blender as well (though depending on the size of your blender, you may need to do it in batches). Or you could even mix the batter in a large bowl using a whisk—beat the eggs first, then add the rest of the ingredients. The idea is to add the ingredients in two layers, using the froth to help keep the ingredients suspended. Layer half of the onion-bacon mixture into the shell. Pour half of the frothy custard over the mixture. Sprinkle with half of the cheese. Layer with the remaining onion-bacon mixture. Refroth the batter and pour the rest into the shell. Sprinkle the remaining cheese over the top. You may want to put the tray with the quiche shell into the oven and pour the remaining batter into it there so that you can get every bit of batter into the shell. You can even let it overflow to make sure it’s up to the very top. Bake for about an hour and a half, or until the center is just set (it may take as long as two hours, but don’t overcook it—there should still be some jiggle in the center). Allow the quiche to cool, then refrigerate it until it’s completely chilled, at least 8 hours or up to 3 days. Using a sharp knife, cut the top of the crust off along the rim. Slide the knife along the edge of the ring mold or cake pan to remove the quiche. Slice and serve cold or, to serve hot, slice and reheat for 10 minutes in a 375°F/190°C oven on lightly oiled parchment or foil. * Lardons are batons of bacon and can be as thick as 1/2-inch square. Smaller lardons are best here, but a pound of thick-cut bacon sliced into strips is also acceptable. This is the quiche “money shot”. Other links you may like: My post on making your own English Muffins . Learn about the history of quiche lorraine. Another great treat: try baking your own cinnamon bread . © 2013 Michael Ruhlman. Photo © 2013 Donna Turner Ruhlman. All rights reserved .


Tweet #pin-wrapper > a {background-image:none !important;} From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite... I bought lamb chops for our holiday dinner, but because I was unsure of the number I'd be feeding, I ended up with more chops than guests at the table. I decided to grill the remainder of the chops tonight. Those we had for the holiday were delicious and I wanted to serve these with something that would compliment, rather than overpower, their marvelous flavor. I decided to make an endive and watercress salad and a very cheesy orzo pilaf. I can attribute the salad to Thomas Keller, but identifying the parentage of the orzo is next to impossible. Rachael Ray did a version of this recipe at least five years ago and since that time it has appeared in various guises on numerous cooking sites. I lack the wisdom of Solomon and have no easy test to establish paternity, so I'm just going to move along and pretend the orzo is a new version of rice pilaf. It is very easy to do and can be on the table in 15 minutes. Chances are you have all the ingredients you need to make this in your pantry, and, if not, they can all be found in any large grocery store. It is a perfect dish to serve with grilled meat or poultry and I know you'll enjoy it. Here's the recipe. Cheesy Orzo Pilaf ...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite Ingredients: 3 cups low-sodium chicken broth 3/4 pound orzo 5 minced garlic cloves 1 cup grated Parmesan-Reggiano cheese 2 tablespoons finely minced parsley salt to taste freshly ground pepper to taste Directions: 1) Bring broth to a boil in a large heavy saucepan. Add orzo and garlic and reduce heat to medium high. Simmer, uncovered, for about 7-8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the pasta is tender, and broth is nearly absorbed. 2) Turn heat off, but leave the pan on stove. Add cheese and parsley and mix well. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve warm. Yield: 6 servings. You might also enjoy these recipes: Yangzhou Fried Rice - One Perfect Bite Warm Asian-Style Rice Salad - One Perfect Bite Sticky Rice - One Perfect Bite


Given the number of scone recipes on this blog, you might be fooled into thinking I'm a huge fan. Not true. Don't get me wrong, I like scones, but if you put out a spread of breakfast pastries before me, scones probably wouldn't be a top three selection. That is, unless these cinnamon honey scones were somewhere on that table. I try to refrain from the hyperbole of labeling recipes the "best ever" but sometimes it just can't be helped and such is the case with these scones. Hands down my favorite scones of all time, no doubt about it! The recipe comes from Thomas Keller's Bouchon Bakery , and though I've had the book since Christmas and even flipped through it a few times, I'd never noticed these scones. Luckily Josie put them on my radar a few months ago and I resolved to make them asap. So, what makes these scones so awesome? Butter, and lots of it, of course :) A cinnamon honey butter is made and then cut into tiny cubes which are incorporated into the dough like any other mix-in (think chocolate chips). It's a genius idea, I want to add tiny butter cubes as mix-ins in all my recipes going forward! They give the scones so much flavor, as well as a really neat marbled appearance. Texturally, the scones are impossibly light and tender, thanks to the inclusion of cake flour in the recipe. And in case they weren't already rich enough on their own, the scones are brushed with a honey butter glaze when they emerge from the oven. They're an occasional indulgence for sure, but worth every single calorie! These cinnamon honey scones would be a perfect weekend project. Though they're easy to make, there are quite a few steps and several require hours of chill time. But once they're assembled you can leave them in the freezer for up to a month, allowing you to pull out and bake a few scones at a time as needed. That's my kind of weekend breakfast! One quick note: this recipe calls for creme fraiche, an ingredient I rarely buy or use but I do recommend splurging for it here. That said, I know there's nothing worse than a half-empty container of creme fraiche sitting in the back of your fridge, so I found another recipe to help you use it up. I'll be sharing it with you next week! Cinnamon Honey Scones just barely adapted from Bouchon Bakery by Thomas Keller and Sebastien Rouxel (originally seen on Pink Parsley ) {Note: The recipes in this book are given in both weight and volume measurements. I made the scones using the weight measurements and would urge you to do the same for the best results.} Cinnamon Honey Cubes 30 g (3 tablespoons) all-purpose flour 30 g (2 1/2 tablespoons) sugar 4 g (1 1/2 teaspoons) ground cinnamon 30 g (about 2 tablespoons) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch pieces 20 g (1 tablespoon) honey Scones 152 g (1 cup + 1 1/2 tablespoons) all-purpose flour 304 g (2 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons) cake flour 12.5 g (2 1/2 teaspoons) baking powder 2.5 g (1/2 teaspoons) baking soda 91 g (1/4 cup + 3 1/2 tablespoons) sugar 227 g (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch pieces 135 g (1/2 cup + 1 1/2 tablespoons) heavy cream 135 g (1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons) creme fraiche Honey Butter Glaze 2 oz (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted 20 g (1 tablespoon) honey To make the cinnamon honey cubes: Add the flour, sugar, and cinnamon to a medium bowl and whisk to combine. Add the butter and toss until the pieces are coated in the dry ingredients. Use a pastry cutter to cut the butter into the dry ingredients until no large visible pieces of butter remain. Stir in the honey with a rubber spatula until the mixture forms a smooth paste. Turn the paste out onto a piece of plastic wrap and shape into a 4-inch square. Wrap the mixture and freeze for at least 2 hours (or up to 1 week). To make the scones: Sift both flours, the baking powder, baking soda, and sugar into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on low speed briefly, just until combined. Add the butter pieces, and mix on low speed until no large visible pieces remain, about 3 minutes. With the mixer on low, gradually pour in the heavy cream, then add the creme fraiche, and continue mixing for about 30 seconds, or until the dry ingredients are evenly moistened. A rough dough should form around the paddle. Remove the cinnamon honey butter from the freezer and cut into 1/4-inch pieces. Add them to the bowl with the dough and use a spoon to incorporate them by hand (it's fine if they start to break up a bit). Turn the dough onto a large piece of plastic wrap and press it together to form a cohesive mass. Place a second piece of plastic wrap on top, and shape the dough into a 7 1/2 by 10-inch rectangle, smoothing the top and sides the best you can (if the dough becomes soft and difficult to work with, just pop it in the fridge for a few minutes). Wrap the dough in the plastic wrap, and refrigerate for about 2 hours, or until firm. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and using a sharp knife, cut it lengthwise into thirds and crosswise into quarters so you end up with 12 equally sized scones. Transfer them to the prepared baking sheet, leaving 1/2 to 1-inch of space between them. Cover the baking sheet with plastic wrap and freeze the scones until they are frozen solid - at least 2 hours, but even better if you can leave them in there overnight (the scones can be frozen for up to 1 month at this point). Preheat oven to 350 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Transfer the scones you want to bake from the freezer to the prepared baking sheet, leaving about 1 inch of space between them. Bake for about 28-30 minutes, or until the scones are golden brown and slightly firm. Meanwhile, make the glaze by whisking the butter and honey together until combined. When you remove the scones from the oven, immediately brush the tops with the glaze. The scones are best the day you make them, but can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for 1 day. Makes 12 large scones


Last week I had a sudden urge to eat banana cake, but it was a busy Sunday and I would not have enough time to make the cake and then wait for it to cool. Stephanie Alexander's muffins, topped with Thomas Keller's streusel, turned out to be a delicious and very fast alternative to my cake cravings, and they turned out so tender I had to be super careful removing them from the pan, even with the paper liners. For a little more color and caramel flavor, brown sugar might be used to replace half the granulated sugar in the batter. Banana poppy seed muffins with almond streusel topping adapted from two wonderful sources: The Cook's Companion and Bouchon Bakery Streusel topping: 60g all purpose flour 60g almond meal 60g granulated sugar pinch of salt 3 tablespoons (42g) unsalted butter, cold and diced handful of sliced almonds Muffins: 1 ½ cups (210g) all purpose flour 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder pinch of salt 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon ½ cup (100g) granulated sugar 3 tablespoons poppy seeds 150ml canola oil ¾ cup (180ml) whole milk 1 large egg 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 2 large bananas, mashed with a fork Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F. Line a 12-cup muffin pan (1/3 cup each cavity) with paper liners. Streusel: in a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, almond meal, sugar and salt. Add the butter and rub with your fingers until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in the sliced almonds. Refrigerate it while you make the muffin batter. Muffins: in a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Whisk in the sugar and poppy seeds. In a small bowl, mix the oil, milk, egg, vanilla and bananas until combined. Pour over the dry ingredients and stir with a fork just until combined – don’t overmix. Transfer batter to the pan and pack the streusel on top. Bake for about 20 minutes or until risen and a toothpick inserted in the center of the muffins comes out clean. Cool in the pan over a wire rack for 10 minutes, then carefully unmold (they’re very tender) and transfer to the rack. Makes 12


2 -3 lbs free-range chicken kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper 2 teaspoons minced thyme unsalted butter Dijon mustard 1 Preheat oven to 450 degrees. 2 Rinse chicken in cold water, then dry very well with paper towels, inside and out. The less it steams, the drier the heat, the better. 3 Salt and pepper cavity, then truss bird with kitchen twine to help it cook more evenly. (See Note.). 4 Now, salt chicken -- I like to rain salt over the bird so it has a nice uniform coating that will result in crisp, salty, flavorful skin (about 1 tablespoon). When it's cooked, you should still be able to make out salt baked onto the crisp skin. 5 Season to taste with pepper. 6 Place chicken in sauté pan or roasting pan and, when oven is up to temperature, put chicken in oven. I leave it alone -- I don't baste it. I don't add butter. You can if you wish, but I think this creates steam, which I don't want. 7 Roast it until it's done (165 degrees in the thickest part of the thigh), 50 to 60 minutes. 8 Remove from oven and add thyme to pan. Baste chicken with juices and thyme and let it sit for 15 minutes on cutting board. 9 Remove twine. Discard wing tip. Separate middle wing joint and eat that immediately. Remove legs and thighs. 10 I like to take off the backbone and eat one of the oysters, the two succulent morsels of meat embedded there, and give the other to the person I'm cooking with. But I take the chicken butt for myself. I could never understand why my brothers always fought over that triangular tip -- until one day I got the crispy, juicy fat myself. These are the cook's rewards. 11 Cut breast down middle and serve it on the bone, with one wing joint still attached to each. The preparation is not meant to be super elegant. 12 Slather meat with butter. Serve with mustard on the side and, if you wish, a simple green salad.


Let us all acknowledge the truth about roast chicken: it’s not about the chicken, it’s about the vegetables. That truth dawned on me long ago when I used to line a roasting pan with red potatoes sliced in half, all surrounding a well-seasoned chicken; the rendered chicken fat would coat the potatoes, they’d get all crispy, and when it was time to eat, the actual roast chicken was an afterthought. It only got better when I discovered Thomas Keller’s roast chicken: in with the potatoes went leeks, carrots, parsnips, rutabaga, turnips, and suddenly next to that pretty little bird would be vegetables as beautiful as the crown jewels. Now imagine turning those salty, schmaltzy vegetables into soup, a soup that takes about 5 minutes. Riffing on something I saw The Barefoot Contessa do on TV at my gym (trays of roasted vegetables placed in a blender with chicken stock), I looked at this roast chicken that I had made for dinner last week and saw a world of possibility: [Note: Craig’s sister Kristin got me a huge cast iron skillet for Christmas and I’ve been loving it; especially for the Thomas Keller roast chicken. So much easier to deal with than a roasting pan.] From this one meal, two more meals hatched: first, a chicken salad made with the diced chicken breast (skin included), mayonnaise, mustard, preserved lemons, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Second, the aforementioned soup that gives this post its title. Start with as many vegetables as you’re willing to leave behind: Place them in a pot and cover with water. Turn the heat to a simmer and when it gets there, add a big handful of spinach, plus some salt: Make your chicken salad while the spinach wilts. Now take out your hand blender and blend that soup! [Sorry for the blurry pic, but everything was whirrrrrring.] And behold: Chickened Vegetable Soup. You won’t believe how flavorful this is, especially if you add a splash of white wine vinegar. All that salty savoriness of the vegetables is now in the soup; sort of like a reverse-engineered chicken soup, because instead of infusing a broth with slowly rendered chicken fat, you worked that fat into the water via the vegetables. Or something like that, I’m not Harold McGee. I’m just Adam Roberts and this is a very good soup. Go make it.


This is a fabulous all-purpose soup method, here used with sweet bell peppers. But you can use it for just about any vegetable—asparagus, mushroom, pea, carrot. I learned it from Thomas Keller and wrote about it in his French Laundry Cookbook. Then I wrote about it again in Ruhlman’s Twenty because it’s such a versatile method. It’s very rich, so I only serve about 1/3 cup per person. This soup makes a great appetizer. (And a reminder: my partner in tools, Mac Dalton, suggested running a sale on our soup and serving spoons through this October.) Also, if you’re in Cincinnati tomorrow, come see me at Books by the Banks, where I’ll be signing my book, In Short Measures, a collection of novellas, reviewed today, happily, by Tara Laskowski. Have a great weekend, all. Sweet Bell Pepper Read On »


I recently wrote an essay for Thomas Keller’s magazine Finesse, for an issue themed evolution. Having worked so closely with Keller over the past twenty years, I asked to write about his evolution, as I’ve always been fascinated by it and wrote about it in Soul of a Chef. He’s still the same, but not the same. He’s evolving. Some things stay the same, some things must change. The salmon tartare in a savory tuile has been on the menu since day one. It was my first bite at the most memorable meal of my life on July 14th, 1997 (I read the scene here if you want to listen to it.) Other dishes vanish to be replaced by new ones. Having written the essay and wanting to return to per se, which took a Read On »


Reposting this method because, well, just the name of the dish is inspiring: butter-poached shrimp. Butter-poached shrimp and grits. Mmmm. Butter-poached lobster, not uncommon in French haute cuisine, was popularized in America by Thomas Keller in The French Laundry Cookbook and at that restaurant. “Lobster loves gentle heat,” he told me then. It’s not much of a leap for the thrifty-minded cook to reason that shrimp, too, love gentle heat. That’s why, in the butter chapter of my book Ruhlman’s Twenty, I showed how to use butter as a cooking medium (one of the many amazing ways butter can be used as a tool). This dish is absolutely killer. The shrimp stay very tender, rich and tasty with the butter; the grits are then enriched with the shrimp butter. Leftover butter can be used to saute shrimp Read On »


From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite... I came across this recipe years ago. We had been gifted with gorgeous grassfed steaks and I wanted a simple salad to accompany them. I let my fingers do the walking, and while searching I came across The Paupered Chef, a blog that has since become inactive. They were featuring a salad and dressing that was included in Thomas Keller's book Bouchon . With a pedigree like that, I knew my steaks would be in good company, so the salad and dressing became part of our meal. With just 3 ingredients, the dressing is the epitome of simplicity, though I must admit I mix it up a bit and use 2 parts canola oil to 1 part extra virgin olive oil to add some additional flavor. You'll notice that the dressing has no salt, sugar or herbs added to it. That's because Keller adds them to his salads rather than their dressing. This is a creamy sauce that flows easily and coats a spoon. It is not thick, and for that reason it is important to add only a third of the oil to the blender. Adding more at that time would turn the emulsion into a thick mayonnaise that cannot be poured. It's thought that Keller uses canola oil because it is bland and does not interfere with other flavors. I think most of you will enjoy the freshness of this dressing, but do remember it is unseasoned and you are expected to season the greens before tossing the salad. Do give this a try. It will keep for 2-1/2 weeks in the refrigerator, and should it separate, simply give it another whirl in the blender. Here is how the dressing and Keller's Bibb lettuce salad are made. Basic Vinaigrette Ingredients: 1/4 cup Dijon mustard 1/2 cup red wine vinegar 1-1/2 cups canola oil Directions: 1) Combine mustard and vinegar in a blender and blend at medium for 15 seconds to combine. With blender running, add 1/2 cup oil in a slow stream, making sure to add it slowly enough to develop a creamy emulsion. 2) Transfer mixture to a bowl and whisk in the remaining oil. Refrigerate for up to 2 weeks. Yield: 2-1/2 cups salad dressing. Bibb Lettuce Salad Ingredients: 1/2 cup Basic vinaigrette 4 heads Bibb lettuce, or enough lettuce for 4 of another type such as red leaf 2 tablespoons minced shallots 2 tablespoons minced chives 1/4 cup parsley leaves 1/4 cup tarragon leaves 1/4 cup chervil leaves (optional) 1 tablespoon lemon juice salt and pepper to taste Directions: 1) Carefully core each lettuce head and loosen leaves but keep structure of head intact, as it will be reassembled on the plate. If using a leaf lettuce, tear leaves into small pieces. Plunge lettuce into cold water to clean it, then gently spin in a salad spinner until very dry. 2) Transfer lettuce to a large mixing bowl and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Scatter herbs and shallot and drizzle vinaigrette and lemon juice over everything. Toss it gently by hand to dress, and serve. Yield: 4 servings. Older Posts One Year Ago Today: Two Years Ago Today: Cornmeal Cookies Swedish Raspberry and Almond Bars Three Years Ago Today: Four Years Ago Today: Strawberry and Pineapple Jam Picnic Pasta Salad


Want the most golden, most crispy skin on anything from your Sunday roast Chicken to your Thanksgiving turkey? We tested four different methods to find the very best one. Photography Credit: Summer Miller I’ve been wrist deep in the business end of chickens all week. I’m on a quest to determine the best way to achieve perfect deep, golden, crispy skin, both for our everyday roast chickens and also for that bird of all birds — the Thanksgiving turkey. Why? A well-roasted bird makes an undeniably beautiful presentation on your holiday table. Also, of course, the snap of salty, crisp skin with each tender morsel of meat is a little bite of heaven. In the end, we want a bird with tender, flavorful meat, and deeply golden, crispy skin. The goal is to inject the meat with moisture while eliminating it from the skin. DRY SKIN = CRISPY SKIN Ultimately, you want dry skin. The drier your skin to start, the crispier it will be after roasting. Different cooks and chefs have varying techniques for doing this. Some leave the chicken uncovered in the refrigerator (a technique I support), others use salt and or baking powder to draw the moisture out of the skin, and some simply pat the bird dry with paper towels, pop it in the oven and hope for the best. I tested four different techniques to evaluate their effectiveness at creating golden, crispy skin. I tested with chickens rather than turkeys to save time, money, and limit the amount of poultry my family had to eat in a single week. (As it is, they’ve made me promise not to serve chicken for a least a month.) What works for one bird will likely work for another, so you can apply any of the techniques outlined below to any kind of poultry – including, yes, your Thanksgiving turkey. TESTING METHOD I tested four different methods for achieving crispy, golden skin: Dry the bird with paper towels, then roast Rub with baking powder mixture Air-dry for 24 hours Air-dry and baste during roasting To ensure accurate results, I applied a few standards to all the chickens. First, all the chickens were between 5 and 6 pounds. Two were from the supermarket, and two were from a farmer down the street from my house. All chickens were trussed and set on the counter to come up to room temp for 30 minutes before I popped them in the oven. For this test, I was most concerned with the crispness and color of the skin, so I didn’t worry about the flavor of the chicken until the end, adding herbs, or stuffing the cavity. However, I still wanted the chicken to taste good, so except for Chicken No. 2 (see below), I seasoned each one with 2 teaspoons of kosher salt, 1 teaspoon of freshly cracked pepper, and 1/2 teaspoon of dried thyme. All the birds were roasted in on a sheet pan lined with parchment with a wire cooling rack placed on top. This allows air to circulate under and around the chicken, similar to roasting a turkey in a roasting pan with a roasting rack. I roasted the chickens on the second lowest rack in the oven and used Ina Garten’s recommendation for cooking time: 1hr and 30min at 425-degrees Fahrenheit for each bird. THE RUNDOWN Each method produced at least some color and a bit of crispness, so even on your least motivated day in the kitchen, you can make a decently crispy, golden chicken. The exact method you use depends on how much time you have and how loyal you are to crispy skin. Chicken No. 1: The Quick Pat Down This first chicken served as my control. It required the least amount of effort and still provided some level of crisp skin. I simply patted this chicken dry with paper towels, then rubbed it with two tablespoons of olive oil on the outside of the skin, under the skin, and inside the cavity of the bird. I combined the salt, pepper, and thyme together then rubbed the spice blend in all the same places. The result after roasting was lightly golden, slightly crisp skin. Basically, consider this bird the “I don’t have any time, but it’s cool, I can still pull off dinner” bird. You aren’t going to win any awards for this one, but it still gets the job done. Chicken No. 2: Baking Powder Rub This was a technique I pulled from Serious Eats, and the author swears by using baking powder to achieve a super crispy chicken. This chicken was rubbed down in a mixture of 1 tablespoon of salt, 1 teaspoon of baking powder, and 1/2 teaspoon of cracked pepper, then left uncovered in the fridge for 18 hours. This chicken definitely had some crackling skin, but some parts looked a bit leathery and the color was actually lighter than the first bird. The meat was tender and flavorful, but there was a very slight, subtle metallic flavor from the baking powder. Chicken No. 3: The 24-Hour Chill I left Bird Number 3 uncovered in the fridge to air-dry for 24 hours, following the technique espoused by Thomas Keller and several other chefs. Then I used the same combination of oil, salt, pepper and thyme I used for Chicken Number 1 to season and assist crisping the skin just before putting it in the oven. This attempt yielded a beautiful golden color and a nice, crispy skin. The flavor of this bird was the best of those I’d tested so far. The meat was tender and not dry, but trying to season the bird under the skin after air drying proved difficult. More on that later. Chicken No. 4: Because I’m All About that Baste, about that Baste. To baste or not to baste, that is the question! My editor and I both read various accounts debating the merits of basting, so we felt it was worth the time to put this method to the test. I prepared Chicken Number 4 exactly as I prepared Chicken Number 3. The only difference was that I basted the chicken during roasting using the pan drippings. I don’t even have a proper baster, I just used a large spoon to scoop up and drizzle that chicken in all the fat it was working so hard to burn off. I didn’t want this one to win because I don’t like things that require more work, but Grandma knew what she was doing. I basted the chicken every 20 minutes during the 1 1/2 hour roasting time, and it was gorgeous. This bird had a deep brown color, and the skin was nice and crisp. It was the obvious winner. Chicken No. 5: Bonus Bird! I now knew that air-drying and basting created a beautiful bird, but trying to season a bird under the skin after drying it for 24 hours wasn’t the easiest. I took the time to test one more chicken, this time seasoning it before air-drying instead of after. For Bird Number 5, I created a paste of salt, pepper, thyme and one tablespoon of olive oil, and rubbed it on top of and underneath the skin. Then I left it uncovered in the fridge to dry for 24 hours. Just before roasting, I rubbed the outside of the skin with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. I then basted it every 20 minutes as it cooked. The result was a chicken that was easy to season, had deep richly colored, crisp skin, and tender flavorful meat. Visually, it looked exactly the same as Bird Number 4, but the flavor was much better. CONCLUSION I’m a big believer in the “less is more” philosophy in the kitchen, so if I could make a perfectly beautiful, and delicious bird without too much fuss, then that’s a win for me. Unfortunately, that’s not exactly how this test turned out. In conclusion, if you want the crispiest, most golden skin on your bird this holiday season, or your next Sunday night chicken, the best way is to rub it with oil and spices under and over the skin, then leave it uncovered in the refrigerator for 24 hours. Rub it down with one more tablespoon of oil just before putting it in the oven, sprinkle with a bit more salt and pepper. Roast and baste the chicken every 20 minutes. Sometimes a little bit of planning and extra effort is well worth the payout. Follow me on Pinterest If you make this recipe, snap a pic and hashtag it #simplyrecipes β€” We love to see your creations on Instagram, Facebook, & Twitter! Summer Miller Summer Miller is a freelance writer, recipe developer and author based in Nebraska. Her work has appeared in Bon Appetit, Eating Well, Grit, SAVEUR, and Every Day with Rachel Ray, among others. Her first book is New Prairie Kitchen (Agate Publishing, 2015). More from Summer


Disclaimer: Products are provided to Steamy Kitchen for a thorough, honest review. We do not receive payment for reviews. Each review takes 5-10 hours of hands-on testing, writing and editing.

This is a Hestan NanoBond Cookware review, including both PROs and CONs. We’ve been testing the Hestan NanoBond 8″ Frying Pan for the past 2 weeks. -Jaden

Hestan NanoBond Cookware Review

I’ve found my new favorite cooking surface. Brace yourself….it’s expensive….a 10 piece set will set you back $2,000 (though it is on sale for $1,500 at the moment).

The Hestan NanoBond surface is stainless steel bonded with thousands of titanium and chromium-based alloys. There are no chemicals used in this cooking surface. That means a cooking surface that’s environmentally friendly and incredibly durable….4x harder than stainless steel. The cookware is so innovative, that Hestan owns 14 global patents for the fit and finish.

 Cooking with Hestan NanoBond Cookware

Out of all the stainless steel based cookware that we’ve tested over the years, the NanoBond Cookware releases food the best. That’s because the surface is so dense, hard and smooth, food slides easily.

The egg test: frying an egg with just a quick spray of olive oil in center of pan.

Eggy no sticky.

Actually, the egg just slides right off. Notice that there is no visible oil in the pan – that’s how little oil I used!

Burnt cheese test: After cooking an omelet in the pan, I kept the pan on high heat and threw a handful of shredded cheddar cheese with no additional oil.

Scrapes easily off.

Cheesy no sticky.

The pan is easy to clean, but difficult to keep polished.

After using the pan everyday for 2 weeks, the pan doesn’t stay shiny.

Also, I’m pretty hard on my pans while they are on the stove. The metal grates will often scratch the bottoms of my cheaper pans and/or discolor the pan.

The Heston NanoBond cookware came with a bottle of stainless steel polish. Just rub a little on with a soft cloth.

Back to shiny again. Wash with soapy water by hand and it looks brand new. No scratch marks!

What I love about the Hestan NanoBond Cookware Virtually indestructible (thanks, titanium!) Polishes to a shiny finish…the pan looks brand new! Conducts heat 35% more efficient than stainless steel cookware It’s GORGEOUS!!! Made in Italy

My FAVORITE feature is this:

The rivets are FLUSH!!!!! It’s so easy to clean, no scrubbing around bumpy rivets. If you’ve been reading my cookware reviews over the past 10 years, you’ll know that this is my biggest pet peeve of cookware. Grease, food bits get stuck around bumpy rivets and it’s almost impossible to keep clean. What I don’t like about the Hestan NanoBond Cookware

The mirror finish of the cookware will drive those who are OCD a bit crazy. Have stainless steel polish and a cloth on hand.

It’s expensive. I want this wok with lid so bad, but it’s $520! The 10 piece set will set you back $1,500. That being said, the Hestan brand is high-end. In fact, Chef Thomas Keller cooks on Hestan Commercial Equipment and uses Hestan NanoBond Cookware in the French Laundry. This is the very best cookware that you can find.

Luckily, the 8 1/2″ frying pan that I’m using, is on sale for $149.99, which is affordable. By the way, my husband makes omelets every single morning, and he loves this skillet. We’re using half the amount of oil with this pan. Buy this pan while it’s on sale!

Hestan NanoBond Cookware Giveaway

Giving away one 8 1/2″ Hestan NanoBond Skillet.

The post Hestan NanoBond Cookware Review & Giveaway appeared first on Steamy Kitchen Recipes.


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