Garlic and Herb Roasted Chicken

A very flavorful roast chicken from the Williams Sonoma blog. The chicken is so moist and flavorful! If you cannot find spring onions, substitute leeks or a regular onion.

1 chicken, about 4 lb. (2 kg)
2 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper
2 lemons, thinly sliced
1 1/2 tsp. chopped fresh chives
1 Tbs. chopped fresh thyme
1 Tbs. chopped fresh oregano
2 Tbs. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 Tbs. chopped fresh tarragon
2 tsp. finely grated lemon zest
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped, plus 1 garlic head, halved crosswise
4 Tbs. (1/2 stick) (2 oz./60 g) butter, at room temperature
1 bunch spring onions, halved lengthwise if large
2 Tbs. olive oil

Preheat an oven to 450°F (220°C).

Rinse the chicken inside and out and pat dry with paper towels. Season the chicken inside and out with the salt and pepper and place half of the lemon slices inside the chicken cavity. Tuck the wing tips behind the back and tie the legs together with kitchen twine.

In a small bowl, stir together the chives, thyme, oregano, parsley, tarragon, lemon zest and chopped garlic. Add the butter and stir until the mixture is thoroughly combined.

Starting at the cavity, slip your fingers underneath the chicken skin and loosen it all over, being careful not to tear it and reaching as far as possible into the thigh area. Using your fingers, rub the butter mixture under the skin, distributing it as evenly as possible.

Place the chicken, breast side up, in large round cocotte or Dutch oven and add the remaining lemon slices, garlic head and spring onions to the pot and drizzle with the olive oil. Roast the chicken until the skin is well browned and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh, away from the bone, registers 170°F (77°C), 50 to 60 minutes.

Transfer the chicken to a carving board, cover loosely with aluminum foil and let rest for 10 minutes. Carve the chicken and serve immediately with the lemon slices, garlic and spring onions alongside. Serves 4.


Cardamom cream scones with candied ginger

From David Tanis’ wonderful book, Market Cooking. I made this for the royal wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan. It is very easy and delicious!

2 c. all purpose flour
1/2 t. cardamom, ground
2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
2 T. (plus extra for sprinkling on scones sugar
6 T. cold unsalted butter, plus 2 T. for brushing the tops of scones
2 T. candied ginger, chopped
2 T. golden raisins, plumped in warm water and drained if dry
2 T. currants, plumped in warm water and drained if dry
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 c. heavy cream

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. In a large bowl stir the flour, cardamom, baking powder, baking soda, salt and sugar together. Cut the butter into small chunks and work it into the flour mixture until it is the texture of sand or pebbles. Add the currants, raisins and candied ginger. Make a well in the center and add the beaten eggs and cream. Stir in a circular motion with a fork until dough forms a rough ball. Dough will seem moist and sticky.
Turn out dough onto a floured surface and knead until smooth, about 1 minute Gently roll or pat the dough into 1/2 inch thickness. Cut into wedges or use a 2″ cutter for circles. Place on an ungreased baking sheet. Prick each scone with a fork, brush with melted butter and sprinkle with flour.
Bake until nicely browned 12-14 minutes.

Ham and Cheese Brioche Pudding

From the wonderful David Tanis in the NY Times. I added the blanched asparagus and roasted red pepper.
This is a good occasion to use up any odds and ends of cheeses. This is perfect for lunch or dinner or even breakfast! I needed to cook this at least another 20+ minutes as I added the other ingredients that contain moisture. The flavor is great.

1 tablespoon butter, for greasing the pan
1 (12-ounce) brioche loaf or smaller brioches, cut into 1-inch cubes (about 8 cups)
6 eggs
4 cups half-and-half or whole milk
2 teaspoons salt
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
Pinch of nutmeg
Pinch of cayenne
½ cup thinly sliced scallions
6 ounces thinly sliced ham, cut crosswise into matchsticks (about 1 1/2 cups)
8 ounces grated Gouda or Gruyère cheese (about 4 cups)

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Butter an 11-by-11-inch baking dish. Fill dish with brioche cubes and set aside.
In a large bowl, beat eggs well. Whisk in half-and-half, salt, pepper, nutmeg, cayenne and scallions. Pour mixture over cubes in baking dish.
Sprinkle ham and cheese on top of mixture, and press down to make sure everything is submerged. Set baking dish on a rimmed baking sheet.
Transfer baking dish and baking sheet to the middle shelf of the oven, and bake for 45 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the middle of the dish emerges dry. Let rest for 10 minutes or so before serving.
If desired, let pudding cool completely and cut into squares or wedges. Then reheat for 10 minutes at 375 degrees.

Angel food cake with mint marinated strawberries and mascarpone cream

From Williams Sonoma blog-a perfect spring dessert! I bought my cake at Whole Foods and it wasn’t big enough to divide into three layers but I think a homemade cake would be! My neighbor boys picked johnny jump ups and mint from my garden and decorated this cake for their mother for Mother’s Day. A quick update from my four year old helper-“Dad did not like the flowers or the strawberries with mint and I did not like the whipped cream because it wasn’t sweet!”. I will go back to my family Birthday Angel Food cake recipe next time. This recipe may be for adults!

For the cake:
1 cup (5 oz./155 g) all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups (12 oz./375 g) sugar
12 egg whites
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. cream of tartar
2 tsp. vanilla extract

For the minted strawberries:
1 lb. (500 g) strawberries, hulled and quartered
1/4 cup (2 oz./60 g) sugar
1 Tbs. chopped fresh mint, plus whole leaves for garnish
For the mascarpone whipped cream:

2/3 cup (5 oz/155 g) mascarpone cheese
1 cup (8 fl. oz./250 ml) heavy cream
1/4 tsp. vanilla extract

1. Preheat an oven to 325°F (165°C). In a bowl, sift together the flour and 1/2 cup (4 oz./125 g) of the sugar. Repeat the sifting 3 more times.

2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites on low speed until they begin to foam, about 2 minutes. Add the salt, cream of tartar and vanilla, raise the speed to medium, and beat until soft peaks form, about 4 minutes. With the mixer running, slowly add the remaining 1 cup (8 oz./250 g) sugar. Raise the speed to high and beat until stiff peaks form, about 2 minutes. Remove the bowl from the mixer and sprinkle the flour mixture over the egg white mixture. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold in the flour mixture, taking care not to overmix.

3. Spoon the batter into an ungreased angel food cake pan, then gently tap the pan on the counter to release any air pockets. Bake until the cake is golden brown and springs back when lightly touched, 35 to 45 minutes. Invert the pan onto a wire rack and let cool upside down for about 30 minutes. To release, run a paring knife around the edges of the pan. Turn right side up on the rack and let cool for 10 minutes longer.

4. Meanwhile, make the minted strawberries: In a large bowl, stir together the strawberries, sugar, and chopped mint. Let stand until the juices have released, about 25 minutes.

5. Meanwhile, make the mascarpone whipped cream. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat together the mascarpone, cream and vanilla on medium-high speed until stiff peaks form, about 3 minutes. Use immediately, or cover and refrigerate for up to 2 hours.

6. To assemble, use a sharp serrated knife, carefully cut the cake horizontally into three layers of even thickness. Place the bottom layer on a cake plate, cut side up. Spread the layer with a third of the mascarpone whipped cream and the minted strawberries. Place the middle cake layer on top and spread with another third of the mascarpone whipped cream and minted strawberries. Place the top cake layer on top, cut side down, and spread with the remaining mascarpone whipped cream and minted strawberries. Garnish with the whole mint leaves and serve immediately. Serves 12 to 15.