Posts tagged recipes
Garlic Lemon Butter Roasted Chicken
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Garlic Lemon Butter Roasted Chicken that is simply delicious. Share this recipe with others! #chicken #lemon #butter #garlic #gourmet #organicI don't often make a roast chicken, other than on special occasions, but when I do, I often crave it with skin as crispy as chips and meat that's savoury and juicy - exactly what I would expect from this recipe for a garlic lemon butter roasted chicken.  I can't imagine any better combination than garlic + lemon butter. Garlic gives any seasoning depth, and lemon butter infuses just enough fat and citrus to produce a tender roast.When I make roast chicken, I prefer to go organic. I happened to have a Yorkshire Valley Farms whole organic chicken from Fortinos lying around. When I buy organic meats from Yorkshire Valley Farms (or any other reputable organic farm), I know that the animal I am consuming is grain fed and raised without harmful antibiotics. It's no wonder that their chicken meat is noticeably more firm, and the breasts much larger than non-organic chicken.Garlic-Lemon-Butter-Roasted-Chicken-ingredients-#chicken-#lemon-#butter-#garlic-#gourmet-#organicNot surprisingly, I don't have a roasting pan with a rack. Instead, I use either my Le Creuset round French oven or my Pampered Chef stone baking pan and layer the bottom with root vegetables  to prop the roast up. This way, the heat can circulate better below the roast as well as above.garlic lemon butter roasted chicken with potatos, onions, carrots and asparagusYou can roast almost any type of vegetables with the chicken, keeping in mind that the roast will be in the oven for about an hour so the vegetables should be able to withstand the heat for that long without becoming mushy. I picked up some asparagus since it is currently in season and placed them in the oven with the roast. Needless to say, they got super soft and stringy. So the next time, I would either wait until the 50 minute mark to put them in the roast, or I would just saute them separately.garlic lemon butter roasted chicken with potatos, carrots, onions and asparagus recipeFinally, I find that you really can't go THAT wrong with a roast once you know what you want to season it with. I usually just guestimate the amount of salt and pepper I need, and in this recipe that's exactly what I have done - guestimated the amount for most of the seasoning, including the garlic and butter. I find that the use of salt, pepper, and garlic powder marinates the chicken extremely well, even if you only have 1 hour between marination and roasting time. Just a reminder: garlic powder is quite salty, so if you do apply it to the chicken, you may want to be less generous with the salt + pepper.Garlic Lemon Butter Roasted Chicken with potatoes, carrots, onions, and asparagusThe garlic lemon butter is entirely optional - I have made roasted chicken without it and the chicken still turns out juicy and savoury - but sometimes I just want to make a dish that is a bit more special and that's when I will make it with the garlic lemon butter. The garlic and lemon adds extra depth to the taste of the meat and is really enjoyable on the palate. Let me know if it reminds you of a butterball chicken.We never finish the entire garlic lemon butter roasted chicken, especially the white meat. The leftovers make a mean chicken salad sandwich, or can be used to make chicken soup. Whatever your heart desires.Now I wonder why I don't roast chickens more often! I mean it's a 2-in-1 meal (with plenty of leftover for another meal) AND I can just leave it in the oven for an hour and do the laundry at the same time!

Enjoy!

Garlic Lemon Butter Roasted Chicken
Recipe Type: Entree
Cuisine: Canadian
Author: Jessie Chui
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 4 to 5
Juicy roasted chicken with simple ingredients
Ingredients
  • 1 organic whole chicken (2.2-3 lb or 1.2-1.4 kg)
  • 1-2 Tbsp salt & pepper
  • 1-2 Tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 Tbsp thyme or other herb (optional)
  • 1/4 - 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 or 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 large lemon
  • assorted root vegetables (eg. potatoes, onion, carrots etc.)
Instructions
  1. Pat the inside and outside of the organic whole chicken to remove excess moisture. Remove any giblets that may be inside the chicken. Loosen the skin from the meat of the entire chicken by pushing your fingers/hand gently in between.
  2. Make the garlic lemon butter: Mix the olive oil into the butter. Squeeze the juice of 1/2 a lemon into the butter. Crush and mince 1-2 cloves of garlic. Using your fingers, add the garlic into the olive oil/lemon/butter mix and then season with salt and pepper. The warmth from your fingers should make the butter quite malleable.
  3. Distribute chunks of the garlic lemon butter in the space between the skin and meat of the breasts, back, and thighs. Rub any remaining garlic lemon butter on the outside of the chicken.
  4. Season the skin (and cavity) generously with salt, pepper, and garlic powder.
  5. Place the cut lemon into the cavity. You can also place additional crushed garlic and onion into the chicken's cavity as well. Let the seasoned chicken sit for at least an hour in the fridge (ideally, up to 24 hours prior to roasting).
  6. When ready to roast, preheat your oven to 450 F. Wash and chop up your root vegetables to be placed at the bottom of the pan. Sprinkle with thyme or any other herb you desire.
  7. Place the seasoned chicken, breast up, on the roasting rack or chopped vegetables. You may want to truss the chicken.
  8. Immediately reduce the heat of the oven to 400 F before putting the chicken into the oven. Set the timer for 50 minutes.
  9. At 50 minutes, check the temperature of the chicken at the thickest part of the thigh. It should read between 165 F and 180 F. Put the chicken back into the oven at 10 minute intervals until it reaches the required temperature. Basting the chicken with the juices at the bottom of the pan will create a crispier skin.
  10. Once it reaches the required temperature, take the chicken out of the oven and let it sit for 15 minutes before eating. Place a piece of aluminum foil, tented, over the chicken.

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Ideas for a DIY Rustic Chic Bridal Shower
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DSC_0434-copyThis past weekend was a special one for me as I got to spend tons and tons of time with family and friends: I helped host a DIY Rustic Chic Bridal Shower for my BFF Natasha on Saturday, and on Sunday, I got to spend Mother's Day with my mother (and family) watching Captain America at a VIP cinema (a little unorthodox for a Mother's Day treat, I know).Natasha's DIY Rustic Chic Bridal Shower was held at my condo kitchen showroom, which was PERFECT because it had a huge island and well, a kitchen with an oven, stove, and fridge. It was an intimate space for the 17 adults and 3 children. Getting around the maze that is my condo building was a challenge, but it wasn't anything that couldn't be addressed with printed signs showing the guests the way. 

~ DO-IT-YOURSELF DECOR~

Pretty much all of the decor was a DIY project or something that I already had (like the burlap runner  on the food table - best on-sale investment ever!). I tried to incorporate gray and yellow (Natasha's wedding colours) and books into the decor (her wedding will be held at a library). Although rustic chic was the theme, I also had to consider that the show kitchen was anything but rustic and chic. It was super modern with sleek mouldings, direct lighting and lots of steel.To incorporate some "rustic" into the mix, I wrapped 4 mason jars with pages from an old book I purchased at the thrift shop, held together by twine (well...that's what it looks like. I actually glued the pages together with a glue gun. The twine was just for the look). They were used to hold fresh flowers, purchased on the morning of the bridal shower.Natasha's-Bridal-Shower-DIY-materials-#DIY-#wedding-#rusticchic-#bridalshowerTo save money, the flags for the bunting banner was constructed from yellow note cards with scalloped edges ($3,49 for 12), 1 sheet of craft paper in a light gray honeycombed print (50 cents), 1 roll of yellow/white twine ($3.49), and small gray clothespins ($4.49 for 30). Each yellow note card made 2 flags; I sliced the sides of each side of the note card to create a triangle-like shaped flag. For the lettering, I used Pages to print out the letters in gray and I cut them out to spell "Natasha's". For the words "Bridal Shower" I temporarily glued the printed letters to the craft paper, cut the craft paper using the printed letters as a template, and them removed the printed letters from the final product. With the use of a ruler to ensure consistency in placement, all the letters were then painstakingly glued onto each flag.Natasha's-Bridal-Shower--DIY-BannerI also prepared chalkboard signs to identify the dish (thank you Kat for labelling the signs with your beautiful calligraphy!) with black card stock, scored in the middle to allow the sign to be folded in half so it could stand on its own. I used a stamp (in white) to frame the signs to add visual interest and add to the chalkboard theme.To ensure that the guests could identify their champagne glasses, small heart-shaped chalkboard tags were available for guests to write their name and then tie to their glass with twine.The signs for the games and favours were printed on card stock with a pretty script font and placed on brass cardholders. Prizes were wrapped in brown packaging. 

~ THE YUMMY DISHES ~

The bridesmaids and I decided on a budget and then determined the finger-food menu (so we could do without cutlery), which we made all from scratch with the exception of the quiche, cheese and meats.Here was our DIY finger-food menu:

  1. Cucumber sandwiches - Thin white bread sandwiches with cucumber and a thin layer of cream cheese (1/2 loaf, 1 cucumber and 1/2 tub of spreadable cream cheese) cut into triangles
  2. Egg salad sandwiches - Thin white bread sandwiches with egg salad (1/2 loaf, 8 eggs, mayonnaise, 1 green onion stalk, salt and pepper) cut into triangles
  3. Smoked salmon and dill sandwiches - Whole wheat bread sandwiches (1/2 loaf) with smoked salmon (1 pack) and dill cream cheese (1/2 tub of spreadable cream cheese, 1/4 bunch of dill) cut into triangle
  4. Tuna salad sandwiches - Whole wheat bread sandwiches (1/2 loaf) with tuna salad (3 cans of tuna, mayonnaise, 1 celery stalk, 1/2 onion, salt and pepper) cut into triangles
  5. Charcuterie board - Cheeses (Brie (soft), Oka (medium), Le Gruyere (hard)(**you're right Kat, it was Gruyere!)), meats (Maestro Salami Genoa Hot, Prosciutto, Columbus Salami Secci), 2 Barlett pears, a handful of walnuts, and water crackers
  6. Mini quichePresident's Choice Mini Quiches, Florentine & Lorraine (18/box)
  7. Spanakopita - Spinach and feta phyllo triangles (cooked spinach with feta and 1 egg in buttered phyllo)
  8. Fruit skewers - Skewers of pineapple, blackberry, kiwi, globe grape, and blueberry.
  9. Chocolate dipped strawberries drizzled with white chocolate - Strawberries (5 lb) dipped in melted chocolate (chocolate chips) and drizzled with melted white chocolate (white chocolate chips)
  10. Honey madeleines - Little honey and lemon cakes (2 batches)
  11. Strawberry scones  and Apple cinnamon scones - Diced (and patted dry) strawberries and/or apples added to a basic scone dough (1 batch each)
For drinks, we had Spumante Bambino, and various fruit juices and pop. Guests could add frozen berries into their drinks (the frozen berries acted like ice).
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~ LET'S PLAY GAMES ~
We organized 3 games:
  1.  Clothes Pin Game - Everyone gets a clothes pin. Whoever says the name "Natasha" or "Bride" loses their clothes pin to whoever she is talking to. The guest with the most clothes pin at the end of the shower is the winner. Guests who have clothes pin at the end of the game write date ideas on the clothespins and put them in a mason jar for the Bride.
  2. How Well Do You Know the Bride Game (Bride Trivia) - Guests are provided with a list of questions of what they think the Bride would do, would like etc. The guest who guesses correctly the most is the winner.
  3. Complete the Sentence Using the 1st Letter of the Bride's Name - Guests are provided with a list of sentences to answer using the 1st letter of the Bride's name (eg. "N"). The winner(s) of each "round" or sentence will have unique answers. Duplicate answers from multiple guests are eliminated do not count. The winner of the game would have the most unique completed sentences.
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~ TAKE HOME FAVOURS ~
Since our bride is (partially) obsessed with cleanliness, we gave each guest hand sanitizer in yellow. Favours that are practical and that the guests can use or eat tend to be the most memorable.
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Any bridal shower is a TON of work, but let me tell you, the result is well worth it! Can't wait to plan another one soon!
*****
Below are some additional photos from the DIY rustic chic bridal shower (for the benefit of our lovely guests). Our Bride looked stunning in her blue flowered dress:
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Chicken Avocado, Lettuce, and Tomato Sandwich (A.L.T.)
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With spring finally appearing, I had a sudden thirst for a juicy tomato and avocado sandwich. The thought of avocados always brings me back to my visit 8 years ago to one of the numerous hipster cafes that had began sprouting all over Parkdale, at the time one of the grittiest neighbourhoods in Toronto  (you know the cafes that charge $5.00 for a cup of fair trade coffee when most of the inhabitants in the area shop at Goodwill). I can’t recall the name of the cafe, but I do remember ordering and then devouring the delicious chicken sandwich with avocado. Eight years ago and I still remember my first experience of an avocado sandwich.

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What a difference this green fruit makes in any sandwich! It’s buttery texture lifts an ordinary sandwich to the gourmet. Instead of a B.L.T., why not an A.L.T. with all the AVOCADO goodness???? Here is my simple version of that savoury gourmet chicken avocado sandwich oh so long ago. Enjoy!

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Gourmet Chicken Sandwich with Avocado, Lettuce and Tomato (A.L.T.)
Recipe Type: Gourmet, Organic, Lunch
Cuisine: Canadian
Author: Jessie Chui
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 2
Lift an ordinary sandwich to a gourmet sandwich simply by adding avocado!
Ingredients
  • 1 ripe avocado, sliced
  • 2-4 lettuce leaves
  • 1 hot house tomato
  • 2 organic chicken breasts or thighs, seasoned
  • 1 loaf of whole grain seed bread, sliced
Instructions
  1. Prepare the chicken breasts/thighs by seasoning them with 2 tablespoons of soya sauce, a pinch of salt, a pinch of sugar, and pepper. The soya sauce seasoning will give the chicken colour and depth in taste. Set aside in the fridge overnight.
  2. When ready to prepare the sandwich, take the seasoned chicken out of the fridge. Cook the chicken over medium heat in a pan until slightly golden, about 8-10 minutes. Cover with a lid if necessary. Set the cooked chicken aside to cool. I levelled off my chicken thighs by slicing the top of my chicken thighs.
  3. In the meantime, toast 4 slices of bread (if you are making 2 sandwiches). Lightly drizzle olive oil over one side of the bread and place it in a toaster. Alternatively, you can toast the bread over the stove in a pan. I used 12-grain & seed bread from Whole Foods, which, with the grains and seeds, gives extra texture to the sandwich.
  4. Thoroughly wash the lettuce, tomato, and avocado. Cut the tomato into about 6 chunky slices. Peel and pit the avocado. Cut the avocado into slices.
  5. Assemble the sandwich in whichever fashion you like. I prefer to pad the bottom slice of bread with lettuce, tomato, and avocado to create a flat surface and then top it with the chicken and another piece of lettuce. I inserted a toothpick on each end of the sandwich to keep all the ingredients together, prior to cutting the sandwich in two.
Notes
Sometimes I like to use the avocado like butter and spread it on the bread first, which creates a barrier, preventing tomato juice from soaking into the bread. It's also another way to sneak additional protein and avocado goodness into the sandwich. Try it!

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