Roast: To cook by exposing to dry heat (as in an oven or before a fire) or by surrounding with hot embers, sand, or stones.
In a timely for us post, Hank Shaw wrote that “True roasting requires the radiant heat of an open fire. What most of us do is technically baking.” Noted, although for my purposes, saying “individual chunks of food baked at high temperatures, NOT mixed together doughy goodness” takes a lot longer than “roasting,” and I will likely never truly roast because fires are generally outside, so my January will be filled with faux-roasting.
I will be focusing primarily on chicken and vegetables. Ohmygosh-why am I doing this? I LOVE MY PROMPTS. I have countless Food to Try pins, blog posts saved in reader, beautiful cookbooks sitting on shelves, more books reserved and waiting for me at the local bookmobile. Oh, and I bet I have recipes (to be) clipped from magazines in the majority of the rooms of my house.
This commitment stems from so many conversations with friends in the past. There was the time in my late 20s that I told Ashley that when I turned 30, I’d stop using recipes. She’s probably long forgotten. I haven’t. There was also the time that I asked April how she and Alberto cooked every night without relying on recipes, and she responded “We just start with what we like. You know what you like, right?” This statement of confidence struck a cord. And Amy who said that she’s much more likely to recreate something seen on Diners Drive-ins and Dives than turn to a recipe. The liberation! Thank you Alisa for holding us accountable and suggesting we do this publicly. Um, I do have friends whose names don’t start with A.
Back to January.
Chicken. Happened upon Foodie Crush’s 5 Tips for Juicy Roast Chicken, and as long as I pretend that there’s not a recipe at the bottom of the post, it’s perfect:
1. Layer veggies in the bottom of the pan
2. Season generously.
3. Add fat.
4. Get under its skin.
5. Add another flavor layer and stuff it. Aw yeah, flavor profiles.
Vegetables. Thanks to Fine Cooking’s Guide to Roasting Vegetables, here’s what I will do:
1. Roast in a hot oven. Very hot. 475 hot.
2. Cut evenly.
3. Line the pan.
4. Position vegetables near the pan’s edges, but don’t crowd. At least 1/2″ between the pieces.
Andy, if you’re reading this, you should probably start hiding the rulers.