Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Learning to cook

I read this today here:

" "I now feel extremely lucky that my mother was happy to encourage me to cook," she says.

"It distresses me that people have an incredibly limited knowledge of how food goes together. I think that's very disempowering.

"Start children off on baking, don't ask them to clean up because that's off-putting, and encourage them to have fun." "

This is so true. I guess I always enjoyed baking, probably because I liked eating the end product, and did a lot of it during my year at university as a comfort sort of thing. But then I started chef school and it opened my eyes to cookery. Now I can do all sorts, although I admit I do need to practice some things more. But I can still do it.

My little sister can participate in a political debate and hold her own, but not cook. Neither can my boyfriend, his cooking skills go as far as cooking toast. Don't get me wrong, I love him to bits and think he's fantastic, and I like cooking for him, but the response to me being a chef from too many people is "Oh wow that's so cool, I can't cook at all."

Maybe they're stretching the truth a bit, but some basic culinary skills are absolutely necessary in adult life, not the useless sandwiches and smoothie classes in home ec I remember from the first year of high school.

Easy Roast Chicken
A chicken (dead, plucked and defrosted)
sesame seeds
salt and pepper
a large lemon

Preheat oven to 200°C.
Rinse chicken under cold water, inside and out, or not if you're lazy.
Pat dry with paper towels, even if you didn't rinse it.
Chop your lemon in half. Put both halves up the chickens bum and give them a bit of a squeeze as you do to release some of the juices into the cavity. You could also use orange if you want. This juice will (in theory) turn to steam and you'll get a lemony flavour through the flesh.
Tie or tuck the wings and legs if you want, not necessary though.
Rub oil over your chicken. Sprinkle with paprika, sesame seeds, and season (lightly!) with salt and pepper.
Put chicken breast side up on a tray with a rack on it. If you don't have a rack, don't stress too much, but it's better if you do.
Put chicken in oven and turn down to 180°C after 5-10 minutes. Leave in oven for about an hour and a half. When juices run clear chicken is cooked. If you're not sure, put it back in the oven. Better safe than sorry.

Have with roast veggies, or any way veggies, or make yummy easy chicken salad sandwiches.
Leftovers are good through pasta or in sandwiches for lunches.

Make sure you clean down surfaces and anything the chicken touched. Or if you touched things like drawer handles with chickeny hands, clean them. I use boiling water and disinfectant spray.

Happy cooking everyone.

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