My Mom is here this week! I've been showing her our spots, including my favorite antique and stationary shops, farmers markets and beaches. I am so thankful that we get to live on this beautiful peninsula this year and spend time with our families. We've spent quality time with our parents three times since being back in the States over the past few months, as compared to seeing them once during the three years we lived in Okinawa.
My Mom and I have also been making some amazing meals together (my love for cooking is in large part because of her!) while Cam has been pairing each with bottles of reds and whites we brought back from our Napa trip. The first night here I made her my Spicy Chorizo Vegetable Soup, the next was Grilled Shrimp with Smokey Garlic Greenbeans and a Nectarine + Strawberry + Goat Cheese Arugula Salad and a bottle of Chardonnay, last night was this delicious roast chicken and vegetables.
On Monday I took her to my second favorite farmer's market in Monterey, the Pacific Grove Farmer's Market. (This one is my first!) We brought home three baskets of sweet strawberries, two of blackberries, both for our salad, zucchini, carrots, tomatoes and Latvian dessert. Life is good when Grandma visits. And thanks to her, here are her tips for making the very best roast chicken!
The Best Simple Roast Chicken
1 whole chicken for roasting
1 TBS crushed garlic + 6 garlic cloves, peeled
fine sea salt
ancho chile pepper
4 sprigs fresh rosemary
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
If there are giblets inside the chicken, remove them. Rinse the chicken under cold water, both the outside and the cavity. Pat the chicken dry with a paper towel and set it in a large baking dish. Slice the lemon in half and squeeze the juice all over the chicken. Put the lemon halves inside the cavity along with the fresh rosemary sprigs and garlic cloves. Drizzle enough olive oil over the chicken (roughly 2 tablespoons) that you can rub it in to the entire bird with your fingers. Rub in the crushed garlic and cover the chicken with the sea salt, pepper, oregano and paprika, about 1/2 teaspoon of each up to a teaspoon, depending on your taste.
Roast for about an hour, depending on the size of the chicken, or until clear juices run out. Halfway through baking, spoon the juices on the bottom of the baking dish over the chicken to keep it moist and again once it's done roasting.
Roasted Carrots & Zucchini
3 zucchini, sliced lengthwise
1 bunch of carrots, sliced lengthwise
fine sea salt
Place the sliced vegetables in a baking dish and drizzle 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil over the top with about 1/2 teaspoon to a teaspoon of salt. Toss the vegetables with your hands. Once the chicken has baked for about 20 minutes, add the vegetable dish to the oven and bake for the remaining 30-40 minutes at 400 degrees F. Serve the vegetables with the chicken, allowing them to soak up some of the juices.