Simply Roasted Chicken


Just because you have no money, doesn’t mean you have to eat unhealthy!!!!

That’s my Rachel Ray intro. And this is my $4 meal plan.

I braved Trader Joe’s again today after work (thank god I beat the rush by leaving work at 7 pm…..hurray). First things first-a hefty bottle of wine. Second, fill my basket with all kinds of snacks and foods that do not even make one coherent meal. I came home with about 50% snacks, a lot of dips (nothing to dip in them), and a pack of chicken breasts. After drinking 2 glasses of wine and licking hummus off a spoon, I had an aha! moment. I looked to my left and noticed the untouched pile of cooking books I shipped over from Los Angeles. One of them, is an amazing coffee table book I recommend you purchase immediately. It was a Christmas gift from my friend PETER LEE titled, The Last Supper. (Originally, I was going to a cook a recipe from every cookbook I received over Christmas and have this wonderful series on re-creating restaurant favorites at home, but as many things in my life-I never got around to it). It’s a compilation of short interviews with famous chefs asking them, “If you were going to die tomorrow, what would you want for your last meal on earth?” A lot of interesting answers, some more elaborate than others. While some chose to leave earth with only the taste of the finest slice of bread, others decided to gorge themselves with every conceivable ingredient on earth. The best part about the book is that the author divulges the recipes for all of these famous chefs’ culinary fantasies. Some are clearly more manageable than others (unless you have the patience and wallet to re-create Mario Batalli’s 8 course love affair with food.) I chose to re-create Thomas Keller’s roasted chicken. You can put away your notepad and high-tech stainless-steal kitchen gadgetry, because this, my friend, will only require 3 ingredients-2 of which should already be in your cabinet. I hope.

Thomas Keller’s Favorite Simple Roast Chicken re-imagined for the purposes of cooking in a closet

2 split chicken breasts with ribs from Trader Joe’s-$4.19

kosher Salt

Freshly ground black pepper

Thin slices of garlic, olive oil-optional

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Insert thin slices of garlic between the skin and breast of the chicken. Generously sprinkle salt and pepper on both sides of the chicken. Drizzle with olive oil. Place on roasting pan/cookie sheet (Just as long as the pan doesn’t have of too high walls. It will create steam and not give you as crispy of a skin). Roast for 45-50 minutes (works every time) or until the juices run clear. Remove from the oven and baste the chicken with the juices and let it rest for 15 minutes on a cutting board.

Slather the meat with fresh butter and/or dijon mustard if you so desire. Serve with a salad if you must. Be amazed by your culinary talents. Enjoy with all ten fingers.

[I realize it’s not the best picture to follow the statement but I’m telling you it was the juiciest piece of chicken with a skin crisp enough to cut the roof of you mouth I’ve ever roasted myself in the kitchen the size of a closet]

Served with some tabbouleh salad from Trader Joe’s ($2) and a dollop of hummus I found in my fridge, it was the best dinner I had for $4. Who says you can’t cook in New York.


2 Responses to “Simply Roasted Chicken”

  1. 1 Peter

    cool post… hmm.. who gave you that book?

  2. 2 Carlo

    wow, great article! I can’t wait to try this cheap meal!

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