Roast Chicken with Schmaltzy Onions

Roast Chicken with Schmaltzy OnionsIt has come to my attention that a shocking amount of my friends and acquaintances have never attempted to roast a chicken. In fact, some have admitted to being terrified of the process. Not intimidated. Terrified.

Y’all, that’s sort of ridiculous. If you fall into this category, let me be the one to tell you that roast chicken is one of the easiest things in the world to make.

It’s chicken, not rocket science.

Roast Chicken with Schmaltzy OnionsHere’s everything you’ll need to make a quality roast chicken: salt and pepper, olive oil, garlic, rosemary (or thyme), a lemon, a lot of onions, and a whole chicken.

Roast Chicken with Schmaltzy OnionsFirst things first—slice up the onions and layer them in the pan. You want at least two layers of thick onion slices.

Roast Chicken with Schmaltzy OnionsDry off your chicken with paper towels and lay it on that bed of onions. You want it breast-side up, meaning that the neck and tail will be down. Grease the inside and outside of your bird with olive oil and give it a good massage with salt and pepper.

Roast Chicken with Schmaltzy OnionsRoast Chicken with Schmaltzy OnionsTuck the wingtips under the breast. This helps the chicken to cook more as a cohesive unit and keeps the wings from drying out. They may move as they cook—that’s okay.

Roast Chicken with Schmaltzy OnionsStuff the lemon, garlic, and rosemary (or thyme) in the cavity, and slide the chicken into a 475F oven. Yes, 475F. This initial burst of high heat helps the skin turn golden. As the cooking time moves on, the heat will be turned down to 450F and finally 400F. This keeps the chicken from burning or drying out throughout the long roasting time.

Roast Chicken with Schmaltzy OnionsWhen you finally remove the chicken from the oven, it’ll be golden and beautiful. When I roast chickens, I nearly always get comments on how aesthetically pleasing they look.

Roast Chicken with Schmaltzy OnionsRoast Chicken with Schmaltzy OnionsBut who cares about looks—it’s all about flavor! And this chicken has plenty of it. The skin is crispy, the meat is moist, and everything is well seasoned.

Roast Chicken with Schmaltzy OnionsRoast Chicken with Schmaltzy OnionsRoast Chicken with Schmaltzy OnionsAnd that’s to say nothing of the soft roasted onions that are coated in rendered chicken fat (aka schmaltz). Seriously, if you’ve never tasted a sweet onion that’s been cooked in chicken fat, you’ve been deprived.

Roast Chicken with Schmaltzy OnionsBetter make up for lost time.Roast Chicken with Schmaltzy Onions

Roast Chicken with Schmaltzy Onions
makes one 5 pound chicken

2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
2-3 pounds sweet onions, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch slices
1 1/2-2 teaspoons Kosher or sea salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
1 5-5.5 pound raw whole chicken, giblets removed
1 lemon, sliced in half equatorially
1 small-medium head of garlic, sliced in half equatorially
2 sprigs fresh rosemary or 10 sprigs fresh thyme

***Make sure your oven is fairly clean before starting. The high heat in this recipe can cause smoke if there is any significant grime on the walls or floor of your oven.***

Place an oven rack in the center position. Preheat oven to 475F.

Grease the bottom of a 9×13-inch casserole dish (or other large high-sided pan) with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Top with layers of onion slices. Set aside.

In a small bowl, mix together salt and pepper.

Use paper towels to blot chicken to remove excess moisture—make sure to do this inside the cavity, too. Place chicken, breast-side up, on the bed of onions.

Coat chicken inside-and-out with remaining tablespoon of olive oil. Massage salt and pepper onto chicken, including the cavity. Stuff the cavity with the lemon, garlic, and rosemary (or thyme).

Put pan in the oven. Roast for 90 minutes, reducing the heat to 450F at the 30 minute mark and 400F at the 60 minute mark.

Chicken is done when a thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the thigh (not touching bone) reads 165F. Juices should run clear.

Remove chicken from oven and tent loosely with foil. Let rest for 20-30 minutes.

Uncover pan. Lift chicken and pour any excess liquid from the cavity. Place chicken on a cutting board and remove lemon halves, garlic, and thyme/rosemary. Carve chicken (here’s a tutorial).

Use tongs or a wooden spoon to stir onions together with rendered chicken fat (aka schmaltz). Serve chicken and onions together, spooning schmaltz over the top as desired.

Leftovers will keep in the refrigerator for up to five days.

Roast Chicken with Schmaltzy Onions

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Make Your Own Pumpkin Purée

Did you get pie pumpkins at the farmstand this year? Good, me too! I have about ten cans of perfectly good pumpkin purée in my kitchen, but I just couldn’t resist the cute display at Salinger’s Orchard.

My pumpkins sat on my counter for two weeks waiting for me to do something with them. I thought about making Dorie Greenspan’s Pumpkin Stuffed with Everything Good, but let’s be real, I do not need a whole pumpkin filled with bread, cheese, and bacon. I considered just keeping them for decoration, but that’s just a waste. And so I came to my senses and made pumpkin purée.Make Your Own Pumpkin Purée

Y’all, I am a big fan of canned pumpkin purée for everyday baking, but it doesn’t hold a candle to this stuff. It’s sweet and rich, and look at that color! I’m not saying I’ll be making my own all the time or anything, but it’s fun to use an actual pumpkin to make cookies every once in a while!

Let me show you how to make your own pumpkin purée.Make Your Own Pumpkin Purée

Grab your pumpkin. This is a sugar pumpkin, but cheese pumpkins work well too!Make Your Own Pumpkin Purée

Remove the stem and slice it in halves or quarters, depending on the size. See those seeds and fibrous innards? Scoop ’em out with a sturdy spoon. You can save the seeds and roast them later.Make Your Own Pumpkin Purée

Place your pumpkin pieces in a casserole (or your trusty cast-iron skillet). Pour in water until there’s about 1/4-inch in the bottom of the pan. No need for oil or anything.Make Your Own Pumpkin Purée

Roast your pumpkin pieces at 375F for 45-50 minutes, or until they are fork-tender. Let them cool until you can handle them.Make Your Own Pumpkin Purée

Use a sturdy spoon to separate the flesh from the skin.Make Your Own Pumpkin PuréeMake Your Own Pumpkin Purée

Throw all that good pumpkin in a food processor and let it go for 3-5 minutes, until smooth. Mine puréed up just fine, but if yours looks dry, add water by the tablespoon until it looks right.Make Your Own Pumpkin Purée

That’s it! Transfer your pumpkin purée to an airtight container and refrigerate it for up to a week. It’s really delicious stirred into yogurt and oatmeal, but why not use it to make something delicious?!Make Your Own Pumpkin Purée

Like Pumpkin Oat Muffins.Make Your Own Pumpkin Purée

Or Pumpkin Spice Latte Cupcakes.Make Your Own Pumpkin Purée
Or Chewy Pumpkin Ginger Cookies.Make Your Own Pumpkin Purée

Or Pumpkin Wafers & Pumpkin Icebox Cake.Make Your Own Pumpkin Purée

Or the lightest, fluffiest Pumpkin Pie ever.

Let me know what you’re baking with pumpkin this fall! @e2bakesbrooklyn on Instagram 💗 

Mason Jar Cold Brew Coffee

 Every night, before I go to bed, I make coffee. No, not to enjoy right then–it’s for the next morning.

I don’t have any sort of fancy pot that has a timer, and woodland creatures don’t come all the way to Brooklyn to click any buttons. No, all I need is a mason jar, some cheesecloth, and a functional refrigerator to have my coffee ready to go the minute I wake up! 

Have you ever had cold brew coffee? I love it. The rich flavor and lack of acidity are absolutely divine on any summer day. A few years ago, I got really into making my own cold brew, but I hated pushing it through cheesecloth and a fine-mesh sieve to remove the grounds (and still finding some in my glass anyway). And all the methods I had seen at the time involved making enough for an army. I am one woman with eight pounds of butter and four dozen eggs in my fridge at all times–I don’t need two gallons of coffee in there too.

For the last several years, I have resorted to purchasing iced coffee twice a day (which adds up quickly) or making a warm pot of coffee and then letting it come to room temperature before pouring it over ice. The coffee itself was fine, but I longed for the deeper flavor of cold brew…sans annoying straining step and insane quantity. 

A few weeks ago, one of my favorite bloggers, Julie van Rosendaal, wrote a Facebook post about making cold brew in a mason jar…and all my wildest iced coffee dreams came true. I tried her method that night, and when I went to pour my coffee the next morning, I fell in love. 

The coffee is rich and smooth, absolutely perfect with a little cashew milk (my latest obsession). Her method makes just enough for one morning, so there isn’t any week-old coffee taking up space in the fridge, and the coffee is strained directly from jar-to-glass through a few layers of cheesecloth, so you won’t find any grounds in your glass.

The method is so easy that I’ve made cold brew everyday since! Here’s how I make Mason Jar Cold Brew Coffee:  

 I put freshly-ground coffee and water into a quart mason jar, screw on the lid, and shake it up to get everything distributed. I put it in the fridge, and then go straight to bed. 

The grounds steep in the water overnight, and I wake up to a ready-made jar of coffee. 

  All I have to do is exchange the lid for cheesecloth, and pour it into my favorite glass. I used a funnel here since the mouth of my glass is small enough that coffee might go everywhere but where I want it to! 

I add a splash of cashew milk, stir it up, and enjoy the start of the day.

So, take a little time tonight to make some coffee. You can thank me tomorrow. 

 Mason Jar Cold Brew Coffee
from Julie van Rosendaal
makes 3 cups

2/3 cup ground coffee
3 cups water

Special Equipment:
1 quart mason jar with lid and screw band
cheesecloth (I use one 8×5-inch piece folded in half)

For Serving:
milk of choice
cream
water

Pour ground coffee into the bottom of a quart mason jar. Fill with three cups of water. Put on the lid and screw band and shake to distribute coffee grounds. Refrigerate for 8-12 hours.

Remove lid and screw band. Coffee will have risen to the top of the jar and look muddy. Stir with a table knife or long spoon. Place four layers of cheesecloth over the top of the jar, making sure that there are no open gaps at the edges. Screw on screw band.

Fill a glass with ice cubes. Pour coffee through the cheesecloth into the glass until it is 2/3 full. Fill the glass the rest of the way with milk or cream, or water for black cold brew. Store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours.

Make Your Own Brown Sugar

 We’ve all been there.

The butter’s softened, the eggs are room temperature. You’ve got everything ready to make an incredible batch of cookies.

And then you go for the brown sugar, and you’re totally out 😭😭😭😭😭 

You just bought a new bag last week (or three new bags, if you’re me). Do you really have to go to the store *right now*?!

Well, no. All you need are two ingredients and a food processor! 

Place one cup of granulated sugar in the bowl of the food processor, along with a tablespoon of unsulphered molasses. Then, let it go for 3-5 minutes, scraping down the bowl as necessary.

At first, it might look a little clumpy and weird, but then, suddenly… 

 You’ve got light brown sugar! 

If you need dark brown sugar, just whirl in an extra tablespoon of molasses! 

You can use your homemade brown sugar to make these

Or these.

Or this rockin’ banana bread. Or pretty much any recipe that asks for the stuff.

Store any leftovers in an airtight container or zip-top bag with all the excess air pressed out. Easy.

So the next time you’re out of brown sugar, don’t grab your car keys or subway pass. Just grab the food processor 😊