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Weeknight Roast Chicken

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Weeknight Roast Chicken by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Who says chicken-roasting is strictly a weekend affair? Survey says…NOBODY—especially with this simple and satisfying Weeknight Roast Chicken recipe. It comes straight out of the newest cookbook from the food nerds at America’s Test Kitchen, The Cook’s Illustrated Meat Book: The Game-Changing Guide that Teaches You How to Cook Meat and Poultry with 425 Bulletproof Recipes.

Weeknight Roast Chicken by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

This carnivore-pleasing tome isn’t the first ATK book in my collection. Over the years, I’ve amassed over 30 of their books. (I’ve lost count, actually.) I don’t like to think of myself as a hoarder; I just can’t resist the lure of guaranteed-awesome recipes that have been tested dozens of times. The crew at ATK’s done all the tweaking and testing so that you and I can follow their recipes knowing that even dummies like us can’t screw things up too badly.

Weeknight Roast Chicken by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

ATK’s dishes are always solid, but its recipe for Weeknight Roast Chicken is a real game-changer. No fancy ingredients or techniques are needed; just grab a whole chicken, salt, pepper, some fat, a piece of string, and a meat thermometer, and PRESTO-CHANGE-O!—in less than 5 minutes, the chicken’ll be ready for the oven. Best of all, The Meat Book reveals the secret to moist chicken: Turn off the oven midway through the cooking time.

Weeknight Roast Chicken by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

I’ve tried it. It works. It’s genius.

Ingredients for the Chicken (serves 4):

  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 (3½- to 4-pound) whole chicken, giblets discarded
  • 1 tablespoon melted ghee (or fat of choice)

For the Optional Tarragon-Lemon Pan Sauce:

  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 1 cup chicken broth or bone broth
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter (or cold ghee)
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh tarragon
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • Freshly ground black pepper

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Forky Friday: 9/26/14

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Forky Friday: 9/26/14 by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Ready for my favorite food-related links o’ the week? Go grab your amber goggles and dig in!

Lego Kitchen

First things first: There is a kitchen made of Legos. Did you hear me? MADE OF LEGOS.

Forky Friday: 9/26/14 by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

I suspect at least one of my children is already planning a kitchen remodel.

I Wear My Orange Glasses At Night

Who here saw last weekend’s Sunday Style section of The New York Times? It featured a surprisingly extensive article about the Paleo lifestyle, declaring that “the time has passed when it could be written off as a fringe movement.”

Forky Friday: 9/26/14 by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

The newspaper of record has explored the Paleo lifestyle before, but the first time was almost five years ago. (Trivia: as longtime readers know, it’s how Henry and I originally learned about the “caveman diet.”) This time around, the Times contacted me out of the blue to interview me for the article. They even sent a photographer to get a shot of me in my goofy amber goggles, sitting on the kids’ messy bunk bed (because I refused to let the photographer into my even-messier bedroom).

So glamorous.

Forky Friday: 9/26/14 by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

The article’s pretty fair, albeit a tad sensationalistic—especially when it refers to me as “something of a Martha Stewart of Paleo.” I’m fairly certain Martha would call that bit of hyperbole not “a good thing.”

(She wouldn’t be the only one. In fact, there are hundreds of Paleo-unfriendly comments on the online version of the article. I guess not everyone wants to be weirdos like us.)

Food Waste

On a less self-aggrandizing note, I came across an eye-opening report from Harvest Public Media about the excessive amount of food we waste in America. Get this: in 2012, we dumped 35 million tons of food in landfills—even though 1 in 6 Americans goes hungry. Yikes.

Forky Friday: 9/26/14 by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

I go to great lengths to score the healthiest food available to my family—but I know I don’t always cook or eat it all.  After checking out this report, I’m reminded of the importance of doing my part in reducing food waste.

My actionable takeaways:

  1. Buy what we need, and eat what we buy.
  2. Meal plan like a champ.
  3. Finish our leftovers.

It’s that simple.

Oh—one more thing: I’m putting a “bucket of judgment” on my kitchen counter to collect all the food I toss. Shame’s the best motivator, right? If you’re ready to get inspired, watch the 30-minute video here.

Tomato-gate

Serious Eats recently posted three articles about tomato storage that blew my mind. (You can read them here, here, and here. I suggest strapping on a helmet first, to keep your brains in.) I’d always been taught that one should always keep tomatoes at room temperature because refrigerating ’em dramatically diminishes the flavor and changes the texture. My childhood memories of bland, mealy, refrigerated tomatoes reinforced this belief. I never questioned it.

Forky Friday: 9/26/14 by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Well, until now.

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How to Store Bone Broth

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How to Store Bone Broth by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

With the kids back in school—or as I like to call it, The Friendly Neighborhood Petri Dish—I’ve been making plenty of bone broth to ward off the assorted bugs and ailments that the boys bring home. After all, bone broth is much more than a simple flavor booster for soups, stews, and stir-fries; it’s one of my favorite ways to keep the family healthy. At this time of year, Big-O and Lil-O seem to perpetually be on the verge of catching a cold, but a good night’s sleep and a steaming mug of bone broth in the morning seem to keep the worst at bay. I don’t want my boys missing school. (Confession: it’s mostly because I can’t get any work done unless they’re out of the house.)

How to Store Bone Broth by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

In my cookbook, I offer three different methods to make bone broth, but I tend to either use a slow cooker or a pressure cooker. Whenever I’m pressed for time and/or feeling lazy (which is ALWAYS), I break out a programmable pressure cooker and dump in all the ingredients at bedtime. Even after the cooking time is up, the soup stays hot, so we can have fresh bone broth in the morning. I’m telling you: I’m totally investing in a second Instant Pot. (And no, Instant Pot doesn’t pay me to gush. I just do it ’cause I can’t help myself.)

How to Store Bone Broth by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

I know, I know: to my loyal readers, the awesomeness of bone broth and programmable pressure cookers is old news. But here’s something we haven’t yet covered: once we’ve got ourselves a piping-hot pot of homemade bone broth, how the bleep are we supposed to store it?

Although Michael Ruhlman initially suggested keeping it at room temperature for up to a week (and simply boiling it each time before using it), he changed his mind after reading Harold McGee’s article in the New York Times. Even if refrigerated, the longest bone broth can be stored is a few days ’cause it’s such a spectacular growth medium for bacteria.

Here’s what I do with a freshly made batch of bone broth:

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Paleo Lunchboxes 2014 Preview!

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Kids: Put away the gadgets ’cause it’s time to head back to school!

As in years past, I’ve teamed up with our friends at LunchBots to show you that portable Paleo lunches can be healthier and more satisfying than a soggy PB&J sandwich. From tomorrow through Labor Day, I’ll be posting a myriad of midday meal ideas that’ll (hopefully!) inspire you to take a few moments out of your day to throw some meat, veggies, and fruit into a container. These aren’t just for kids, either—grown-up eaters will have plenty to feast on, too.

Plus, for those of you who’ve requested heartier fare for bigger eaters, I’ve got you covered! This year, you’ll find even more rib-sticking meals in this lunch series. 

Come back tomorrow for the inaugural post—and in the meantime, check out the previous years’ lunches!

Slim Palate’s Pistachio-Crusted Salmon

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Slim Palate's Pistachio-Crusted Salmon by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Know what you can get with just six ingredients and twenty minutes? A seriously sophisticated supper.

I wish I could take credit for this elegant and deceptively simple salmon dish, but I actually found it in my pal Joshua Weissman’s The Slim Palate Paleo Cookbook. At the ripe old age of 18 (yep—Josh wrote his cookbook before graduating from high school), he’s figured out that no one needs a bunch of fussy ingredients or fancy techniques to create flavorful, crowd-pleasing dishes.

Slim Palate's Pistachio-Crusted Salmon by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Having tried Josh’s Pistachio-Crusted Salmon, I’ve decided to add it to the regular dinner rotation at our house because:

  1. I want my family to eat more fish.
  2. My kids love salmon, I know I won’t hear any complaints at the dinner table.
  3. always have the other ingredients for this recipe on hand—except for the salmon.

Thankfully, I can order sustainable seafood from Siren Fish Co. (via Good Eggs)—including some fantastic wild king salmon. I tweaked Josh’s recipe slightly to accommodate my one-pound fillet, which I divided into three portions. But don’t worry: the magical flavors and textures of this dish are all Josh.

Here’s what to gather to feed 3 people (or—in our case—2 adults and 2 pint-sized boys):

  • 1 (1-pound) wild king salmon fillet, skin on and pin bones removed
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly-ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons Dijon-style mustard (I actually used the whole grain variety)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped chives or scallions
  • ½ cup shelled salted and dry roasted pistachios, crushed

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