I caught a tweet the other day from Food and Wine’s Mad Genius Tips hawking a “crazy easy” method to roast a chicken — upright and speared on the center of a Bundt pan. I was immediately intrigued and had to try it. It works.
Besides making the chicken extra crispy, juicy and nicely flavored, the pan drippings roast into any vegetables you drop into the pan.
Turns out this is not a new idea, as I found recipes going back to at least 2007 that called for using a Bundt or tube pan with this method, and of course the concept of roasting upright is not a new one — remember beer can chicken?
At any rate, I fooled around with the Bundt and a favorite traditional recipe for roasting chicken and came up with the version here.
The idea of having a new use for a kitchen-space eater I rarely use was what attracted me most about the tweet — and it made me wonder if there were other clever alternative uses for kitchen gadgets and appliances out there. If you’ve got a good one, email or write with your discovery so I can pass it on — but please, no dishwasher fish packets!
Q. I am wondering if you have a recipe for turtle candy that you make in the microwave? A friend brought these to our book club and said the only thing that takes time is unwrapping the Rolos. She gave out your recipe for baking them but I live in a studio apartment.
A. This is one of those just-too-good-to-be-so-simple recipes that gets passed around whenever someone who hasn’t had them before gets an addicting taste. Basically your friend is right — unwrapping the candy is the toughest step! I’ve updated the recipe from a 2011 column to include microwave directions for you.
Oltremare Ristorante in the newly re-opened Amara Cay Resort in Islamorada specializes in housemade pasta and a menu inspired by Italian coastal cuisine that chef Dario Olivera says is influenced by what’s caught and grown locally.
He kindly shared his recipe for fettuccine carbonara. If you like making your own pasta, the directions are included. But Olivera and says it is “absolutely” OK for home cooks to skip making the pasta and use a quality fresh fettuccine instead.
Note: For those unfamiliar with guanciale, it is an Italian cured product made from pork cheek and is seasoned with black and red pepper, thyme and garlic. If you don’t find it at an Italian market, substitute pancetta. The egg yolk will cook as it is tossed with the hot pasta, but use pasteurized eggs if you have any health concerns.
Send questions and responses to LindaCiceroCooks@aol.com or Food, The Miami Herald, 3511 NW 91st Ave., Doral, FL 33172.
Bundt Pan Lemon-Rosemary Chicken
1 (4- to 5-pound) whole chicken
2 pounds baby red potatoes
1 pound baby carrots
1/2 cup whole pearl onions
3 tablespoons olive oil
Leaves from 2 to 3 sprigs fresh rosemary
3 to 4 cloves fresh garlic, minced
Salt and pepper to taste
Heat oven to 425 degrees, with a single rack placed in the lowest position. Rinse the chicken and tuck the tips of the wings behind the neck. Remove the zest from the lemon and reserve. Pierce the lemon, then push it into the cavity of the chicken, as far as it will go (cut in half if using a very small chicken). Push the chicken onto the cone of the Bundt pan, neck side up. Arrange the potatoes, carrots and onions all around the ring of the Bundt to help stabilize the chicken.
In a bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lemon zest, rosemary, garlic and salt and pepper. Brush over the chicken, then drizzle the remainder over the vegetables. You may want to put the Bundt pan into a larger baking pan or a cookie sheet to catch any wayward drippings from falling into the oven. Or cover the cone with foil before placing the chicken on top if it has a hole in the center. Bake 1 hour, or until a thermometer inserted into the meatiest portion of the thigh registers 165 degrees. Let stand 10 minutes before slicing. Makes 6 servings.
Variations: You can use other vegetables, such as lengths of celery or chunks of turnips, beets, yuca or sweet onion — anything that can tolerate long roasting. The lemon is not necessary, and a small orange or a lime would be just as good. Or shortcut completely and simply douse the chicken and vegetables with a drizzle of olive oil and a splash of bottled mojo or balsamic vinegar.
Per serving: 595 calories (51 percent from fat), 34 g fat (8.5 g saturated, 17.6 g monounsaturated), 200 cholesterol, 41 g protein, 33 g carbohydrates, 5.7 g fiber, 224 mg sodium.
Source: Linda Cicero.
Oltremare Fettuccine Carbonara
For the pasta:
5 cups flour (00 preferred)
2 cups semolina flour
1 cup egg yolks (about 12)
1 tablespoon salt
1 cup water
2 ounces olive oil
2 cups durum flour for dusting
For the sauce
2 ounces guanciale
1 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoons olive
1 teaspoon sliced garlic
1/2 ounce freshly shaved parmesan
1 egg yolk
5 ounces fresh fettuccine
Cracked black pepper
To make the pasta: Place all dry ingredients in the bowl of an electric mixer with dough hook and slowly start mixing. Add egg yolks and olive oil slowly into flour mixture then start slowly adding the water. Once all ingredients are mixed together, knead for about 5 minutes. Place a towel over pasta dough and let rest for at least 30 minutes. Once rested, cut pasta into 4 equal parts and dust with durum flour. Work with one part at a time following instructions for your pasta machine and keep the remaining dough beneath a damp towel. You will have enough pasta for 6 to 8 portions. Pasta can be made in advance and kept in airtight container for up to 3 days.
To make the sauce: Slice the guanciale very thin and place in a heavy skillet over medium-low heat. Cook long enough to render the fat from the guanciale, about 5 minutes. Remove guanciale from the pan. Add the olive oil and slowly cook just until fragrant. Add the butter and return the guanciale to the pan. Once the mixture starts to lightly brown remove from heat.
To serve: Cook pasta in lightly salted boiling water until it floats. Drain the pasta, reserving the cooking liquid, and place in pan with the guanciale and garlic. Add about 1/2 cup of the pasta water and bring mixture to a simmer, tossing well. Place pasta and sauce in bowl and shave parmesan on top to create a nest. Slip the yolk into the cheese nest and season with freshly ground pepper.
Per serving: 588 calories (23 percent from fat), 14.7 g fat (4.7 g saturated, 6.3 g monounsaturated), 311 cholesterol, 20.4 g protein, 91 g carbohydrates, 3.7 g fiber, 1090 mg sodium.
Source: Chef Dario Olivera and adapted for home use by Linda Cicero.
Easy Chocolate Caramel Turtles
30 miniature pretzels
covered caramel candies
Oven directions: Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Cover a cookie sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil. Arrange pretzels on cookie sheet, leaving 1/2 inch between. Center an unwrapped caramel candy on each. Place in oven for 3 to 4 minutes, until candy softens but is not melted. Remove from oven and press a pecan half into each candy. Allow to cool completely before storing in airtight container.
Microwave directions: Line a microwave-safe plate with waxed or parchment paper, or use paper plates. Arrange 6 pretzels at a time in a spoke around the plate and top each with an unwrapped candy. Microwave on medium (50 percent) power for 30 seconds and check to see if the caramels are soft; add 10 seconds more if necessary. Slide the paper off the plate and allow candy to cool. Makes 30.
Per turtle: 85 calories (44 percent from fat), 4.2 g fat (0.7 g saturated, 1.5 g monounsaturated), 0 mg cholesterol, 1.8 g protein, 10 g carbohydrates, 0.8 g fiber, 28 mg sodium.
Source: Cook’s Corner archives.