The focus to the Brandon’s Daily Dish Cookbook has been underway for several weeks now. Recipes are planed out, some fully written, while others have begun to the process of being cooked, filmed and documented. In total, there are currently over 70 brand new recipes, but I intend to narrow down to 48. The recipes span a range of home cooking to fine dining over each course.
My objective is to not only make the recipes visually stunning, but I would like the book to be practical and approachable for the home cook. Do not get me wrong I love coffee table cookbooks, but recipes that requires a team to assemble is not going to ever be approachable for most people. This endeavor strives to expand palates, enabling people to learn more about food and wine while picking up a cooking technique or two that can be used in every day cooking.
While struggling to come up with some exciting desserts, I cooked up a first version of my Roasted Chicken and Ramps dish. Please ignore my horrible almost illegible scribbling but this is how each dish begins.
Roasted Chicken, Crispy Potato and Ramp Jus
Hands down, a properly roasted chicken is one of the most comforting plates of food to eat. The crispy skin, tender juicy meat and the jus finish off the perfect bite. Like all good cooking, this take time and practice to perfect. Although I do love brining the chicken because it results in uniformly seasoned, moist meat, the single drawback is it pulls too much moisture out of the skin. This can make the skin more susceptible to burning quickly and the jus will start with a higher salt content than non-brined roasting.
I prefer not to brine, but instead simply rub the whole chicken with butter and seasoning. The process of roasting the chicken provides the base layer of flavor for the jus or pan sauce. The caramelized skin sticking to the bottom of the pan is deglazed with chicken stock, reduced, and then seasonal ramps are added. Ramps provide an extra garlicky and leek like flavor to the sauce. The sauce is finished with a touch of cream.
Carrots, leeks, baby shiitake mushrooms and potatoes are accompaniment vegetables. Each has its own technique and preparation. In my opinion, the pairing of leeks with chicken is sublime. The leeks are cleaned, blanched lightly and then braised in the sauce. The potatoes are cut, blanched and roasted to crispy. The whole carrots are roasted and the shiitake are simply sautéed with butter.