Back to Basics

Chef Thomas Keller, of The French Laundry [Yountville, California], “ad hoc” [Yountville, California] and Per Se [New York City] is the inspiration behind part of tonight’s dinner. Chef Keller is one of the pre-eminent restaurant chefs in the United States today. In 2005, he was awarded the highest, three star rating in the inaugural Michelin Guide for New York for his restaurant Per Se, and in 2006, he was awarded three stars in the inaugural Michelin Guide to the Bay Area for his restaurant The French Laundry, making him one of only two chefs in the world with two simultaneous three-star restaurants.

View Chef Keller’s recipe for roast chicken here.

The recipe below is my own, however.

If you saw a pic of my kitchen, you’d laugh or cry. Perhaps both. Slightly larger than a typical bathroom in a one bedroom apartment in Manhattan, it has barely enough space to cook, much less prepare the types of meals I’m used to in previous apartments I’ve lived in. Given that my smoke alarm goes off at the slightest hint of heat, it’s almost a divine miracle that the neighbors haven’t banged on my door wondering why the damn thing has gone off again.

Pan-sauteed green beans and baby red-skinned potatoes

green beans, trimmed
red-skinned potatoes, scrubbed and sliced
kosher salt
extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 yellow onion, chopped
cracked black pepper
1/4 T. unsalted butter, cut into bits
chives, minced

Cook green beans and potatoes in salted boiling water until vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes. Drain and immediately blanch in ice water to preserve color.

Saute onion in olive oil over medium-high heat until translucent. Add a pinch of salt and cracked black pepper, to taste. Stir for an additional 30 seconds to 1 minute, then add vegetables to pan. Cook until vegetables have a golden brown crust, about 5-7 minutes. Add butter in the last 30 seconds of cooking. Check seasoning, sprinkle with chives, and serve immediately.

Note: Using unsalted butter adds a bit of richness. Feel free to omit it if you like. This dish is delicious enough without its addition.

7 thoughts

  1. Looks delicious. I love roast chicken. My kitchen is about the size of a freight elevator, with a 12-foot ceiling, so I hear you. I manage though, and a friend said I can make myself feel better by realizing that I could have the same tiny kitchen in a $3000+/mo Manhattan apartment. So there.

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  2. Exactly, the cost of living here isn’t nearly as bad as NYC, though Santa Barbara is a pricey place.

    So, I have a New York-style tiny kitchen, but luckily I don’t pay New York prices to top it off, so I have at least one thing to gloat about!

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  3. The chicken looks amazing, nice work. I especially love “Separate the middle wing joint and eat that immediately”.

    Hope you followed directions. 🙂

    I was in the city that week(+end) too. Had I known you’d be serving perfect roast chicken, I would have dropped by… ;o)

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  4. I’m sure somewhere there’s a book called “Easy Kitchen Secrets for Dummies” but I have yet to find it in bookstores. 😉

    Probably not as complicated as I’ve made it out to be.

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