This recipe comes to us from the extraordinary Devaki Das, a fellow food blogger and lover of global cuisine. You can read more about her in this interview, and visit her site for myriad drool-worthy recipes at Weave a Thousand Flavors. Just promise me that if you cook any of her food, invite me over for dinner. She is a master of her craft! Continue reading Dev’s Roasted Apple, Brie & Thyme Soup
I “met” Dev (and I employ ironic quotes here because, like so many other food bloggers, we’ve yet to meet face-to-face) through the fabulous foodie network, FoodBuzz. A hive of self-proclaimed culinary nerds and cheffie mavens alike (the two go hand-in-hand), the site offered a way for folks to dish and compare techniques online. Dev has always been a champion of what I like to call the “fearless global kitchen” – she crafts recipes that cull ingredients from all points of the globe, and the words and images on her wildly popular blog, Weave a Thousand Flavors, speak to her passion for cooking. Though Dev is originally from India and a true globetrotter in every sense of the word, she has ties to both Phoenix, Arizona and Northern Virginia (two locales that many of you know I call home). I chuckle at the feeling of the world getting smaller and smaller, and am happy that once again, that darned kooky internet proves indispensable in allowing me access to such brilliant souls. I was truly honored to make her acquaintance a few years back, and am even more excited to introduce her to you!
Dev offers us this ultra-luxe soup to add to our culinary arsenals, light and silken enough to be served on the hottest summer day, but richly-scented with honest flavors of fall. How often do you get to serve a year-round classic? Now’s your chance! Get the Recipe
How did you decide to become a food blogger?
At the risk of sounding pretentious, I knew that there was a reason for my love and passion for food and cooking. I have been cooking since I was 9 years old and all my knowledge has been acquired through true grit experience. I am self-taught. And I believe that my knowledge is meant to be shared. If one person can cook, make a dish well that they would never have been able to accomplish previously, then the blog is doing what it has set out to do. I want to help people cook and be proud!What is your earliest memory in the kitchen?
The first dish i ever made at age 9 was a vegetable pilaf, the onions were nearly black but it was my first leap into the kitchen and I have never looked back since.
How would you describe your cooking style in three adjectives?
Honest, impulsive and organic (not in ingredients but in style) I never decide where a dish is going to go. I begin and then let each step unfold into the next.
How has cooking for your website changed the way you approach the kitchen and ingredients?
I now not only think of my hubby and 2 little boys, I think of what my unseen readers might want to eat this week….lol….
What food trends or ingredients do you currently have a crush on?
Pies….I am so glad pies are the new black. Am so over the cupcake!
What are your favorite foods to prepare just for fun?
Salmon, Asian style ceviche and baking honest, fresh fruit cakes and of course pies. I am one pie crazy girl. If only they’d love me back and the scale would stay the same after a slice!
What is your favorite food destination and why?
Thailand – Few places come close to the honest creative, incredibly fresh flavors of authentic Thai food served in street corners and in the villages. Unforgettable!
Describe your most favorite meal.
My dad’s Yakhni Pilaf with Goat Meat
What is your favorite comfort food?
Choley Bhatura – Indian style chick peas with puffy fried bread.
What is the one food or dish that you wish people would never eat again?
Shark fin – I don’t want a soul to suffer so I can enjoy a meal. I guess my 9 year old son has rubbed on me
Who inspires you in the kitchen?
All the GREAT cooks in the world – gracing humble kitchens, street corners to commercial kitchens. Talent comes in all forms and irrespective of geography and has no barriers – social or economical. There are people all over the world, many unknown, many widely known – like O’Connell, Keller, Batali, Ducasse that have enormous, God-given talents – it keeps me humble and grounded.
What is your creative process in crafting new recipes and dishes?
It begins with a hint of a concept in the corners of my mind. I then mull over it – much like a ruminant cow (smiles) and then I allow the idea to naturally come together. I always sense intuitively once the idea is ripe. I never push and struggle with an idea, just let it flow naturally and form.
What technique or skill do you believe is most important for home cooks to acquire or improve upon?
Overcome your fear! Have confidence! Rule the technique, rule that spatula – don’t let it rule you.
Much like my obsession with collecting bolognese recipes, I love love love a good roast chicken recipe. I adore the way in which a little love, butter or olive oil, salt, pepper and aromatics transform the lowly chicken into something worth honoring. Crisp, golden skin and tender meat come into their own with very little effort, and a homestyle supper is on the table for loved ones without a second thought. Or if you love them EVEN more, you’ll just tuck in with them without even leaving the kitchen. Best of all the leftovers make at least one more meal, if not a gorgeous chicken stock.
My husband saw me oogling over Jonathan Waxman’s pan roasted chicken cooked in a cast iron skillet and purchased me a Lodge Logic 15″ beauty from Amazon. It’s heavy as hell (a two-hand job) but an amazing holder of temperature and big enough for a chicken and a mess of roasted veg to boot. It needs a name. Like Thor. Or maybe the Kraken. So whenever I take it out, I’m releasing the…haha…you get it.
For the butterflying portion, you can certainly have the butcher do it, but it’s easy work with a nice pair of kitchen scissors. Simply cut out the back (and save for stock) and flatten the entire mess with a little pressure on the breast bone. Prepping the chicken in this manner cuts the cooking time way down and allows more of the surface area to come into contact with the lemon and herbs. The whole mess forms a delicious sauce for the incredibly moist chicken, all with no fuss at all. So basically, yes, your prayers were answered and that homecooked meal you’ve been dreaming about is here. Now. Go make it.
Butterflied Chicken with Lemon and Herbs
1 whole chicken
1 bunch of rosemary
1 bunch of thyme
1 onion, thinly sliced
coarse sea salt and black pepper
good olive oil
1 bunch of tarragon
1/2 c. of chicken broth
2 tbs. of butter
Preheat the oven to 450°. Rinse the chicken well and pat dry. Using the poultry shears, cut along each side of the backbone to remove it. Flip the chicken over and press down on the breastbone to flatten it. Liberally season with coarse salt and black pepper and then rub with a bit of olive oil. Place chicken skin side down in a cast iron skillet. Surround the chicken with the onions and top with the rosemary and thyme. Halve the lemons and squeeze the juice over the chicken. Tuck lemons into the pan with the herbs and onions. Drizzle with a little more oil and pop into the oven. Bake for 50-60 minutes, or until the juices of the thigh meat run clear when pierced with a fork.
When the chicken is finished, remove from the skillet to a platter and let rest. Put the skillet on the stove and heat. Add the chicken broth and scrape up the browned bits on the bottom of the pan. When the sauce thickens a bit, add the butter. Strain the sauce and set aside. If you feel diligent, you can also pick out some of the roasted onions.
Carve the chicken into pieces and serve with the sauce.