Galette Gusto!

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I have been really into desserts lately, especially with all the delicious fruits coming into season! Nectarines only come around once a year for a few months so I jumped at the chance to create a simple, rustic, yet impressive dessert for my clients.

Fussy tarts and pies can be such a pain to form and of course as a chef I always want to create that perfect aesthetic, however I discovered that when time is of the essence, something comparable like a galette can impress just as much but with less of a hassle.

A galette is essentially a free form rustic, generally crusty pastry that can be topped with various sweet or savory toppings. I chose to pair fresh nectarines tossed with vanilla bean and citrus to accompany the delicate yet crisp crust made with cornmeal. The result was delicious and it couldn’t be easier….here’s what I did….

For the Crust:

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup cornmeal
1/4 cup white sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1 stick cold butter, cubed
2 tbsp. buttermilk
1 egg (for egg wash..this creates that golden brown color)

In a food processor combine all the ingredients, except the egg. Pulse until the butter is small and pea sized, but not too small! (if the butter is fully incorporated it will not achieve the same flaky crispy texture you want)

Pull the dough out of the processor and knead by hand JUST until a ball is formed. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.

For the Filling:

6-8 ripe nectarines, sliced
1 vanilla bean, scraped
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 cup white sugar
1 lemon, juiced & zest
2 tbsp. all purpose flour

In a large bowl toss all ingredients until combined and the nectarine slices are evenly coated.

Remove the dough from the refrigerator and roll out until the dough is about 1/4 inch thick. You may need a bit more flour to prevent sticking for this step…use your noggins people! Transfer the dough to a parchment paper lined sheet tray.

Arrange the nectarines in the center of the dough leaving about a two inch border of crust. This will allow us enough room to fold up the edges and prevent any of that yumminess from creeping out. Fold up the edges of the dough and brush only the crust with your left over egg.

Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes. It may take a few minutes longer depending on your oven, but ultimately all you need is for the nectarines to be partially cooked and the dough to be crisp. Check this but CAREFULLY lifting the galette and checking for browning underneath.

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I topped mine with a fresh raspberry whipped cream…It’s super easy….1 cup heavy whipping cream, 1 tsp. vanilla extract, 3 tbsp. powdered sugar and 1/4 cup fresh raspberry puree. Sub out the raspberries for any other berry that you have :-)

Roasted Chicken Demystified

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Roasted chicken can be one of those boring week night meals that everybody is sick of. Problem? They are not doing it right. I will teach you the easiest roasted chicken. The trick to a perfect bird is seasoning and cooking time.

Home cooks tend to take chicken out AT 165 degrees. Ding dong… it’s carry over cooking time calling.

Carry over cooking and resting any meat is essential to keep the it moist and let the juices rest. If cut the protein right away once pulled from the oven, all the juices will escape and you will have a dry product. Carry over cooking is the time when you pull the protein out of the oven until the time you cut it. There should be at LEAST a 5 minute resting period before you cut or serve your protein. Trust me on this… you will thank me.¬†#yourewelcome.

 

Here’s what you will need to create the perfect roast chicken:

  • 1 5 lb. Chicken (patted dry…this will help create a crispy skin)
  • 1 Stick of Butter, softened (This will make massaging the bird easy)
  • 3 Sprigs Sage, picked
  • 1 Small bunch Thyme, picked
  • 2 Sprigs of Rosemary, picked
  • 1 Lemon, zested THEN sliced
  • Salt and Pepper

 

Step 1:

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Pat the bird dry and season generously with salt and pepper. I mean get in there, season the wings, the legs, the breast, the underside and even the cavity.

In a food processor,combine the stick of softened butter, herbs and lemon zest. Pulse this mixture until combined. Take a few slices of lemon and shove them under the skin of the breast. Now take a few more and shove them into the cavity of the chicken.

Step 2:

Massaging time! Rub the compound butter all over the chicken to make an even layer of butter. This will not only help with the flavor but also the crispiness of the skin. (after all who doesn’t like a crispy skin?)

Place in the oven on a wire rack with a baking pan under neath. If you do not have either of these place the chicken directly on a cookie sheet (not the underside of the chicken prepare this way will not be as crispy…but equally tasty) Cook the chicken at 375 for 1 hour, then turn the oven up to 400-425 for an additional hour. Pull the chicken just after 2 hours and let rest for 10 minutes.

 

Take a look at the end result….notice the skin golden brown and crispy, the herbs and the lemon under the skin make for an unreal roasted chicken experience.

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