Thursday, July 07, 2005

Turned Chicken

Originally uploaded by
Food Fanatic.

This is one of my favorite ways to cook chicken. The other favorite is roasting a butterflied bird at 500 degrees. I'll show you that next time I do it.
The "turned" method of cooking a whole bird is one I found in The All New All Purpose Joy of Cooking. I like it because the breast is still moist when I'm done.
This particular bird is a compilation of two recipes in Joy. The other recipe is called "Roasted Chicken with Herbs and Garlic." Here's what you do:

1 whole chicken (4 to 7 pounds)
2 tsps minced fresh rosemary or thyme (or 3/4 tsps dried)
1 tsp grated lemon zest
2 to 3 medium cloves garlic, minced
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Rinse the chicken and pat dry. Mix together the rest of the ingredients. Loosen the skin on the breast and thighs and rub the herb mixture between the skin and meat.
Position the chicken on its side on a rack. You'll have a leg facing up. If your rack is flat, prop the bird up on balls of foil.
Roast for 25 minutes. Remove from oven and turn the bird over so the other leg is up. Roast another 25 minutes. Take the bird's temperature. You are looking for 175 degrees in the thigh and 165 in the breast. Keep checking the temp and flipping the bird back and forth every 20 minutes until you hit those temps. This bird was about 6 pounds, so it really took about 1 1/2 hours total to cook, so I flipped it 3 times altogether. Once you hit your target temp, remove from the oven and rest. Carryover cooking should get that temp to the suggested 180 for dark meat and 170 for white.

For The Lancaster News

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Peach Varieties and Uses

Before I moved to the southeast, I thought a peach was a peach was a peach. And in Minnesota they all seemed to come from California or Chile. They were hard to buy because they’d look great in the grocery store but invariably be dry or tasteless when I got them home. To be honest, I probably bought only about a dozen peaches in my life before moving to South Carolina. Now I live just “up the road a piece” from Springs Farm. I can go pick peaches myself or just stop in and buy a basket of fresh-picked peaches by the basket.
But what really has stunned me is the number of varieties of peaches and nectarines. Springs Farm of Fort Mill grows and sells 29 varieties of peaches and nectarines from June 1 to September 1. When you go to one of their farm stands, you can request a card that shows the variety names and when they are expected to be ripe.
Generally speaking, peach varieties are sorted into three different categories: clingstone, freestone, and semi-free. Clingstone peach flesh adheres to the pit; freestone fruit breaks away from it easily. Semi-free is a happy medium. Clingstone peaches tend to be best for jams, jellies and pickling. Freestone peaches are great for just eating fresh, freezing and using in recipes. Semi-free are good for all uses.

Besides yellow-fleshed peaches, there are white peaches and nectarines to consider. They tend to be sweeter than yellow ones, but the flavor is more delicate. Be careful using them in recipes. They can be easily overpowered if used in recipes with other strong flavors. Last summer I ruined a batch of organic white peaches by using Mexican vanilla with them in peach ice cream. Next time I’ll stick with a non-Mexican vanilla, and I may halve the amount, as well.
Place firm peaches on the counter for a day or two to ripen. You can hurry them along by putting them in a brown paper bag, but check them every few hours because they can go bad quickly. Once they are ripe, peaches can be moved to the refrigerator, where they will keep for about a week. Sliced peaches can be kept from browning by sprinkling them lightly with Fruit Fresh®, which can be found in your grocer’s canning section.

Springs Farm Peach Stand on Highway 160 and 21 Bypass, and their Farm Market on Springfield Parkway are open seven days a week. The Farm Market is open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday and noon to 7 p.m. Sundays. The Peach Stand is open until 9 p.m. Sunday though Friday and until 10 p.m. on Saturday. Opening hours vary. Call them at 803.547.7563. They also have a website with internet mail order available. Their address is They do a fantastic job packing peaches for shipping.
Now that I’m a Carolinian, I can definitely agree with author George du Maurier, who said “An apple is an excellent thing, until you have tried a peach.”

Information for this article was harvested from, the website for Dickey Farms of Musella, GA.

For The Lancaster News

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Peach Yogurt Freeze

We've been having a lot of these after supper instead of ice cream. The recipe says it serves 4, which is only about 1/2 cup per person. Weight Watchers would like that, but the average person really wants about 3 servings, which is what is in this glass.

I have had a bit of trouble getting the frozen peaches to process. I found it works better to let them soften a tiny bit before processing.

Originally uploaded by Food Fanatic.

1 lb fresh or frozen unsweetened peaches
1/2 tsp vitam C powder or Fruit Fresh
1/2 cup sugar, or to taste
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup plain nonfat yogurt

If using fresh peaches, remove their skins, pit, and cut into 1-inch chunks. Place them on a cookie sheet and sprinkle them with vitamin C or Fruit Fresh. Freeze until firm.

About 15 minutes before serving, remove the peaches from the freezer. Combine with sugar in a food processor. Process until finely chopped. Taste and adjust sugar. With the machine running, add vanilla and yogurt. Continue processing until smooth and fluffy. Serve.

From Vegetarian Times Complete Cookbook

Friday, July 01, 2005

Spaghetti with Lemon Butter & Shredded Zucchini

The other night I made this again and used yellow summer squash instead of zucchini. I doubled the squash and, at the request of 10-year old Taylor, dropped a bit of the lemon zest. He felt the last batch was "too lemon-ey." Using yellow squash instead of green definitely lowered the eye appeal of the dish, but the results were pure nirvana. I had the rest for breakfast the next day. I like how quickly this recipe goes together, the fact that it uses up some of that ubiquitous yellow squash, and that it's easy to get my kids to eat it, since it's basically buttery noodles.

12 ounces spaghetti, spaghettini, or vermicelli

4 tablespoons butter

2 teaspoons finely shredded lemon zest

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

2 small or 1 medium (about 6 ounces) trimmed and shredded zucchini

Salt, pepper and red pepper flakes, to taste

Cook the pasta in plenty of salted boiling water until al dente, or firm to the bite, 7 to 10 minutes; drain.

Meanwhile, press excess liquid from shredded zucchini. Melt butter in a skillet over low heat. Stir in zucchini. Heat, stirring, until the zucchini is crisp-tender, about 3 minutes. Add the lemon zest and juice; toss with the hot pasta. Sprinkle with salt, black pepper and a little red pepper, if desired. Serve.

Adapted from “365 Ways to Cook Pasta” by Marie Simmons, Harper & Row, 1988

For The Lancaster News