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What is more intimidating? Having one way of preparing a recipe or having a range of options?
When I first started cooking I would have answered the latter (having a range of options). Simply because I didn’t even know what options were legitimate. I had to do everything by the book.
Don’t be afraid to try new things
Over time however, the more I cooked the more I began to learn the options and appreciate them. Today, it is more intimidating to have 1 way of doing something because there is one expected outcome. Even with new recipes I try I tend to modify to suit my own tastes.
Knowing there are various ways to prepare a dish takes the pressure off and reminds me that, “It’s OK to do it a little different.”
4 Ways to Season a Whole Chicken
Roasting a whole chicken is my example for this post. So for the beginner, novice or those just stuck in the mud, here are some ideas to help get your creative juices flowing.
- Celery, onion, and garlic. Cut the celery in 3 inch lengths and place in and around the chicken. Chop the onion(s) and do the same. Crush the garlic or slice in half and toss them in as well. Rub the chicken with extra virgin olive oil. You can see this chicken recipe here.
- Rosemary (just did this recipe on my site). In a nutshell – rub with extra virgin olive oil, place a rosemary sprig inside plus some crushed garlic and place a few rosemary leaves or sprigs on top of the chicken. Sprinkle with a tad bit of salt and pepper. Here is this variation.
- Carrots, celery, onion, garlic. This variation doesn’t even need the garlic but since I love it I typically include it. Proceed as in the first option and treat the carrots the same as the celery.
- Parsley, garlic: This is another good simple variation. Use fresh parsley. Rub with olive oil as usual and cut slits into the meat and slide the garlic right in. I slice the garlic once length wise so they fit. Also shove in some of the parsley or if it is easier just put it inside the chicken and rub it on the outside too.
So here are 4 easy ways to prepare a roasted chicken. You can mix and match, but be careful not to overdo it either by adding a zillion herbs. You’ll find that much of Italian cooking is very simple. By using simple fresh ingredients you maximize the flavors and the aroma – not complicate it. You just can’t beat it!