Current weather

  • Overcast, mist
  • 52°
    Overcast, mist
  • Comment

Sue Ade
The flavors of fresh herbs, placed inside, over and beneath fresh trout (pictured with halved small red potatoes) will deeply permeate the fish during roasting. Accounting for skin and bones, select fish that is between one and one-and-one-half pounds for each serving. If you prefer to roast one large fish, a three pound fish will generously serve two people.

Getting under the skin

Posted: September 14, 2011 - 10:38am
Back | Next
Select large sage leaves for placement just beneath the skin of a whole chicken before roasting. After the chicken is cooked, the pressed leaves beneath the skin will remain intact and beautifully visible. Fresh tarragon, with its bright green leaves and yellow flowers, makes a lovely garnish.  Sue Ade
Sue Ade
Select large sage leaves for placement just beneath the skin of a whole chicken before roasting. After the chicken is cooked, the pressed leaves beneath the skin will remain intact and beautifully visible. Fresh tarragon, with its bright green leaves and yellow flowers, makes a lovely garnish.

It’s a great time of the year for getting under their skin.

Fish and chicken are delicious roasted, but when fresh herbs, like many of those still growing strong in home gardens, are placed within their cavities, or beneath their skin, the essence of whatever herbs are being used lets loose. The stimulating flavors of herbs such as rosemary, tarragon and sage are splendid in chicken, while the aromatic, Mediterranean nuances of basil, thyme, marjoram and parsley are sublime on fish.

When choosing an herb for a particular dish, always think of balance. The idea is to select an herb that will enhance a dish – not overwhelm it.  Begin adding herbs with a light hand and keep in mind that if you must make substitutions,  the ratio is a third as much dried herbs to fresh  and vice versa. If you have a recipe that calls for 1 teaspoon dried rosemary, but you  love the flavor of fresh, you’d need to use a tablespoon fresh rosemary leaves in its place.

No matter how you plan to utilize herbs or other seasoning in foods, whether it be as part of stuffing, or tucked neatly between the skin and flesh, remember it’s far easier to add flavor than to take it back.

Sue Ade is a syndicated food writer with broad experience and interest in the culinary arts. She has worked and resided in the Lowcountry of South Carolina since 1985 and may be reached at kitchenade@yahoo.com.

Oven Roasted Trout with Red Potatoes and Herbs

2 (1 to 1½ pounds) whole fish, cleaned and scaled
2 ounces (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, plus more for greasing pan, softened
2 tablespoon olive oil
½ cup white wine
1½ tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Sea salt
Fresh black pepper
1½ pounds small red potatoes, scrubbed and cut in half
Generous handfuls of fresh herbs (including stems) such as basil, thyme, marjoram and parsley
Olive oil cooking spray (recipe follows)
Lemon for garnish

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Line a large baking dish (on the bottom and up the sides) with heavy duty foil, then lightly butter the foil.

In a small bowl, mix together butter and olive oil to form a soft paste; set aside.

Mix wine with lemon juice and pour onto the bottom of the baking dish.

Rinse fish and pat dry with paper toweling.

Make 3 diagonal slits (about ½-inch deep) on both sides of the fish. With a soft brush, brush inside of fish lightly with paste. Then, taking a bit of the paste in your hands, rub paste all over the fish.  With greased hands, rub potatoes on all sides and place skin side up in the pan around the fish. (Be sure potatoes are not overly large or they won’t be tender by the time the fish is cooked.)

Bundle up a good handful of the herbs with twine and place inside the fish, then place several sprigs of herbs under, over and into the slits on the sides of the fish.

Using an olive oil filled mister, lightly spray herbs that are on top and inside the fish. Sprinkle a bit of sea salt and a few grinds of pepper over all.

Place fish in oven and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, misting once or twice with additional olive oil while baking. (Mist potatoes the same time you are misting the fish, turning once or twice during roasting.)

Cook until fish is cooked through and flakes easily with a fork. Potatoes should be crisp on the outside and tender on the inside. (Pierce with a fork to test.) If potatoes are not tender enough, allow them to roast a few minutes more while you are arranging the fish on serving plates.

Remove herb bundles from inside the fish, but serve fish with any roasted herbs that cling to it for serving. Serve fish with potatoes, garnishing with lemon wedges, if desired.

Makes 2 servings.

*Kitchen Ade Note: Measure the thickness of the fish at its thickest point. It will take approximately 10 minutes of cooking time, per inch, for the fish to be cooked through. In other words, if the fish measures 4 inches high at its thickest part, the fish will take about 40 minutes to cook.

Roasted Chicken with Rosemary, Tarragon and Sage Leaves

1 large whole roasting chicken, about 5 to 6 pounds
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoons kosher salt
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 small onion, quartered
Bunch fresh rosemary, tarragon and sage leaves, plus extra sage leaves (for placing under skin of chicken) and tarragon for garnishing
Olive oil cooking spray (recipe below)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Combine lemon juice, olive oil, salt and garlic in small bowl; set aside.

Remove and discard the giblets and neck from the chicken. Rinse the chicken, inside and out, with cold water and pat dry; trim excess fat.

Place chicken, breast side up, on a rack in a large roasting pan. Loosen the skin from the breast and drumsticks by inserting fingers and gently pushing between skin and flesh; place sage leaves, keeping them as flat as you can.

Tie a bunch of the herbs together with a piece of cooking twine and place it inside the cavity  of the chicken, along with the onion. Tie legs together with twine.

Roast chicken for 1 hour at 400 degrees, then reduce temperature to 375 degrees and cook for 30 minutes more or until chicken has reached an internal temperature of 165 degrees. (Baste chicken with pan juices, or mist with olive oil several times during baking.)

Allow chicken to rest for 15 minutes, then remove twine from legs and onion and herb bundle from inside the chicken.

Garnish with fresh tarragon, if desired.

Makes 4 servings.

Herb Infused Olive Oil

Basil Olive Oil

1 cup good quality olive oil
2 cups fresh basil leaves, rinsed and dried

Purée basil with oil in blender. Pour the mixture into a saucepan and bring to a simmer over low heat. Simmer for 1 minute. Strain through a fine-mesh strainer into a bowl. Do not press the mixture as it goes through the strainer. Strain mixture a second time through several layers of cheesecloth.  Pour into a clean glass jar or bottle. Store, tightly covered, in the refrigerator, for up to 1 month. Makes 1 cup.

Rosemary Olive Oil

When infusing herbs in oil, it is critical for the herbs to be completely dry. Although bacteria is not supported by oil, bacteria can grow on herbs containing water. If you are short on time, consider rinsing and drying herbs the day before you want to use them.

4 sprigs fresh rosemary, rinsed and dried thoroughly
1 cup good quality olive oil
Dried red crushed pepper or peppercorns, to taste, optional

Pour olive oil into a sauce pan and heat over low heat until warmed, about 1 minute; set aside.

Place pepper (if using) into a clean jar or bottle. Bruise stems and rosemary leaves slightly and place into jar with pepper. (Push rosemary into bottle with a wooden bamboo skewer, if necessary.) Carefully pour oil over rosemary. (If rosemary is not completely covered, add some more oil to cover – it is not necessary to heat the extra oil.)

Cool oil, then cover jar tightly and refrigerate for a week. (Do not be alarmed if oil looks cloudy, it will clear up once it comes to room temperature.)

Taste oil after one week. If oil is sufficiently flavored, strain through a fine mesh strainer, then strain a second time through several layers of cheesecloth. (If oil needs more flavoring, allow to sit for several days more, or until desired strength is reached. Proceed with straining as detailed above.)

Store oil, tightly covered, in the refrigerator for up to 1 month.

  • Comment

Spotted

Please Note: You may have disabled JavaScript and/or CSS. Although this news content will be accessible, certain functionality is unavailable.

Skip to News

« back

next »

  • title http://spotted.peninsulaclarion.com/galleries/321268/ http://spotted.peninsulaclarion.com/galleries/321253/ http://spotted.peninsulaclarion.com/galleries/321248/
  • title http://spotted.peninsulaclarion.com/galleries/321243/ http://spotted.peninsulaclarion.com/galleries/321208/ http://spotted.peninsulaclarion.com/galleries/320593/
  • title http://spotted.peninsulaclarion.com/galleries/321173/ http://spotted.peninsulaclarion.com/galleries/321163/
My Gallery

CONTACT US

  • 150 Trading Bay Rd, Kenai, AK 99611
  • Switchboard: 907-283-7551
  • Circulation and Delivery: 907-283-3584
  • Newsroom Fax: 907-283-3299
  • Business Fax: 907-283-3299
  • Accounts Receivable: 907-335-1257
  • View the Staff Directory
  • or Send feedback

ADVERTISING

SUBSCRIBER SERVICES

SOCIAL NETWORKING

MORRIS ALASKA NEWS