Tag Archives: roast

The Roast Beef Sandwich Recipe That Makes the Best Holiday Feast

I remember feeling very confused as a child—most of the time, all of the time—but especially at the end of How the Grinch Stole Christmas!, when the Grinch turns his attitude around and serves every Who in Whoville a slice of “roast beast.” The cartoon roast looked delicious, with its browned edges and pink inside. But how would it feed all the Whos? I wondered. What is roast beast? I wondered. Then I dreamed, as little girls do, about a fat slice of roast beast being handed to me by a smug man with four furry fingers.

grinch roast beast

I assumed it was roast beef, for obvious reasons, but on closer inspection, it’s gotta be a ham or a roast goose. Food director Carla Lalli Music confirms the goose theories. Well that’s not gonna feed all the Whos in Whoville (a.k.a. the eight people I call my friends)! To recreate this scene properly, and to feed a crowd this holiday, the best meat for the job is really a huge hunk of roast beef. Specifically, this garlic-rosemary slow roast beef by Chris Morocco.

grinch roast beast 3

You start with a 4-lb. New York strip roast, which I picked up from a butcher who had the gall to charge me $130 for it. “But it’s Christmassss!” I said with a Cindy Lou pout. “No shit,” he replied with a bloody thwack to the cutting board. “Ok-ay.” I swiped that credit card.

The only thing elaborate about Chris’s recipe is the quality of that hunk of meat, the sheer size of the lad. The rest is pretty simple. A day before roasting, I seasoned it with salt and pep and rubbed it with a garlic-rosemary-oil mixture that made my kitchen smell incredible. The next day, the beast went into the oven at a mere 200° for almost three hours. Low and slow is the name of the game. During that time I made a nice salad dressing, bought some Martin’s potato buns, whipped up the horseradish sour cream, and read a novel’s worth of cheesecake recipe reviews by strangers on the internet, searching for truth. (I landed on Craig Claiborne’s, if you’re curious. It came out rich and dense; you could carve “David” from it.)

By the time the was beef was resting, my friends had arrived for cocktails and a little activity we call Lookit The Meat!, where you stand around the kitchen looking at that huge roast. Mingle mingle, kris and kringle, and then when it was about time to feast, I browned the roast in the biggest Dutch oven I own (Lodge’s 7.5 quart), a couple minutes per side.

DINNER TIME. Cue the Grinch-style slicing at the cutting board. Big knife, big grin, but thin slices, ideally. It was just like the cartoon, it has to be said: The beef was bright pink inside, and a general joy to behold, and the rosemary-garlic crust was deeply browned and crispy. Around the table, we loaded the sliced beef on soft buns with a slathering of horseradish cream, some mustard, and cornichons. Unlike Thanksgiving or other roast beast feasts, this isn’t a “pass the mashed potatoes, papa,” formal dinner. It’s a construction zone. Spoons stuck in mustard pots, rolls flying across the table. You get to be yourself. Load up the sandwich with four cornichons, sliced perfectly in half.

The luxury of the roast beef still makes it a special occasion, but a festive one. And you eat with your hands! There’s no other way. The assembly of a roast beef sandwich is like trimming your best friend’s show-offy 8-foot tree, or holding the rickety ladder as your awkward step-brother outlines the house in lights, or sloppily decorating sugar cookies with your 14 cousins. It’s about forced interaction with those you love—even if it gets a little messy sometimes.

Get the recipe:



If You Don’t Make Stock When You Roast a Chicken, You’re Throwing Away Free Money

This is a Public Service Announcement: If you aren’t making stock out of that leftover roasted chicken carcass, you are throwing money in the trash! According to Title 18, Chapter 17 of the U.S. Code it is illegal to dispose of money. STOP BREAKING THE LAW, PEOPLE!!!

In my household, roasting a chicken has become a non-negotiable twofer operation. The chicken gets roasted until golden brown and delish (duh), and then that roast-y, toasty carcass gets turned into stock. There’s simply no question about it. Good quality chicken stock does not come cheap these days, and I for one, am not in a position to throw away free food. A quart of chicken stock from my local butcher (granted I live in NYC which is a ridiculously overpriced place to live), retails for $9. That’s about half the cost of an entire chicken!

No-Fail Roast Chicken with Lemon and Garlic

I’ve always held the belief that free food tastes more delicious. Think about it: when a waiter drops a dish on your table and declares it complementary, you are already predisposed to liking it a whole hell of a lot more than you would if you knew you had to pay for it. So think of your roast chicken as a two-for-one deal. Buy a chicken, and get two free quarts of made-from-scratch chicken stock. Thats a value of nearly $18. Did I chose the wrong career path?? I’m starting to think I’d make a pretty sweet salesperson.

Now that we’ve sorted out the financial bit, here’s all you need to know about making it. Once the bird has been roasted and carved, I try to break the chicken carcass into a few pieces with my hands and huck it straight into a large pot, cover it just barely with water, bring it up to a boil, and then drop it to a gentle simmer. This takes a total of five minutes, which you can surely carve out of your day. If you have any aromatics laying around (think onions, shallots, carrots, parsley stems, garlic, ginger, a dried chile, mushrooms), you’ll only benefit from throwing those in the pot as well. No need to practice your fancy knife skills here, just halve ‘em and get em in there on the quick. Don’t have any aromatics laying around? GREAT. You’re still on your way to free AF liquid gold.

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Photo by Alex Lau

The carcass in question. A pot of stock is a great way to make the most of a sloppy carving job, just sayin’…

Here’s the most important part about this very awesome two-for-one deal I’ve just walked you through. You gotta get that stock on the burner before sitting down for dinner. If you start in on your meal, you risk getting lazy, entering food coma and deciding you’ll start the stock later. A rookie move (yes, of course I’ve done it). Full flavored stock takes a couple of good hours of simmering to truly develop flavor, so the sooner you get it going the better. That way, you aren’t simmering into the wee hours of the night.

Season with plenty of salt and taste as you go—the stock is done when it tastes delicious, you make the call. Strain it through a mesh strainer and discard all the bits and pieces; they’ve given all the flavor they have to give to the liquid. Let it cool and then refrigerate until you’re ready to use it, freeze it, or just drink it as-is. This chicken stock isn’t going to be as crazy and flavor-packed as the kind you make with pounds of fresh chicken you bought specifically for this purpose, but it will still be an incredible base for a quick soup the next day, a speedy risotto, or a casual braise. And that’s money, kids.

Let’s back up for a second—first, you gotta roast a chicken!



Real Friends Serve Roast Chicken at Friendsgiving

You shouldn’t be serving turkey at your Friendsgiving. Before we get any further into this argument, I just want to admit that I am not even close to being a Turkey Guy. Besides a turkey club, I think it’s a food that possesses minimal worth. Yes, I am biased. But I also have the success of your Friendsgiving in mind, so hear me out. You should be roasting chicken at your Friendsgiving. Whether it’s one whole chicken or two, roasting chicken instead of turkey is going to make for a tastier, easier, more successful party. And yes, this is a party.

Choosing chicken will help you out before we even step foot in the kitchen. Chickens, for the most part, are smaller than turkeys. I’m not sure if you knew that or not, but they are. You can look it up if you doubt my credibility on the subject. But I promise you that the whole chicken you buy at the grocery store or butcher shop will weigh less than a whole turkey. And that means it will be easier to carry, especially for someone like me. I don’t have a car. I live in a city. I walk and ride the subway. Which means there’s a zero percent chance that I will ever volunteer to carry a whole turkey anywhere. Do you want to be the person deciding whether or not it’s acceptable to rest your 16-pound turkey on the subway floor, four inches from someone’s gnarly running sneakers, because your arm is tired? No. You don’t. That’s a lose-lose scenario. Chickens get from point A to point B much more easily. Also: How many people are you feeding, anyway? Yeah: not enough people to necessitate roasting a 15-plus pound animal.

No-Fail Roast Chicken with Lemon and Garlic

It’s also worth noting that whether you’ve roasted a bird before or not, a chicken is always less stress than a turkey. Less expensive. Less of a commitment. Less intimidating. Easier to schlep, but also easier to handle mentally.

But that difference in size also means that roasting a chicken (or a couple chickens) will take far less time than roasting the traditional, gargantuan, colonial-era poultry. You can roast a single chicken in about 45 minutes. Two will take a little longer, since there’s more heat being conducted, but the chicken will still be ready to serve much sooner than a turkey. As someone who went four years with a minuscule oven, I cherish the fact that chicken gives you more time and oven space to devote to side dishes. The mashed potatoes. The biscuits. The sweet potatoes. The salads. The sprouts. The stuff that most people like way more than the turkey.

Speaking of turkey, when was the last time you went to a restaurant and ordered turkey that wasn’t on a sandwich? Oh. Not in the last year? Not in the last decade? Never? And when was the last time you ordered chicken? Last weekend? This week? Last night? Yeah, that’s because more people like chicken than they do turkey. Because chicken tastes better.

But why does chicken taste better? Well, there are a couple reasons. First, the ratio of skin to meat on a chicken is better than that of a turkey. Since a chicken is smaller, there’s going to be more crispy, brown, beautiful skin for every bite of meat. Part of the reason turkey breast can be so bad is that there’s never enough skin to go around. Less meat, in this case, is more.

0317 ba basics lemon garlic roasted chicken 9

A roast chicken can look nice too!

The entirety of a chicken also cooks at the same rate. A turkey does not. The historical pitfall of the turkey is that the breast dries out in the time it takes the thighs to cook. And if you pull turkey out when the breast is perfect, the thighs will be undercooked. It’s a cruel paradox, and you can blame the massive size of the turkey for that. I’m not saying that it’s impossible to make a good turkey, but it takes some practice, and it’s just easier to roast a chicken so that all of it tastes amazing. And I don’t know about you, but I like to serve my friends food that tastes amazing. That’s called being a good friend.

And if you follow the logic I’ve presented about chicken being better to turkey, that means the chicken leftovers will be better than the turkey leftovers. Chicken salad is better than turkey salad. Chicken stock is much easier to make, because you don’t have to use a 348-gallon pot. Chicken tacos are better than turkey tacos. Chicken soup is better than turkey soup, just as chicken fried rice is better than turkey fried rice. Your chicken choices will continue to pay off for days to come.

But really, the reason you should serve chicken instead of turkey is that these are your friends. You don’t have to impress them. You don’t have to serve a massive, picturesque bird. They’ll love you either way. They chose to spend time with you on the day (or a day surrounding the day) that’s all about showing thanks for the things you value in your life. This is about showing your friends that you’re thankful, and the best way to do that is show them a good time. Friendsgiving is about celebrating in the way your family wouldn’t. Crack the sixth bottle of wine. Put miso in your green bean casserole. Turn up whatever playlist is ripping through the stereo. Eat those special brownies. Talk about politics. Roast a couple chickens. Tell your friends you love them. This is your Thanksgiving. It’s all groovy.

Want an easy roast chicken recipe? Yeah, you do.



This Roast Chicken Recipe Got Me Over My Roast Chicken Fears

Guess what? This grown-ass, 30-year-old woman had never roasted a chicken before last weekend. I know! And I’ve never smoked a cigarette, played the lottery, run a marathon, read Jane Austen, or had a baby, either! Want to talk about it?

Didn’t think so! Let’s skip ahead to the part where I make the chicken. First, I had to buy one. This was a chore I hate. Heavy-grocery shopping. Regular groceries like bags of Tostitos and blocks of store-brand cheddar are fine. Groceries that pull my reusable tote (I’M A GOOD PERSON) down on my shoulder and leave deep red marks are a reminder of my frailty. A common theme in chicken work.

FOR ME, at least it is FOR ME.

No-Fail Roast Chicken with Lemon and Garlic

In the past, my domestic partner, a big tall MAN if you must know—God, you’re nosy!—handled the meat. Blah blah blah a million years of human evolution blah man cooks the meat blah blah. I KNOW. He does the laundry too. I’d sit there, all passive and weak, drinking a martini, while I let him do all the work. What was I thinking? I should be asserting myself and cooking this bitch bird MYSELF.

So I got home and followed Basically’s no-fail roast chicken recipe, which calls for a 3-4 lb. chicken, a lemon, half a stick of butter, and a head of garlic. And kosher salt, duh. I unwrapped my Bell & Evans chicken (I was told this was the most ethical option to be had from my local crummy grocery store and bought it because I’M A GOOD PERSON) from its plasticky death condom and eww there was blood in there. My womanly fears of imminent chicken death set in and, after I tossed it, I washed my hands for the first of seven times. Say it with me now: YOU WILL CERTAINLY DIE OF SALMONELLA. (Editor’s Note: You will probably not.) Inside the chicken there was a bag of innards, which I pitched right in the trash, where my sense of self is.

I sliced the lemon and the head of garlic in half.

The rubbery, fleshy chicken was dead and cold under my soft fingertips. I hated touching it. I hated submitting to it. I hated sprinkling salt into the cavity like a deranged chicken gynecologist.

There’s this cool trick though, where you slice in between the chicken thigh and breast and the leg splays out. Later, you’ll slice into that space to check if the chicken is done. Really, a cool trick.

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Photo by Alex Lau

Just a little slicey-slice through the skin that connects the leg and the breast.

Once the whole bird is covered in salt, into the cast iron she went, tits up, with the lemons and garlic face down. The melted butter goes all over, and I had to touch the rubbery dead flesh yet again.

425°, 45 minutes.

At this point, I needed to check to see if she was done. Ready for the ball, Cinderella? Thought you were a kitchen wench and now you’re a princess, did ya? Well look who’s roasting chickens now!!! Still not sure how I ended out on top here.

Christ almighty it was HEAVY. I hated how heavy it was and how much this continued to remind me of my weak biceps, my inability to command a room full of people with my booming voice. My memoir is going to be called The Feminine Critique and it’ll be a blueprint of my failings. The chicken though, was golden brown beautiful. She’d made it.

I sliced into that weird leg part yet again and the juices ran clean, bloodless, I was pretty sure of it. There was a lot of butter and chicken fat swimming around. Random stabbings with a Thermapen over the body gave me a range of numbers over 160°, so if anything, I’d overcooked it. $16 wasted, maybe. A life, wasted. Maybe two. But after a 15 minute rest, in which I fainted onto a chaise couch out of boredom and my weary disposition, I tore into the chicken and found her perfect. The once cold and postmortem flesh was now crispy and potato chippy.

First, I ate the chicken butt in one happy bite. Then I took my knife to the breast and attempted to carve it like I’d seen on YouTube but ended up with a Lizzie Borden hack job. The stuff inside was plump and juicy. Decidedly not overcooked. The lemon and garlic created an inadvertent pan sauce. I’d squeeze a piece of soft, roasted garlic out of its papery shell and eat it with a bite of chicken. I’d stop, sigh, and look out the window, thinking about cigarettes and lottery tickets and life’s lost opportunities. I think roast chicken is this antiquated metaphor for crossing some Serious Home Cook boundary, into the domestic zone. The ability to provide for one’s self, as well as for others. I did the damn thing. And it was delicious! But I’m still the same ol’ me.

How rewarding.

Get the recipe:



Maybe You Shouldn’t Roast Your Turkey This Thanksgiving

Every Monday night, Bon Appétit editor in chief Adam Rapoport gives us a peek inside his brain by taking over our newsletter. He shares recipes he’s been cooking, restaurants he’s been eating at, and more. It gets better: If you sign up for our newsletter, you’ll get this letter before everyone else.

Don’t roast your turkey this year

If I could offer one piece of Thanksgiving advice, it would be this: braise your turkey.

I know, I know—am I insane! Am I really telling you not to roast your bird, to not present a Norman Rockwell-worthy centerpiece for your holiday table?

Yes, that is exactly what I’m telling you.

A couple years ago, I riffed on Bon App’s braised turkey legs recipe and it was a revelation—rich, tender, fall-off-the-bone meat, cloaked in a silky, oniony, wine-y gravy. It was like turkey carnitas.

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And I was even able to cook the entire dish ahead of time, so I never had to worry about frantically checking the doneness of the bird, or comparing the temperature of the dark meat to the white, or fretting about opening the oven door too often.

The the most important step in the braising process is your first step: Call your butcher or ask the meat counter of your go-to grocery store if they can break down a turkey for you. You want the legs and thighs removed (I like them separated, so you’re left with four large pieces), and then have the breast meat taken off the bone.


Christopher Testani

This will allow you to braise your dark meat in a Dutch oven early in the day. And if your butcher counter is a full-service type joint, they’ll roll and season and maybe even wrap your turkey breast in pancetta or bacon. Then you can roast it in the oven to pin-point doneness as a porchetta-style roast turkey, in far less time than it would take to cook a whole bird.

When my wife and I last hosted two years ago, the rolled breast was…good. Ideal for next-day leftover sandwiches.

But the braised dark meat stole the show. Just before sitting down, I hit the slow-cooked legs and thighs with the broiler to crisp up the skin. Then I pulled the meat off the bone, shredding it with a couple forks and set it on a large platter. I studded it with cipollini onions from the pot and bathed the whole thing with the fragrant braising liquid.

There were no leftovers. And what’s a better compliment than that?

Get the recipes:

Stock-Braised Turkey Legs
Porchetta-Style Turkey Breast


Attention: It’s Finally Roast Chicken Season

Every Monday night, Bon Appétit editor in chief Adam Rapoport gives us a peek inside his brain by taking over our newsletter. He shares recipes he’s been cooking, restaurants he’s been eating at, and more. It gets better: If you sign up for our newsletter, you’ll get this letter before everyone else.

It’s finally roast chicken season

And just like that, it was fall.

First, my wife texted me on Saturday, asking if we should roast a chicken. Then she wanted to know if she should build a fire. Definitely, to the former; we’re not quite there yet, to the latter.

So, around 6pm, I unwrapped a plump, 3 ½-pound bird, and I rained kosher salt all over it.

I had decided to make BA’s Cast-Iron Roast Chicken. It’s a dead-simple, genius recipe, the kind you literally can’t screw up. It’s so good, in fact, that it served as the centerpiece to an eight-page service package that earned Bon Appétit a 2018 National Magazine Award nomination.

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The premise is as basic as can be:

  1. Season the bird well.
  2. Pat down the skin to get it as dry as possible (it crisps up much better this way).
  3. High heat.
  4. Set the chicken directly into a pre-heated cast-iron skillet.
  5. And then, here’s where the flair comes in: flank the bird with any manner of vegetables, which luxuriate and roast in all that generous fat.

Inspired by the lead image for the recipe, I opted to partner the chicken with fingerling potatoes. I sliced them into coins, about a third of an inch thick, and then tossed them with a bit of melted butter, salt and pepper, and chopped, fresh rosemary from our garden. I nestled the coins all around the chicken, popped it in a 450° oven, and set the timer for just under an hour.

This is basically what the recipes prescribes, but not exactly. Chris Morocco, who developed the technique, slices his potatoes a bit thinner, and shingles the entire base of the pan like an edible mosaic tiled floor. Either way, what emerges from the oven is a beautifully burnished bird with crackling, crisp skin, and a pan full of nicely browned potatoes, all glossy with chicken fat.

At this point, I like to do two things.

First, I let the bird rest, a good half hour. When a roast chicken hits the cutting board, it is steaming hot. Give it time to mellow. Just make sure your board or platter is able to collect all the flavorful juices pooling about the chicken.

And then I like to put the potatoes, or whatever root vegetables I’ve opted for, back in the oven. Sometimes, I set them under a broiler for a quick blast. On Saturday, I cranked my oven to 550° and gave the potatoes a few minutes to get all sizzley and evenly browned. I made a basic green salad, which is all a nicely roasted chicken needs. And we opened a bottle of gamay, the perfect match.

adam roast chicken nl

Finally, because this is the modern world, I photographed all these steps in portrait mode with my new phone. To which our associate social media manager Emily Schultz immediately made fun of me on Instagram, calling me out for being all fancy.


All I know is that my wife said it was the best roast chicken and potatoes she has ever had. And that is a fact.

Get the recipe:

Cast-Iron Roast Chicken with Crispy Potatoes

Make Beef Stew from Leftover Pot Roast

Making beef stew from last nights pot roat is simple to do in minutes.

Don,t let your left over beef go to waste when it can become a whole new meal for your family.

Let us show you in this video how simple making beef stew can be.

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