How to Make an Omelet (video lesson)

One of my chefs at Le Cordon Bleu once said, "If you can make an omelet, you'll never be hungry." So true. An omelet is inexpensive, versatile and amazingly quick to prepare. While it's typically thought of as a breakfast dish, British food writer Elizabeth David wrote about an omelet with a glass of wine making a splendid lunch or dinner, too.  I love this video with Jamie because he's as passionate about omelets as I … [Read more...]

Chicken Piccata or How to Pan-Fry Chicken Breasts

This is a great, basic recipe that will teach you a terrific fundamental - how to pan-fry breaded chicken breast cutlets. My friend Chef John demonstrates the technique in the video above. If you're using smaller breasts, you don't necessarily need to pound them thin. You can also slice the chicken breast in half horizontally if they're quite large. You can use the bottom of a small saucepan to do the pounding, at least, … [Read more...]

How to Roast a Chicken

You don’t need a fancy roasting pan, just any kind of oven-proof pan, skillet or sauté pan with sides one inch or higher in which the chicken fits comfortably will work. A rack is nice, but you can just roughly chop up carrots, onion and potatoes to spread them across the bottom and balance the chicken on top to allow the juices to drain. Include some kind of fat such as oil or butter, plus salt and pepper, and baste it … [Read more...]

Recipe: Chicken braised in mustard

Inexpensive and easy, this is arguably the most popular recipe from The Sharper Your Knife, the Less You Cry. You can make this dish with a whole cut-up chicken, but it’s well suited to bone-in chicken thighs.  This dish pairs nicely with simple green beans. In cold weather, I add in cream for a richer dish. Shallots add a nice touch, but you certainly don’t need them.  2 ½ pounds (1 kg) chicken pieces, preferably dark … [Read more...]

How Make Salt-Free Poultry Seasoning

Simply combine the ingredients and grind together with a mortar or pestle or a small food grinder. I set aside a coffee grinder for milling whole spices or mixes. If you want to use a coffee grinder that’s been employed for beans, you can clean it by adding in rice and salt and grinding thoroughly and then wiping clean with a paper towel.  This is a versatile seasoning that can be used in a lot of applications, including … [Read more...]

How to Cut Up a Whole Chicken

  After reviewing dozens of videos on this subject, we decided to include this one from Gourmet to demonstrate what's arguably one of the most valuable lessons a home cook can master. Why is it so important? Here’s an excerpt from The Kitchen Counter Cooking School:              “If there’s one skill that I think people need to learn is how to cut up a whole chicken,” said Rick Rodgers, the author of 35 … [Read more...]

Recipe: Go with the Flow Lentil Soup

I fell in love with lentil soup out of a sense of obligation. On a cold winter day on an early trip to Paris, I stepped inside a small bistro to get out of a frigid winter mist. Why ever did I book a trip to France in January, I wondered? Shivering and cold, all I thought I wanted was a cup of tea. But it was lunchtime and people were eating. I felt compelled to order something to warrant occupying a table. Low on cash, I … [Read more...]

How to do a Comparative Tasting and Why You Should

Salt to taste. If you've ever read a recipe, you've probably seen that line. Though common, it's also a common source of confusion for home cooks. "Whose taste?" some ask. The answer, your taste, often leads to more questioning: "What is my taste?" or "What if my taster's no good?" Salt to taste just means salt your food until tastes right to you. That means there are no right or wrong answers. Maybe I like a little more … [Read more...]