Mediterranean-Style Roasted Chicken

If you are the lazy or busy sort, I’ve got the perfect, let’s impress the in-laws recipe for you: Roasted Chicken with herbs and Potatoes. Fairly typical recipe from Mediterranean countries like Italy or Greece, it is so easy you can make it up as you go along.

With this year’s herbs planted on my balcony, it was time for me to rid my shelf of last year’s dried oregano, thyme, and rosemary. What better way to get rid of them than Roasted Chicken? I bought a 400g packet of chicken legs and got to work, although to be quite honest, any kind of chicken part will do.

Peel four medium-sized potatoes, slice them into quarters. rub salt, pepper, and herbs onto the skin and into the nooks and crannies of the chicken. Place everything into an 8 inch by 12 inch pan. Crack some salt and pepper over the potatoes with a mill  Drizzle over 5 tablespoons of cooking olive oil on everything. Bake in a pre-heated oven in 200° C for 20 minutes, until the chicken and the edges of the potatoes turn brown. Enjoy the low-fat crispiness of the chicken skin on top, and the savory oil sauce that emerges from the bottom.

Re-thinking Salt

Remember when I said that I don’t get salt? I may have to eat my words.

I used pink Himalayan salt in baking these chocolate crinkles. Crinkles are basically butter, flour,  caster sugar, with a bit of salt, rolled in powdered sugar.

I bake them every year. This year I definitely noticed an increased saltiness in these cookies, even if I use the same recipe year after year. It added a nice, salty dimension to the sweet cookie.

And since using this salt, I don’t need to use vegetable or chicken boullions anymore for making gravies, since the saltiness of Himalayan salt is enough.

I really still am learning how to cook!

Himalayan Salt

As cooking fads go, perhaps salt is one of those most basic ingredients of cooking where aggresive marketing, rather than actual science determines its uniqueness (in my perception).

In the market nowadays, the variety of a chemical is so mind-boggling that I sometimes wonder: is NaCl not just NaCl? or maybe NaCl idodide?

One of the trends in German kitchens these past few years is the use of Himalayan salt as a chi-chi gourmet ingredient. According to Wikipedia, there are trace minerals in Himalayan sea salt, but in negligible amounts. Mined in Pakistan, it is mostly pink or orange in color. It is also more expensive than normal salt.

Why? Isn’t Nacl also just NaCl is NaCl? Nowadays there is iodized salt, sea salt, kosher salt, Maldon salt, Himalayan salt, and in the INOGA food fair, there were people selling Kalahari desert salt for 7 euros per 500 g. 7 euros for a freaking bag of salt.

My son’s dad said that Himalayan sea salt tastes more like Maggi seasoning than normal table salt. To be quite honest, I don’t share his opinion. A salt by any other name tastes just as salty.