HomeCooking Vegetables › Steamed CarrotsSteaming is a wonderful way to enjoy carrots. Steamed carrots keep a lot of their natural, delicious flavor, without all the nutrient loss you get from other cooking methods, like boiling.

And on top of keeping their natural sweetness, it’s also easy to add a little something to steamed carrots once they’re cooked. Butter, sautéed garlic, a zesty citrus sauce… there’s lots you can do with these tasty veggies.

In this article, I’ll go over the preparation steps, and how to steam carrots.


Preparation Steps

One of the great things about steamed carrots is that there’s not a whole lot of preparation work involved. It’s a great side dish because it hardly takes any time, and you can focus on the rest of the meal, or cleaning up. Here’s what you need to do.


No matter what vegetable you’re cooking, it’s a good idea to wash it, and carrots are no exception. Depending on how they’re grown and packaged, they might still have pesticides or dirt on them, neither of which you want to eat.

To clean carrots, just scrub them gently under lukewarm water, being sure to get all the dirt out.

Peel (Optional)

If you like, you can also peel the carrots. It’s usually better not to, though – the carrot’s surface has a lot of nutrients and flavor, and if you peel it, it might just not be as tasty. But if you really want to peel the carrots, just be sure to use a vegetable peeler. It’ll peel the smallest layer possible. And be sure to peel only a single layer off the carrots.


One of the great thing about steaming carrots is that you can cut them any way you want. You can steam whole baby carrots, or cut larger carrots into smaller chunks or slices. It really doesn’t matter!

  • Boiled carrots lose more nutrients the more surface area is exposed, so it’s important not to cut them too much before boiling. But steamed carrots don’t lose nutrients and flavor that way, so you can cut them as small as you like.
  • Roasted carrots caramelize more the more surface area is exposed, so they’re tastier when cut up. But you don’t need to worry about that with steamed carrots!

The only thing it really affects is how long it takes to cook – smaller carrot chunks will cook faster. So the best way to do it is to cut your carrots down to the size you want to serve them, and then steam them.

How To Steam Carrots

Once your carrots are washed and cut up, you’re ready for the next step – steaming the carrots. If you have a steamer, you can just use that. I’ll go over the instructions for steaming over a pot of water. It’s basically the same thing in a different appliance!

Here what you do.

  1. Bring a pot of water to a boil. You only need about an inch or two of water, enough to create steam.
  2. Place the carrots in a steaming basket, and place the basket over the water.
  3. Steam the carrots until they’re done. You can cover them, but leave a little vent for some steam to escape, to avoid it building up too much. It’ll take anywhere from 5 to 30 minutes, depending on the size of your carrot pieces.
    • Check the water level every so often. Add more if it gets too low.
    • You can test the carrots for doneness by sticking a fork in them. It should slide in easily enough. Or just taste a piece.
  4. If you like, sauté some garlic in a bit of butter and oil, maybe with a few herbs and spices or some honey or sugar, and toss the carrots in the mixture. It’ll give a bit of extra flavor, for something a little different.

Remember, the carrots are done when they’re as crisp or as soft as you like them. Test them regularly, and take them out when they’re right for you. Generally, they’re considered “good” when they’re still a bit crisp, but if you prefer them soft, that’s what you should do.

And that’s all there is to making steamed carrots! Simple, delicious, and great for you. Enjoy!

› Steamed Asparagus

If you’re looking for a quick and easy vegetable to make for dinner, steamed asparagus is a great choice. Asparagus is one of my favorite vegetables.

It has such a delicious, distinct flavor. It’s also one of the few foods that it’s considered polite to eat with your hands, and for some reason I get a kick out of that!

There are lots of different delicious ways to prepare asparagus: roasted, sautéed, boiled… Each method has its own advantages. Steamed asparagus is nice because it keeps a lot of its nutrients, and keeps the pure, fresh asparagus taste. And it’s really easy to cook it just as tender as you like it.

And it’s so easy to do! In this article, I’ll show you how to steam asparagus. First, I’ll go over the preparation steps. Then, I’ll talk about three different ways to steam asparagus.

Preparation Steps

Before we look at how to steam asparagus, there a few preparation steps we need to look at.

Asparagus is one of the easiest vegetables to prepare, but if you don’t do it right, you can end up with tough, woody vegetables, and that’s not really all that great.

So here’s what you need to do: choose the right asparaguswash them carefully, and trim them properly.


The first step towards making delicious steamed asparagus is knowing how to choose a nice bunch. Here are a few things to look for when you’re selecting some asparagus.

  • Young and tender! The older asparagus gets, the woodier it gets, and it loses a lot of its appeal. Look for firm, fresh asparagus with closed, compact tips. The stem shouldn’t be limp and the tip shouldn’t be soggy.

  • Thick or thin? If you go to the store, you’ll notice that sometimes they have very thick asparagus spears, and other times they’re pencil thin. Which are better? The truth is, neither really is.

    • Thicker doesn’t mean older! How thick asparagus gets depends on the plant, not on how long it grows, so you can have very young and tender spears that are quite thick.

    • Thicker spears can be a bit more tender, but different dishes will be better with different sizes of asparagus. It’s more of a texture and personal preference thing.

    • For example, I like to make ham-wrapped asparagus with thin spears, wrapping 5 or 6 spears in a thin slice of ham. I find a lot of little spears gives a better texture.

In the end, the type of asparagus you should choose depends a lot on your personal preference. As long as they’re firm and fresh and not too old, you’re in for a delicious treat!


Before making steamed asparagus and eating it, it’s a good idea to wash the asparagus. It helps get rid of any dirt and chemicals that might still be on it. There are a few ways to do it:

  • Gently rub the asparagus under lukewarm water to get all the dirt off. If you have fresh, young asparagus, the tip won’t be too fragile, but you still want to be careful.
  • Place the asparagus in a bowl of lukewarm water and rub the spears gently. You want to get the dirt off without damaging the spears. Don’t leave the spears in there too long or they can get waterlogged!

Lukewarm water is usually best to wash vegetables. It’s better at getting off dirt and chemicals than cold water.


Once the asparagus is washed, you can trim it. Or you can do it the other way around, but I prefer to wash before I trim. That way, I can use the parts I trim off for vegetable stock.

So why do you need to trim asparagus? Well, the base can be tough and woody, and it’s really not that enjoyable to eat. Very fibrous. So when you trim asparagus, you just remove the old, woody part, and keep the delicious tender part, for even better steamed asparagus!

There are two ways to do it.

  • You can cut an inch or so off the base of each spear, using a sharp knife.
  • You can snap off the ends by hand. With one hand, hold the asparagus spear by its middle. With the other hand, bend the base until it snaps off.

I prefer the second method. The asparagus will naturally break off where it stops being woody and tough, so you’re removing pretty much the exact amount you need from each spear. It tends to take off more than just cutting though, so it can seem more wasteful, unless you plan on using the trimmed bits for a stock.

If you like, you can also peel the base off of thicker asparagus spears, if they’re especially woody. It helps you get to the more tender inside. It can also make the asparagus more evenly thick, so that it cooks more evenly.


  • The longer you keep asparagus, the tougher it gets, because the sugars in it turn into starch. So if you’ve had asparagus in the fridge for a while, you can expect to trim off quite a bit more than if you just bought the asparagus.
  • You can use the bits you trimmed or peeled off for vegetable stock. You can save them in the freezer and boil them with a bunch of other vegetables, or you can boil them right away in some water, and save the cooking water.
  • If your asparagus isn’t so fresh anymore and is kind of limp, snapping off the ends won’t work so well. If that’s the case, you can just cut them off with a knife. It’s always best to use fresh asparagus though, but sometimes we just don’t use up our vegetables when we thought we would!

And that’s all there is to the preparation. It takes about 3 minutes to do, and then you’re ready to make steamed asparagus.

How To Steam Asparagus

There are a few different ways of making steamed asparagus. Which one you pick will depend on a few different things, like what equipment you have available and how thick your asparagus is. In this section, we’ll go over three different ways of steaming asparagus, plus some extra tips.

Steamer or Steaming Basket

When I think of steaming vegetables, this is what I have in mind. All you need for steamed asparagus is a plain old steamer, or a pot of water and a steaming basket (a heat-resistant basket that’ll hold the asparagus but let steam through). It’s the traditional way, and it works great.

I’ll go over how to do it with a pot of water and a steaming basket. If you have a steamer, it’s basically the same thing except you don’t have to worry about the water level and things like that.

Here’s how to do it.

  1. Bring a pot of water to a boil. You don’t need much water, only an inch or two at the bottom of the pot. You just need enough to create steam, and enough that it won’t completely boil off while you steam the vegetables.

  2. Place the asparagus in a steaming basket. Place the basket over the water.

  3. Cover the asparagus, and let it steam until it’s cooked to your liking. It’ll take 5 to 15 minutes, depending on how thick the asparagus is and how tender you like it.

    • You can leave a little vent for steam to escape. It can help the asparagus keep its bright green color. Trapping the steam inside can sometimes cause the asparagus to turn olive green.

    • Test a piece every so often to check if it’s done. You can poke it with a fork, or just have a little bite (I prefer to taste – I’m usually pretty hungry when I cook!)

    • Keep an eye on the water level. If it gets low, add a bit more water so the pot doesn’t run dry.

  4. Serve the steamed asparagus, and enjoy!

And that’s how to make steamed asparagus in a steaming basket. What could be easier?

Upright Steamed Asparagus

Steamed Asparagus - Upright Bundle

This method is kind of special, and very specific to asparagus.

The thing about asparagus is that the tips tend to cook faster than the base. This happens for two reasons. First of all, they’re just more tender and need less cooking time. But the tips are often thinner than the base – and thinner vegetables need less cooking time.

What this means is that the tips can get overdone by the time the base is cooked. For me, it’s not much of a problem because I prefer my vegetables more tender than not. But if you like them a bit crisp, and you have thick asparagus, this method might give you steamed asparagus that you’ll enjoy quite a bit more.

They do sell some pots specifically made to steam asparagus upright, but all you really need is a tall, narrow pot.

Here’s how you do it:

  1. Tie the asparagus into little bundles with kitchen twine. You don’t want them so big that the asparagus is tightly packed, but you do want the bundle to be able to stand upright.

  2. Bring an inch or so of water to a boil in a tall, narrow pot.

    • You can add some flavoring to the water, especially if the base of the asparagus will be immersed. Try garlic, lemon wedges, salt, or any herbs you like.

  3. Place the asparagus bundles in the water, upright, tips up.

    • If you have a little basket or grate that’ll keep the asparagus out of the water, you can go ahead and use it. But if you don’t, it’s not a big deal – most of the asparagus will be out of the water so it’ll still be steamed, not boiled.

  4. Let the asparagus steam until it’s done. Depending on the size of the spears and how tender you like it, it’ll take 5 to 15 minutes.

  5. Serve the steamed asparagus, and enjoy!

And that’s how to get nice, evenly cooked asparagus. It’s a bit more work to tie up the bundles, but it’s really not that hard.

Microwave Method

You can also use the microwave to steam asparagus. It’s just as easy as the other methods.

Here’s how you do it.

  • Place the asparagus in a microwave-safe dish with a bit of water at the bottom.

    • The dish should be able to hold all the asparagus, laid down flat, in one or two layers.

    • You should be able to cover the dish in plastic wrap without the plastic touching the asparagus.

  • Cover the dish with microwave-safe plastic wrap, and cook for 2 to 3 minutes on high. Add another 30s at a time, until the asparagus is done to your liking.

  • Carefully remove the plastic wrap. It’s hot, and so is the steam trapped inside!

  • Serve the steamed asparagus, and enjoy!

Microwaving isn’t really my favorite way to cook. It just doesn’t feel like steaming, since the microwave doesn’t just boil the water, it cooks the asparagus, too. And it doesn’t cook things as evenly as on the stove-top or oven, and I find it can be a bit off. Some people also think that microwaving can be bad for you, but as far as I know that hasn’t really be proven.

But that’s just a personal preference. If you like microwaved steamed asparagus, it’s definitely a quick and easy way to do it, and it takes the least amount of clean up of all. And it doesn’t take up any counter space or stove-top space, which can be a real benefit!

No matter which method you picked to steam asparagus, there are a few extra tricks you can use to make your steamed asparagus extra delicious.

  • Sprinkle the asparagus with a bit of salt, or drizzle it with some butter, lemon juice or a good olive oil for some extra flavor. Coarse salt is especially nice because it’ll add a bit of crunch.

  • Sauté some garlic or shallots in a bit of butter, then toss the asparagus in the mixture. It’ll add a lot of flavor!

  • If you’re not serving the asparagus as soon as it’s cooked, dunk it in cold or ice water. It stops the cooking process, and keeps the asparagus perfectly done. It also helps the steamed asparagus keep its bright green color.

  • How much asparagus is in a serving? It depends on the size of the asparagus. For big, thick asparagus, you might only need 3 to 5 spears per person. With thinner spears, you might need 5 to 10. Just use your best judgment. After all, you know best if you like lots of vegetables!

And that’s how to steam asparagus. It really is a delicious treat… a treat that’s good for you, too! Steaming doesn’t add as many complex flavors as sautéing or roasting does, but asparagus is so good it doesn’t even need anything extra.


HomeCooking Chicken › Southern Fried ChickenGo To How To Fry Chicken – Part I: Preparations

Time to choose: southern fried chicken or deep-fried?

In Part I, we went over the first step of frying chicken, the preparation work. We know how to brine and bread, and it’s time to learn how to fry chicken!

There are two basic ways of doing it: deep fried or pan-fried. Pan-fried is often referred to as southern fried chicken.

In this part of the article, we’ll start by learning how to fry chicken: either southern fried or deep-fried. Then, we’ll talk about how to make a delicious pan gravy.

Here we go!


Frying Chicken

Here it is. The part we’ve all been waiting for: how to fry chicken.

It can be pan-fried or deep-fried. If you’re looking for southern fried chicken, the traditional way of doing that is to pan fry it: it takes a bit more time to cook, and it’s a tiny bit trickier, but it’s also a less greasy way to cook.

Whether you choose to make deep fried or southern fried chicken, here are a few things to keep in mind.

Fried Chicken – On A Plate
  • You need fat to fry. You’ll be frying chicken in some kind of fat or oil. You can pick lard, shortening, or vegetable oil, or even combine them. If you go for vegetable oil, pick something with a high smoke point and neutral flavor, like peanut oil.
  • Let the breading set. It’s a good idea to start heating the oil only once you’re done breading the chicken. It may seem less efficient, but it’ll give the breading time to firm up a little. You don’t need to do this if you’re using a batter, though.
  • Cast-iron works best. If you have a cast-iron pot or skillet, it’s a good time to take it out! It retains heat so well that when you add the chicken to the hot oil the temperature won’t drop so much – and that’s important, because if the oil isn’t hot when the chicken first goes in, you’ll end up with soggy chicken.
  • Be careful. The oil you’ll be cooking in is extremely hot, and it’ll bubble and spatter when you add the chicken. Be very careful putting the chicken in the pot, and moving it around, or you could end up with serious burns or a grease fire. Don’t let the handle of your pot or skillet stick out where someone could knock into it accidentally.
  • If you’re making deep-fried or southern fried chicken in batches, let the oil heat back up to 350F before cooking the next batch. If your oil is too cool, you’ll end up with soggy breading.

Pan-Fried or Southern Fried Chicken

Alright, now that we have a few basics down, let’s learn how to make southern fried chicken! Remember, if you coated your chicken with a batter (with the flour mixed in the liquid instead of two steps, soaking and dredging), you shouldn’t pan fry. Instead, try deep-frying.

  1. In a deep skillet, heat the oil to 350F. The oil should reach half-way up the meat, so half an inch to an inch of oil should do it.
    • Make sure the oil doesn’t reach higher than halfway up your skillet, or you could end up with burns and oil splashes.
    • You can see if it’s the right temperature with a thermometer, or by throwing in a pinch of flour. If the flour fries and the oil bubbles, it should be about hot enough.
  2. Gently place the chicken in the skillet, skin side down. Watch out for the oil spattering!
    • If you just plop the chicken in the pan, it’ll disturb the coating. Even worse, it could cause the oil to splash and give you serious burns.
    • Try not to disturb the coating too much. Using your hands can help with that, but if you’re worried about the oil burning you, you can use tongs – just be gentle!
    • Be sure not to crowd the chicken, or it won’t cook properly. Cook it in batches if you need.
  3. Cook on one side until the bottom is a nice golden color, and blood starts to seep up at the top. This’ll take about 15 minutes for dark meat – it’s a bit shorter for white meat.
    • Keep checking the oil’s temperature. If it gets much below 350F, turn the heat up.
    • Once you put the chicken in, you either have to move it around regularly to keep it from sticking, or just let it be. If you leave it be, it’ll release naturally once the breading firms up, and it’ll be easy to flip.
  4. Flip the chicken over, and cook the other side. You should cook it until it has an internal temperature of 165F. You can also poke it to see if the juices run clear.
    • The second side shouldn’t take quite as long as the first side.
  5. Let the southern fried chicken rest a bit on a wire rack for a few minutes. This’ll let the grease drip off, keeping your chicken crisp. It also lets the juices redistribute inside, and lets it cool down enough not to burn you.
    • You can place something like a cookie sheet under the wire rack to catch the drippings.
    • Do use a wire rack instead of paper towels or a paper bag. If your chicken is sitting directly on paper towels, the grease will make your chicken soggy!

And that’s how you make awesome southern fried chicken!

Deep-Fried Chicken

The alternative to southern fried chicken is deep-fried chicken. It’s not terribly different, but it’s not quite the same, either.

Fried Chicken - Deep Fried

The chicken can end up greasier and it’s generally less healthy than southern fried chicken, but it also cooks faster and it’s easier to get a very pretty breading.

You can also use a batter breading if you deep-fry.

Here’s how you do it!

  1. In a pot or a very deep pan, heat the oil to 350F. The oil should be deep enough to completely cover your chicken pieces.
    • The oil shouldn’t be more than halfway up the pot. It’ll get higher when you add the chicken in, and if it’s too close to the edge it could burn you or start a fire.
    • You can check the oil’s temperature with a thermometer. If you don’t have one, try throwing in a pinch of flour. If it fries nicely and makes the oil bubbles, the oil is hot enough.
  2. Gently lower the chicken pieces into the oil.They should be completely submerged.
    • If you can, try to avoid disturbing the breading. It’ll give you nicer looking chicken. Using your hands is the best way to go, but you have to be very careful not to burn yourself. Use tongs if you’re worried, just be gentle.
    • Never just plop or toss the chicken in, since that can cause splashes.
    • Don’t add too many pieces at once. It’ll reduce the temperature of the oil, making soggy chicken. You should also avoid overcrowding the pot. The chicken should float freely or it won’t cook evenly.
  3. Cook the chicken until it reaches an internal temperature of 165F. This’ll take about 10 minutes for white meat, 14 for dark, and maybe 7 minutes for wings.
    • The chicken should float up to the surface when it’s done, but you can check the temperature with a meat thermometer, or poke the chicken to see if the juices run clear.
    • If you like, monitor the temperature of the oil to keep it around 350F. It’ll drop a bit when you add in the chicken, so you may neat to turn up the heat. If the coating gets too cooked before the chicken is ready, just turn down the heat a bit. It’s important that it be very hot initally to make the breading crisp, but after that it can go a bit lower.
  4. Once the chicken is cooked, let it cool on a wire rack for a few minutes. It allows the grease to drip off and keeps the chicken crisp, and lets the juices redistribute. It also ensures that the chicken isn’t so hot that it’ll burn you when you eat it!
    • Place a cookie sheet under the wire rack to catch the oil if you don’t want a real mess.
    • Don’t let the chicken rest on paper towels or a paper bag. The grease and moisture will just make the bottom of the chicken soggy instead of crisp.

Making A Pan Gravy

Alright, we’ve learned how to make deep-fried and southern fried chicken. We’re almost done! The very last step is making a gravy to go with the fried chicken, or with whatever sides you’re planning on serving with the chicken, like biscuits or mashed potatoes.

First, I’ll go over the different elements that’ll make up the gravy, and then I’ll talk about how to put it all together, step-by-step.

  • The base of the gravy is going to be the little pieces of breading and chicken left over in the pan you fried the chicken in. Those little bits are called the fond and they’re packed with flavor.
    • Generally, southern fried chicken will give you a better fond than deep frying, because the chicken is in contact with the pan and more likely to stick.
  • The next element in the gravy is the roux, which is an equal amount of fat and flour, cooked until it starts to become golden. This is what is going to thicken the gravy.
    • For the fat, you can use a few tablespoons of the oil you cooked the chicken in. Just drain most of the oil, leaving a bit at the bottom, and make sure to leave the fond in!
    • You can also use less oil and add some butter, if you prefer a slightly buttery taste in your gravy.
    • You’ll need about 3-4 tablespoons of fat, and 3-4 tablespoons of flour.
  • Next, we need some liquid in the gravy. Once the roux is made, we’ll add in about 2 cups of liquid.
    Fried Chicken - Milk For Gravy
    • A creamy gravy goes great with fried chicken, so the liquid can be milk or cream or a mixture of both.
    • If you don’t want just milk, you can add half milk and half chicken stock, or even just chicken stock on its own if you don’t want a creamy gravy.
    • You can even add water, although I wouldn’t add water all on its own. It would make a pretty bland gravy. Half milk and half water would do, but if you have stock, I’d use that instead. It has much more flavor and body.
  • Finally, we need seasoning. You don’t need anything too crazy to make a delicious gravy for southern fried chicken. The fond and stock, if you used any, add a ton of flavor. But, you can definitely add a bit of salt and pepper, and maybe some garlic or onion powder, paprika, cayenne pepper, or anything else you like. Keep it simple!

And that’s what makes a southern fried chicken gravy. Let’s see how to put it all together.

  1. Pour off the fat from the skillet you cooked the chicken in, leaving only 3-4 tablespoons in the skillet.
    • Be careful not to pour out the fond, the little bits of chicken left in the pan.
    • If you want to add butter to the gravy, pour out a bit more oil and replace it with butter. For example, leave only 2 tablespoons of oil and add 2 tablespoons of butter.
  2. Heat the oil and butter over medium heat. Sprinkle in 3-4 tablespoons of flour, whisking constantly to prevent any lumping. Heat it and keep stirring, until the mixture loses its floury smell and starts to turn golden.
    • Try and scrape up the fond and blend it into the mixture.
  3. Pour in 1 cup of milk (or other liquid) in a thin stream, whisking constantly to avoid lumping. Pour in the other cup of liquid and add the seasonings. Stir well until the mixture in smooth and homogeneous.
    • When you first add the liquid, the difference in temperature will cause the mixture to seize up a little bit. Don’t worry, it’s normal. Just don’t pour too much at once, and keep stirring to keep it smooth.
  4. Simmer for about 5 minutes. It should be hot enough so that steam is coming off the surface, but it shouldn’t be bubbling. The gravy is ready when it’s as thick as you like it!
    • If you find that the gravy is too thick, you can just add a bit more liquid.

And that’s how you make a tasty gravy for southern fried chicken from the leavings in the pan! Just serve with the chicken or over mashed potatoes, and you’re in for a real treat.

Well, now you know everything about how to fry chicken. But frying chicken does take some practice. You have the basics, now just try it out a few times until you’re comfortable, and you’re sure to get great results!


HomeChicken Recipes › Southern Fried Chicken RecipeIf you’re looking for a yummy treat, here’s a good southern fried chicken recipe. It uses simple, tasty spices that you’re likely to have on hand in your kitchen pretty much anytime, a definite bonus.

Making southern fried chicken can be a bit tricky. If you follow this recipe, you shouldn’t have any problems, but if you want a more in-depth look, check out our two-part article on frying chicken.

It’s got a whole bunch of extra tips and tricks that can really help out.

And now for the southern fried chicken recipe!


Southern Fried Chicken

Preparation Time: 30m     Cooking Time: 30m     Total Time: 1h00m


Serves 4.


1 3-4lb chicken, cut into legs, thighs, wings, breasts and backs
2 cups milk
2 cups flour
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
oil for frying, preferably peanut oil



  1. (Optional) If desired, brine the chicken pieces for about an hour.
  2. Pat the chicken pieces dry.
  3. In a medium bowl, mix the flour, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder.
  4. Dip each piece of chicken in the milk, and let any excess drip off, then dredge it through the flour mixture. Gently shake it to remove any excess flour. Repeat for each piece of chicken until they’re all coated.
  5. In a cast-iron skillet, heat half an inch to an inch of oil to 350F. The oil should reach halfway up the chicken when you place it in the pan.
  6. Gently add the chicken pieces to the skillet skin side down, being careful not to disturb the breading too much.
    • Never plop the chicken in or toss it. That can cause very hot oil to splash and that’s never good.
    • Don’t crowd the chicken, or it won’t cook evenly. The pieces shouldn’t really be touching.
  7. Cook the chicken on one side until the bottom is golden and blood starts to seep up at the top.
  8. Carefully flip the chicken over, and cook the other side until the chicken has an internal temperature of 165F.
  9. Let the chicken rest on a wire rack. It’ll allow the grease to drip off the chicken and the juices inside to redistribute evenly. Plus, it’ll let it cool down so that it won’t burn you when you eat it!




  • If no one likes the wings or backs, you can save them to make an awesome homemade chicken stock.
  • This southern fried chicken recipe uses milk for dipping, but you can also soak it in the milk for several hours, or use any other number of liquids, like buttermilk or an egg wash. Check out our chicken breading article for some more ideas.
  • This recipe can definitely be tweaked. You can add any seasoning you like to the mix, and you can even season the milk and the chicken before dipping.
  • It’s important that the oil be hot when you first put the chicken in. If it isn’t, the breading will end up soggy instead of crisp. So if you have to cook your chicken in batches, be sure to let the oil heat back up before putting in a second batch.
  • If you have to cook the chicken in batches, cook the white meat together and the dark meat together. It’ll be way easier to manage the cooking time. You can even double the recipe if you have a really big skillet.
  • Be very careful. You’re dealing with very hot oil, and splashes can be dangerous and cause burns or grease fires.
  • Never leave the chicken unattended. The oil is very hot and could cause accidents, but the chicken could also go from perfect to overcooked pretty quickly.
› Shepherd’s Pie Recipe

This shepherd’s pie recipe is a great way to make a delicious and comforting meal. And it’s so simple, too! Just a layered dish of ground beef, corn, mashed potatoes, and a bit a of cheese. Simple, but so good!

Shepherd’s pie really isn’t anything complicated. But what makes this recipe for shepherd’s pie so good is that each element is super tasty – the ground beef is lightly spiced for a more interesting taste, and the mashed potatoes are deliciously garlicky.

This shepherd’s pie recipe is always a huge hit at our place. Try it served with ketchup – I’m not a fan myself, but my husband loves it that way!

Shepherd’s Pie

Preparation Time: 35m     Cooking Time: 35m     Total Time: 1h10m


Serves 5.


Mashed Potatoes
5 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
5 cloves garlic
1 tbsp butter
salt and pepper, to taste

Ground Beef
1 tsp butter or oil
1 lb ground beef
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp Montreal steak spice
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp salt

2 (15oz) cans whole kernel corn
3/4 cup grated Mozzarella cheese (optional)


  1. In a medium pot, boil the potatoes and garlic. They’re done when a knife stuck into the potatoes slides in easily, and the potato slides off the knife.

  2. Drain the potatoes, reserving the cooking water. Mash the potatoes and garlic with about 1/8 to 1/4 of a cup of the cooking water. Add more water if needed. Stir in the butter, salt and pepper.

  3. Preheat the oven to 400F.

  4. While the potatoes are cooking, heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat. Cook the onions until they’re translucent. Add the garlic, and cook for another minute or so.

  5. Add the ground beef to the skillet, along with the Montreal steak spice, Worcestershire sauce, and salt, and cook the beef until it’s browned.

  6. In a large baking dish — I like to use an extra large bread pan — layer the ground beef, corn, and mashed potatoes, in that order. Top with the grated cheese.

  7. Bake in the preheated oven for 35 minutes, until the cheese is melted and starting to brown, or until the mashed potatoes are starting to brown.


  • I usually use canned corn for convenience, but if you happen to have fresh corn on hand, it’s way better. My parents have lots of freezer space, and they like to freeze cooked corn in the summer so that they can use delicious summer corn all winter long.

  • If you don’t like corn, you can use any other vegetable in this shepherd’s pie recipe. Just be sure it’s cooked, and layer it between the meat and potatoes. Try it with mushrooms or peas!

  • The ground beef can be kind of crumbly. If you add a spoonful or two of the mashed potatoes to the meat and mix it in, it’ll help it hold together a bit more.

  • You can use whatever cheese you like best in this shepherd’s pie recipe. Try Parmesan or Cheddar for a bit more flavor.

› Sautéed Vegetables

Sautéed vegetables are a little different from other cooked vegetables. Cooked in a small amount of oil over fairly high heat, they have a chance to brown nicely while still cooking through. The result? A delicious vegetable as tender as you like it, with a sweet, partially caramelized exterior.

Sautéing is also a little more involved than some other cooking methods. To properly make sautéed vegetables, you need to stir them almost constantly. The word “sauté” comes from the French word for “jump“, and those vegetables really do need to be jumping!

But keeping a careful eye on the vegetables, and knowing the little tips and tricks that make it just right, anyone can sauté vegetables and make a sweet, delicious vegetable dish.

In this article, I’ll go over how to make sautéed vegetables. First, I’ll talk about how to prepare the vegetables for sautéing. Then, I’ll talk about how to sauté them.

Preparation Work

When you’re making sautéed vegetables, the way you prepare them before cooking them is important. If you want them to cook through and brown properly, there are a few things you need to do.

Wash The Vegetables

You should always wash vegetables before eating them, to get off any dirt, chemicals or microorganism that might still be on them. Some vegetables can be scrubbed, but others are more delicate and should just be immersed in water or cleaned under running water. Lukewarm water is best for washing vegetables, because it helps lift off dirt and particles better than cold water.

Once the vegetables are washed, they need to be dried. Like roasting, sautéing is a dry heat cooking method. If you sauté wet vegetables, they won’t have as intense a flavor, or get that nicely browned exterior. So dry the vegetables as best you can!

Cut Up The Vegetables

How you cut up the vegetables is important for sautéed vegetables. Unlike roasting, where the heat just radiates through whatever you’re cooking, sautéing relies on conduction – first, the outside of the vegetables comes into contact with the heat and gets warm, and then the heat is transferred inwards.

That means that the outside cooks much faster than the inside when you’re sautéing, so you need to cut your veggies into small enough pieces.

Here’s what you need to keep in mind when cutting up your veggies for sautéed vegetables.

  • Cut up the vegetables in small pieces. It’s okay if they’re long and flat, because the heat can sill get through that way.

    • For dense vegetables like potatoes or carrots, the pieces shouldn’t be much more than a quarter to half an inch thick.

    • Lighter vegetables, like mushrooms, can be thicker.

  • Cut the vegetables into even sized pieces. That way, all the vegetables will be perfectly cooked at the same time.

  • If you’re planning on sautéing several vegetables, make sure that they’ll all be done at the same time.

    • You can cut slower cooking vegetables, usually denser ones like carrots, into smaller pieces than the faster cooking ones.

    • You can start with the slower cooking vegetables, and then add the faster cooking ones after.

Do Not Refrigerate!

The last thing you need to take care of when preparing your vegetables is to make sure that they’re at room temperature before sautéing them. If you add cold vegetables to your hot skillet, they’ll cool the skillet down, and it’ll be a lot harder to get the veggies to sear nicely.

Pick The Right Pan

Okay, so this isn’t really preparing the vegetables, but the pan you pick can affect the results you get. Here’s what you should look for in a sauté pan.

  • It’s best if the pan can hold all your veggies in a single layer. Vegetables release steam as they cook, and if they’re overcrowded, you’ll end up steaming them instead of sautéing them. A large pan ensures that the steam can escape without cooking your veggies.
  • A shallow pan, one with low edges, will also help steam escape more easily.
  • A pan with vertical sides rather than rounded sides can help you stir the vegetables more vigorously without them flying out of the pan.
  • Sautéed vegetables need to be stirred frequently. You can do this with a spoon or spatula, or by shaking the pan. If you pick the latter, you want to be sure your pan is light enough for you to handle comfortably.

How To Sauté Vegetables

Once the vegetables are washed, cut up, and dried, they’re ready to be sautéed. In this section, I’ll go over what you need to do to make your sautéed vegetables.

Here’s what you do.

  1. Heat some oil in a large, shallow pan over medium to high heat.

    • You don’t need a lot of oil. You just want enough to barely coat the pan, so that the vegetables won’t stick.

    • If you prefer, you can use clarified butter, or a mixture of butter and oil, for flavor. The pan will be to hot for just butter on its own, though.

    • The high heat is necessary to sear the vegetables and get that nice, caramelized flavor.

  2. Add the vegetables to the hot pan.

  3. Stir the vegetables frequently until they’re nicely browned and cooked through. Give them a good shake or stir every so often to keep them from sticking and to help them cook evenly.

    • You can do this by moving the pan back and forth quickly, making the vegetables jump. It does tend to cool down the pan though, so set the heat higher, or don’t shake too often.

    • You can also just use a wooden spoon or a spatula to stir the vegetables.

    • If it looks like the vegetables are getting too brown, but aren’t cooked through yet, turn the heat down a bit.

  4. Serve, and enjoy!


  • You can also add some seasonings to the vegetables as you sauté them. Some, like garlic or herbs, can be added right from the start, so that they have time to heat and release their flavor. Others, like grated cheese or dried fruit, can be added closer to the end, so that they don’t overcook or burn.
  • Remember that when you’re cooking for yourself or your family, you should cook things the way you like it! There’s no need to take the vegetables out when they’re still crisp if you like them a bit soft. So taste the vegetables, and when they’re the way you like them, they’re done.

And that’s how to make sautéed vegetables. It’s super versatile and absolutely delicious. Try out different vegetables, and find out what you like best!


HomeCooking Vegetables › Sautéed CarrotsSautéed carrots are perfect if you’re looking for a great vegetable side that’s easy to make, healthy, and delicious. Not to mention fairly inexpensive, since carrots aren’t really the priciest vegetables!

One of the things that makes sautéed carrots so great is the caramelization. When you cook carrots over a fairly high heat, they start to brown, enhancing their natural sweetness and giving them a much richer flavor.

And they’re also healthy – sautéing is a cooking method that preserves a lot of the carrots’ nutrients, so that each bite is even better for you!

In this article, I’ll go over how to make sautéed carrots. First, I’ll go over how to prepare the carrots, and then I’ll go over how to sauté them.


Preparation Work

When you’re making sautéed carrots, there are a few things you need to do to get the carrots ready. Nothing complicated, but you do need to keep a few things in mind to get the best possible results.

Wash The Carrots

Before eating and cooking with carrots, you should always wash them. It helps get rid of any dirt, chemicals or microorganisms that might still be on the surface. Just scrub the carrots under lukewarm running water until you get rid of all the dirt.

Once the carrots are washed, you need to dry them. Sautéing is a dry heat cooking method. If the carrots are still wet, you could end up steaming the carrots instead of sautéing them. Not that there’s anything wrong with steamed carrots! It just won’t be the caramelized dish you were looking for.

Peel The Carrots (optional)

If you want, you can also peel the carrots after washing them. Usually it’s better not to, though, since so much of the carrots’ flavor and nutrients are near the surface. Washing is usually enough to give you a nice, fresh looking carrot.

But if you want to peel them, be sure to use a vegetable peeler – it’ll only peel off a thin layer, so that you don’t lose as much. Peel a single layer off the carrot, and you’re ready!

Cut The Carrots

How you cut the carrots is the most important preparation step. Since sautéed carrots are cooked quickly over high heat, you have to be sure that your carrot pieces aren’t so big that they’ll burn before they cook through.

Here’s what you need to keep in mind.

  • Cut the carrots in pieces no more than a quarter of an inch thick. The easiest way to do this is to cut them in slices.
    • Cutting the slices diagonally is even better. You get more surface area, for more caramelization. And it just looks great!
    • There are other ways you can cut the carrots, too. You can julienne them (cut them into little sticks), or cut the carrots in half lengthwise and then into pieces, but diagonal slices are easy to make and look great.
  • Cut the carrots into even sized pieces. If you’re cutting them in slices, make sure the slices are uniformly thick. That way, all the carrots will be done at the same time, without any being overcooked or undercooked.
  • Thinner pieces cook faster. If you want them to brown more, cook them over higher heat. Thicker pieces may need to cook over lower heat to cook through before the outside burns.

Let Them Warm

Before you sauté the carrots, it’s a good idea to let your carrots reach room temperature. That way, when you add them to the hot pan, they won’t cool it down. And that’s important because the high heat is necessary to get that wonderful caramelization.

How To Make Sautéed Carrots

Once your carrots are prepared, it’s time to sauté them. And here’s what you need to do to make sautéed carrots.

  1. Heat some oil in a pan over medium high heat. If you prefer to use butter, you can mix butter and oil, or use clarified butter. Plain butter on its own might burn over the high heat.
  2. Add the carrots to the pan.
  3. Cook the carrots, uncovered, being sure to keep them moving. They need to move more the longer they cook to keep them from burning.
    • You can either stir them quickly with a wooden spoon, or jerk the pan back and forth to make the carrots jump. If you choose the latter, make sure your pan is light enough for you to handle easily.
    • It’s important to keep the carrots uncovered, so that the steam can escape and the carrots can brown.
    • If the carrots look like they’re browning too fast and the inside isn’t cooked yet, you can turn down the heat, or shake the pan a bit more – the movement will help cool down the vegetables and the pan.
  4. The carrots are done when they’re cooked through and browned to your liking.


  • You can dress up this simple dish in lots of different ways.
    • Sautéing a bit of garlic or onions with the carrots can add a lot of flavor.
    • You can also add some fresh or dried herbs or spices. You can add these when the carrots are already partially cooked, so that they don’t burn. Try salt, pepper, dill, nutmeg, cardamom, or any other spice you like. Don’t be afraid to try new combinations. They won’t all work out, but you might discover something amazing!
    • Try adding a bit of grated cheese, or dried fruit or slivered nuts to the carrots when they’re almost done – that way they don’t burn. It’ll add visual appeal and taste great!
  • Some people like to parboil or blanch the carrots before sautéing them in butter and herbs. That means boiling them in a bit of water so that they’re pre-cooked. The trouble with that is that boiling gets the vegetables wet, and so they don’t really caramelize. It’s really more of a way to enhance boiled vegetables than to sauté them.

And that’s how to make sautéed carrots. Go ahead and give it a try. You’ll find it’s really easy and super tasty!


› Royal Icing Recipe

If you’re making gingerbread men, you need a royal icing recipe. Not that gingerbread isn’t delicious on its own… but a bit of icing adds just the right touch of sweetness, and the cookies are so much prettier when they’re decorated.

Besides, decorating gingerbread cookies is half the fun!

Different cookies need different types of cookie icing. Gingerbread cookies work well with royal icing because the flavors blend well, and because royal icing is great as a “glue”. If you’re making a gingerbread house, or you want your gingerbread men to have gumdrop buttons, a drop of royal icing will help it stick.

So here it is, a royal icing recipe for pretty and delicious cookies!

Royal Icing

Preparation Time: 5m     Cooking Time: 0m     Total Time: 5m


Yields 1 cup icing.


1 egg white
1 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
lemon juice, a few drops
food coloring (optional)


  1. In a small bowl, beat the egg white, confectioners’ sugar and lemon juice until it’s smooth and well-blended.

  2. Add a few drops of food coloring and stir, until you have the color you want. If needed, separate the cookie icing in batches to make different colors.

  3. Decorate your cookies using a piping set, or a Ziploc bag with a corner snipped off.


  • This cookie icing recipe uses raw egg whites. If you’re concerned about salmonella, you can use pasteurized egg whites instead.

  • You may need more than one batch to decorate your cookies, but it’s so fast to make, you may as well use up one batch before making another. That way, there’s less waste, and your icing won’t harden.

  • The icing hardens fast, so cover any icing you’re not using right away with plastic wrap.

  • If the icing is too runny, you can add some extra sugar till it’s just right. If it’s too stiff, try adding another egg white.

  • The icing will get hard pretty quickly, but it still takes a while for it to set completely. It won’t run off the cookies, but if you pile cookies one on top of the other, the icing might get crushed. Waiting a few hours before stacking cookies will solve that problem.

› Roasting Chicken

There’s nothing quite like the smell of a roasting chicken. It fills the house and lets you know that a delicious, warm, and comforting meal is on its way.

Roast chicken is definitely one of my top ten favorite meals. Even when I was little, and a very picky eater, I loved it. It was always like a special treat to me, and still is — no matter how often I make it!

One of the great things about roasting chicken is that you end up with an impressive meal, but one that doesn’t take too much effort. Roasting chicken is actually surprisingly easy, when you consider how good it is!

So how do you roast chicken? Well, there are lots of ways of doing it. I’ll go over the different ways of roasting chicken, and talk about the advantages and disadvantages of each method.

I’ve split this article up into the different steps of roasting chicken:

Some of those steps are optional, but all have advantages that’ll help you make outstanding roast chicken!

Step 1: Brining the Chicken

The first step to making a fantastic roast chicken is brining. Brining is a cooking technique where you soak your chicken in salty water (the brine!) for a few hours. It’s very easy to do but it does mean you have to plan ahead a little.

You can find out all about how to do it in our brining chicken article, but I’ll at least give you the reasons why you’d want to brine your chicken:

  • Brining helps keep your chicken moist. Soaking it in water increases the moisture in the meat, and the salt helps prevent it from drying out when it cooks.
  • Brining also really enhances the chicken’s flavor. The salt from the brine penetrates deep into the chicken flesh. It’s much more effective that just seasoning the surface!

I feel that brining makes a huge difference when roasting chicken. But it’s not necessary. You can make a great roasted chicken without brining. It all comes down to whether you have the time.

Step 2: Seasonings

Whether you decided to brine your chicken or not, the next step is to season it.

There are a few different ways to season a chicken for roasting, and you can mix and match them all.

But no matter which ones you choose, you want to start by patting the chicken dry first. It’ll help the skin get crispy when you cook it. You can even leave it to air dry in the fridge for an hour or so if you like extra crispy skin.

In this section I’ll go over a few different ways of seasoning the chicken: seasoning the skinseasoning under the skinbuttering the chicken, and seasoning the cavity.

Seasoning the skin

When roasting chicken, the easiest thing to do is to season its outside: just sprinkle your favorite herbs and spices on the surface of the chicken. Some seasonings that go well with chicken are:

  • Salt and pepper. Try sprinkling a small handful of salt from a foot or two above the chicken. This will let the salt rain down on the chicken and coat it evenly.
  • Fresh herbs like thyme and tarragon. Tarragon is especially good if you stuff the chicken with lemon.
  • Garlic, fresh or granulated. Onion powder is good, too.
  • Spices like paprika or chili powder.

Seasoning the skin is really easy. You barely have to handle the bird and you’ll be done in just a few minutes. But there are a few disadvantages:

  • The skin helps protect the chicken from drying out, so you really need to be leave it on whether you plan on eating it or not. But it also protects the chicken from the seasonings! Your herbs and spices will taste great on the skin, but they won’t season the meat as much as seasoning under the skin.
  • If you’re not planning on eating the skin, you’ll be throwing out a lot of those delicious seasonings.
  • If you’ll be roasting chicken at a higher temperature, the seasonings can burn — especially if you’re cooking in something small like a toaster oven.

Seasoning under the skin

Seasoning a chicken under the skin is a bit more work that just seasoning the skin, but the results are definitely worth it. Here’s how you do it:

  1. Place the bird breast side up.

  2. Using a sharp knife, trim away any excess skin and fat from around the cavity.

  3. Starting from the edge of the cavity, gently push the skin away from the breasts.

    • You may need to use a sharp knife near the edge to get things started, but after than, put it away or you could tear the skin.

    • If there’s a membrane keeping the two together, you can just push at it with something blunt until it gives way.

    • Remember, you don’t want to remove the skin, just access the meat underneath. Separate the skin from the top of the breast, but leave it attached on the side.

  4. From the breast, you should be able to reach the leg without damaging any skin. Lift the skin from the leg the same way you did for the breast.

  5. Rub your seasonings in the area you cleared under the skin.

Why is seasoning under the skin so much better? Well, all your herbs and spices are in direct contact with the meat and eventually they’ll penetrate it and infuse the whole chicken with flavor.

If you just season the skin, the skin acts as a shield between the meat and the seasoning. The skin will be delicious, but the meat won’t get much of the flavor.

So what should you use as seasoning? Definitely salt, and anything you would use to season the skin works fine.

Butter on and under the skin

A little bit of butter can go a long way when you’re roasting chicken. It really does make a huge difference!

  • Rubbing a bit of softened butter over the skin will help your chicken brown nicely.
  • Rubbing some softened butter under the skin helps prevent the chicken from drying out as you cook it — even without basting! The butter helps baste the meat, adding its own delicious flavour.

You don’t have to use a lot of butter. I hardly ever use more than a tablespoon on a 4-5 lb chicken and my family is always thrilled by the results.


  • If you prefer, you can also use margarine or oil. The major difference will be the flavor. Personally I’m not a fan of using oil because I love a tiny buttery flavor, but it’s definitely an option.

  • Another option is to use a butter-flavored cooking spray. A friend of mine’s mom always makes her chicken just spraying it inside and out, and I don’t think she’s ever made anything that wasn’t delicious.

Seasoning the cavity

Now that we’ve talked about seasoning the outside of the bird, let’s talk about the inside of the bird. There are lots of ways of doing it.

  • The very simplest way of seasoning the cavity is to take a generous amount of salt and pepper and rub it in there.

    • Salting the inside helps the salt penetrate the meat and season it the whole way through. Much tastier than just seasoning the surface!

    • In addition to salt and pepper, you can add any herbs and spices you like.

  • You can also stuff the cavity with lemon or orange wedges, or pieces of onion. As they heat up, they’ll create a bit of steam in the roasting chicken, but they’ll also infuse it with flavor.

  • You can also make a bread, rice or grain, or cornbread stuffing to place inside the chicken. The chicken will flavor the stuffing and the stuffing will flavor the chicken.


If you decide to stuff the cavity, be sure not to put too much in there. You don’t want it spilling out! If you’re afraid of the stuffing falling out while you’re cooking, here’s a little trick:

  1. Take a skewer and poke it through the bottom of the cavity so that it’s horizontal across the cavity; the middle of the skewer should be inside the cavity and both ends should poke outside through the meat.
  2. Take a few more skewers and do the same thing, a bit higher each time.
  3. Take a piece of kitchen twine and lace it through the skewers to pull the cavity close.

And there you go! Nothing will fall out. Or, you can truss the bird; that helps the cavity stay closed, too.

One more thing: if you stuff the chicken, you’ll have to add 15 to 30 minutes to the cooking time.

Step 3: Trussing

Once you’ve seasoned and stuffed your chicken, the next step is to truss it.

Trussing a chicken just means tying it up so that the legs and wings are tight against the body of the chicken. It’s absolutely an optional step, unless you’re using a rotisserie, in which case if you don’t truss it you’ll have very burnt wings and legs.

There are a few good reasons to truss a chicken. It can help it cook more evenly and keep the meat moist, and also makes the bird easier to handle and a lot prettier looking!

If you want to know more, check out our article on trussing chicken. It has everything from why to truss, why not to truss, and how to do it in an illustrated, step-by-step guide.

Step 4: 3 Ways to Roast Chicken

There are lots of ways to season a chicken, and there are just as many ways to cook it. In this section, I’ll go over the different ways of roasting chicken.

Remember, all of these methods are good, but some might be better suited to your lifestyle. If you don’t have a lot of time to get dinner ready, the quick-roasting method is probably your best bet.

But if you have lots of time, experiment with the other methods to find out what you like best.

In this section, I’ll give a few tips and tricks that’ll come in handy when roasting chicken. Then, I’ll talk about three different cooking methodsquick-roastingroasting at 350F, and slow-roasting.

Tips and Tricks for Roasting Chicken

Tip 1: How to Tell if the Chicken is Done

It’s very important that chicken be fully cooked before you eat it. If it’s not, you could eat some harmful bacteria that could make you sick.

The only way to know for sure that the meat is cooked is by using a meat thermometer.

  • Stick the meat thermometer in the thickest part of the thigh and breast. You need to check both.
  • Chicken is cooked when it has reached an internal temperature of 165F. I’ve cooked chicken to 170F and even 180F without it getting overdone, so it’s best to stay on the safe side.

There are a few other hints that your chicken is ready, too. They’re not as reliable as a meat thermometer, but they can help.

  • When the chicken is done, the thighs should wiggle freely.
  • If the chicken is done, the juices that come out when you poke it should be clear, not rosy.
  • Some chickens have flesh that will stay rosy no matter how long you cook it. That’s fine, but be sure to test it with a meat thermometer so that you know for sure it’s done.

Tip 2: Basting the Bird

When you’re roasting chicken, you can pour a bit of liquid over the cooking bird every so often – it’s called basting, and keeps the skin from burning and the meat from drying out.

  • You can use cooking juices, wine, broth, stock, water, or any other liquid to baste your roasting chicken: whatever you pick will add its own flavor to the chicken.
  • When you take the chicken out of the oven to baste it, the oven will lose some heat. Keep it closed as much as you can, and don’t baste too often – about every half hour will do.
  • When you baste a roasting chicken, you keep its skin moist, which can prevent it from getting crispy. If you really want crispy skin, skip the last basting or two.
  • Instead of basting, you can spread butter under the chicken’s skin and inside the cavity. This lets the roasting chicken self-baste without keeping the skin from browning, and without opening the oven door.

Tip 3: Flipping the Chicken

A neat technique that you can use with any of the cooking methods is to roast the chicken breast side down for the first two thirds of the cooking time, then flip it over.

  • This way, all the fat from the dark meat seeps into the meat instead of dripping out, and you end up with really juicy breast meat.
  • When you flip it breast side up for the last third, you give the skin a chance to get crisp.
  • If you’re planning on flipping the chicken, it’s a good idea to truss it, or you’ll end up with very hot wings and legs flopping all over the place.

Tip 4: Air flow

When you’re roasting chicken, you want to make sure you have a lot of air flow around the bird. It’ll help it cook more evenly.

Instead of placing it directly on the bottom of a roasting pan, it’s better to raise it up a little so air can pass underneath it.

  • If your roasting pan comes with a wire rack, place the chicken on top of the rack.
  • If you don’t have a wire rack, you can place some veggies like potatoes, celery or carrots at the bottom of the pan, and place the chicken on top. Just be sure that the you leave some room between the veggies — they should support the roasting chicken, but also leave room for air to flow.
  • You can also place the chicken directly on the oven rack, and place a roasting pan underneath to catch the drippings. It’s a bit messy and tough to clean, though.
  • As an extra bonus, any drippings that hit the pan will have a chance to caramelize, and you can deglaze the pan later to make an outstanding gravy.

Three Methods for Roasting Chicken

Method 1: Quick-Roasting Chicken

There was a time when roasting chickens came from older, tougher birds, and the only way to get it to be tender and juicy was to cook it at a low temperature for a long time. That’s not so much the case nowadays, so if you don’t have a whole lot of time, a quick way to cook a chicken is to quick roast it.

Here’s how:

  1. Preheat your oven to 450F.
  2. Place the chicken in the oven. Roast it for about 45 minutes, or until your meat thermometer tells you the chicken is cooked.


Basting the chicken can make the oven lose a lot of heat, and that can increase the cooking time quite a bit. The best thing to do for this method is to add a little butter inside and out so that it’s self basting.

Method 2: Roasting Chicken at 350F

Roasting a chicken at 350F takes a bit more time that the quick-roast method I described in the section above. The chicken generally ends up a lot more tender, though. Any tough fibers like collagen have more time to melt.

Here’s how you do it:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350F.
  2. Place the chicken in the oven. Roast it for about 20 minutes per pound, plus an additional 20 minutes, or until your meat thermometer tells you the chicken is cooked.


This method cooks chicken at a fairly high heat for a longer period of time. The goal is to get it nice and tender, but you also have to be sure it doesn’t dry out or burn. There are a few ways to keep this from happening.

Method 3: Slow Roasting Chicken

When we were growing up, my mom always cooked a whole chicken by slow roasting it.

Just a few simple spices, hours of low heat, and the house smelled wonderful the whole time, and we ended up with a chicken so tender the meat literally fell off the bone.

This method for roasting chicken does take a long time. But you can’t really end up with chicken more tender than this. It’s especially good if you’re using a chicken that’s a bit older and tougher.

Here’s how you do it:

  1. Preheat your oven to 275F.
  2. Roast the chicken for 3 1/2 to 4 hours, or until your meat thermometer tells you the chicken is cooked.


  • Roasting chicken at such a low temperature means that the white and dark meat will cook much more evenly, so you shouldn’t end up with dry breast meat.

  • The low cooking temperature can keep the skin from getting brown and crisp. If you love brown, crispy skin, here’s what you can do:

    1. For the first 10 minutes, cook the chicken at 400F. This will get the outside of the chicken really hot, but it’s not enough time to heat up the inside.

    2. Turn the heat down to 200F. The outside will take more time to cool down, and so it’ll help crisp up.

    3. If the skin isn’t as crispy as you like it, stop basting the chicken during the last half hour or hour of cooking, and increase the heat again for the last 20 minutes.

    It’s a bit more work, but if you have to have crispy skin, it’s worth it.

  • To get the meat to be especially tender, it’s best to baste the chicken, or flip the bird breast side down for the first two thirds of cooking time.

  • Because the cooking temperature is so low, there won’t be as much evaporation as the other methods. Unfortunately, when water evaporates, what’s left behind becomes more concentrated — in this case, the flavor! Slow-roasting chicken gives you an incredibly juicy and tender chicken, but the taste is a bit less intensely amazing.

And that’s how you roast a chicken! Lots of different ways, but all of them are delicious. You just have to find the right one for you.

Personally, my favorite method for roasting chicken is to season it with butter and herbs under the skin, then roast it at 350, starting the cooking breast side down.

It’s juicy, tender, and super flavorful… and hard not to eat the whole thing before it gets to the table!

Step 5: Carving the Chicken

Now that your chicken is cooked and smelling delicious, it’s time to get it ready to serve.

The first thing to do is… wait! It’s important to wait 10 to 20 minutes before carving a roasted chicken. The rest time gives the juices time to redistribute and settle, so that your chicken is more evenly juicy, and easier to carve.

Once you’ve waited, you can carve the chicken. But be careful, it’ll still be very hot!

Here’s what you do:

  1. Remove the legs. Just cut off the whole thigh and drumstick in one big piece — you can cut it into smaller pieces once it’s off the bird. Just tug on it, and use a very sharp knife when needed.
  2. Remove the wings. Just do the same as for the legs, tug and slice when needed.
  3. Carve out the breast meat. I like to cut it off in slices instead of one big piece, but you can do it either way.
  4. Any pieces still left on the carcass you can remove by hand — later, if the chicken is too hot to handle now!

And now the only thing left to do is… enjoy!

HomeCooking Vegetables › Roasting VegetablesIf you’re looking for a different way of cooking vegetables, roasted vegetables are the perfect choice. The key word is different. Roasting vegetables completely transforms them, giving them a unique, delicious flavor that you don’t get from any other cooking method.

When you roast vegetables, two things happen. First of all, roasting allows some of the water to evaporate out of the vegetable, which really intensifies the flavor and makes everything taste more.

But even more importantly, roasted vegetables caramelize on the outside, bringing out their natural sweetness in an amazing way. Even bitter veggies can be sweet and delicious after roasting in the oven!

In this article, I’ll show you how to roast vegetables. First, I’ll go over the preparation work you need to do. Then, I’ll talk about the actual roasting part. And finally, I’ll go over different vegetables and their particularities.


Preparation Work

Sometimes, it’s hard to believe that something as delicious as roasted vegetables could be so easy to prepare. But it really is. What makes roasted vegetables so delicious is what happens while they’re in the oven – and that means there’s not a whole lot of work for you!

Still, there are a couple of things you need to do. First, you need to cut up the vegetable into chunks. Then, you need to oil and season them. And finally, you need to pick the right baking dish, and place the veggies in properly.

Cutting Up The Vegetables

The first thing you need to do when learning how to roast vegetables is cut up the veggies. And there are ways to do it that’ll make the roasted vegetables even better. Here are some things to look out for when preparing the vegetables.

  • You should always wash vegetables before eating them. But when you’re roasting vegetables, it’s best to put them into the oven completely dry. It helps the vegetables caramelize. Wet vegetables just have a lot more trouble getting that nice crisp layer.
  • The smaller the vegetable chunks, the faster they’ll cook. The heat from the oven starts outside and works its way in, so if you’re short on time, you can make smaller pieces.
  • Cut the vegetables in even-sized chunks. If some pieces are much bigger, they’ll cook slower, and by the time they’re done, the smaller pieces will be burnt.
  • Keep in mind that denser vegetables, like potatoes, cook slower than lighter ones, like mushrooms. If you want all the vegetables to be done at the same time, there are a few tricks.
    • Cut the denser vegetables in smaller chunks so that they cook faster.
    • Add the quicker-roasting vegetables to the oven later, once the slower-roasting vegetables have had a chance to cook a bit.
  • The caramelization happens on the vegetables’ surface. So if you cut your veggies so that they have a larger surface area, you can get more caramelization. That means smaller chunks, or long, flat pieces rather than cube-like ones.

Once you have the vegetables ready, it’s time for the next step.

Oil And Seasoning

Seasoning vegetables for roasting is one of the easiest things to do. So much of the flavor comes from the roasted vegetable itself – the caramelization and the intensified flavors. Still, sometimes adding just a hint of spices can really help kick it up a notch.

But the most important thing to remember when seasoning your vegetables is that they need a bit of oil. A thin layer of oil serves a few purposes.

  • Oil helps the vegetables brown evenly. Instead of ending up with scorched spots here and there, you can a uniform golden layer that tastes great.
  • It also helps the vegetables brown faster, which shortens the cooking time.
  • Oil also keeps the vegetables from drying out. Using a bit of oil helps you avoid getting limp, sad looking veggies.

There’s no need to go overboard. You really don’t need a lot of oil for roasted vegetables. Just add a teaspoon or so at a time (more if you have lots of vegetables), and toss the vegetables. Mix them really well. They should all have a really thin layer on them. If some pieces are still dry, just add a bit more oil.

Apart from oil, you don’t need much. A little bit of salt and pepper are always good. Coarse salt like sea salt or kosher is even better! And you can add whatever other seasonings you like. Thyme,rosemaryorange zestcayenne pepper,cuminfennel seeds, etc… The possibilities are endless, and the only way to know if you like something is to try it out!

  • Once you’ve oiled the vegetables, you can add the seasonings. Be sure to toss the vegetables to make sure the seasonings get spread out.
  • You can also add the seasonings to the oil before oiling the vegetables. Mix it all together, and you’ll be sure that the seasonings are evenly spread out over all the veggies.


  • Some seasonings, like grated parmesan or fresh sprigs of herbs like thyme, are best if you add them towards the end of the cooking time, because they can burn kind of quick.
  • You can use vegetable oil or olive oil. I like to use olive oil because it’s generally a bit healthier. But there’s no need to use the really expensive, high quality oils. Those are better for drizzling on salads and things, where you really taste the oil.

Picking A Baking Dish

The last preparation step is to pick the right baking dish, and to place the vegetables in it. There’s no real wrong way to do it, but there is a right way! Meaning that most things you do will give you good results, but for the best roasted vegetables, there are a few things to keep in mind.

The thing to remember is that the key to nicely roasted vegetables isgood air flow. Contact with the oven’s hot air helps the outside of the veggie get nice and crisp, rather than soggy.

  • Spread the vegetables on in the baking dish in a single layer. Piling them on top of each other reduces the air flow, and having too many vegetables packed in like that will cause some steam – so the vegetables will end up steamed, not roasted.
  • The vegetables can touch each other, but they shouldn’t be jammed in tight. Again, that prevents a good air flow and you’ll end up with soggy vegetables.
  • Choose a baking dish with low sides. You’re not roasting something that creates loads of drippings, so a baking sheet is perfect. The low sides will help hot air surround every vegetable piece and roast it to perfection!

And that’s pretty much all there is to preparing the vegetables for roasting. Once they’re on the baking sheet, they’re ready for the oven!

How To Roast Vegetables

When you’re learning how to roast vegetables, it’s important to know how to prepare the vegetables. How you cut them, how well you dry them, how you season them, and the baking dish you use all affect how the roasted vegetables turn out. But the real magic happens in the oven!

In this section, I’ll talk about the two most important things about the roasting portion of making roasted vegetables: the oven temperature, and stirring the vegetables.

Oven Temperature

Getting the oven setting right is really important when you’re roasting vegetables. You want it to be hot enough to caramelize the sugars in the vegetable, to bring out the natural sweetness, but you also don’t want the vegetables to burn!

Luckily, it’s not too hard to get right. In general, setting the oven to 400F will give you the perfect temperature for delicious roasted vegetables. But you can lower or raise that temperature a bit based on a few things. Roasted Vegetables - Roasted Peppers And Eggplant

  • Not everyone likes their vegetables to caramelize too much. In that case, you can lower the temperature a little bit, to 375F. The vegetables will need to cook a bit longer, but it’ll help the inside cook without the outside getting too crispy.
    • If you don’t like your vegetables too cooked, big chunks and a lower temperature is the way to go.
    • If you want the roasted vegetables well cooked, but not too brown, smaller chunks and 375F are what you need.
  • If you happen to love caramelized vegetables, though, you can turn up the heat a little bit. 425F or even 450F will get you very browned vegetables. But there’s a catch – the inside won’t have time to cook as much before the outside is very crisp, so you may need to start with smaller vegetables.

Once the oven’s temperature is set, you can just forget about it. If you have the temperature set properly from the start, there’s no need to adjust. In some cases though, you might find that the outside is cooking too fast compared to the inside, or vice versa. In that case, you might want to tweak the oven temperature just a bit – a higher temperature helps the outside brown faster, and lowering it helps the inside cook faster.

That’s pretty much all you need to know! Usually 400F works just fine. But you can always tweak that a bit to suit your tastes. Just try out a few different things and see what you like!


Other than setting the oven to the right temperature, there’s just one thing you need to take care of once the vegetables are in the oven – stirring them. Stirring is important to help the roasted vegetables brown evenly and keep them from burning!

Air flow around the vegetables keeps the outside of the vegetable dry enough so that it can get nice and crisp, but the vegetables will caramelize most where they’re in contact with the baking sheet.

So about half way through the baking time, you’ll want to check the bottom of the vegetables. If they’re as browned as you want, you can flip them over, or just stir the vegetables around. This way, a new side is exposed to the hot pan, and then it can brown nicely. It’ll also prevent the already browned side from burning.

Test a piece every so often. Once the inside is cooked, and the outside is nice and crispy, you can take them out of the oven. And that’s all there is to roasting vegetables!


  • When you’re stirring the roasting vegetables and you think there’s just a little bit of roasting time left, you can add some extra seasonings, especially the kind that would burn if they were left in the oven the whole time.
  • Try grated cheese, feta, orange zest, fresh sprigs of herbs, or anything else you like. Just stir them into the vegetables and let them roast a little while longer.
  • The roasting vegetables might sizzle when they’re in the oven. That’s perfectly normal: it’s the moisture from the vegetables coming into contact with the hot surface of the baking sheet.
  • If you find that the vegetables are getting too dry, you can drizzle them with a bit of water, stock or juice to keep them from drying out.
  • Once the roasted vegetables are done, you can serve them as is, or with a bit of something extra. Try tossing them with dried fruit, vinegar, lemon juice, or just butter. Don’t be afraid to experiment!

Vegetables And Cooking Times

If you’ve been roasting vegetables for a long time, you’ll have a pretty good idea of how long each vegetables take to cook, and how long you need to roast it for. But when you’re just starting out, it’s a lot harder. And it makes a huge difference if your vegetable takes 20 minutes or one hour to roast when you’re trying to plan out a meal!

Eventually, you’ll figure out how long to cook each vegetable so it’s just the way you like it. But in the meantime, here are some general guidelines for roasted vegetables.

Roasted Vegetables - Fresh Carrots

  • The denser the vegetable, the longer it’ll take to cook. It’s harder for heat to get through a dense substance than a light one! For example, mushroom roast much faster than potatoes.
  • The smaller you make your vegetable chunks, the faster they’ll cook, because the heat won’t have to penetrate as deep to cook the vegetables.

Here are some vegetables that are delicious roasted, split up according to how long they take to roast.

Quick Roasting Time
(10 to 20 minutes)
Medium Roasting Time
(15 to 40 minutes)
Long Roasting Time
(35 to 60 minutes)
Bell peppers
Summer squashes
Sweet potatoes
Winter squashes
Brussel sprouts

The quick roasting vegetables might take as little as 10 minutes, while some of the slow roasting ones can take up to an hour, depending on how big you make the vegetable chunks.

If you want to mix different types of vegetables, you can mix them all together and compromise a little on the ideal time – some won’t be as caramelized. Or, start the vegetables that take longest to cook first, and then add the rest after. That way they’re all perfect!

Roasted vegetables really are wonderful. It’s a completely different taste than boiling, steaming or sautéing, and makes a wonderful change of pace – especially in the winter, when having the oven on is a good thing!


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