3 Step Roasted Chicken

3 step roasted chickenAfter eating my weight in chocolate this weekend from all of the Easter festivities and fun, J and I are back to healthy eating (and a few pieces of leftover chocolate when needed). Lately I’ve been following less recipes and instead have been making quick and easy dinners that I can just throw together with whatever is in the pantry and fridge. And lately I always try to have a whole chicken or two in the freezer.

Enter the roasted chicken.

Like many people, I was initially intimidated by the chicken roasting process. After all, some recipes require all sorts of complicated instructions from the tying of legs together, rubs, brines, stuffings and other complicated measures that make it seem like roasting a chicken is near rocket science. Thankfully it isn’t. And while I absolutely LOVE a brined chicken, I rarely plan far enough in advance for that.

Today I’m excited to give you the easiest, quickest way to roast a chicken. This seriously could be the easiest thing to make. Trust me! In fact, it’s so easy that you can finish it in just three steps. The finished chicken will be full of flavor with a golden crispy skin and moist and delicious meat. It’s so good that I think it might become my go-to entree for when we have friends over for dinner! Just add a side salad and you have a meal!

Are you ready?

What You’ll Need:Processed with VSCOcam with g3 preset

– defrosted whole chicken
– a lemon
– olive oil or butter
– salt and pepper
– fresh herbs of your choice — my favorite combo for chicken is rosemary and thyme
-cast-iron skillet or roasting pan

Get Cooking:

Step 1 – Prepare the chicken.

Processed with VSCOcam with g3 presetProcessed with VSCOcam with g3 preset Preheat your oven to 425° F. Take out your chicken, remove whatever is inside it (gizzards and usually a freshness packet – I just toss all of this), rinse the chicken inside and out and pat it dry. Place the chicken in a skillet or roasting pan and rub it generously all over with olive oil or butter. I like to separate the skin from the body with my fingers and try to rub some oil or butter in that in-between space as well. Sprinkle the chicken with a generous amount of salt and pepper inside and out, then stuff the insides with the lemon (cut into slices or wedges) and a bundle of fresh herbs. It’s ready to cook!

Step 2 – Quick roasting. The secret to a crispy but moist chicken is to start hot and then finish cooler. With your chicken all prepped and ready, place the skillet or roasting pan in the oven for 15 minutes at 425°F

Step 3 – Cook until done.

Processed with VSCOcam with g3 presetAfter your 15 minutes is up, turn the oven temperature down to 375°F and continue to cook your chicken for 45-60 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 190°. Larger birds might take an extra 10-20 minutes. Remove from the oven and enjoy while it’s still warm!

Going Back To My Roots in Bangkok

111714_Asia_1173smSEAsia14__0751

Probably one of the most random fun facts about me is that I spent most of my childhood living abroad in New Zealand and Thailand. It was a uniquely wonderful experience that I wouldn’t change for the world. Living in a place like Bangkok was very instrumental in fostering my love to other cultures and also opened my eyes really early in life to things like extreme poverty, different religions and crazy foods.

I’ve had a dream to go back and visit everywhere that I lived as a child, so I was beyond excited to finally be visiting Bangkok with J. He could finally see where I lived and what life was like for me as a 8-10 year old living somewhere so culturally different.

By the time we got to Bangkok, a city full of noise and energy and sophistication and gold, we were ready for the pace of city life with it’s amazing restaurants and classy rooftops bars. Unfortunately, our time in Bangkok was slowed by an infection in J’s leg that had been festering since Vietnam. Heat and sweat and saltwater had just made the infection worse and worse until he was in so much pain that we had no choice but to get it checked out. Thankfully we found a wonderful travel clinic that fit us in every day and took great care of J’s leg for a fraction of what it would have cost in the states. The bad news was that the treatment made J super achy so we spent more time resting and less time exploring Bangkok. We still found time to explore the city’s Grand Palace with all of it’s glittering gold (amazing!) as well as take the temple and klong tour that came with our hotel reservation. We spent more time than I’m proud to admit eating at and wandering through Bangkok’s huge shopping malls and even got to spend some time with a dear missionary friend my family first met when we lived in Thailand over 20 years ago — so special.

The best part of being in Bangkok for me was just taking it all in and remembering what my life was like when I lived there forever ago. We found my old school and even walked to my old apartment building which had strangely enough been turned into a hotel. The soi (street) that we lived on is now a bit of the “trendy” street full of popular restaurants and boutique hotels. It was strange — being there felt so familiar but at the same time totally different. But isn’t that how everything looks when you see childhood places through adult eyes? Especially when it’s a world away.

Our Bangkok visit wasn’t ideal — but then again, nowhere would have been ideal at that point in the trip with J’s leg being as bad as it was — but we are still thankful for our time there. I wish that we had more of a chance to enjoy it fully, to eat at some of the city’s most talked-about restaurants (it’s a foodie haven), to take in afternoon tea at a hotel lobby like I did as a kid, to feast on street food and wander the markets, but I suppose that will just have wait until next time because after 3 days in Bangkok we packed up and headed home. Another amazing adventure for the books.

{we started our visit with a tour of the klongs or canals of Bangkok followed by Wat Arun}

111714_Asia_1156sm111714_Asia_1150sm SEAsia14__0725SEAsia14__0734SEAsia14__0736111714_Asia_1153111714_Asia_1168smSEAsia14__0747111714_Asia_1185sm  {these stairs were SO steep! I had to hold on tight the whole way down}

 SEAsia14__0738SEAsia14__0746SEAsia14__0754{Magnum ice cream bars always make us happy}

After Wat Arun we headed over to the Grand Palace to explore. It was a bit crazy there since they were beginning celebrations for the King’s birthday.

SEAsia14__0772 SEAsia14__0768 SEAsia14__0760 SEAsia14__0758 111714_Asia_1233sm 111714_Asia_1212sm 111714_Asia_1210sm 111714_Asia_1200sm111714_Asia_1194sm{look at all of this gold! BLING!}

111714_Asia_1240sm 111714_Asia_1244sm{my old school! This used to be ISB but now it’s a United Nations School. Looks similar to how I remember it, though. We wanted to tour it but we needed IDs which were back in the hotel safe}

111714_Asia_1252sm 111714_Asia_1250sm{President Palace Hotel on Soi 11! This used to be called Ambassador Palace and was our apartment building! We lived on the 5th floor above the pool. There’s now even a Starbucks in the lobby! CRAZY!}

We stayed at: iCheck Inn Residences on Soi 18, Sukhimvit. I would call this more of an extended stay apartment more than a hotel mostly because each room has a small kitchenette and the hotel offered absolutely no amenities or customer service. There was no food at all available and half of the time there wasn’t even anyone at the front desk. That said, the location was great (quiet soi with plenty of food stands, hotels and non-sketchy massage shops), the room was bright and modern, the bed was super comfy and it was a short walk to the Skytrain and Terminal 21, a huge mall with a nice food court.

Need medical help? We loved the team at the Global Doctor Clinic in the Interchange Building across from Terminal 21.

……………………………………………………………………………………

 Read more about our Southeast Asia trip!

Hanoi, Halong Bay Day 1, Halong Bay Day 2-3, Hoi An, Cambodia, Railay Beach

You might also enjoy:

Our Patagonia Adventure: Santiago

Blueberry Scones

Dreaming of Railay

111714_Asia_1075I was terribly afraid that Railay Beach in Thailand might not be all that impressive. After all, I’ve experienced some pretty awe-inspiring beaches in my travels already from Zanzibar in Tanzania to Roatan in Honduras. I spent three years of my childhood living in Thailand so I had already visited some of the country’s best beaches. I had also read lots of mixed reviews about Thailand’s beaches, about how they were crowded and full of partiers and other unpleasantries. I was fully prepared for a let down.

Thankfully, Railay did not disappoint. After sweating and walking and touring and wandering the great temples of Cambodia we were eager to just relax on a beach for a few days. We flew Siem Reap to Krabi on Bangkok air (which honestly is one of the best airlines I’ve ever flown with — they make every part of the flight pleasant AND even the shortest flights included practically a full meal) and then caught a shuttle to the pier to take a boat to Railay.

Railay has a complete island feel but it is actually a peninsula that is only accessible by boat due to the towering limestone rocks that surround it. This means that you literally pull up to the shore on your long tail boat, take your shoes off and then wade through knee deep water with your luggage over your head all the way to shore. It might not be for everyone but for us, it was the perfect way to start our beach vacation.

SEAsia14__0717Our hotel was on the east side of Railay which is a bit less popular due to the fact that it doesn’t really have a beach but rather it’s edged by swampy mangroves. It didn’t really make a different to us as the entire area is pretty tiny and you can follow a 5-minute paved path from one side of the peninsula to the other. The west side of Railay is more popular due to it’s wide, white beaches and spectacular sunsets that you can watch while sipping your cocktails at one of the beach-front restaurants. The sunsets were completely SPECTACULAR! I’ve never seen God put on such an amazing show before! On one night the sunset probably lasted around 45 minutes, the sky changing from blues to pink to orange and red before fading to a deep purple. J just kept taking photos and saying, “It just keeps getting better!”

Railay is famous among rock climbers, it’s limestone peaks offering tons of options for climbers to explore. Everywhere you look you see people hanging off the sides of the rocks. It’s also known for it’s wild monkeys that would wander one side of the island, hoping to steal snacks off of unsuspecting tourists. I had never been that close to monkeys in the wild before and it was as unnerving  as it was incredible. I loved seeing the baby monkeys cling to their mommas and found it so fun to watch them all play on the fence lining the beach path.

Our time in Railay was mostly spent lounging on the beach or by the pool. The ocean water was sooooo warm — probably around 88 degrees — and there were no waves so we would just stand in the shallow waters drinking our tropical smoothies and chatting about how awesome it was. There are lots of nearby islands you can explore but we decided that since we had only two full days there, we preferred to spend it exploring all that Railay had to offer. I especially loved the food boats that would pull up to the beach during the day. They were literally floating kitchens were you could order everything from fried rice to burgers to smoothies and more. Why don’t we have that in SoCal?

I highly recommend Railay Beach if you want to relax in Thailand. It was beautiful, quiet and because it has no car access, still has that laid back island feel. There are no high rises here, no chain stores like 7-elevens that are all over Thailand and no noisy scooters. It’s just pure bliss.

SEAsia14__0692 SEAsia14__0715SEAsia14__0697Railay-j SEAsia14__0720 SEAsia14__0694{one of the awesome floating kitchens}

111714_Asia_0956 SEAsia14__0712{monkeys on the fence next to the beach path}

111714_Asia_1011 111714_Asia_0981111714_Asia_1030 111714_Asia_1042SEAsia14__0673111714_Asia_1058 111714_Asia_1084

Stayed at: Sunrise Tropical Resort on Railay East. We stayed in their basic hotel style rooms which were fine — nothing special. I felt like the whole place needed a paint job. Their villas looked pretty awesome, though. Next time I’d save up to stay there. They also offer a huge buffet breakfast that offered both Thai and Western options.

Ate at: beach boats! We especially loved the smoothies and mango sticky rice. Yummm.

If we could do it again we’d: Rent a boat and visit some of the nearby islands. The best prices for this are on the east side if you walk down by the restaurants — we discovered this the night before we left. Their prices were about half what we’d been told on the beach by the boat drivers as well as at a booth on the west side of Railay.

…………………………………………………………………………………………

More from our Southeast Asia trip: Hanoi, Halong Bay Day 1, Halong Bay Day 2-3, Hoi An, Cambodia

You might also like:

How To Dress for Southeast Asia

My Floating Vacation