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College Cooking: Roast Your Way to Guilt-Free Flavor!

Roasting is a very easy and basic cooking technique that imparts tons of flavor with very few ingredients. Food
cooked this way is very tasty and healthy; roasting doesn’t use much grease or oil, which reduces the fat and calorie content of food. This technique is similar to baking, but is done at higher temperatures.
 
There are two methods of roasting. The first method is by cooking the food low and slow (200-325 degrees Fahrenheit). This temperature is best for large cuts of meat and whole chickens/turkeys that need time to break down and become tender. Secondly, you can roast at high temperatures which is beneficial for small cuts of meats and seafood that can cook quickly, before the juices escape. This method gives a golden brown color, texture and crust. And remember more color means more flavor!
 
Whether you’re cooking for yourself or for a crowd, roasting is the way to go for reliable and delicious results. All you need is olive oil, salt, pepper, and herbs of your choice. For me, the best “no fail dinner” is roasted chicken and veggies on a thick slice of toasted bread (sourdough is GREAT).
 
For this recipe you will need: 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil, 2 skin-on boneless chicken breasts, salt &
pepper, 1 tablespoon of herbs (rosemary, thyme, or oregano work the best), two big handfuls of baby carrots, 2 thick slices of toasted bread, and 1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Heat the olive oil in a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Season the chicken with salt and pepper and cook, skin side don, until browned (about 5 minutes). Flip the chicken and add the herbs and carrots—salt the veggies to your taste and coat in the skillet oil. Immediately transfer the skillet to the oven and roast until the chicken is cooking through but still moist, about 15-20 more minutes. Place the toasted bread on a platter and top each slice with a chicken breast. Add vinegar to the skillet and scrape up any browned bits with a wooden spoon. Pour the sauce and carrots over the chicken and bread.
 
This dish is a perfectly balanced and satisfying meal. Set aside 30 minutes and try it for yourself! This technique is so versatile; whether you are cooking beef, chicken, potatoes, or vegetables, try roasting some of your favorite foods and see the difference yourself! If you are ever in doubt of what cooking time or temperature you need for a certain item a great reference is foodnetwork.com. Just search “roasted _____” and they will answer all your questions! Happy cooking!!
 

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