Andre’s Roasted Chicken & Vegetables

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This is a recipe I have been wanting to share for over 5 years and it is one of the reasons I started a cooking blog. This dish is a bit nostalgic for me because the night I met my husband-to-be, he made a whole roasted chicken over an open fire and because we had quite a bit of wine leading up to the main course, the chicken was a bit under cooked and he still talks about it with embarassment. And it really is one of the ONLY times he has not cooked a dish perfectly.

Roasted chicken is one of those dishes I have found to be so simple and when cooked properly, it’s one of the best meals one can have and you never get sick of. HOWEVER, it’s also one of those dishes that can easily be over cooked and the meat can very well be dry. My husband’s roasted chicken recipe is something I am very excited to share because it is very easy to make and you will always end up with a chicken that is juicy and moist in the inside and crispy on the outside, which is the perfect and only acceptable version of a roasted chicken, in my opinion. His method as you will see is using vegetable broth on the bottom of the pan to steam the chicken ensuring the moistness of the meat and at the same time, giving the chicken and the vegetables flavor. I also love this dish because you can always change up the spices, herbs and vegetables and it’s something you can eat on a regular basis.

Here is Andre’s recipe for a roasted chicken and vegetables.

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INGREDIENTS (approx. 4 servings)

For the chicken marinade:

3 lb. free-range whole chicken

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

juice of 1/2 lemon

1 tbsp herb salt (or can sub with kosher salt coarse sea salt)

freshly cracked black pepper (to taste)

5 garlic cloves smashed

handful of fresh thyme sprigs

slice the other 1/2 of a fresh lemon into 3-4 thin slices

For the roasted vegetables:

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1 large white onion roughly chopped (I used 2 medium sized ones since my grocery store fails to stock large ones)

5 carrots roughly chopped

1 fennel bulb roughly chopped

3 sweet potatoes roughly chopped

1 yellow bell pepper roughly chopped

handful of green beans

handful of cherry tomatoes (I like to keep the stems on)

2-3 sprigs of fresh rosemary

2 tbsp vegetable seasoned broth (I prefer Knorr)

4 cups boiling water



  1. Butterfly your whole chicken by placing your chicken breast-side down on a cutting board. Working from the cavity opening at the neck, cut down the middle of the back-bone with a pair of kitchen shears all the way to the other end of the chicken. I don’t cut the back-bone out, but you can if you would like.
  2. Clean your chicken in cold water getting rid of any excrements in the inside. I also like to cut off any excess skin, the neck bone and the tips of the wings since they aren’t edible.
  3. Place your chicken in a baking dish or any deep dish that you can fully lay out your chicken. Drizzle a 1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil over your chicken and the juice of 1/2 a fresh lemon. Then sprinkle a 1/2 tbsp of herb salt or kosher salt on the breast side of your chicken, making sure to distribute evenly. Then season this side with freshly cracked black pepper generously.
  4. Turn your chicken over so the cavity is exposed and sprinkle another 1/2 tbsp of herb salt or kosher salt making sure to distribute evenly. Then season this side with freshly cracked pepper generously.
  5. Add in the 5 smashed cloves of garlic, the fresh thyme sprigs and the slices of the other half of your fresh lemon.
  6. Massage your chicken to ensure the whole chicken is well seasoned.
  7. Wrap the dish with your chicken in plastic wrap and marinate for at least 4 hours and up to 24 hours in the refrigerator.
  8. Clean, peel and roughly chop your choice of vegetables. Just try to keep in mind the cooking times of your veggies and cut them accordingly, but I generally just roughly chop them as pictured.
  9. Preheat your oven to 475 F (250 C) and take your chicken out of the refrigerator.
  10. In a large frying pan, heat on high and add in approx. 2 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil. Add in your chopped onions and then each vegetable one at a time (I start with onions and then add in the vegetables with the most cooking time first because you want to keep the frying pan hot to brown the vegetables).
  11. Mix 2 tbsp of vegetable broth with 4 cups of boiling water and mix well.
  12. Saute your vegetables for about 5-7 minutes or until a bit browned and then add in your vegetable broth and saute for another 2-3 minutes.
  13. Pour your vegetables and the broth onto a baking pan or baking dish, making sure to distribute an even layer.
  14. Take your marinated chicken and place it on top of the vegetables butterflied down (breast side facing up) and your rosemary springs underneath your chicken (to prevent burning, I also like to make sure the smashed garlic cloves are not on top of the chicken as not to become bitter).
  15. Place this in the oven at 475 F (250 C) for 45 minutes (make sure the heat is on up top and on the bottom).
  16. Every 15 minutes, take some broth from the bottom of the pan and pour it on top of the chicken to keep moist.
  17. After baking for 45 minutes, turn your oven on grill for approx. 5-7 minutes. This may vary from oven to oven, so keep your eye on your chicken to make sure it is not burned but grilled to a beautiful golden-dark brown.



  • Please keep in mind that the chickens in Switzerland tend to be smaller in size than in the U.S. and cooking times may vary depending on the size and the oven. When in doubt, before you turn your oven on grill, you can check your meat to make sure it’s cooked all the way through and if necessary, bake the chicken a bit longer. If it is cooked through, turn your oven on grill.
  • Make sure to season your chicken well. The key to this dish is to overseason a bit than you are normally used to with meat.
  • If you don’t have herb salt, you can also mix regular kosher salt and Old Bay is one of my favorites for this dish.

Swiss Raclette

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One of my favorite meals during the winter time is Raclette, which of course was one of the meals we enjoyed during our NYE trip to the French Alps. And when you are in a cozy chalet in the mountains or anywhere else that is cold, this dish is an absolute must and it’s a fantastic meal to share with a large group. And for me personally, I prefer Raclette a hundred times over fondue, but that’s just me.

So what is Raclette? Raclette is a semi-firm cow’s milk cheese that is typically served melted over boiled potatoes and is traditionally found in the Swiss and French Alps during the cold months. The name is derived from the French word racler, which means “to scrape”. Raclette cheese is either melted over an open fire, or with a special grill that melts the cheese directly from the wheel, or most commonly on a special Raclette table top grill. Now the key to a good Raclette is of course the cheese and secondary are the side condiments.

My husband and I prefer a non-pasteurized Raclette because it tends to melt more smoothly. We also ALWAYS buy our cheese from a local cheesemaker,  Dorfkäserei Küssnacht, in the town of Küssnacht am Rigi. Their Raclette is just the best and surprisingly cheaper than the average Raclette you find in the normal Swiss grocery stores.

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Now let’s talk about the sides and condiments for Raclette. As mentioned before, Raclette is typically melted over boiled potatoes. The Swiss typically use Amandine or Charlotte potatoes, which are smaller in size and still stay relatively firm when fully cooked (you don’t want mushy potatoes). Raclette is also traditionally served with anything pickled on the side, such as cornichons, pearl onions and baby corn. For our Raclette dinner, we were fortunate enough to include homemade curried pickled squash made by my brother-in-law and pickled tomatoes made by the uncle of my Polish colleague into the mix of our pickled sides. And for seasonings, try freshly ground nutmeg, freshly cracked black pepper, curry spice mix, piri piri or your favorite smoked chili.

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I hope these pictures inspire some of you to enjoy a Raclette dinner in your homes during these cold months. And please know that everyone has different preferred sides and condiments and you can try whatever you think tastes good with melted cheese, even curry ketchup. And try pairing your Raclette with a nice crisp white wine like a Fendant. For those in the Luzern area, try the Solaris white wine from the organic winery Sitenrain in Meggen. It is absolutely delicious!

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INGREDIENTS (4-6 servings)

Raclette cheese: 7-14 ounces per person / 200-400 grams per person

Boiled Raclette potatoes (Charlotte or New Potatoes work great): 1/2 pound per person / 250 grams per person on average

1 jar of cornichons or your favorite pickles

Other pickled sides such as pickled pearl onions, pickled hot peppers, etc.

2 large onions thinly sliced to melt with your cheese

1/4 pounds or 125 grams of thinly sliced smoked bacon to melt with your cheese

Freshly ground nutmeg

Freshly cracked black pepper

Hot pepper flakes or piri piri


INSTRUCTIONS (for a table top Raclette grill)

  1. Boil your potatoes in salted water until well cooked.
  2. Slice your Raclette into approx. 0.4 inches / 1 cm slices or a size appropriate for your Raclette pans and place them on large platter.
  3. Thinly slice 2 large onions and place into a small bowl or two for the table.
  4. Thinly slice the smoked bacon and place into a small bowl or two for the table.
  5. Place all of your preferred pickled sides and spices onto the table around the Raclette table top grill.
  6. Once your potatoes are fully cooked, drain the water and place them into a bowl covered by a kitchen towel to stay warm.
  7. Turn on your Raclette grill and start melting some cheese!



Toast Skagen (Prawns on Toast)

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This holiday season, I was lucky enough to spend New Year’s Eve with 3 of my favorite girlfriends in Switzerland plus their families in a cozy chalet in a small town just a few miles outside of Chamonix in the French Alps. These lovely ladies also happen to be some of the best cooks I know, which was important considering we cooked 2-3 meals a day for 9 adults plus 6 kids (between the ages of 1-6) over a course of 5 days. Yes, that’s a lot of food! Some of our meals included Saltimbocca with Porcini Risotto, Swiss Raclette, Chinese Hot Pot and much much more.

In the next couple of weeks, I will be sharing some of the fantastic meals and recipes that were shared on this beautiful trip among a wonderful group of friends who love to enjoy good food, good wine and most importantly, good company.

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The first recipe is the traditional Swedish Toast Skagen (Prawns on Toast) that my Finnish friend Jenni made on New Year’s Eve for an apéro. The one thing I love about the Europeans is that they love their apéro, which is just another term for “cocktail hour” and there are always small bites to eat to wet your appetite. This is also my favorite part of the meal, except for the fact that I usually eat too much and by the time we sit down for dinner, I am usually almost always full.

Toast Skagen is a perfect starter for a celebratory meal and try pairing them with Champagne (we were drinking Philippe Gonet & Veuve Clicquot) and oysters on the half shell. That’s what we did since we were in France and it’s obligatory, right?

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INGREDIENTS (approx. 2-3 dozen toasts depending on size of bread)

3/4 cup créme fraiche

1 tbsp fresh squeezed lemon juice

1/2 tsp lemon rind

1/2 tsp salt

2 tbsp chopped dill

freshly cracked black pepper

1 cup chopped cooked shrimp (I used about 1 dozen of the small 51/60 size)

For the Toast:

1 large baguette (cut into 1/2 inch slices)

3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1 large fresh garlic clove minced

salt and pepper to taste

For the Garnish:

chopped dill

chopped shallots (or red onions or green onions)

lemon rind (optional as I used my leftovers)

salmon roe

freshly cracked black pepper


  1. Preheat your oven to 400F and on the grill function, which I think is the best and quickest way to make toast.
  2. Slice your baguette into about 1/2 inch slices and place them on a baking tray lined with parchment paper.
  3. In a small bowl, mix the olive oil, minced garlic and a pinch of salt and pepper. Brush this mixture onto each piece of sliced baguette. Set aside for now.
  4. In a medium bowl, whisk the créme fraiche, freshly squeezed lemon juice, lemon rind, salt, dill, pepper and cooked shrimp. Mix until the ingredients are well incorporated and place in the refrigerator until you are ready to assemble your toasts.
  5. Place the baguette slices into the oven for about 3-4 minutes or until golden brown. Make sure you watch them as this might take a bit longer or shorter depending on your oven. Once they are golden brown, let the toasts cool down to room temperature.
  6. While your toasts are cooling down, prepare your garnishes.
  7. When you are ready to assemble, place a generous spoonful of the shrimp mixture onto a toast and garnish with dill, shallots, lemon rind, salmon roe and freshly cracked black pepper.



  • I would try to stay away from using baby shrimp for this dish. Baby shrimp tend to have little texture and are quite mushy and not appetizing in my opinion.


Korean New Year’s Day Soup (Duk Mandu Gook)


One of my life regrets is that I never learned how to speak Korean, especially knowing that I could truly have been bilingual having grown up in America and in a Korean immigrant family. Only speaking one language has even felt more like a handicap now that I live in Europe. For example, I work in an office of about 100 people and I among the other 7 Americans and Brits are probably the only ones who don’t speak a second or third language fluently. Embarrassing? Yes.

I do however feel proud that I can cook Korean food. When I was growing up, I always hung out in the kitchen with my mom as a way to get out of practicing the violin or piano (I know, super Korean). I would always ask to help season soups, peel garlic, assemble mandu (Korean dumplings) or even take the stems off bushels of soy bean sprouts. Looking back now, I am very thankful to have spent so much time with my mom in the kitchen because cooking Korean food has become something natural to me and of course I get to enjoy a meal that’s absolutely delicious and always brings me back home.

I know it’s already 5 days past New Year’s Day, but I had to make this because I’ve been eating this soup almost every start of the new year since I was born. And to be honest, I didn’t make this on the 1st because frankly, it’s a lot of work and was not in any condition to be working in the kitchen most of the day, but I tell you it’s worth it! And of course, this soup can be enjoyed anytime of the year, but it is most traditionally served on New Year’s Day in Korea to honor becoming a year older. I hope you enjoy this recipe and share it with your loved ones!

Oh and I just realized as I was writing this blog post that I forgot the roasted seaweed as a garnish, but it’s still delicious without it!

Continue reading “Korean New Year’s Day Soup (Duk Mandu Gook)”