After one month of being kitchen-less, we finally have our kitchen back (photos to be posted later on designstiles). A complete renovation, actually, and it’s awesome. The centerpiece for me – and the one allowance I availed myself – was a 30″ Bertazzoni gas range.
Despite honing my chops (pork, lamb and otherwise) for half a decade of seriously approaching the kitchen, I never really delved outside of our existing repertoire – standard stove, oven, flatware, cutlery, knives. I realize that when both books & chefs constantly focus on improving equipment, it’s paramount. So I figured it was time to finally start upping the ante, especially if we have a beautiful cooking room in which to work.
In researching ranges, I was shocked at the variety. While AGA and La Cornue are absolutely beautiful while maintaining top function, I really don’t have that kind of money to spend on a range. Viking, surprisingly, had poor reviews for their consumer-based product (it’s more a ‘professional’ range). Smeg was nice, so was American Range, but being limited spatially to a 30″ range, we found that the Bertazzoni, an Italian brand, had the best value & performance for the money we wanted to spend. Best of all, our model came with a Bertazzoni hood, a necessity for the power of this commercial-grade machine.
Realizing that this was not a casual stovetop/oven, I watched a few YouTube videos to get acclimated to the range. The features, including convection, a double burner, a simmering burner, high BTU output are far beyond my accustomed methods of cooking and needed a tutorial. Aesthetically, everything from the knobs to the grates to the burners themselves – and that seductive logo – is gorgeous. It really is an awesome addition to the kitchen; hopefully to my cooking as well.
After doing a classic spaghetti preparation with my first attempt at utilizing the stovetop & boiler, I was ready to give the oven it’s first test – a roast chicken. Simple, delicious, yet requiring a keen eye and good temperature management, it would be a good ‘getting to know you’ mutual introduction for me & my Bertazzoni.
The recipe that follows is taken nearly verbatim from Ina Garten
- 4 pound chicken
- kosher salt
- freshly ground pepper
- pinch of brown sugar
- bunch of fresh thume
- 1 lemon, cut in half
- full head of garlic, crushed into cloves
- 2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter, melted
- 1 large yellow or brown onion, roughly chopped
- 4 carrots cut into large chunks
- 1/2 bulb of fennel, cut into large chunks
- Preheat oven to 425°, 400° if using convection.
- Rinse the chicken inside and out
- dry the bird and sprinkle generously with salt and pepper
- stuff the cavity with the bunch of thyme, one half of lemon, half of the onion &garlic
- rub the outside of the chicken with the butter and sprinkle again with salt and pepper
- place the onions, carrots, remaining garlic and fennel in a roasting pan
- toss with salt, pepper, 20 sprigs of thyme, and generous amounts of EVOO
- roast the chicken on an elevated grate above roasting pan for 1 1/2 hours, or until the juices run clear when you cut between a leg and thigh
- turn oven up to 500° for five minutes to crisp skin
- remove the chicken and vegetables to a platter and cover with aluminum foil for about 10 minutes
- cut and serve, or just tear at meat and let the juices run down your fingers and arms while enjoying your juicy, delicious delicacy!