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Recipes - In the comfort zone


Published: 02/22/2013

by Roslyn Ralph

Shorter days, cooler temperatures and the anticipation of winter seem to make us want to settle in and enjoy the comforts of home, including warming, comforting food.


Roast Chicken Bistro-Style

Serve the chicken with your favourite vegetables.



1 3-4 lb. roasting chicken

1 lemon, quartered

2 fresh bay leaves

1 sprig fresh thyme

2 tsp. dried thyme

1 tsp. grated lemon zest

1 Tbsp. olive oil

1/2 cup dry white wine

1 Tbsp. unsalted butter

Salt and pepper to taste



Preheat oven to 425°F. Rinse chicken; pat dry. Place chicken on a rack in roasting pan. Place lemon, bay leaves and sprig of thyme in cavity of chicken. Combine dried thyme, lemon zest and olive oil. Rub thyme-lemon-oil mixture over chicken. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Tie legs with string.


Roast chicken for about one hour and 15 minutes or until meat thermometer inserted into thickest part of inner thigh registers 180°F. Remove chicken, carefully draining juices from the cavity into the roasting pan. Transfer chicken to a serving platter and tent with aluminum foil to keep warm.


Skim off fat from pan juices. Place pan on stove top, add wine and bring liquid to a boil, scraping up any browned bits. Stir in butter, and pour juices into sauceboat. Carve chicken and serve with pan juices. Serves 4-6.


Pineapple-Coconut-Banana Upside Down Cake

Upside-down cakes were classically made in a seasoned cast-iron skillet. However, a regular 9-inch cake pan will also work. If you’re using a cake pan, be sure to lightly grease the sides to make it easier to turn the cake out.




1 fresh pineapple, peeled, quartered and cored

2 Tbsp. butter or margarine

3/4 cup packed brown sugar

1 cup flaked coconut



1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 cup whole wheat flour

1/4 cup wheat germ (optional)

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

1/4 tsp. salt

1/2 cup pineapple juice

1/2 cup mashed ripe banana (about 1 banana)

1 Tbsp. coconut rum (optional)

2 Tbsp. vegetable oil

1 large egg




Cut pineapple into 1/4-inch-thick wedges. Melt butter in a 9-inch cast-iron skillet, or cake pan if using; sprinkle
evenly with brown sugar. Arrange pineapple wedges around the bottom of the skillet, overlapping slightly. Sprinkle with coconut and set aside.



Preheat oven to 375°F. In a large bowl, combine flours, wheat germ, sugar, baking powder, soda, cinnamon and salt. Whisk together pineapple juice, banana, rum, oil and egg. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients, stirring until combined. Pour cake mixture over base.


Bake at 375°F for 30 minutes, or until a wooden pick inserted in the centre comes out clean. Invert onto a plate to
cool. Serve warm or at room temperature. Makes 10 servings.


Editor’s Note: The cake recipe was modified slightly by  using fresh pineapple, but canned works just as well.  


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