Alex Guarnaschelli's Roast Chicken with Bacon

(CBS News) NEW YORK -- Alex Guarnaschelli is one of the busiest chefs around.

She's executive chef of not one, but two New York City restaurants: Butter and The Darby.

She's a regular judge on the Food Network's hit show, "Chopped," has taken part in the Food Network's "Next Iron Chef: Super Chefs" competition, is a regular contributor to that network's "The Best Thing I Ever Ate," and just wrapped up the third season of her own hit Food Network show, "Alex's Day Off."

And she's working on her first cookbook.

Alex inherited her love of food and cooking from her parents, both avid foodies. Her mother, Maria, is a well-known cookbook editor.

After graduating college, Alex began her culinary career studying under the "Godfather of American Cuisine," Larry Forgione, and hasn't looked back since.

Alex visited "CBS This Morning: Saturday" with her ultimate dish: Roast Chicken with Bacon.

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Blog: "What's Cooking"
Special section: Food and Wine

RECIPES

Whole Roasted Chicken with Bacon

This recipe is so simple and comes from my childhood. The double layer of the bacon and chicken skin makes this chicken so tasty.

Serves 4-6

  • 1 3-31/2 pound whole chicken, gutted
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 lemons, cut into 8 wedges each
  • 8 strips bacon
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

1. Preheat oven to 500 degrees F

2. Season the outside of the chicken with salt and pepper. Fill the cavity with the thyme and lemon slices. Arrange the strips of bacon, slightly overlapping, over the breasts of the chicken.

3. Transfer the chicken to a pan with a fitted roasting rack and place in the center of the oven. Cook for 15 minutes and then lower the temperature of the oven to 350 degrees F. Cook for an additional 40-50 minutes until the juices run clear or the internal temperature reaches 155 degrees F. Remove the chicken from the oven and allow it to rest for 15 minutes before carving. The bacon should form a hard shell over the breast meat. Take care to use a share knife when carving so the bacon stays on top of the white meat.

4. Make a sauce by pouring the juices from inside the cavity (along with the lemon wedges) into the roasting pan. Put the pan on the burner and whisk in the mustard. Stir to enable it to come together. Strain, pressing down on the lemon wedges to get the juice into the sauce, and serve with the chicken.

Battered Shrimp

Serves 8

I deeply love the taste of shrimp, and this recipe can be good for a wide number of sizes, depending on how you want to serve it. If you're serving it as a pre-meal snack, use smaller shrimp (a "U-16," for example), or if you want it to be more substantial, go for a larger shrimp ("U-10"). Either way, the sweetness of a basil leaf and biting into up right up against the sweet briny shrimp is one of my favorite flavor combinations. I feel like I am often searching to pair flavors that contrast one another. Salty with sweet or, in this case, spicy with "cool." In this case, the basil and shrimp are the same and add such earthy, natural sweetness, the flavor becomes addictive. I serve this with a spicy mayonnaise for dipping or even plain, with a squeeze of lemon or a drizzle of Harissa.

The batter:

  • 1 8-ounce beer, Heineken is my favorite
  • 1 2ounce "shot" of vodka (the cheaper the better)
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour plus a little extra, if needed

The shrimp:

  • 1 clove garlic, peeled
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 21/2 to 3 pounds "16/20" size shrimp, peeled and deveined, about 40-45 pieces
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground white pepper
  • 4 cups vegetable oil
  • About 50 basil leaves, stemmed, washed and dried

1. Make the batter: Pour the beer into a medium size bowl and stir in the vodka. Slowly whisk in the cup of flour. The batter should be fairly thick (to coat the shrimp before frying) but also easy to stir. Set aside in a warm place.

2. Prepare the shrimp: "Press" the garlic clove into another bowl and stir in the olive oil and shrimp. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Set aside.

3. Prepare the fryer: Pour the oil into a heavy-bottomed pot (or, alternatively, a deep fryer). Heat the oil slowly to 375 degrees F. Use a thermometer to monitor the temperature. Line a baking sheet with a kitchen towel to drain the shrimp once they are cooked.

4. Cook the shrimp: Wrap a basil leaf around the middle of each shrimp like a belt. When ready to serve, Dip the shrimp in the batter and drop, in small batches, into the oil. Fry until crispy, turning on both sides with a slotted metal spoon. Drain them on the lined baking sheet. Season with salt. Serve immediately.

For more of Alex's recipes, go to Page 2.

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