Make no mistake — it’s been a rough year. But there’s very little that comfort food can’t fix. So we reached out to our chef partners in Marin to learn about both their go-to Marin comfort food take out places and their favorite easy recipes. Below, Erin Miwa shares how she’s been coping with this year’s challenges.
In a year that has completely transformed the restaurant industry, Comforts holds on to its core values of family, community and adaptability. Celebrating its 34th year of business, Comforts is focusing its efforts on take-home family meals, easy grab and go salads and weekend brunches. And with the holidays fast approaching, you can enjoy delicious, comforting holiday dinners, even from six feet apart!
Erin’s Go-to Comfort Food
When I don’t want to be in the kitchen and need a little indulgence, I will order the S’mores Pie from The Buckeye. It takes me back to my childhood, roasting marshmallows around a fire pit, and every bite oozes with comfort.
Comfort Food Recipe
Roast Chicken with Gravy
I lived overseas for about five years and every time I’d come home, my dad would make my favorite meal — roast chicken with gravy. Being Japanese, we would eat this with Japanese rice, which I’d soak in gravy. I could eat it for breakfast, lunch and dinner and it’s my ultimate comfort meal!
I like crispy skin, so I roast my chicken at a high heat. Preheat your oven to 395 degrees (my oven runs hot, so you can go as high as 425). With kitchen shears, cut out the backbone of a whole roasting chicken so the chicken lays down flat (breast side up, also known as “spatchcocking”). Put the backbone in a pot of water with a little salt, whole peppercorns, a couple of bay leaves and vegetable scraps* (see note), and leave it to simmer at the back of the stove.
*Note: Whenever I peel and trim carrots or cut the bottoms off a celery stick or remove the tough outer layers of an onion, I throw all those bits and scraps in a plastic baggie and keep them in the freezer. I add this straight out of the bag to my chicken stock.
Take a paper towel and pat the chicken dry. Place on a baking rack that fits into a sheet pan. Rub room temperature butter all over the skin, then drizzle with a bit of olive oil. Sprinkle the whole chicken with garlic salt and pepper (use more than you think — be very generous). Roast in oven for about 35 minutes. If chicken skin starts to get too dark, place some foil over it until the chicken is done. When a thermometer tested in the thigh reads 165 degrees, pull the chicken from the oven. Cover with a loose tent of foil and let rest. Meanwhile, put about 3 tablespoons of butter in a small pot over medium-high heat.When melted, add 3 tablespoons of all-purpose flour. Stir for a minute, until the flour is incorporated and it becomes a paste. Add in your simmering chicken stock one ladle at a time. Keep adding and stirring (approximately 4 or 5 cups of stock) until a nice thickness develops. Remove chicken from rack. Any drippings from sheet pan should go right into the gravy. Season with salt and pepper. Serve and enjoy!