Restaurant Review: Niko's Bistro

>> Tuesday, December 10, 2013

At a recent dinner, we were talking about restaurants we’ve always wanted to try and are super high on the ‘must visit’ list but for some reason…we never get there. Niko’s Bistro was this elusive restaurant on my list. Every time I’m in Kensington, I make a mental note to drop in for lunch or dinner. Considering I live just up the hill from Kensington, I really don’t have a good excuse.  One afternoon, we happened to be in the area to grab a quick bite for lunch, so when we walked by Niko’s and realized that it wasn’t busy (for once), I finally got my chance!
Atmosphere: Casual contemporary design in a cozy and warm setting.
Price Range: Mid $10s - $20s

Food & Wine: After some tough decisiong making, I ordered the Cod con Proscuitto, which is pan seared con wrapped in prosciutto, simple yet extremely tasty. It came with pasta aglio e olio and bruschetta on the side. Everything on the plate was perfectly executed, but I couldn’t believe how flavourful my pasta was especially because it only contained olive oil and garlic. The pasta had the perfect combination of chewiness and unctuousness making it a spectacular bite. I was glad to have gotten to cod because it was light but was able to hold its own against the amazing pasta.
My husband ordered the Spaghettini Frutti di Mare. Spaghettini, slightly thinner noodles than spaghetti or linguine was served with baby shrimps, baby clames, calamari, mussels and tiger prawns in a white wine tomato sauce with a healthy amount of olive oil. Seafood and pasta is a classic. This dish again highlighted the perfectly cooked al dente pasta in all its glory. My husband really enjoyed the dish, even though he normally prefers linguine to any other pasta type, which attests to how the chefs were able to skillfully handle the pasta. You really can’t go wrong with a lovely white wine sauce and succulent seafood with amazing noodles.

Since it was lunch we didn’t get a bottle of wine even though they had a nice Italian wine selection. We opted to end the meal with a couple of cappuccinos. They were very well pulled cappuccinos with just the right amount of foam to milk to coffee ratios, reminding me of the Italian cafes lining the side streets in Rome.
My Picks: Aglio e olio pasta or any pasta dish
Overall: I’ve been meaning to check out Niko’s for a really long time now and am kicking myself after this meal that I waited so long to do so. The bright side was that I did stop in and now I can’t wait to go back. Especially with the weather the way it’s been what better way to keep warm then with a nice healthy comforting dish of amazingly cooked pasta!
Niko's Bistro
1241 Kensington Road NW
Calgary, AB
Niko's Bistro on Urbanspoon


Restaurant Review: Arch Persian Lounge

>> Tuesday, December 3, 2013

A friend and I were chatting this morning about how important family is to us. One of the main reasons why I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else in the world is because I wouldn’t want to be too far away from my parents. Family is where I define home. So it’s nice to see that there are still restaurants in town with the same family owned atmosphere and warmth. The new Arch Persian Lounge in Inglewood is one of those places.
Atmosphere: Open dining room surrounding with Middle Eastern colors and décor.
Price Range: Mid $10s - $20+
Food & Wine: After a quick perusal of the menu, both my dining companion and I knew that we were going to be getting a various selection of the dips as our appetizers. We both enjoy not only the tastes of the various Middle Eastern dips but also the interactive manner in which you consume them. There is something unexplainable with the heightened enjoyment of food when you’re taking the time truly savour every bite. Having to tear apart the bread assists in that regard. Plus, the bread at Arch is unlike any I’ve ever tasted before. It’s bigger than the size of a large dinner plate with portions of it slightly charred providing extra flavour to the pita. We couldn’t get enough of it.

My favourite dip to accompany the pita was the hummus. It was creamy and smooth flavored with lovely spices and topped with unctuous olive oil. We also tried the Eggplant (kahk-o bademjan) spread, similar to a baba ganoush but with a lingering smokiness at the end. The Cucumber (mast-o khiyar) was yogurt based, similar to a tzatziki but a bit less creamy. It also went very well with some of their main offerings.
As our entrée we shared the Kabob Shahi, which is a choice of two kebobs offered on the menu and served with saffron rice and grilled vegetables. We decided on the Kabob Chenjeh – roasted lamb sirloin and the Kabob Barg – grilled beef tenderloin with saffron and other spices. Although the meats were either grilled or roasted, they were done so perfectly. For those who dislike gamey meat, you need not worry. The lamb is marinated in various spices removing all the gaminess. If lamb isn’t quite your thing, the beef tenderloin is also a great option. Just as succulent and tasty, the spices really highlight the beef. Also not to be missed was the saffron rice, which was fragrant and a great accompaniment to both proteins.
Our wine that evening was the Dominio de Punctum, a Spanish Tempranillo and Petit Verdot blend. A full bodied wine with earthy cherry notes, it was bold enough to stand against the grilled meats but balanced enough to be drunk on its own.
My Pick: Kabob Shahi

Overall: The food was delectable and the service was very attentive. It definitely felt like they were opening up their home to us and you could taste it in the food. I’m glad to see a Middle Eastern restaurant in that part of town and even happier to support a family owned establishment.

Arch Persian Lounge
1211 9 Ave SE
Calgary, AB
(403) 474-2828
Arch Persian Lounge on Urbanspoon


Spread Joy This Holiday Season - Win a $25 Gift Card to Edo Japan

>> Tuesday, November 26, 2013

It’s truly shocking that Christmas is less than a month away. There are festive decoratins in all the shops and malls around town. Several places I visited over the weekend were already playing Christmas carols. I guess it’s just that time of year. The holiday season is one of my favorite times of the year. People generally seem happier (probably because soon enough everyone’s going to be getting a much needed break over the holidays) and in a celebratory mood.

So I was pretty excited to hear that Edo Japan is doing something extra special this year. To celebrate the holiday season, they’re going to be sending around Edo Elves to help spread the holiday cheer with their good deeds from Nov 28 – Dec 21. The Edo Elves can be seen sporadically throughout the city performing good deeds to make the holiday season easier and a little less stressful.
Edo Japan is also helping the Calgary Food Bank to provide food and resources to those in need. Together, both organizations are working to reduce hunger in communities in which they serve and make the holiday season simply better. For every $25 gift card sold, Edo Japan will donate $5 to a local food bank, in hopes of raising more than $15,000.

To learn more about how the Edo Elves are planning on spreading some holiday cheer please visit
Find out where the Elves will be and who they will be surprising follow them on Twitter at @edo_japan and #EdoElf and on Facebook at
To kickstart the event, I have a $25 Edo Japan gift card to giveaway. Please tweet me or respond to this blog for a chance to win!
Good luck and hope you’re out there spreading holiday cheer as well!


Restaurant Review: LeVilla on 4th

>> Thursday, November 21, 2013

When people think of steakhouses, they often think of two things: One - an older business clientele. Two – you only go for the steak. I believe those are both false assumptions because there are places that are more welcoming and have a greater selection on their menu than the typical prime rib or tenderloin. An excellent example of that is the new LeVilla Restaurant on 4th Street, the sister restaurant of the original LeVilla in the west side of town.
Atmosphere: A lush and posh interior with the classiness of old steakhouses mixed with the contemporary styling’s of the new.
Price Range: Mid $10s - $30s

Food & Wine:  We were given delicious nutty slices of bread with a light whipped butter to start the meal. I love bread in general, but this one was warm, soft and chewy, I wanted more but had to remind myself that there was a whole meal ahead of me.  As an appetizer we ordered the Parmesan Frites with a side of truffle oil and roasted garlic aioli for dipping. I’ve always preferred mayo over ketchup with fries, so I was glad they offered an aioli as a dip. There was a pleasant garlic flavour highlighted with hints of acid but both my friend and I didn’t quite notice the truffle in the mayo. The fries themselves were nice and crispy without being overcooked or soggy. They were nicely seasoned and could have stood alone on their own if presented that way.
For our mains I decided to go with the Pan Fried Steelhead Trout topped with a side of lobster risotto and topped with a seared scallop, a creamy citrus hollandaise sauce and lots of arugula.  The dish was a perfect balance between healthy and decadence. The trout was seared just right, each section of the fish flaky off with just the touch of a fork. It was beautifully seasoned, enhanced with the velvety hollandaise sauce and the bitterness of the arugula. The lobster risotto was extremely rich and creamy featuring large chunks of lobster meat. It was nice going back and forth between the trout and risotto, each bit enhancing the next, so my palate wasn’t overwhelm by the risotto. The scallop on top was perfectly seared, with just enough of the opaque centre. I had some of the scallop with the hollandaise and some with the risotto, allowing me to play a little with the different flavour combinations on my plate.

My friend ordered the Roasted Honey and Chipotle Glazed Pork Chop served with yam fries and sautéed haricots vert.  The chop was a very decent size perfect for those who have a good appetite. It was cooked to a perfect medium well, with just enough pink to keep the chop tender and juicy. The honey chipotle glaze was incredible. Sweet, tangy, smoky and robust all at the same time, it was a nice change from the traditional pork accompaniments such as apple or leeks. The green beans were crunchy and tasted great with the mix of onions and almonds. The yam fries were sweet and crispy. Who doesn’t love a bit of yam fries on the side of every dish? Since they were covered with the honey chipotle sauce, it was a nice flavour kick for the fries.
As a side dish, we ordered the Sautéed Kale and Spinach for some added greens to our meal. They had a nice tanginess to them, which made for a lighter side. I imagine that they would also be great with one of the many different steak options available at LeVilla.

For dessert, we had to order the Apple Tart with Praline Crumble and Vanilla Bean Ice Cream (with extra ice cream on the side, we’re ice cream fiends). The tart was divine! The pastry was buttery and flaky, coupled with the sweet and tart apples, it was the perfect apple pie. Especially when served with creamy vanilla ice cream, it was inevitable that we had to get an extra scoop.
My Picks: Chipotle Glazed Pork Chop, Apple Tart
Overall: Blending together the best of the old and the new, LeVilla offers both traditional plates for those that are looking for a great steak or amazing seafood and entrees for those searching for something different. All that and they’re able to do it in a space that’s both elegant yet trendy.  
LeVilla Chophouse on 4th
150 1800 4 Street SW
Calgary, AB

(403) 453-3670

LeVilla Chophouse on 4th on Urbanspoon


Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes

>> Wednesday, November 13, 2013

I don’t know what the correlation is with colder weather and baked goods, but somehow they’re directly proportional in my books. It could be that all the autumn produce is perfect for baking or the fact that the cooler weather is enticing me to stay indoors more often. Either way, there is always something cooking in the kitchen or rather the oven.

The only downside is that often times the recipes I’m using only calls for a cup of this or a half a cup of that, making my fridge rather cluttered with leftover ingredients that I’m struggling to use up in my everyday cooking. This was the case after we decided to carve a pumpkin, leading to homemade pumpkin puree and a pumpkin pie. However, after the pie was baked and consumed, we were left with still more pumpkin puree and now an open can of evaporated milk it’s like the domino effect.

In a last ditch effort to use up the leftover ingredients, I was able to find a delightful pumpkin recipe specifically calling for those ingredients. So I whipped up a batch of moist pumpkin spice cupcakes, but now it seems I’m left with some extra cream cheese. Maybe they make ingredients with non-specific volumes for this exact reason, to keep enticing people to continue baking….anybody got a recipe that calls for cream cheese?

Cupcake Ingredients:

1 cup all purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp allspice
1/4 cup salted butter
1 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 cup evaporated milk
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla

Cupcake Preparations:
Preheat oven to 375ºC. Place paper baking cups in the muffin tin and set aside.
In a bowl combine flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and salt. Cut in the butter until the pieces are fairly granular (like the size rough sand).
In a separate bowl, mix together pumpkin, evaporated milk, egg, and vanilla.
Slowly sift the dry ingredients in to the wet ingredients. Gently fold them together until just incorporated.
Fill each of the paper cups to roughly 3/4 full (fill slightly less if you want a flatter cupcake).
Bake for 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the centre of one of the cupcakes comes out clean.
Allow to cool in pan for 5 mins then remove and place on a wire rack to cool fully before icing with cream cheese.
Makes 12 cupcakes.
Frosting Ingredients:

1/8 cup butter at room temperature (salted or unsalted, it’s based on the baker’s preference, I usually use salted because I find that it provides that extra bit of flavour)
1/2 cup light cream cheese
1/3 cup powdered sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla

Frosting Preparation:
For the frosting, whip the butter and cream cheese together on high.
Add in the vanilla and continue to beat until combined.
Turn the speed to low and add the powdered sugar a bit at a time until incorporated.
Scrap in to piping bag or use a spatula to ice each cupcake.


Thai Coconut Yellow Curry

>> Wednesday, November 6, 2013

We’ve been trying to finalize our travel itinerary on our upcoming trip the past couple of weeks and it took us a while to decide where the last leg was going to be. There are just too many great places in this world and too little time. So after some long conversations and flip flopping back and forth we finally landed on Phuket, Thailand. A smaller island in the deep southern part of the country, Phuket is a breath of beauty, but for a foodie like me, I’m extremely excited for all the food! We love Thai cuisine and what’s better then enjoying their amazing curries, tom yum gung and other famous dishes while watching the sun go down in the Adaman Sea.

 So I decided to cook this yellow curry to kick off our vacation countdown. Plus, it’s perfect for the Calgary weather right now, comforting and warm. It can be served with anything ranging from bread for dipping, to sticky rice for those looking for a bit more chew. I’ve always enjoyed it growing up with jasmine rice. It’s a great way to wind down the day with a nice steaming bowl of curry. This will have to do, until we take off on our trip.
Nutrition Tidbit: Tumeric is the spice that provides curries its signature yellow color, but it also has amazing healthy benefits. Known for its anti-inflammatory properties, there are countries where people use it topically, but taken internally turmeric has been said to help the liver and kidney functions. It may also aid in digestion and weight management. The best is you don't even notice that you're eating it when it's incorporated in the curry.

5-6 chicken drumsticks
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
2 tbsp yellow curry powder, can be found at Asian markets
1 medium onion, diced
3-4 slices of ginger
2 stalks lemongrass, 1 chopped, 1 cut in to large 2 inch pieces
4-5 cups of water
3 carrots, peeled and cut in to 1 inch pieces
2 bay leaves
1/2 cup coconut milk
Salt and pepper
2-3 red thai chilies (optional)
2 stalks green onion, chopped (optional)
Fried onions (optional)

In a large mixing bowl, cover the chicken drumsticks with the salt and pepper and curry powder. Set aside and let marinate for 20-30 mins while preparing the other ingredients.

When all the ingredients are ready, warm a large stock pot on medium to high heat. Pour in a bit of oil to coat the bottom of the pan.

Stir in the onions, ginger and lemongrass, cook for 2-3 mins.

Add in the chicken drumsticks, let the skin brown a bit on each of the drumsticks. Scraping the bottom pieces so it doesn’t burn. Searing them for another 2-3 mins.

Pour in the water until it covers the chicken drumsticks. You might need more than 4-5 cups depending on how deep or wide your pot is.

Add in the carrots and bay leaves. Turn the heat down till the water is at a slight simmer. Let it cook for 2-3 hours or until chicken is tender.

When ready, add the coconut milk, stir until incorporated.

Add salt and pepper to taste.

Scoop in to serving bowls and top with thai chilies, green onions and fried onions.

Can be served with bread for dipping or over rice. You can also try this recipe with duck and add in potatoes for more substance.



Restaurant Review: Midtown Kitchen

>> Thursday, October 31, 2013


Fresh oysters have really taken off in Calgary and being one who loves raw oysters, I can’t be happier. Lucky for us, Tuesday is Midtown’s $1 oyster night, a new place that opened up over the summer in Kensington where Broken Plate was (which I do miss). We weren’t the only ones taking advantage of the special though, the place was packed, which is awesome for a Tuesday night!
Atmosphere: Energetic and lively crowds fill the upbeat dining space with casual modern-day décor.
Price Range: Mid $10s


Food & Wine: We had to start with a dozen oysters that evening. Probably would have had more, if it wasn’t for all the delectable sounding dishes on their menu. There was a tangy mignonette sauce accompanying the oysters and each one was perfect topped off with a bit of the mignonette, a squeeze of lemon and a dash of tabasco. The oysters were meaty and fresh, definitely worth a try.
Next we decided to order several items off the small plates menu, we’re the sharing type. It’s a great way to interact during dinner, sampling all the different types of dishes since you can try a little of every dish. Beginning with the crispy Pork belly served with tomato confit on the side.  The pork belly was cut in to 1 inch pieces and deep fried giving it a nice crispy texture, perfect for dipping in to the sweet and tangy tomato jam. Each piece of pork belly had a healthy amount of marbling, definitely an indulgent plate perfect for sharing.


To balance out the fatty goodness of the pork belly we had some of their Street Tacos, made with rotisserie chicken and topped with a creamy cabbage slaw, some tasty salsa and white cheddar cheese. I enjoyed the combination of flavours in the taco. There wasn’t an ingredient that overpowered the others, which is very important. I was able to taste the chicken through the creamy mayo and cabbage then the tang of the salsa with the sharpness of the cheddar. I could see myself eating all three tacos that came with the order.
It’s always hard for me to pass up Chicken Liver Parfait when I see it and this was no different. I’m extremely glad we ordered this dish because it was my favorite of the evening. The creamy chicken liver was served with crispy baguette slices and a sweet fig jam.  In my mind there’s no better combination – sweet, savory, unctuous and crunchy, hitting all the right notes. Helps that this version is light even though it could be heavy if not executed well, plus they give a very generous portion. We had to ask for more toasts in order to finish off the parfait and I’m certainly not complaining about that!


As the finale, we had to order the Toffee Pudding with caramel sauce. It’s hard to refuse anything with caramel on it, especially a toffee pudding! We also decided to add some vanilla ice cream on the side for a slight cost, which was totally worth it. There is nothing better than the warm and cold contrast of a dessert. The pudding had a nice chewy top layer with a soft gooey center. I did find the caramel sauce a bit sweet and might ask them to put it on the side next time, but the ice cream helped mellow out the flavours. It was a very comforting dessert and great for this time of year.
My Pick: Chicken Liver Parfait


Overall: I’m glad that there are so many restaurants in and around town serving oyster deals. I remember when a dozen oysters used to cost more than $25 per platter. It also helps that Midtown has a great sharing menu for those who want to sample a bit of each plate.  But no worries if you have a larger appetite, with choices which range from Very Small, Small to Big plates, Midtown covers everybody’s hunger scale.
Midtown Kitchen
302 10 Street NW
Calgary, AB
(403) 474-2555

Midtown Kitchen & Bar on Urbanspoon


Restaurant Review: Posto Pizzeria and Bar

>> Wednesday, October 23, 2013

There has been a new trend building on social media. It seems everybody is taking food photos and posting them on instagram. I knew a lot of people did it, I’m one of them! But I didn’t realize how crazy this trend has gotten until one night when I saw my in-laws family all taking them. Yup, we’re in an interesting time. For a foodies and people like me, there is nothing better than others who want to share photos of their food. It really helps me decide what and where I want to eat. So when I saw people starting to post all the delicious dishes from Posto, a new restaurant in town, I couldn’t help but start imagining what I’d order when I went and it surely did not disappoint!
Atmosphere:  A relaxed atmosphere reminiscent of its sister restaurant Cibo with similar interior designs but with a more intimate setting. Perfect for those looking for something a little less boisterous and more laidback.

Price Range: Mid $10s - $20s
Food & Wine: I was extremely excited for the soft opening after seeing all the delicious photos on instagram for the last little while. It was really hard deciding what we were going to get, so we decided to go with something a bit light and work our way down the menu starting with the Mussels. They were served in a light broth seasoned with garlic, leeks, pancetta, a bit of chilies and topped with parsley.  I really enjoy leeks and love seeing them used in seafood dishes. The earthy mild onion flavours of the leeks brings out the brininess of the mussels when combined with the pancetta, gave the dish a level of depth in the dish. We also ordered a side of the exquisite Bonterra focaccia bread for dipping.
The Scallops were served shortly after. It was a beautifully plated dish.  The scallops themselves were seared perfectly with a nice translucent center.  It was a fun experience mixing and matching the different ingredients to find the right flavour combination. I enjoyed a bit of green apple, a little pistachio with my bit of scallop. I found the smoked ham hock along with the brown butter cauliflower to be a nice bite in itself and that the ham would slightly overwhelm the delicate scallop flavour, which is why I enjoyed the two separately. Definitely let the dish speak to you in terms of which flavours you’d like to combine.

Continuing our seafood courses, we had the Halibut next. Seared and served with polenta fries, celery root slaw and topped with green romesco (a spread made with green peppers, chilies, garlic and almonds). The fish was cooked to perfection, each section flaking off. No knife required here, but I did find that I wanted a bit more seasoning. I couldn’t stop eating the polenta fries though, they were extremely crispy on the outside and creamy on the inside. I could have used just a plate of those alone. The slaw itself was refreshing and a nice contrast to the polenta fries as a side.
Moving away from the lighter dishes, we had the Beef Crudo (same as a tartare), which is rare beef mixed with capers, shallots and garlic served with a fried egg on the side and crispy toasts.  You have to mix the fried egg in with the crudo so that the egg yolk is nicely combined. This enhances the creaminess of the beef especially when spread on the crispy toast.
I couldn’t wait to try the next dish, the Squid Ink Ravioli with Lobster and saffron cream. The pasta had a nice chewy texture and was perfectly al dente. When combined with the savory lobster filling featuring large chunks of fresh lobster, it was an explosion of flavour. I would definitely order this dish again.
Our last plate that evening was the Beef Cheek and Bone Marrow served with crunchy sunchokes and mustard greens. The beef cheek was phenomenal! The word tender doesn’t begin to describe how succulent it was. There is no need for a knife when enjoying this dish. Just scoop a bit of the marrow on top of the beef cheek and dig in with your fork. Its decadent and delightful, a perfect plate.
Pizza is a must when dining at Posto, where the pizza dough is truly the star making every pizza a great choice. The chewiness of the dough itself is always my favorite part and I always savor the crust. We had the Smoked Salmon Pizza topped with leeks, capers and crème fraiche that evening. The flavours reminded me of eating bagel and lox. I highly recommend this pizza to those that are looking for something a little less traditional on a pizza.
One thing I couldn’t pass up on was dessert, particularly when the server told us what the specials were that night. The Zeppole (little Italian donuts) were served with a sweet milk chocolate dipping sauce, reminding me of churros and chocolate. The zeppole itself is doughier with a soft exterior, perfectly paired to the silky milk chocolate sauce. I could have eaten a whole basket of these, luckily for me they only brought out taster. I’m glad somebody was looking out for me. They were also serving a traditional Cannoli filled with orange mascarpone cream. It tasted very light due to the twist of citrusy tang mixed in to the cream. The cannoli shell was crispy and nicely coupled with the crunch and flavour of the pistachios, a lighter end to a meal if you’re not in to heavy desserts.

They were providing a sampling of the different wines they had on hand that evening, starting with the Briccotondo Fontanafredda from the Piedmont region of Italy. A medium bodied wine featuring blackberries with cinnamon and pepper with a long slow finish. Next we had the Morellino di Scansano by Castello Romitorio, which is a blend of Cabernet and Sangiovese from the Tuscany region. Full of plum and cherry notes, medium bodied with a lingering finish, it was my favorite wine of the night. Finally we also got to taste the Surrau Sincaru made from cannonau grapes from the Sardinia region of Italy. It had bold earthy and spicy flavors, full bodied and long finish, definitely a wine to be enjoyed with a meaty dish.

My Picks: Beef Crudo, Squid Ink Ravioli, Beef Cheek and Marrow
Overall: After seeing the menu at Posto, I was glad to have a game plan because I wanted to order and try everything on the menu! So continue to post those delicious food photos instagramers! Helping everyone decide on what they need to eat because when you have a menu like Posto’s, that’s as delicious sounding as it tastes, we need all the help we can get.
Posto Pizzeria & Bar
1014 8 Street SW
Calgary, AB

Posto Pizzeria and Bar on Urbanspoon


Beer Can Chicken Recipe

>> Thursday, October 17, 2013


There were a couple recipes that I’ve been meaning to post on the blog, but it’s been hard to pick and choose which recipe to post first. However, due to some feedback I got through twitter and email I had no choice but to post this one first…Beer Can Chicken!
We decided to cook this as our 2 person Thanksgiving dinner main this past weekend because there was no way we were going to finish a whole turkey to ourselves. I wanted to try, if for nothing but to use the leftover turkey in other delectable recipes (turkey congee anyone!?), but my husband gave me ‘the look’, the one that stated that it was not my brightest idea. Since he’s not around during the week, I literally would have had to eat turkey morning, noon and night for the next week… probably closer to two weeks.  Better to go with a smaller sized fowl, we’ve already had turkey over the weekend anyhow. Especially after we had the first bite of the chicken, we both realized that we made the right choice!

The only drawback with this recipe is that it requires prep work. You could marinate the chicken shortly before cooking, but realize that the flavours aren’t going to be as robust as leaving the chicken overnight in the fridge. Though if you’re looking for a chicken that’s juicy and tender but lacking the time to prep the chicken, you’ll still receive those results due to the low and slow cooking process (maybe just add a bit of salt when consuming). Either way, I’d love to hear your feedback once you have a chance to try it out!

1 2-3 lb whole chicken (free range preferred for better flavour)
3 garlic cloves, sliced thinly
1 tsp dried thyme (or 1 tbsp fresh, chopped)
1 tsp dried rosemary (or 1 tbsp fresh, chopped)
1 tsp dried parsley (or 1 tbsp fresh, chopped)
1 tsp dried oregano (or 1 tbsp fresh, chopped)
1 tsp dried sage (or 1 tbsp fresh, chopped)
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tbsp salt
1 tsp ground pepper

Alternately instead of all the herbs you could purchase a poultry bundle which would include all the herbs up top and then add a bit of dried herbs to make up the flavours noted.

1 can light beer (eg. Bud light or Coors light)


Place the chicken in a medium sized bowl (ideally you want to prep and marinate your chicken the night before for the best flavour)
Slip the thin slices of garlic underneath the skin making sure they’re evenly spread apart, save any leftover garlic for the cooking the chicken (if there are any left)
Sprinkle the salt all over the chicken on the outside and try to get some salt on the inside as well
Next, mix all the herbs together in a small bowl and pat them on to the chicken

Cover up the bowl with cling wrap or lid and place in refrigerator overnight
When ready to cook the chicken, preheat the oven to 425ºF

Open up a can of beer, pour out 1/3 of the beer in to the bottom of a baking dish
Sit the can of beer in the middle of the baking dish, toss the rest of the leftover garlic in to the beer can

Slowly place the chicken over top the beer can

Place the baking dish in to the oven at 425ºF for 10 mins
Turn the oven down to 325ºF for another 45 mins (or until the internal temperature of the chicken is 165ºF)

Remove the chicken and tent with tin foil for approximately 10 mins before serving


16th Annual Calgary Rocky Mountain Wine and Food Festival - Tickets Giveaway

>> Thursday, October 10, 2013

Fall is definitely hitting Calgary and I heard we’re supposed to be expecting snow soon! Yikes! I guess it is Calgary after all, at least we had a relatively mild September, but now that it’s October we can look forward to other things. Like the Rocky Mountain Food & Wine Festival happening next weekend October 18 & 19 at the BMO Centre in Stampede Park.   It’s one of the best parts of the autumn season!

Again, I have a set of tickets for Saturday October 19th afternoon session (12-4pm) to give away as well! So message me through twitter or respond to this post and I’ll do a random draw next week for the winner.

For all of you that are interested, here’s a bit more information.  Plus there are still additional tickets available for purchase, but they might sell out soon so don’t wait too long! Also, new for this year, they’re holding an afternoon tasting session for those that want to avoid the long lines and big crowds. It’s also great for those that already have evening plans!

Sip, Sample and Savour at the 16th Annual Calgary Rocky Mountain Wine & Food Festival

What:    The Calgary Rocky Mountain Wine & Food Festival is back for two days of indulgence, offering a little something for everyone. The Grand Tasting Hall will be bustling with more food and beverage exhibitors than ever before, leaving taste buds seduced and craving more. The Festival offers the opportunity to sample an extensive variety of world-class wine, scotch, premium spirits, import and micro-brewed beer along with gourmet culinary creations from local restaurants, hotels and food purveyors.

Liquor Depot will once again feature an on-site liquor store, where attendees can purchase their favourite finds from the weekend. Liquor Connect will also be available to demonstrate how can help find sensational sips after the Festival. Additionally, Sunshine Village will be sponsoring the Grand Prize All-Inclusive Weekend Getaway for two, including two nights’ accommodation at Sunshine Mountain Lodge, VIP parking, a $100 gift certificate for food and beverages, a couple’s spa treatment and next day lift tickets.

Who:     Wine, spirit and beer enthusiasts, food lovers with healthy appetites will unite to indulge in a tasty selection of mouth-watering delights. It’s a weekend of excitement and flavourful fun for those who are passionate about wine and food.

Why:     To celebrate the art of food and beverage creations brought to light by talented local restaurants, hotels and food purveyors, as well as wine, spirit and beer providers. The weekend presents Calgarians with an exclusive night of indulgence, sampling and savouring with friends, family and co-workers alike.

When: Friday, October 18, 5-10 p.m.

Saturday, October 19, 12-4 p.m.

Saturday, October 19, 6-10 p.m.

Where:  Stampede Park’s BMO Centre, Halls D & E

For ticket information visit:

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