Parents, Celebrity Chef Carla Hall Says You *Need* To Learn How To Roast A Chicken Properly

Feeding your child can often feel really, really frustrating. Sure, you might want them to eat that asparagus you’ve so loving sauteed with lemon, but they probably will ditch it in favor of dino nuggs instead. But celebrity chef Carla Hall knows that a key to getting your kids to eat well starts with using good ingredients. We spoke with Carla about her partnership with Country Crock, the importance of good eating, and what you absolutely need to know how to cook.

Carla, let’s talk about your partnership with I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter.

I’ve been working mainly with Country Crock Original, but then these new products rolled out: I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter Deliciously Simple and Country Crock Simply Delicious. Now try to remember that! [laughs] They have no artificial preservatives, less ingredients, and ones that people recognize when they read the back of the label.

People are a lot more conscious now about what goes into their food and into their bodies. And if you can’t pronounce an ingredient, you might be concerned about buying it.

Exactly right. And also, being a parent, you are especially looking at that.

So now how are you incorporating these products into your own recipes and your own way of cooking?

During the week, I sometimes eat out a lot. But what people don’t realize is when I am at home, I eat pretty light, and I add more vegetables. I use the Country Crock Simply Delicious in casseroles and as a crunchy topping. It’s great for baking and for making pancakes. It’s great for a quick little sauté. I’m not going to say that I don’t use butter, but I definitely use both.

The one thing that I liked about this new product is that it has yogurt, oil, and salt. And because of the yogurt, it has a nice tang to it. We’re showing it at the Food and Wine Festival, with different kinds of bread. It’s so simple and I think those simple ingredients speak to what’s actually in the product, which makes it not only something you recognize, but delicious, too.

How is The Food and Wine Festival going?

There’s lots and lots of new foods. I think it’s really exciting to be here in New York City to see what the restauranteurs and the various vendors are showing and what they’re excited about. I mean, let’s be real, a lot of the trends start here in New York City. Because you have so many people here to test it to see if it’s going to work.

So let’s talk about The Chew.

Everything’s going really great. We’re in our third season; the ratings are off the charts, and our new cookbook, The Chew: What’s For Dinner? came out September 24. And it’s already beating sales for the first book at this time. People come up to me and they say, “The fun that you all are having on the show; it’s so infectious that it makes me want to cook.” I think that’s how a lot of people got into the kitchen because of the fun and the socialization that takes place. So when I hear people say that they didn’t really cook before, but we made it approachable, it seemed easy, and they were doing the recipes, too — I’m like, that’s exactly why we wanted to do the show.

I think people are seeing the value in cooking now, more than ever. It’s really a chance to bond with your child in the kitchen.

You’re exactly right. And bringing your kids in early on, so that it’s part of their lives. Then you do simple, approachable recipes, so all of that together makes it doable.

How do you balance it all?

I have a really great husband. People assume that I cook at home. And I would say I cook at the office, but I have a husband who cooks at home. And then together, we make it work. He was so supportive, and he did a lot of things at home so that when I would come home, it was mainly supporting him with all the home stuff. Noah, my stepson, doesn’t like to cook, though. So I told him, “You need to know three major things: you need to know how to roast a chicken. You need to know how to do a good soup, and you need to know how to make breakfast.” And those three things will help you get through.

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