Homemade Basics & Kitchen EssentialsBack to Basics: Essential Recipes to Elevate Your Cooking Skills

Back to Basics: Essential Recipes to Elevate Your Cooking Skills

Mastering fundamental recipes is the cornerstone of becoming a skilled chef. These basic recipes serve as building blocks, providing a strong foundation upon which you can expand your culinary repertoire. Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned cook, revisiting these essential recipes will help refine your techniques and enhance your cooking skills. Let’s dive into some timeless classics that every chef should have in their culinary arsenal.

The Perfect Roast Chicken

A perfectly roasted chicken is a versatile dish that can be enjoyed on its own or used as a base for countless other recipes. With just a few simple ingredients and proper technique, you can achieve tender, juicy meat and crispy, golden skin.


  • 1 whole chicken (about 3-4 pounds)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Optional: herbs such as thyme, rosemary, or sage


  1. Preheat your oven to 425°F (220°C).
  2. Remove the chicken from its packaging and pat it dry with paper towels. This helps ensure crispy skin.
  3. Truss the chicken if desired, to help it cook evenly.
  4. Rub the chicken all over with olive oil, then season generously with salt and pepper, both inside and out.
  5. Place the chicken in a roasting pan or on a baking sheet, breast side up.
  6. If using herbs, tuck them under the skin or inside the cavity of the chicken for extra flavor.
  7. Roast the chicken in the preheated oven for approximately 60-75 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 165°F (75°C) in the thickest part of the thigh.
  8. Once cooked, remove the chicken from the oven and let it rest for 10-15 minutes before carving.
  9. Serve your perfectly roasted chicken with your favorite sides and enjoy!

By mastering the art of roasting a chicken, you’ll gain confidence in your cooking abilities and open the door to endless culinary possibilities.

Homemade Tomato Sauce

A rich and flavorful tomato sauce is a staple in many kitchens. Whether used as a base for pasta dishes, pizzas, or as a dipping sauce for appetizers, homemade tomato sauce always shines with its fresh taste and vibrant color.


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 can (28 ounces) crushed tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • Optional: herbs such as basil, oregano, or thyme


  1. In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the chopped onion and sauté until softened and translucent, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add the minced garlic to the pan and cook for an additional 1-2 minutes, until fragrant.
  3. Pour in the crushed tomatoes and sugar, then season with salt and pepper to taste.
  4. If using herbs, add them to the sauce for extra flavor. You can use dried herbs or fresh ones, depending on your preference.
  5. Bring the sauce to a simmer, then reduce the heat to low and let it cook uncovered for about 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  6. Taste the sauce and adjust the seasoning if necessary. If you prefer a smoother sauce, you can use an immersion blender to puree it until smooth.
  7. Once cooked to your desired consistency, remove the sauce from the heat and let it cool slightly before serving.
  8. Store any leftover sauce in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one week, or freeze it for longer storage.

With this homemade tomato sauce recipe, you’ll elevate your cooking to new heights and impress your family and friends with delicious, homemade meals.


These essential recipes are the building blocks of culinary excellence. By mastering these basics, you’ll gain the confidence and skills needed to tackle more complex dishes with ease. So roll up your sleeves, sharpen your knives, and let’s get cooking!

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