Start simple and add on.
Jennifer Rubell: Well when it comes to cooking, all the food that I make and that I recommend making is really for a pretty novice level cook. And the way I accomplish that is I take classic combinations of flavors and execute them in the simplest possible way. So if, for instance . . . You know there’s a recipe in my book for chicken legs with mustard, shallots, and thyme. And that sort of . . . You know chicken ins some kind of “creamyish”, mustard sauce is a classic French preparation. But you could do it in a really complicated way. Or I recommend putting all the ingredients – white wine, mustard, chicken legs, everything else in a pan, throwing the whole thing in the oven, and it cooks for about an hour. And when it comes out, it’s this magical, creamy, mustard sauce with actually no cream in it which is also great. And it feels like this wonderful, rustic, French dish. But it was executed . . . I mean anyone can throw everything in a pan and throw it in the oven – although sometimes people are so fearful that they do freakish things, and I can’t account for that. But basically following those directions, you’ll get a really delicious, hearty meal with flavors that really marry and really sing. So for me, the cooking has to be reduced to the simplest path. And the flavors can be slightly more complex combinations where in the original dish they involve 15 steps. And then in my version, which is a whole new invention of what the dish is anyway, it could be three or four steps.