Blogiversary & Israeli Garlic Chicken Re-Do

19 December 2016
Today marks one year from Almost Kosher’s first time hitting the publish button on Israeli Garlic Chicken.  While this recipe has remained our favorite to date, the pictures from that early post highlight how far we’ve come.  Our brand, my voice, and our photography have grown, as well as our audience.  Since our first post, we’ve even had a recipe shared on a national publication!

It’s a “blogiversary”!

To celebrate, we decided to redo our Israeli Garlic Chicken with new and improved photos.  We’re also going to share some top lessons and moments since we first started the blog.

israeli garlic chicken

An old favorite gets a makeover.

This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links, I’ll receive a small commission.  This is at no extra cost to you and helps us keep this blog running.  

Here are the top 5 lessons since Almost Kosher’s very first post:

#5: SEO matters

In the beginning, I wasn’t sure where this blog would take me.  It was started first as a way to better connect with Judaism through my passion for food.  Therefore, I didn’t focus much on things like SEO (Search Engine Optimization).  Since installing Yoast, our search engine traffic has increased by 37%!  We’ve spent time learning how keywords work and how to make our posts more readable.

#4: Start out small

We started out with a free theme and a “logo” I created using Word.  Our early days were spent looking like this:

The color scheme has stuck, as well as our byline.  But soon after I started getting our photos accepted onto Foodgawker, I realized our site did not compare to our new peers’.  On my second most popular post to date, I rolled out the new logo and theme you see today.  I still designed the logo myself, but this time using photoshop and a few tools online.

#3: Food bloggers should get on Foodgawker

Until this month, our most popular post to date was Slow Cooker Chicken Tandoori.  It made the top most favorited and gawked lists on Foodgawker for almost a month.  Foodgawker has accounted for more than 30% of our referrals and can be attributed as our inspiration to learn to take better food photography.  While we’ve had 50 of our submissions declined and only 22 acceptances, those acceptances come much easier than they did in the beginning.

#2: People eat with their eyes first

Which means if you can’t capture their appetites first with your photography, you probably won’t capture them with your words either.  So focus your efforts on learning how to really capture your subject with your camera first, then work on your writing voice.

#1: Natural is always better

We mean natural lighting.  Besides learning how to stage and compose a shot, our first breakthrough in our photography came with longer daylight hours.  The average household light casts unnatural and harsh light on food and just simply dulls your photos.   Sunlight is preferable, but isn’t always available, so we opted to buy an inexpensive lighting kit to compensate during the winter months.  Pictures speak louder than words, so take a look at this comparison:

The top photos are shot under regular kitchen lights; the bottom photos are shot using lighting designed to mimic the sun

Milestones & Stats

  • Our most viewed post to date is our 72-hour sous vide short ribs.  Over 90% of the traffic to this post is because this recipe got featured TWICE on national women’s interest websites: first, on Brit + Co and, most recently, on PureWow.
  • The top search keywords leading to our blog have been sous vide related: “72 hour ribs,” “Kosher sous vide,” and “sous vide chicken breast” make up the top three.
  • Our most popular Foodgawker post has been Slow Cooker Chicken Tandoori with over 600 views which also makes up our second most viewed post.

Remaking our favorite recipe: Israeli Garlic Chicken

Our first recipe suffered from amateurish photography, despite being our favorite.  Neither one of us knew what we were doing when it came to photographing food.  So for this post, we decided to redo it.  We kept the recipe the same but refreshed it with new photos:

israeli garlic chicken

Print Recipe
Israeli Garlic Roasted Chicken
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Course Main Dish
Cuisine Israeli
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 1/2 hours
Servings
people
Ingredients
Optional
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Israeli
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 1/2 hours
Servings
people
Ingredients
Optional
Votes: 0
Rating: 0
You:
Rate this recipe!
Add to Shopping List
This recipe is in your Shopping List
Instructions
Day 1:
  1. Preheat oven to 375°F.  Place garlic heads on a baking sheet and roast for at least 40 minutes. (The smell as this is happening is incredible and be prepared for your stomach to rumble if you're even a bit hungry)
  2. After the garlic has begun to change color, test the cloves for softness. When they appear to have softened, remove from the oven and let cool.
  3. Once cooled, slice the heads of the garlic off and squeeze the resulting garlic goo into a food processor.  To the food processor, add the cilantro, parsley, butter, lemon juice, salt, pepper, paprika, and cumin seeds.  Grind into a thick paste.
  4. In a baking dish, place the chicken pieces and rub your garlic paste all over the pieces, being careful to get the paste into every crevice.  Cover and marinate overnight.
Day 2:
  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.  Remove the chicken from the fridge and rest on the countertop while the oven preheats (this is to get the chicken closer to room temperature).
  2. Drizzle olive oil over the chicken and cover the dish with foil.
  3. Roast the chicken for 30 minutes.  Remove foil and roast for an additional 15 minutes, or at least until the internal temperature reaches 165°F.
  4. After the chicken reaches temperature, turn your broiler on high.  Sprinkle paprika on the chicken and allow the chicken to crisp under the broiler until it begins to brown.
  5. Remove and allow the chicken to rest for about 5 minutes before serving.  Garnish with fresh chopped parsley.

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