Wednesday, October 5, 2011

One Chicken Three Dinners (Day One)

Buttery Roast Chicken and Potatoes
With fall definitely falling upon us, it's time for yummy oven roasted recipes. The taste of a tender and juicy chicken is just so very satisfying on the dinner table with raindrops beating on the roof outside. I had been craving a savory roast chicken ever since reading Julia Child's autobiography where she describes at length the succulent butter-drenched chickens she feasted on in France. Taking a cue from Julia, I put together this yummy and easy roast chicken recipe together with the intention of using every bit of it for two other leftover recipes (skin, bones, and all). This is the first night of the chicken feast, made possible and super delicious thanks to handfuls of fresh herbs given to me from Marion's beautiful garden.

- 1 5 lb. whole chicken, rinsed with innards removed and reserved*
- a small handful of fresh chopped rosemary, thyme, and marjoram
- salt and lemon pepper
- 1 large onion, quartered
- 2 lemons, halved
- 1 stick of butter, softened
- 4 Yukon Gold potatoes, halved
- 5-6 medium carrots, cut into thirds crosswise

Rinse chicken in cold water and pat completely dry with paper towels. Season the inside of the chicken with a sprinkle of salt and several grinds of lemon pepper. Place in a roasting pan and set aside. Preheat oven to 375˚F. In a small bowl blend together butter with about 2/3 of the fresh herbs with a fork. Rub the outside of the chicken completely with the butter- this will make the skin crisp and delicious. Season the outside of the chicken generously with salt and lemon pepper. Spread the legs of the chicken apart and sprinkle the inside of the chicken with the remaining fresh herbs then stuff it with onion quarters and halved lemons. Tie the legs together with kitchen twine and pin the skin flap closed with a couple of toothpicks.

Arrange the chicken at the center of the roasting pan and surround with sliced carrots and potatoes. Sprinkle vegetables with salt and pepper and place the pan in the oven. Roast chicken for about 90 minutes, removing every 25 minutes or so to baste with drippings. Chicken in cooked through when a thermometer placed in the center of a meaty part of the bird registers to 180˚F. Remove from oven and tent with foil. Allow meat to rest for about 10 minutes before slicing. I served mine with the roasted vegetables and some sauteed kale. It was a very tasty dish!

*After dinner, I removed any extra meat from the bird and saved it in a bag for chicken enchiladas. The bones, skin, chicken innards, and pan drippings I saved in a gallon freezer bag and placed it in the freezer so it would be ready for later.

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