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Sunday, July 25, 2010

Anti recipe #2 Roast chicken and veggies

Pulling off a good roast chicken is probably the most I could ever hope to channel June Cleaver.

And I do, make a good roast chicken that is.

So, this is it.

Buying whole chickens is just so much easier on the wallet and tastier too, especially if you can find locally raised chickens (my parents raise them! Yay for me!)

You can also then use the roast chicken for dinner, pull off the end bits of chicken for a second meal, and then make broth for soup or for cooking with later (more on this in a bit.) So you get three meals for one hour of cooking, not bad, eh?

So. Start with a thawed chicken. (believe me, I have tried to roast one that wasn’t thoroughly thawed, mistake! It doesn’t cook up properly!)

First off. I don’t touch raw chicken. I hate it. The whole concept makes me ill. (So, pulling off a good roast chicken is even more admirable, right?) I have been known to make young visiting siblings slice up the raw chicken breast because I didn’t want to touch it.

My solution? Tongs and a fork.

So, preheat oven to 450. Yes, 450. Good and hot.

First step, rinse off chicken, pull out bag of guts/neck/etc. Second, and this is key, pat draw with paper towel (yes, I am handling the thing with tongs and a fork this whole time!) Apparently a dry chicken roasts up better than a slightly soggy one, which wont crisp properly (I learned this from watching Julie/Julia)

Salt (sea salt)/pepper/drizzle chicken with olive oil on both sides. My husband would use a cooking brush for the olive oil part. I really, really, REALLY dislike this. Why? Because then you have to wash a paintbrush saturated in olive oil and bits of chicken skin/grease. GROSS. Drizzling is good enough for me. Also, place a bit of olive oil (or butter) in the bottom of the roasting pan to prevent sticking. (also, you can smear with butter instead of olive oil, obviously).

A note on roasting pans. I went and bought a big old-fashioned roasting pan (found at my favorite thrift store for a couple bucks). More room for all the potatoes too. I also use a wire rack thingy on the bottom, to prevent sticking/pooling grease.

Second, chop up a few potatoes, skins still on (I never ever skin potatoes before cooking them, even for mashed potatoes. Too much work. Lots of good stuff in skin) inch size pieces are good. Then do a few carrots too. (Other veggies might be yummy too... experiment!)Toss in olive oil (maybe a tablespoon or two, not too much as they will mainly be roasting in the yummy chicken juices to come) then shake in some sea salt.

Throw the veggies in the bottom of the pan. Place chicken on rack in center, upside down. Put in oven.

In 15 minutes, or when it starts browning a bit, flip the chicken over to breast side up. In ten minutes, or so, reduce heat to 350.

If you want you can baste with juices from the bottom of the pan. I never do this. 1) I always seem to forget 2) I can never find the baster, as it makes a really good Harry Potter wand (all of my chopsticks are missing for this reason.)

Make sure you toss the potatoes/carrots occasionally so they don’t stick to the bottom of the pan.

When juices run clear, your chicken is done. I think its like 180 on the thermometer, but I always pull it out to poke into the meat and look.

Let chicken sit to cool for awhile before carving. Scoop out lovely carrots/potatoes.

Now eat.

Oh yum.

Sometime in the evening, after digesting all this (usually after kiddies are in bed - or you can just throw the whole thing in the fridge and do the below in the morning, if you can fit it in of course - just push aside those half eaten yogurts and juice boxes and shove it in there) anyway, as I was saying, at some point pick off the remaining meat, place in ziplock bag in freezer for another meal (casserole, chicken fajitas, etc) Put chicken carcass in big stock pot, cover bones with water, bring to boil and let simmer, until your bedtime. (You can be fancy and add veggies but I never do, my husband does though, and, to be honest, he is the real stock guy at our house.) You can then let the big pot cool and throw in the fridge overnight (which we usually do). The next day skim off fat from top, reheat on stove top, pull out carcass, pick off remaining meat (for soup) strain out bones, pour cooled broth into old container (old yogurt containers work perfectly) then freeze (it’s a good idea to write date on top, just so you know what it is, especially if you are like us and old yogurt containers make up the vast majority of your food storage containers. (Hmmm, old frozen beans and rice? Split pea soup? Ah, here is the stock.)

I use stock in all sorts of things. Crockpot meals (throw in a containers worth of broth, even frozen, some chicken pieces, some rice, some herbs, wait a few hours, voila, dinner!), casserole, and of course, soups (potato soup). Bone broth adds so much nutritional goodness to your meals, it’s healing, and boosts your immune system (more on this here) plus, it’s yummy.

So. That is my roast chicken. Bon app├ętit!

11 comments:

  1. i also have a solution to the touching raw chicken issue.

    i buy the ready to roast chicken in a bag! you open the outside bag, remove chicken, which is still in special oven cooking bag, put in pan ("This Side Up", is very clearly marked on the bag, thank goodness) cut a small hole in the top, put in oven, and 90 minutes later, chicken is ready!

    totally agree on the second part, broth and zip lock bags of chicken in the freezer is key to a good food week.

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  2. LMAO. anne. you are a cheater. but i love you anyway.

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  3. I'm loving these! I'm learning to cook at thirtymmmbb from your blog :-)

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  4. i am excited to try your chicken recipe. i've never been one to roast a whole chicken, turkey is no problem but i have to do a chicken. maybe now i will. thanks sara.

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  5. I have never bought a whole chicken before- due to the not touching gross raw meat or having to stick your hand up a dead animal thing. But you are the second person this week to give how to instructions. So I think I will give it a try...sounds too yummy and cheap to pass up.
    BTW, the one and only time I have bought and cooked a turkey I used zip lock bags as gloves :-)
    Katelyn S.

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  6. I love reading your blog & the comments. Love you too. Grmma B

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  7. another yummy thing to do with the leftover broth is to use it as part of your liquid to cook rice... you end up with good for you and good tasting chicken rice!

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  8. christy, kate and malia - good luck! let me know how it turns out.

    stacy - good point. also making mashed potatoes...hmmm...what else..

    grandma - glad you are reading!

    also i forgot to mention of course seasoning with herbs is really yummy. you can season a lot of different ways my fav cooking book "how to cook everything" has asian seasoning, cajun, etc etc. i stick to olive oil and maybe some herbs. fresh herbs are the only way to go...some rosemary, thyme, parsley, yum. powdered dried stuff just doesnt even taste the same and is pointless in my book.

    also, roast cauliflower is totally yummy. poor overlooked vegetable. its on the menu for tonight. YUM.

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  9. chicken turned out good. thanks for the great recipe. i will have to do it again with some seasoning variations. i'm glad to have this in my arsenal of recipes.

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  10. I absolutely love your style. And your roast chicken sounds delicious! Think this is a good idea for dinner 'round here tonight! Thanks for sharing.

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  11. christy - glad it went well. i botched mine that night (it was still frozen! why do i do that!) but made a killer chicken soup the next day so, made up for it i guess.

    tabitha - welcome! and thanks!

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