Thursday, June 17, 2010

How to Make Perfect Roast Chicken

This is the LBD (little black dress) of dinner recipes. It's great comfort food dinner for two or the family, and you can dress it up for company by just changing the accessories (sides). This is a recipe you should know from memory to have in your repertoire. It's the perfect home cooked dinner to enjoy often. I make it at least once a month.

Perfect Roast Chicken
1 whole chicken, about 4 lbs.
1 lemon, pierced all over with a knife
A bunch of fresh herbs, your choice ( parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme) 
2 T soft butter
salt/seasoned salt and pepper

Rinse the chicken and remove the bag of giblets, dry the skin well
Stuff the cavity with the lemon and herbs
Tuck the wings under and truss (tie together) the legs (sometimes I don't truss)
Rub the skin all over with buter
Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. I often use seasoned salt.

Preheat oven to 425. Put the chicken on a rack in a small roasting pan. I use my favorite cast iron roaster. Roast for 20 minutes, then reduce the heat to 350 and roast for 15 minutes per pound. A 4 lb chicken would cook an additional hour. Remove from oven. Press down on the lemon with a spoon to release the juices. Let rest 10 minutes while you make gravy, or just serve with the pan juices. Carve and serve.
Gravy For Your Mashed Potatoes
Add 2 T flour to the drippings in the pan. Stir to cook and let brown about 2 minutes. Add 2 C water and 1-2 crushed chicken bouillon cube. Whisk constantly until thicken. Taste and add more S&P if needed.


Also Good With:
Baked sweet potatoes- put potatoes in the oven for the last 45-60 minutes, Cut open and top with  butter and brown sugar 
Fresh green vegetable
Mashed potatoes
Glazed carrots
Stuffing- omit herbs and lemon and stuff with 2C saved stuffing. Recipe HERE. I make a big batch of homemade stuffing, and freeze the rest in 2C amounts in freezer bags. Flatten the bags, and stack in the freezer.

Chicken Soup For Two
Save all the bones and the carcass and put into a medium stock pot. Add enough water to cover, about 4-6C. Add a little salt, 1/2 onion, the top part of celery with leaves and bring to a simmer for at least an hour. Remove all the bones and add a chopped celery stalk, carrot, salt, pepper, a pinch of nutmeg and cook until vegetables are tender. Add about 1C noodles and cook an additional 10 minutes. Adjust seasonings to taste.
If there are just the two of you for dinner, you'll have lots of leftover chicken for sandwiches the next day. Or you can make Poppy Seed Chicken Salad, or chicken enchiladas, or chicken tetrazzini, all in previous post.

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