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Friday, October 29, 2010

Perfect Roasted Chicken

Dear Hubby came home with a six pound whole chicken after a trip to the store and so I needed to make sure I did something special with it. That is actually one of the biggest chickens I have seen in a while. When I have looked for a chicken to roast, I am usually doing good to find a 3-4 pound bird. This one came from Trader Joe's and it was a beauty in every way. Did I just call a dead, raw chicken beautiful?? Hmmm.

I decided to make Ina Garten's Perfect Roast Chicken. I have all of her cookbooks and her recipes always turns out great. If you don't have her cookbooks, you can see her recipe for Perfect Roasted Chicken here from Food It takes a little time to put together but the result is well worth the effort.

The first thing you do is remove the giblets and then rinse the chicken inside and out. Pat it dry, I use paper towels, and then salt and pepper inside and outside. Next, you stuff the cavity with a large bunch of fresh thyme, one lemon cut in half or quartered, and a whole garlic cut in half through the widest part. Next, you brush the chicken with melted butter and then sprinkle with more salt and pepper. Then, you tie the legs together with kitchen twine and set it aside.

Now you cut one large yellow onion into thick slices, you cut 4 large carrots into two-inch chunks and you cut a bulb of fennel into wedges (after removing the top fronds). You place these veggies into a roasting pan and add olive oil, salt, pepper and 20 sprigs of fresh thyme. Make sure you use a roasting pan that is large and deep enough to hold your veggies and chicken. You toss them around until everything is covered with olive oil and salt and pepper. Now you place the chicken on top of the veggies.

My chicken was a little to big for this roasting pan. And yes, that is a forgotten fork laying among the veggies. It didn't seem to mind being roasted.

Now you put it into a 425 degree oven and you will roast it for 1-1/2 hours or until the juices are clear and not bloody, between the leg and the thigh. When the chicken is fully cooked, remove from the oven, place the chicken in the center of a large serving plate and place the veggies around the chicken. Cover and let sit for about 20 minutes.

Ready to eat

When the chicken was ready to serve, I placed the platter in the middle of the table with a carving knife and dear hubby did the honors of slicing the chicken into serving portions. I like the leg and let me say it was a good sized leg. Plenty for one serving.
I had a head of cauliflower in the fridge waiting to be used so I made a cauliflower casserole to go with the roasted chicken dinner. I cut the cauliflower into florets and cooked them in boiling water for 8 minutes. I drained them and put them into the fridge to chill down. 

Next, I chopped about a half of a cup of onion and about a half of a cup of red pepper. I sauteed them in olive oil until they were tender, about 10 minutes or less and set them aside to cool.

In a small bowl, I mixed a cup of sour cream and a cup of grated cheddar cheese. I added the cooled onions and peppers, 1/2 teaspoon of salt and a half a cup of crushed cornflakes. I added this mixture to my bowl of cooled cauliflower and held it in the refrigerator until I was ready to bake it. Just before I baked it, I sprinkled a 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese and about 1/3 cup of crushed cornflakes over the top.

Just before going into the oven

About an hour before I baked it, I set the bowl out on the counter to bring it closer to room temperature. I baked it at 350 for about 30 minutes, until it started bubbling. The oven should have been 325 degrees and it wouldn't have turned as brown on top. I adapted this recipe and it turned out very good. My son, who isn't a big fan of cauliflower, loved it and took another spoonful!

Crunchy on the outside, creamy on the inside

Here is my version of the recipe:


Make Ahead Creamy Cauliflower




        See Make Ahead Creamy Cauliflower on Key Ingredient.    



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