Monday, December 6, 2010

Roasted Chicken 2.0

A whole roasted chicken is such a comforting meal, especially when it's as frigid as it has been here in Chicago the last couple days. (Is it REALLY 9 degrees outside right now? I can't go to work today. I just can't do it.) The movie "It's Complicated" has been on HBO lately, we've caught bits and pieces of it over the last week (I did see the entire thing in the theater) and I think the meal that Meryl Streep makes for Alec Baldwin, when he doesn't show up, has been subconsciously working its way into Peter's brain because yesterday he bought a chicken and potatoes for me to make for dinner. But no green beans, or chocolate cake ingredients. By the way, can I please have the kitchen in that movie? Pleeeeease?

I did things a little differently than my usual way, just out of curiosity. I roasted the potatoes (and carrots and onions) along with the chicken, instead of separately. This recipe is adapted from one of Ina Garten's.

1 3-lb. chicken, rinsed and patted dry inside and out
1 1/2 pounds potatoes, any kind you like (but I think the smaller, the better)
3-5 carrots, depending on size
1/2 white onion
1 head of garlic
1/2 lemon
thyme (fresh or dried)
olive oil
salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Cut the potatoes into equal size pieces. I used fingerlings so I didn't have to cut much, but if you have bigger potatoes cut into about 1-inch pieces. Peel and cut the carrots into pieces, not too small. Chop the onion into large pieces.

Slice the head of garlic in half across the middle, not lengthwise. Save one half to go inside the chicken. Pop the rest the garlic cloves out of the other half, peel, and add to the vegetables. Toss with some olive oil, salt, pepper,and thyme and spread along the bottom of the dish.

Season the inside of the chicken with salt, pepper, and thyme. Stuff half of the head of garlic, and the 1/2 lemon inside the chicken. Truss the chicken - take a piece of kitchen twine a couple feet long. Flip the wing tips up so they are closer to the top of the breast. Put the center point of the twine at the top of the breast and holding the wings in place, bring it down across the back and make an X, and bring it back up by the legs and tie the legs together. It will kind of be a "figure 8".

Place the chicken, breast side up, on top of the vegetables. Season the top of the chicken with salt, pepper, and thyme. Cook for about an hour and 15 minutes, and let rest for 10 minutes when done.

The consensus? Delicious. How could a roasted chicken with vegetables not be delicious? However...I think I like the old way better. You end up eating a lot of more of the fatty chicken drippings this way, and I don't feel like they added that much flavor to the vegetables that it was worth it. Definitely not as the original recipe from Ina said to spread some butter over the top of the chicken before cooking. Obviously I skipped that part. I did like adding carrots and big pieces of garlic to the potatoes though, and I did like stuffing the chicken with lemon and garlic. So I'll probably continue to do that part of the recipe in the future. Don't forget to save your chicken carcass in the freezer to make chicken stock!

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