Wednesday, January 9, 2013

The Best Roast Chicken

Now that the holidays are over, many of us are looking forward to some mellow nights in cuddling on the couch and eating comfort (but healthy) home cooked meals.  Both H & M are trying to limit their meat intake, but sometimes we just crave a cozy chicken dish. And let's be honest, the way a roasted chicken makes our homes smell is reason enough to make it!

We cannot stress enough that this is the EASIEST recipe, but looks and smells like you're a professional chef when its done.  M has made the Perfect Roast Chicken recipe from The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook a million times, tweaking this and that to see what works best.   Below is her adaptation, but most of the credit goes to, Ina Garten. 

Shopping list:
-1 5-to-6 lb roasting chicken (hormone-free organic is best)
-kosher salt
-freshly ground black pepper
-fresh rosemary
-1 lemon, halved
-1 head garlic, cut in half cross-wise
-2 tablespoons butter, melted
-1 large red onion, peeled, thickly sliced
-paprika (a couple of shakes, probably a teaspoon or so)
-5 or 6 bay leaves
-1 cup chicken stock
-2 tablespoons all-purpose flower

You will need:
-roasting pan
-kitchen string
-carving board, or large cutting board
-sharp knives
-tin foil

1. Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees
2. Remove giblets, discard.  Rinse chicken inside and out, remove any excess fat and leftover pinfeathers.  Pat outside dry
3. Put chicken in roasting pan, salt & pepper the cavity, then stuff with 1/2 lemon, rosemary, entire garlic head, bay leaves. Place other half of lemon on the top of all the stuffing.

4. Tie legs together with kitchen string
5. Brush entire outside of chicken with butter
6. Liberally sprinkle salt and pepper on both sides of chicken
7. Turn chicken over so that wing tips are tucked under the body of the chicken
8. Place onion slices around the chicken
9. Put in oven and roast uncovered for 1.5 hours (or until juices run clear when cutting between leg & thigh)
10. Once it's ready, remove from pan, place on cutting board/platter, and cover with tin foil until you're ready to carve. (The chicken smelled so good when I took it out of the oven, that I completely forgot to take a picture of the finished product, whoops!)

Quick gravy (makes about 3-4 servings, double if necessary)
1. Add 1 cup chicken stock to pan and heat on high for about 5 minutes to reduce liquid.
2. In another bowl, add 2 tablespoons of chicken drippings from roasting pan to 2 tablespoons of flower.  Mix well.
3.  SLOWLY add your chicken drippings/flour mixture to the chicken stock, reduce heat and cook, stirring for 2 minutes or so.
4.  Voila!  Quick & easy gravy.

Carve chicken, and put gravy over meat, potatoes, and any vegetable sides you want (we prefer roasted potatoes and carrots/broccoli).  

What's your favorite comfort food recipe?

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