Wednesday, October 26, 2011

B-B-B-Bird is the Word!

I grew up in a house where we didn't eat a lot of roasted chicken, in part because my mom is deathly afraid of birds and also my dad has a thing about salmonella to the point that I had no idea that chicken could be juicy until I was in my mid-twenties (We won’t even talk about the family practice of microwaving chicken breast for a minute after it was grilled). So when we did eat chicken, it was cut up into things like tacos, grilled along burgers or breaded and placed inside parmesan.

So it took me years and years and years to finally decide to roast my own chicken. I wasn't sure what to do, I wasn't sure how long it was really supposed to cook and I wasn’t sure how I knew I wasn't going to get salmonella (it’s challenging to microwave a whole bird!). My first attempt wasn't nearly as bad as I thought, and each time I roasted a bird, it got easier and easier. And now I can proudly say that after living on my own for 10 years, I've finally broken the Jones Family Fear of Chicken.

With that in mind, after shopping this past weekend I decided that the chicken roasting season had begun. So I purchased a bird, a bunch of root vegetables and a lemon and got to work.

I have to say, last night’s chicken was probably the best I’ve ever made. In part it’s because I deglazed the pan after I cooked it. And I roasted the vegetables in another pan, rather than along with the bird, which is what I had been doing in the past. But I think a lot of what worked this time was the seasoning. The chicken turned out beautiful, golden and really pretty awesome. (Hey, I’m the only one on here, so I've got to toot my own horn!) And of course the vegetables alongside it were pretty delicious too.


1 whole roasting chicken

4 cloves of garlic, peeled whole

1 lemon (zested, and quartered)

¼ cup Italian seasoning

4 tbs olive oil

3 tbs whole peppercorns

3 yellow potatoes, peeled and chopped

1 onion, chopped

15 Brussels sprouts, cut in half

2 large parsnips, peeled and chopped

2 turnips, peeled and chopped

2 cups of whole baby carrots

3 tbs white wine.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. In a shallow pan, put 2tbs of olive oil and add ½ of the onion, all of the parsnips, sprouts, turnips, carrots and 1 garlic clove salt and pepper to taste. Cover pan with tin foil and place in a high rack in the oven.

In a large round pan (I have around Le Creuset), place remaining olive oil and onions. Cover chicken with lemon zest. Make sure to work it into the skin. Once chicken is covered with lemon, insert lemon quarters, remaining garlic and peppercorns inside the carcass of the bird. Finally take the Italian Seasoning, salt and pepper and cover the bird. You can see from my picture that it’s got a good coating on it. Make sure the chicken goes into the oven breast side down.

Put the bird in the oven for 25 minutes. At this same time, take the foil off of the vegetables, stir them around and place back in the oven uncovered. Once you have finished the vegetables, take out the chicken, flip it and put it in for another 35-40 minutes (or 165 degrees). At this same time, take the foil off of the vegetables, stir them around and place back in the oven uncovered. Remove the chicken from the oven, let it sit for 5 minutes in a separate pan.

While the chicken is resting, place the pot and the juices and whatever onions or garlic has fallen out of the chicken, on the stove on medium heat. Add the wine and 3 tbs of cold water and wisk. Let the broth come to a boil.

Carve the chicken, spoon the broth over it and serve alongside the vegetables!

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