When in Doubt Roast a Chicken
|When in Doubt Roast a Chicken.|
Here in the north country we take advantage of every opportunity to create warmth. Cooking and baking certainly help to warm up the kitchen and the soul. Much as I love to bake bread and the occasional sweet, I like roasting something tasty for dinner best. Sweet potatoes, beets or leeks, asparagus and even cauliflower are enhanced by roasting. It brings out the essence.
One of our family favorites and certainly a staple in our house is roast chicken. Surrounded by onions, garlic and potatoes, it’s a delicious dinner and leftovers make tasty sandwiches for lunch. There might even be enough left for a chicken pot pie or a chicken soup!
Here’s how we do it:
Ask your butcher to split the chicken and take out the backbone. You can roast it in 2 pieces or just flattened. A smaller bird works better, ideally about 3.5 lbs., but no larger than 5 lbs.
Preheat your oven to 450F. Salt the inside and coat the skin with plenty of olive oil or melted butter. Place chicken in a heavy cast iron pan big enough not to crowd the bird.
Place in hot oven until it sizzles and then reduce oven temperature to 375F. Baste the chicken every 10-15 minutes. Add olive oil or butter to baste if there isn’t enough accumulated fat. Total cooking time will be about 40-45 minutes.
Meanwhile put cut red potatoes, quartered onions and whole peeled garlic cloves in a separate heavy pan and toss with the roasting juices and kosher salt. Roast until potatoes are tender and onions colored, stirring to baste them a few times.
Collect all the pan juices and add a little wine and/or chicken stock. Simmer to reduce until you have a silky sauce and serve up dinner with a simple salad.
Bless this food!