Sunday, April 6, 2008

Roast Chicken Dinner

I've gotten to the point in my cooking adventures that I start to wing things. Items, that in the past, would've given me heart palpitations if I varied from a given recipe in the slightest. I guess so much information flows through your brain, that some of it starts to stick? I feel like these recipes and tips I'm about to share with you are a congolmeration of all that information running around my brain as well as my southern soul.

This Sunday's meal consisted of a 6lb roasted chicken, roasted potatos (& a few carrots), gravy, steamed asparagus and cracked pepper drop baking powder biscuits. My house smells insanely good right now!

Bella's 'Sunday Special' Roasted Chicken-

1 4-6lb roasting chicken (mine was 6.5)
5 tbsp butter for compound (+ extra melted for basting)
1 tbsp fresh chopped chive
1 large garlic clove, minced
1 tspn lemon zest
1/2 tspn fresh cracked black pepper
1 large onion, chopped
1/2 large lemon, thinly sliced
a few large chunks of carrot
kosher salt
fresh cracked black pepper for seasoning

This recipe, in part, was inspired by my standard Julia Child roast chicken recipe (see Poultry tag/Cooking Nite).

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Remove giblet sack, wash chicken and pat dry thoroughly. Combine 5 tbsp butter, chives, garlic, lemon zest & pepper. Rub compound butter under chicken's skin, and then all over the bird. Season the cavity and outside of bird liberally with kosher salt and pepper.

Stuff chicken with 1/2 of chopped onion and lemon slices. Truss legs together with twine (I prefer linen). Place in roasting pan (I place on 5 foil balls to keep chicken from touching roasting pan since I have no roasting rack) and then into oven.

Roast for 15 minutes at 425. Baste w/pan juices. If there are no juices yet, baste w/extra melted butter. Reduce heat to 350 degrees, set timer for 15 more minutes. At the end of the second 15 minutes (1/2 an hour into roasting process)-- baste chicken again and throw in the rest of your onion and chopped carrot.

Baste chicken every 15-30 minutes-- follow directions that came with bird as far as cooking time vs. size of chicken. Let chicken rest and recover while you proceed on to roast your potatos.
Bella's Roasted Fingerling Potatos-
1lb assorted fingerling potatos
Pan juices from chicken (leave about 1/4 c. in the roasting pan)
kosher salt

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Slice fingerlings lengthwise into uniform sizes. The red potatos tend to be fatter than other fingerlings, so I quarter them. Toss with kosher salt (to taste) & chicken pan juices on a cookie sheet.

Roast for approx. 1/2 an hour or until crispy!

While the potatos were baking, I whipped up some baking powder drop biscuits. This is basically a "family" recipe I suppose, since the measurements have been in my brain since childhood. I baked them during the last half of roasting the potatos on the oven rack underneath.

They are "drop" b/c you don't mix until it's a dough you have to roll out. You mix until barely combined and then "drop" by spoonful on a cookie sheet to bake.

Bella's Cracked Pepper Baking Powder Drop Biscuits (BCPBPDB?!) ;)

2 c. all purpose flour
1 tbsp. baking powder
1/3 c. butter
1 c. milk
pinch salt
1 tbsp fresh cracked black pepper

Mix flour, baking powder, salt and pepper. Cut butter into flour mixture w/forks or pastry cutter. Make a well in the middle of butter/flour mixture, add milk and stir w/fork lightly until combined. Drop by large tablespoonful onto cookie sheet.

Bake at 450 for 10-12 minutes. I brush tops w/melted butter during the last 2 minutes of baking.
Steamed Asparagus-

This dish was the easiest thing on the table tonite! I took a handful of asparagus, dove tailed them in a gratin, threw in a few tspns of water and let it rip in the microwave lightly covered w/cling film for approx 1 1/2 minutes.

Toss w/melted butter and a little salt! Easy Peasy!

And last, but certainly not least, Gravy!

This is the basic gravy method I was brought up on. A lot of gravy is really about "eyeballing" it or about feel-- you don't want it too runny or too thick. The trick to being able to adjust your gravy is getting the roux right to start with.

Bella's Roast Chicken Gravy:

1-2 tbsp pan juices (still in roasting pan)
scant 1 tbsp all purpose flour
1 14.5 oz can chicken broth

1. Heat pan juices until simmering over med-high heat. Add flour and whisk.

2. Whisk until roux (flour and drippings) becomes a medium brown color.

3. Start adding chicken broth 1/3 of a can at a time-- whisking all the the while the liquid is being added. Continue to whisk as it simmers and thickens. Add more liquid, repeat until desired amt is acheived as well as desired consistency. (I'm happy to answer questions on this as I know this prob. isn't the best gravy instruction ever written! LOL!)


Elly said...

That is one beautiful looking bird! Yum yum. Everything else looks fab, too (as usual). :)

~Amber~ said...

Wow, this would be one heck of an incredible dinner! It looks fantastic.

Kate said...

I can't believe I was ever afraid of roasting chicken - it's just so unbelievably easy and beautiful looking!