January 08, 2012

Nourishing My Soul...

This one is for my Momma.  It isn't anything terribly exciting, just damn good.  This is the only meal that my Mom actually asks me to cook for her when I'm home and I am more than happy to oblige.  For me, there is no meal more soul-satisfying than roast chicken.
It is without a doubt, my favorite meal.  I could have it every week and never tire of it.

The way the house smells when it is in the oven, the sound of the skin sizzling (which is exactly what I'm listening to as I write this...) makes my mouth water knowing that in a few moments when it is on my plate, I will sink my teeth eagerly into the perfect bite.

The crunch of the super crispy skin, the fat oozing out  and coating my tongue. This is sublime satisfaction... the look of complete and utter joy on my face.
THIS is the meal you serve to the ones you love.

Perfect Roast Chicken & Roasted Roots
  • 1 whole chicken (about 4 lbs)
  • 1 head fennel, thinly sliced
  • 3 shallots or 1 large red onion, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 3 red peppers, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 2 lbs baby yukon potatoes, washed
  • 1 large sweet potato, washed and cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 2 lbs carrots, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 lemon (or 1 quartered onion)
  • kosher salt
  • fresh black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp dried lavender
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • canola oil

  1. At least 30 minutes (but no more than 1 hour) before you plan to start cooking the chicken, take it out of the refrigerator and let it come up to room temperature.
  2. Truss the bird.  This will help the chicken cook more evenly.  If you are not planning on doing this, you'll need to place a lemon or a quartered onion in the cavity.  This keeps the air from circulating too much inside the empty cavity and drying out your bird.
  3. Preheat the oven to 450F. 
  4. Season the chicken with plenty of salt, pepper and the dried herbs.   Crush the dried herbs in the palm of your hand to break them up a bit before sprinkling them over the chicken. 
  5. Place the chicken in an oven-proof saute pan (frying pan) and put it in the oven.
  6. Turn the temperature down to 425F and roast the chicken for 1 hour.  Check that the juices run clear, if not put the chicken back in the oven for another 5 minutes and check it again after that.  If you have a meat thermometer, it should register 165F.
  7. Remove the chicken from the oven and let it rest for 10 - 15 minutes before carving it.

generously seasoned & ready for the oven

Perfect Roast Chicken

Roasted Roots
  1. Toss the fennel, shallots or onion, carrots, red pepper and potatoes with a few tablespoons of canola oil, a generous sprinkling of salt and a few turns of the pepper grinder.
  2. Spread them out on a baking pan and roast in a 425F oven for 35- 45 minutes.  This can be done while the chicken is in the oven.

Happy Sunday Supper!

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