Chicken Dinner

Is there a better meal than a wholesome roasted chicken with vegetables? I can’t think of one. It’s one of the simplest meals you can make, but somehow feels a little fancy. I love that the whole meal only requires one, big roasting pan. Scarce dishwashing and painless prep… what more could anyone ask? I love to try new recipes and techniques in the kitchen, but this is a recipe I come back to over & over because it is so satisfying. Orange-y, garlic-y, onion-y goodness! (And leftovers make a wonderful chicken salad for tomorrow’s lunch… it’s the dinner that keeps on giving!)

*Jasper & I can devour a whole chicken. You  know how your dinner peeps eat, so adjust accordingly. I’ve babysat roasted chicken and basted every 30 minutes or so, and in my opinion, it’s just as juicy and tender if you just leave it alone and baste once (and give the veggies a good toss) in the last 15 minutes of bake time. Use any combination of vegetables you like… mushrooms, carrots, celery, small potatoes, brussels spouts, broccoli, or any others you like. If you use tender vegetables, like broccoli or brussels sprouts, just toss them in the mix the last 15 minutes or so of roasting as they will not stand up to the long roasting time.

Roasted Chicken with Vegetables

1 whole free-range chicken, giblets removed

2 Tbs. melted butter

salt & pepper

4-5 sprigs fresh thyme (or 2 Tbs. dried)

1 small orange

1 whole head garlic

1 large sweet onion, quartered

vegetables for roasting

Prepare chicken by giving a good wash and pat dry. (If you brine the chicken, use less salt than I am suggesting here.)

Slice orange and the whole head of garlic in half. Season cavity of chicken with thyme, about 3 Tbs. salt, & 1 Tbs. pepper. Stuff cavity with halved garlic & orange.

Brush the whole chicken with butter & season generously with salt & pepper.

Arrange onions & vegetables around chicken (breast up)  in the roasting dish and season with salt & pepper. (Garlic, orange, & thyme will season vegetables further during roast.)

Roast chicken in 375° oven for about 2 hours or until meat themometer reads 160° in breast & juices run clear.

Chicken Salad

Shred 2 cups chicken.

Mix in 4 heaping Tbs. mayo. and 1 tsp. dijon mustard

Adjust seasoning with salt & pepper.

Classic: add halved seedless grapes, pecans, and diced onions. (some folks like bits of apples, too)

Mediterranean variation: capers, raisins, walnuts, & diced onions.

Curried variation: replace 1 Tbs. of the mayo with 1 Tbs. plain yogurt, add raisins, grapes, diced mango, cashews, 1 tsp. of honey, 1/2 tsp cumin & 1 1/2 Tbs. curry.

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