Sunday, March 16, 2008

Roasting A Chicken

In the past few weeks I have received several e-mails asking for the best way to roast a chicken. A golden brown chicken with crisp skin, moist white meat and tender dark meat is chic and simple for a family dinner or even an elegant dinner party. It offers something for everyone and easily serves 4-6; any leftovers can be made into a salad or stir-fry the next day. The recipes here are based on a 3 1/2 to 4 1/2 pound chicken. Chicken is done when the temperature on meat thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the thigh, next to the body, reaches 180 and the juices run clear when the thigh is pierced with a knife. The chicken should stand for 15 minutes for easier carving. The best part is you can add any roasting vegetables or potatoes to make a one-dish meal. The next time you want comfort food that is suitable for guests just roast a chicken.

Lemon Herb Chicken
1 roasting chicken
1 lemon, halved
1 onion, halved
4 rosemary sprigs
4 thyme sprigs
6 garlic cloves, crushed
1 cup chicken stock
Juice of one lemon
1/4 cup white wine
1/4 cup chopped chives
1 tablespoon cornstarch

Pre heat oven to 350. Remove giblets and discard or freeze for another use. Rinse chicken in cold water and dry with a paper towel. Arrange lemons, onion, rosemary thyme and garlic in the body cavity. Place chicken, breast side up in a Pyrex or roasting dish. Pour stock and lemon juice over chicken and roast for about 1 1/2 hours, basting occasionally. Transfer chicken to cutting board. While chicken is resting, pour pan drippings into a small saucepan, reserving about 3 tablespoons liquid to dissolve the cornstarch. In a small bowl whisk cornstarch with the reserved liquid. To the saucepan add 1/2-cup water and chives and bring to a boil. Reduce to low and whisk in cornstarch mixture and stir until thickened, about 3 minutes. Carve the chicken and serve with sauce.

Five Spice Chicken

1 Roasting Chicken
2 teaspoons Chinese five Spice
3 tablespoons Molasses
1 tablespoon Honey
4 tablespoons butter (melted)
1 tablespoon soy sauce
Pre- heat oven to 450. Remove giblets and neck from chicken and wash and pat dry. Sprinkle 1/2 teaspoon 5 spice into the cavity of the chicken. Place the chicken in a roasting pan. In a small bowl mix the molasses, honey, butter, and soy sauce and remaining 5 spices in bowl. Brush half over the chicken. Roast for 30 minutes. Brush remaining glaze over the chicken and roast 45 minutes to one hour longer.

Roast chicken with Pears

1 roasting chicken
1 very ripe pear
2 sprigs fresh rosemary
2 sprigs fresh thyme
3 cloves garlic
2 onions
Melted butter for basting

Peel the onions and slice them in thin circles. Separate them slightly and line them in a roasting pan. Rinse the chicken with cold water and pat dry removing all the neck and liver. Sprinkle the skin with salt and pepper. Place the whole pear the garlic, rosemary and thyme into the cavity of the chicken. Place the chicken on top of the onions and baste with the melted butter. Roast at 425 for 1 hour and 15 minutes.

Forty Cloves and a Chicken

1 Chicken
6 thyme sprigs
3 Rosemary sprigs
2 heads Garlic (remove loose papery skin but do not peel)
1 stick butter, melted
Preheat oven to 450. Remove giblets and neck and rinse chicken and pat dry. Place chicken in a roasting pan and place rosemary and thyme and 5 cloves garlic in the cavity. Brush with butter. Roast for 30 minutes. Brush with remaining butter and add the rest of the garlic cloves to the pan. Roast about 45 minutes longer. Remove from the oven and place chicken on a platter and let stand. With a slotted spoon transfer garlic to a small bowl and discard the skin. Serve with lots of warm crusty bread.

Roast Chicken and Stuffing

1 chicken
Melted butter for brushing
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup butter
1/2 teaspoon dried leaf thyme, crumbled
2 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
2 cups soft breadcrumbs
1 beaten egg
1/3 cup milk
Salt and pepper

In a skillet, melt 1/4 cup butter over low heat; sauté onion for 3 minutes. Add thyme, parsley, and breadcrumbs. Stir in egg and enough milk to make dressing moist. Season with salt and pepper. Spoon stuffing into cavity of chicken. Brush chicken with butter. Place chicken breast side up on rack in a shallow roasting pan. Roast stuffed chicken at 375° for about 60 to 70 minutes, basting several times. Let chicken stand for about 15 minutes. With a spoon remove the stuffing and serve.

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