by Della H. Harris
The juicy hen 'suntanning' under the heat lamp at your local grocer might be the ultimate temptation when chicken's on the menu.
We say pass up that preservative-filled poultry and opt to make your own roasted beauty instead!
Not only will you save money on your bill, you'll gain nutrition, flavor and even a few oooh's and ahhh's from your family.
It's time to don your apron, coif your hair and impress the family with this home-cooked classic.
Roast Chicken with All the Fixings
Prep time: 15 minutes | Total time: 90 minutes | Yield: 4 to 6 servings
- 1 3- to 4-pound chicken
- 2 small onions
- 2 large carrots
- 2 stalks of celery
- 4 cloves garlic
- 2 teaspoons fresh thyme (1/2 teaspoon dried)
- 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary (3/4 teaspoon dried)
- 2 tablespoons butter, softened
- 4 medium baking potatoes
- 1 small butternut squash, halved and seeded.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- 3 tablespoons flour
- 1 1/2 cups of chicken stock
Preheat oven to 425° Lightly oil or spray your baking dish.
Remove the neck and organs from the cavity of the chicken. Rinse the bird thoroughly and pat dry. Lightly season the outside of the chicken with salt and pepper. Place two garlic cloves in the chicken's cavity.
Finely dice the remaining garlic and herbs. Mix with the softened butter. Gently separate the skin above the breast work half of your butter between the skin and the flesh. Rub the rest of the butter mixture over the outside of the chicken, including the thigh and leg area.
Chop the onion, carrot and celery. Place them in the middle of your roasting pan. Set the chicken on your "trivet" of vegetables, breast pointing up. Place in oven. Rub oil on potatoes, poke several holes in each with a fork and place on the oven rack beside roasting pan.
Rub oil on faces of the butternut squash and season with salt and pepper. Place face down in a shallow pan. Place in oven with chicken. Roast chicken for 15 minutes and then reduce the heat to 350°. Cook until the chicken reaches 160 degrees (insert a meat thermometer into the thickest part of the thigh). Remove the chicken from the pan, and tent with foil. Allow to rest 15 minutes. Check potatoes and squash. When done, a fork can easily be inserted. If done, remove from oven. Otherwise continue cooking while you make the gravy.
Meanwhile, remove the vegetables from the roasting pan and pour all of the drippings into a small bowl. Skim a scant 2 tablespoons of fat from the top and add back to the pan. Skim off the rest of the fat and discard. Depending on your families preferences, mash all or part of the vegetables. Add your stock to the juices and mashed vegetables and stir. Set aside.
Heat the pan over medium-high heat on the stove top and scrape the browned bits from the bottom and sides. Add the flour and brown for two minutes. Slowly add the stock mixture, whisking until smooth. Bring to a boil and cook for a few minutes, until it thickens to the desired consistency.
Carve the chicken and serve with your potatoes and squash.
Use the leftovers in hot chicken sandwiches, chicken wraps, fajitas, chicken chili or save the bones for soup!
What are some of your favorite ways to make chicken? Share in the comments!
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