Friday, October 28, 2011

Coming Home to Roast

Now that the seasons are starting to change, I move more toward the comfort foods that fill the home with warmth and intoxicating smells. Nothing pleases me more than something as simple as a roasted chicken. To me it’s one of those basic meals that come from the heart of nurturing that you prepare for those you love. It speaks of family Sunday dinners and the kind of time and patience you practice when you prepare a meal rather than fix a dinner.


1 (3 1/2 to 4 pound) chicken
1 small yellow onion, quartered
1 lemon thinly sliced
1/2 cup celery leaves
One carrot, chopped to fit in the cavity
5 whole garlic cloves
Fresh rosemary and parsley
Salt and black pepper
1 small onion, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
2 tsp chopped fresh rosemary, thyme, and/or parsley
2 cups chicken broth


Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

Wash the chicken in hot water and dry thoroughly. Season the cavity with salt and black pepper and stuff with the onion, lemon, celery leaves, carrot, garlic, rosemary and parsley. Rub the chicken lightly with softened butter and season all over with salt and pepper. Tie the drumsticks ends together and set the chicken, breast side up, in an oiled v-shaped rack or on an oiled roasting pan in the oven.

Roast for 15 minutes at 425 degrees F, then reduce the heat to 350 degrees, baste the chicken, and roast for 15 minutes. Add the chopped onion and carrot to the pan, basting them and the chicken. Continue roasting the chicken until the juices run clear, for a total of 45 minutes plus an additional 7 minutes for each pound. (In other words, a 3 1/2 pound chicken would take a basic 45 minutes plus an additional 25 minutes, for a total 70 minutes or 1 hour and 10 minutes of cooking time.)

Remove the chicken and spoon the fat out of the roasting pan. Into the pan, stir in the herbs and blend in the broth and, stirring constantly, boil for several minutes on the stovetop to concentrate the flavor. Correct the seasoning and strain the sauce into a warm sauceboat. Carve the chicken and serve with the warm sauce

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