Monday, October 24, 2011

Roasted Chicken with Vegetables

I always feel like I share a bond with people who feel the way I do about food. That is, they enjoy it, they think about it, and they enjoy sharing it with others. I do not understand people who feel like food is bad or a vice. I warned my husband a few years back that I will probably be a bit on the chubby side when I am older. I love cooking, baking, and eating. I take great pleasure in it.

Chicken gravy
 Another foodie I feel that I can relate to is Nigella Lawson. I absolutely love her Feast cookbook, which outlines many traditional and contemporary gatherings, usually centered around food. She explores them and I have often found myself wanting to do the same. I think this year my family will observe the Passover, not for religious reasons, but for cultural and historical reasons. It is very interesting and insightful to see how people and cultures have evolved, and what a great part food plays into these things.
Another one of my favorite cookbooks is the Bride and Groom cookbook, authored by twin sisters who were caterers in San Fransisco. An absolute must-have recipe is the roasted chicken. It is quick and easy, and makes any ordinary day seem special.

Roasted Chicken

Serves 4

3 carrots, cut into thirds
6 small red new potatoes, quartered if large
1 medium yellow onion, cut into 6 wedges
3 Tablespoons melted butter + 3 Tablespoons softened butter
salt and freshly ground pepper
1 chicken (3 to 4 lbs)
1 lemon, quartered
2 fresh rosemary sprigs
4 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
Some help in the kitchen from Captain America
Put the carrots, potatoes, and onion in a 9-by-13-inch glass baking dish. Toss the vegetables with the melted butter. Season with kosher salt and pepper to taste. Spread the vegetables to the edge of the baking dish, making room for the chicken.
Remove the neck and giblets from the cavity of the chicken and discard. Rinse the bird under cold running water and pat dry. Put the chicken, breast-side up, in the center of the baking dish.
Rub the remaining 3 tablespoons of butter on the chicken. Season the cavity and skin generously with kosher salt and pepper to taste. Put the lemon quarters and rosemary sprigs inside the cavity. Put the garlic cloves under the chicken to prevent them from burning.
Roast for 45 minutes.  Remove the dish from the oven. Using tongs, tilt the chicken, pouring the juices from the cavity onto the vegetables, and shake to coat. Baste the chicken with the pan juices. If the bird is browning too quickly, cover with aluminum foil. Continue roasting until the chicken is a deep golden brown and the juices run clear when the tip of a knife is inserted into the thigh joint, or until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thigh,  away from the bone, registers 170 to 175 degrees F, 25 to 30 minutes more.
Transfer the chicken to a platter, cover loosely with foil and let stand for 10 to 15 minutes before carving. Toss the vegetables with the pan juices.

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