Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Roast Chicken and Queen of Crockpots

Last night I made a dynamite roast chicken. The accompanying veggies were even more delicious.

I know what you are thinking. "This woman is complaining that she doesn't have time to make dinner and she makes a roast chicken. Huh?!"

Let me explain.

I have all of these recipes that call for shredded chicken from a rotisserie chicken. I had a whole chicken in the freezer so this past weekend I thought - I will make the roast chicken for dinner on Sunday night and then we will have the meat for the quick/easy rotisserie chicken meat recipes for this week.

Except that plan didn't work out because we ended up having late brunch with visiting friends JT & JT on Sunday at Blue's Egg, our new favorite restaurant. Then we were stuffed for the rest of the night. I was not about to make a roast chicken.

BUT i still had the damn bird in my fridge de-thawed. So it was either cook that bird or let it rot.

LUCKILY I had to come home from work early yesterday so that my sister (aka our nanny) could get to her other job. Coming home two hours early let me make the chicken. Which was dynamite.

Here is the recipe:
Roasted Herbed Chicken and Vegetables
Source: Saveur Magazine via Milwaukee Journal-Setinel

4 tablespoons (½ stick) butter
1 ½ tablespoons dried herbes de Provence
1 tablespoon honey
2 cups white wine
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil (divided)
1 tablespoon fennel seeds
12 cloves garlic, unpeeled (8 whole, 4 crushed) (divided)
1 small butternut squash (about 2 ½ pounds) peeled, seeded and cut into thick half-moons
3 medium turnips, cut into 2-inch pieces
Kosher salt
Coarsely ground black pepper
1 chicken (4 pounds), wings tucked under body
1 lemon
1 bunch fresh thyme
1 large yellow onion, cut into thick wedges
¾ pound brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
¾ pound cremini mushrooms (left whole)
12 large sage leaves

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In a pot over medium heat, melt butter with herbes de Provence. Remove from heat. Whisk in honey. Cover pot and allow herbs to steep 20 minutes.

In a large bowl, combine wine, half the olive oil, the fennel seeds, whole garlic cloves, squash, turnips and salt and pepper to taste. Set mixture aside.

Season chicken with salt and pepper. Peel rind from lemon in strips. Cut lemon in half, and reserve.

Put lemon rind strips into cavity of chicken, along with remaining garlic and the thyme. Tie legs together with twine.

Set chicken on a small roasting rack in a roasting pan. Arrange turnip mixture around chicken, and scatter with the onions. Brush chicken with some of the herb butter. Roast in preheated oven, basting chicken with herb butter and the vegetables with pan juices, until turnips are tender, about 1 hour.

Meanwhile, toss brussels sprouts, mushrooms and sage leaves together in a bowl with remaining oil. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to roasting pan, and continue roasting until a thermometer inserted into thickest part of thigh registers 165 degrees, about 25 to 30 minutes.

Transfer chicken to platter. Cover loosely with foil. Return vegetables to oven, and roast until very tender, 18 to 20 minutes. Carve chicken, squeeze reserved lemon over top and serve with vegetables.

Think roasting a chicken is too hard? Read this article. My friend HC also roasts chicken in a crock pot - put the whole bird in a crock pot with some white wine, garlic, rosemary, salt and pepper and cook for 4ish hours on high. I have yet to try this. My boss gave me a few crock pot jarred sauces from Williams-Sonoma for Christmas. She said that I will be the queen of crock pot meals now that I have a child. My problem with the crock pot was that most recipes call for 4-5 hours in a crock pot and I can't really run home to plug the crock pot in.

Then - a magical solution appeared in the Target clearance aisle last weekend.

A CHRISTMAS LIGHT TIMER!

Seriously - it was on clearance for $1.24. I plan on plugging the crock pot into it and then setting the timer to turn it on while I am at work. GENIUS! A little on the Clark Griswold side of things - but hey! It just might work. Stay tuned...

(I also realize that now that I have a nanny I can just have her plug it in too. However, the timer will come in handy when Maggie is getting cared for outside the home.)

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