Monday, February 6, 2017

Basic But Perfect Roast Chicken

Basic But Perfect Roast Chicken with Pan Sauce and 
Roasted Purple Potatoes and Carrots
Recipe from Martha Stewart’s Cooking School
Husband-Tested in Alice’s Kitchen
Serves 4

When it’s cool enough outside to heat up the oven I like to roast a whole chicken every week or so.  Having roasted chicken meat in the fridge comes in handy for soups, salads, casseroles and pasta dishes.  I even use the carcass to make a delicious Homemade Chicken Stock.  This particular recipe is very basic, but delicious enough to serve to company along with the pan sauce drizzled over mashed potatoes or Easy Tasty Couscous.

For Chicken:
1 fresh whole chicken (about 4 pounds)
Kosher salt, to taste
Freshly ground pepper, to taste
1 lemon, cut into ¼ inch rounds or wedges
4 sprigs of rosemary (other herbs can be used as well if rosemary isn’t available)
3 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
For Pan Sauce:
½ cup dry white wine or basic chicken stock
1 Tablespoon unsalted butter
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard (This is optional, but I think it’s a quite nice addition.)

Heat the oven to 450 F.  Remove giblets and liver (if any) from the cavity and discard or reserve for another use.  Let the chicken rest at room temperature 1 hour.  Trim excess fat from cavity.  Rinse chicken thoroughly under cold water, inside and out, then pat dry, making sure the cavity is as dry as possible.  Season cavity with salt and pepper, then stuff with lemon, herbs, and garlic.  Rub the skin with 2 Tablespoons butter.  Tuck the wings under and tie the legs together using kitchen twine.  Season all over generously with salt and pepper.
Place the chicken in a large ovenproof skillet or small roasting pan.  Roast until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh (avoid the bone) registers 165 F, about 50 to 55 minutes.  Transfer chicken to a platter.  Allow the chicken to rest about 10 minutes or so before carving.
Spoon and discard the fat from the juices in pan; pour accumulated juices in chicken cavity and plate into pan.  Place the pan over medium high heat.  Pour in wine or stock (and mustard, if using) to deglaze the pan, stirring and scraping up browned bits with a wooden spoon.  Cook until reduced by half, and then pour though a small fine sieve into a liquid measuring cup.  Return to skill and add 1 Tablespoon butter, swirling pan until melted and incorporated.  Carve chicken and serve with the pan sauce.

Now, here's a plate of lovely comfort food.
Here's the chicken along side carrots and 
purple potatoes ready to go in the oven.

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