20 minutes ago
Tuesday, March 31, 2009
Roasted Chicken with Potatoes
Whole roast chicken is just about the simplest thing you can make for dinner, and yet, it always seems so impressive coming out of the oven. I like to think of it as the "little black dress" of the poultry world. I like to make this recipe when people are coming over for dinner because I can do all (five minutes) of the prep work ahead of time. Then, once my hair's done and I'm wearing my own L.B.D. (of the non-poultry variety), I pull the glorious, glistening bird out of the hot oven as my guests gather at the table, and I graciously revel in their admiring gasps, like something out of a Norman Rockwell painting. It's all about the spectacle, people- they don't call it entertaining for nothin'. And if you throw some chunks of onion and little roaster potatoes (red or white skin are nice) in the bottom of the pan, the whole meal practically cooks itself for you. Now, that's entertainment.
Here's what you need to serve 4 people:
A whole roast chicken (3-5 lbs)
2 lbs small red or white-skin potatoes, halved
1 large yellow or white onion, peeled and cut into 1 inch chunks
3 tablespoons soft or melted butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
Course salt and pepper
2 tablespoon (total) assorted dried herbs: any combo of basil, rosemary, thyme, parsley, sage, oragano, etc. Click here for tips about buying dried herbs and spices)
Preheat oven to 425.
Put the potatoes, onion and olive oil in the bottom of a medium roasting pan (any pan with a 1" rim will do). Sprinkle with salt, pepper and half the herbs, and stir to coat.
Remove the giblets from the cavity of the chicken and throw them away (unless you have some pâté recipe you are dying to try, in which case, by all means...)
Rinse the chicken inside and out with cool water and pat dry (inside and out) with paper towels.
Sprinkle the cavity of the bird generously with salt, pepper and herbs. Tie the drumsticks together with twine, and then place the chicken in the middle of the roasting pan. Spread, or pour, the butter all over the breasts and legs of the chicken. Then, sprinkle generously with salt, pepper and remaining herbs.
Stick that sucker in to the oven and forget about it for about 45 minutes- 1 hour, or whenever the juices run clear when you pierce it in the thickest part of the thigh. Or whenever you are ready to make your entrance.
On a side note, if you are concerned that this chicken recipe is just not the one to help you accomplish your personal and romantic goals, the helpful gals at Glamour magazine published a recipe for "Engagement Chicken"- supposedly, it's so delicious that your man will almost immediately drop to one knee and ask you to spend the rest of your life with him. I'd try it, but I already have all the husbands I can handle, thanks. Let me know if you try it, though, or if my chicken recipe causes any remarkable events to transpire in your life- say, pregnancy or a promotion at work.
photo credit: thanks again for the pic, Martha Stewart.