Sunday Dinner Round #1

Why does the weekend always seem to fly by when the work week drags on for what seems like ages? Maybe it’s because I start my day later on the weekends, or that these are the only days during the week where you can basically do whatever you want, whenever you want to.   This weekend was particularly fun.  Some highlights include, going to a Dungeon and Dragons store (not really my choice), getting caught in a huge storm because I refused to wait out the storm in the D&D store (the guys seemed nice, but nerds in large groups freak me out), running through the heavy rain and getting soaked to the bone (literally looked like I jumped in the lake, I should have stayed with the nerds), saving the best part for last, was getting Indian food, nothing warms the soul like extra Naan and Chana Masala.  We later found out that there was a tornado that touched down close to where we were…oh what a fun Saturday!

Sunday’s are truly the saddest days, only because it means that the next day is Monday, which usually means another long work week ahead.  Don’t get me wrong, Sunday does have its ups, but it’s still the last day of the weekend. Sunday is the day we usually go grocery shopping for the week, clean the house,  I catch up on the trashy Bravo shows I’ve been DVR’ing all week while Eric watches one of the many sporting events, but the best part of the day, Sunday dinner!  I look forward to Sunday dinner, it’s basically the only day of the week where I don’t mind spending time prepping and cooking a nice big meal (there’s only two of us, so the leftovers are more than welcomed).

This week I was reading an article from the Today Show about chicken recipes from Giada De Laurentiis.  Basically she took one roasted chicken and created three dishes with it.  I figured if I could get at least two meals out of one chicken I would be a culinary master.  So far round one went off pretty well, though I’m going to have to modify round two for tonight and make it vegetarian (which is perfect for Meatless Monday!) Eric went back for thirds and then I found him picking the carcass clean (that sounds really gross) while cleaning up, I guess that means he really liked it.

Here’s Round #1 Chicken recipe. It seems like a lot of work, but it’s totally worth it.  I’m pretty sure everyone will love this recipe, if not, well, you must have done something wrong.

Garlic-roasted chicken and root vegetables  (Courtesy of Giada De Laurentiis)

 Ingredients

For chicken:

1 (6 1/4-pound) chicken, rinsed and patted dry

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

5 sprigs fresh rosemary

5 sprigs fresh thyme

1 lemon, quartered

For butter:

6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature

3 large garlic cloves, minced

2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary leaves

2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme leaves

1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice (from 1/2 large lemon)

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

For vegetables:

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

6 baby red potatoes, halved

4 medium carrots, peeled and halved lengthwise

2 large parsnips, peeled and quartered lengthwise

2 large shallots (about 8 ounces), peeled and halved

1 clove garlic, peeled (or three, like I used)

1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary leaves

1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/2 cup low-salt chicken broth (I just used water because I didn’t want to open a box of broth for just a 1/2 cup)

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preparation

Position an oven rack just below the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

For the butter: In a small bowl, combine the butter, garlic, rosemary, thyme, lemon juice, salt and pepper until smooth.

For the chicken: Tuck the wings under the chicken. Season the cavity of the chicken with salt and pepper. Spoon 2 tablespoons of the butter mixture into the cavity. Place the rosemary, thyme and lemon quarters in the cavity. Tie the legs together loosely with kitchen string. Place the chicken in a large roasting pan.

Starting at the neck end of the chicken, loosen the skin over the entire chicken breast. Smear the remaining butter mixture over the outside and under the skin of the chicken, being careful not to tear the skin.

For the vegetables: In a large bowl, toss together the oil, potatoes, carrots, parsnips, shallots, garlic, rosemary, thyme, salt and pepper.

Arrange the vegetables around the chicken in a single layer. Add the broth and roast until the vegetables are tender and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the chicken thigh registers 160 degrees F to 165 degrees F, about 1 1/2 hours. Let the chicken rest for 20 minutes.

Transfer the chicken to a platter. Arrange the vegetables around the chicken. Scrape the contents of the roaster into a 4-cup measuring cup. Spoon off the layer of fat that rises to the top. Season the pan juices with salt and pepper, if needed. Serve the chicken with the pan juices.

I forgot to take a picture of the whole bird before I cut it up, it was beautiful…

Verdict: Eric said it was the best chicken he’s ever had.  I have to agree, it was really good.  The skin came out super crispy, it took all my will power not to eat it, though I did try a little and it was awesome!  The best part was the sauce it created with all the juices, I probably could have sucked it up with a straw, but that would not have been very lady like…not that it has stopped me before…  Anyway, I served this with the root veggies, green beans and a side salad.  definitely a dinner we will have again, especially since its getting cooler out and fall is just around the corner.

Tonight is round #2, Risotto, made with the left over root veggies and some kale.  I love Risotto, so I hope this comes out good. I’ll keep you posted.  If its bad, there’s always take out, I’m sure our delivery guy misses us.

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