Roasted chicken with new potatoes, onions, and garlic.
May 8, 2013, 11:33 pm
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Is there such a thing as too much garlic? Probably. Eventually. That roasted garlic french stuff was too much garlic. If your very polite friend says you smell of garlic then tries to backpedal by saying it might be her husband, that’s too much.  Tonight was not too much garlic. In fact, Himself request more garlic next time this stuff is made and he may be right.

Sigh.

I need a kitchen camera. Just a cheap one, that it’s ok if grease gets splattered on it. I am cautious with the Nikon D90 W/fancypants lens. O yes, can take great pictures but not in the kitchen with all the stuff everywhere. Thus, no pictures but if you have any kind of imagination…bear with me because this was the kind of meal that made me sigh with satisfaction and wish I had a bigger stomach.

Did you know May 4 (my birthday!) is International Respect For Chickens Day?  I respect the chicken. I respect it’s dedication at providing eggs and it’s commitment for giving it’s life that we may have fried chicken, roast chicken, chicken broth, chicken pot pie, and King Ranch Casserole.

honor the chicken

My favorite roast chicken. It is how I honor the bird who gave it’s life for me. I want to treat it with respect, not shove it in a can and coat it in mayonnaise.  So, I use a bird that has lived a long enough life to get a layer of fat on it. (no wonder my thighs…but really…at my age…whatever). A roasting hen, not a fryer. Also, little new potatoes, the red kind omygoodness so creamy. And Vidalia onions. Not Spanish ones or yellow ones or white ones, but Sweet Vidalias grown right up the road about 15 minutes from here. Sweet enough to eat raw in a salad but also amazing when roasted in chicken juice and fat omygoodnessyespardonwhileiclosemyeyesandsigh. Also garlic. the biggest cloves you can find. I used 6 or 7 cloves and it was suggested that perhaps a whole head might be better because we were all sort of fighting and stabbing each other with forks to get at the roasted-in-chicken-juice garlic. I caught Himself picking through the bowl of potatoes hunting for garlic.

Easy peasy but this is the first time I’ve done it this way and I tell you what, it’s happening again because….chicken juices and fat and potatoes and onion and garlic are quite possibly the second most delicious thing ever (right after that little fatty tail on a ribeye that’s been cooked to medium rare perfection on a hardwood charcoal grill). And SO easy!

Ok, here’s how you do it:

Roasted chicken with new potatoes, onion, and garlic

1 5-6 pound roasting hen, washed and dried inside and out

Several long stems of oregano from the garden

olive oil, kosher salt, and fresh ground black pepper

2 pounds-ish red new potatoes, cut in half (I have no idea how much…I had about 12 of them)

1 large Vidalia onion, sliced thin

6-7 fat cloves of garlic (or a whole head, if you trust me), lightly smashed and peeled

Put the potatoes, onion, and garlic in a large roasting pan

Set a rack over the veggies.

Put the chicken on the rack, coat it in olive oil,and salt and pepper it. Stuff the oregano up inside the body cavity.

Roast at 425 degrees for about 20 minutes per pound of chicken.

When the chicken is done (crispy and golden and the leg is loose when you mess with it) set it aside to sit for 10 minutes or so. Then cut into pieces. Put the vegs in a bowl and pour the pan juices all over them.  Keep a wooden spoon handy for whacking hands of anyone who tries to pick out the garlic, or eat the really crusty potatoes first. Also whack the hands of anyone picking the skin off the chicken because that’s COOK’S PRIVILEGE.  The Son Who Ate With Us opined that the potatoes would be excellent as hash alongside an omelet. Next time I’ll have to make more because there was only enough left for Himself to have for lunch tomorrow.  However, I am not sure that there will ever be enough of those potatoes.

There was a salad to go with:

1 Vidalia onion, sliced thin

2 large ripe tomatoes, chopped coarse

1 large can little black olives

Dressing:

1/2 cup olive oil

1/4 cup red wine vinegar

1/4 cup water

1/4 cup fresh oregano leaves (loosely packed)

1 teaspoon sugar

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

Put all the dressing ingredients in a blender and whizz up.

Pour the dressing over the onions and let sit for an hour or so.  Right before serving, mix in the tomatoes and olives.

This would also be good with some feta cheese thrown in, or maybe those little bitty pearl mozzerella balls.

Use your imagination to figure out what a golden brown roast chicken on a bed of crispy new potatoes, roasted sweet vidalia onions and buds of roasted garlic look like. Close your eyes and imagine the aroma of all those sweet roasted vegetables and a chicken stuffed with oregano. Imagine the family drifting in on the wafting scent like what’shisname Jetson when whatsername Mrs Jetson cooked something, feet flapping and riding the waves gently…

Maybe for Mother’s Day I’ll get a small kitchen camera that I won’t worry about getting greasy or floury.

Also…someone needs to invent smell-o-vision. srsly.



Roasted chicken pot pie

It’s that whole Fall thing, that desire for rich and creamy and not-exactly-lite fare.  Frankly, I am tired of salads. Around April, I get excited for them, with the snow peas and baby greens and all, but come September we all start a’hankerin’ stews and pot pies and anything with an obscene amount of buttery gravy and possibly alcohol.

Chopped veggies, a chicken, olive oil,salt and pepper

Now that it’s mid-to-latish October and we actually get to put a real blanket on the bed and not just another sheet pretending to be a blanket, I am making rich fattening filling meals. Because Winter is coming and we need that extra subdermal layer of adipose tissue to provide energy during the hibernation period. Except that we’re not bears or squirrels. O well.

Perfectly roasted, do not let the skin go to waste, even though it doesn’t go in the recipe! mmmmm crispy skin….

Ok so we don’t need that, but isn’t there something wonderful about knowing that your house has the aroma of roasting vegetables, garlic, and chicken, and you can catch a whiff even as you turn into the driveway and KNOW that you did something RIGHT and your family will approve? Yes, there is.

In the bowl, waiting for the gravy. See, no skin. It would just get nasty and limp. Go ahead and eat it.

This chicken pot pie recipe was first spotted in a Fine Cooking magazine eons ago…I don’t remember which issue, but in the interest of full disclosure, this is not my own unique recipe. However, I have made a few changes, particularly in the top crust.

Pour in all that lovey silky gravy. Don’t forget to add the crusty bits from the deglazed roasting pan!

I am not a pastry chef. Whenever possible, I buy the pie crusts in the refrigerator section of the store. Sometimes I use those crescent rolls.  The original recipe had you making this buttery puff pastry from scratch and the 3 times I tried it, it turned out this greasy unpleasant stuff. So, I switched to a biscuit top. Who doesn’t love that?  I reckon you could use canned biscuits, but with so much effort going into the filling, I’d rather make semi-homemade. Yes, you could make biscuit dough from scratch and it would be lovely. I am tired. I have spent the entire day making the filling and doing endless loads of laundry so I used a biscuit mix.   I wanted biscuits with herbs mixed in and that’s hard to do with canned ones.  They are slightly customized with buttermilk (add a bit of baking soda to the mix) and lovely chopped oregano and thyme.

Biscuit mix,chopped herbs, artfully photographed in sunlight through a window. I call it “Biscuit Mix With Herbs In A White Bowl.”

As always, after picking all the meat off the chicken, I roasted bones with an onion and a couple of carrots, then threw it in the crockpot with a gallon of water to make stock. I am mildly embarrassed to admit that I used commercially made stock for the recipe, because I was all out of the homemade. It was a sad state of affairs, but one punts when one has to.

Daisy was feeling lazy and was pouting because I didn’t share the chicken skin with her.

This recipe makes a very large amount, so divy it up into 2 casserole dishes, and then cook one of them until the biscuits aren’t quite brown, cover it with foil, and freeze it or give it to a sick friend, so they can warm it up when comfort food is required.

mmmm with a glass of white wine and a blanket, and a good movie…perfect.

Roasted Chicken Pot Pie

1-4 pound whole chicken

6 medium russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 inch chunks

3 cups baby carrots (or 6 carrots, cut into 1 inch chunks)

3 large leeks, white and light green parts only, cut lengthwise then sliced thin

2 heaping tablespoons minced garlic

olive oil

salt and pepper

generous handful of fresh chopped oregano and thyme  (or parsley, or AND parsley)

1/2 cup white wine (or water, tho wine is very nice)

3/4 cup unsalted butter

3/4 cup flour

1- 32 oz carton chicken broth

 

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.  Put the cut up vegetables and garlic in a big bowl and drizzle them with olive oil, salt and pepper. Toss to coat. Put them all in the bottom of a really big roasting pan, and put the chicken on top. Drizzle a little oil,salt and pepper on the chicken. Put it in the oven and roast for an hour, until the chicken is crispy and brown, and the veggies are brown and it all smells so good your 24 yr old son wanders in and announces that he’s hungry.

After an hour, take it out of the oven. The vegs underneath the chicken might not be completely done and that is OK. Also, the chicken might not be 100% done and that is OK too. Let it cool long enough that it is easy to handle (about the amount of time it takes to fold 2 baskets of laundry and watch an episode of CSI you DVR’d last week). Pick all the meat off the chicken and tear it into small pieces. Put it in a huge bowl, and scrape the vegs over into it too.  Add the chopped herbs.

There will be crusty stuff in the roasting pan. If it’s a metal pan,set it on the stove and turn the stove on to medium. Add the white wine and deglaze the pan, scraping up all the crusty bits.  Set that aside.

In a pot, melt the butter and stir in the flour. Let this cook on low, stirring occasionally until it is a light toasty brown and smells like something you want to eat all by itself with a spoon.. Slowly pour in the carton of chicken broth, stirring with a whisk. Turn the heat up a little. Scrape the crusty wine stuff from the roasting pan into it. Stir frequently until you have a nice medium-thick gravy.

Pour the gravy over the chicken and vegs in the big bowl and stir it all up.

Spray a couple of casserole dishes with no stick stuff, and put the filling in each dish. I used a 9×9 and an 8×12 oval pan.

For the topping:

3 cups Jiffy or Bisquick biscuit mix

1 teaspoon baking soda

a generous handful of the same herbs you put in the filling

1-1/2 cups of buttermilk (maybe more, you want a sticky dough)

Stir it all together.

Drop by generous spoonsful onto the filling.

Bake at 375 degrees for 45 minutes,until the biscuits are brown and the filling is bubbling up.
(The thicker the biscuit crust is, the longer it needs to cook. Check it after 40 minutes to see if the dough is done underneath. If not, give it 10 more minutes.)