Saturday, December 12, 2009

Chickeny Roast Chicken Plus

Sometimes a Whole Roast Chicken is the best thing to make for dinner. I'm telling you right now, "Walk Away from the Store Rotisserie Chicken swingin' away in that darn cooker in front of you when you get to the market!" Why, you ask, It's so good you say, have you ever worked in a market, where the first thing to get cooked up is the stuff that's just going out of date if not already out of date, yup, they aren't going to toss that stuff, they cook it up and sell it to you, YUCK. So, now that I've got you disgusted, pick out a whole raw chicken and get an organic free range which you may pay a dollar or 2 more per pound, but taste-wise is well worth the couple extra bucks. Once I myself, cheapskate that I am, discovered the quality difference by driving all the way out of my way to the local Whole Market and purchasing the organical free range bird, I was hooked, and where chicken is concerned, I now go out of my way for it. Get out your cast iron skillet or a big oven proof cooks pan, and ad a small amount of olive oil to the bottom of that pan. Turn the stove to burner on and the oven up to a high setting. Start by cutting down each side of the back bone and removing it, (I said back bone and if you don't know the difference stop right there and go eat mcnuggets someplace), do this under cold water in your sink, try not to get juices all over the place, we're talking chicken here and most chicken is going to salmonella up your kitchen counters, cutting boards and everything else it comes in contact with. Use plenty of paper towels to pat it dry, and put it breast side down into the pan you'll be cooking it in. Now wash your hands, the sink and knife with some dawn detergent/dish soap, (have you seen the endorsements Dawn gets, use it, because this is what they use to clean up sea animals after oil spills, and if it can clean up that sort of mess, imagine what it can do to all that salmonella). Now season the chicken with salt, rosemary, pepper, and maybe some other herbs you like, both sides please. Crush some garlic cloves in their skins and add them to the pan also. Drizzle the chicken with olive oil, balsamic and Worcesteshire sauce, not too much. Add some small potatoes, or medium potatoes quartered. Put this onto a hot stove top and cook for 5 minutes, flip the bird and shove all those taters and garlic under it, now the breast side is up, and put this directly into your preheated oven set at 450, yes We are Iron Cheffing it by turning up the heat, we've got hungry people to feed and they don't want to wait over an hour. The bird will be cooked in about 45 minutes, or until beautifully browned on top, see picture below, that's one perfect roast chicken, and those potatoes are cooked. While you wait, you can hang out with your sweetie on the couch, maybe smooch a bit and talk about the day you've each had, open some wine and pretty soon it's all done, dinner's ready.
There's some fancy French term for all this cooking of a chicken split open, what I know is the bird is more flavorful this way and cooks faster. The Il Piatto variation of this is to add more Balsamic and Olive Oil to the pan when you begin and a lot of Garlic, and cook for longer and at a lower temperature. The results are similar to the above, but a little too much oil, unless you prefer your chicken served with rice or bread for sopping up all that good stuff. They also cook more root veggies with the chicken, which is also great, I've cooked up some Brussel Sprouts with this particular dinner, but they go into the pan about 20 minutes before doneness of the bird sets in otherwise they'll overcook.
Now here's the really tough part, DO NOT EAT THE ENTIRE CHICKEN IN ONE SERVING! Serve about half the breast with the wing, drizzle the pan juices over your plate of food hopefully you've also cooked something green or served a salad. Save the rest for the next night because now the possibilities are endless for leftover chicken. If you eat the whole bird you will wake up with a belly ache and you'll miss out on:
Chicken Sandwich with Roasted Red Peppers, Mustard and Arugala/Rocket on nice crunchy bread. If you saved some of that roasted garlic use it on this sandwich!
Chicken Soup with Dill & Oregano, Carrots, Celery, Potatoes, and chicken broth you made with that leftover back bone. I use Potatoes not too many, because when they are done the soup is done, served over Rice or Pasta or Egg Noodles.
Chicken with Pasta, Broccoli Rape, Garlic, Hot Red Pepper Flakes, and Sweet frozen Peas, with Butter and grated Parmesian Cheese.
Chicken stir fry with Basmati Rice and veggies.
Now with that one chicken you've got at least 2 meals probably 3, and all told those groceries added up to $40.
As for your sweet treat, open up that container of Ben & Jerry's and share, you're welcome.


  1. to say nothing of the huge amount of sodium in those rotisserie chickens.....triple yuck!! and thank you very much! so many good suggestions

  2. good to hear you are mindful about where your food is coming from!! Mindful eating is best!!