Wednesday, June 14, 2006

The Story About 2 Roast Chickens



Roast chicken... Such an easy, simple, yet versatile food. Sure, there are many recipes to cook roast chicken, but sometimes, the simplest is the best.

Here, I am going to guide you on 2 days roast chicken extravaganza , my way off course.

DAY 1

Made the 2 or 3 roast chicken depending on how many family members you have. Just double or triple this recipe below. You can even substitute this recipe with chicken
breast or legs.

Roast Chicken

1 whole chicken
3 Tbs oil / melted butter
2 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
1 medium onion, cut into 4 pieces.
6 cloves of garlic, peeled
1/2 lemon
sprig of Thyme, rosemary ( optional )

Preheat the oven to 350F.

After you clean the chicken then pat it dry with paper towels, just drizzle the oil and sprinkle salt and pepper all over the chicken, inside and out. Then you massage it all over the chicken, make sure you don't miss a spot. Squirt some of the lemon juice inside the chicken then put all the garlic, onion, lemon, and if you want to use herbs go ahead put all of them inside the chicken cavity. Place the chicken on a roasting pan breast side up.

Put the chicken in the oven, roast it for about 50-60 minutes, you can tell if your chicken is done or not from the clear juice that run out. If it's still red, keep it longer.


For extra lesson on how to roast chicken you can go to this site



Above: Keep the vegetables in big chunks so they can keep their shape when you roast them.




With this chicken, you can have a nice roast chicken dinner. Now all you need to think about is the side dish. If you want to keep it simple, together at the same time you can also make roasted potatoes, roasted carrots, and other firm root vegetables. You can even dump all these veggies in the same roasting pan with the chicken, but you need to think that the more stuff in the roasting pan, the less crisp the chicken's skin will be. Before you dump the veggies in the pan, you need to dress it with oil, salt and pepper just like the chicken. You can add minced garlic with the vegetables too. The varieties are endless ...



Above: Parisian Potatoes, I bought it in a bag already peeled and shaped into balls.



Above: roasted beets, come raw in a convenient bag.

After you roast the chickens until they are done, transfer 1 to a large plate. Place all the roasted vegetables around the chicken and present them like this. I would suggest that first you cut off the thighs, legs, and wings first. Then you sliced the breast thinly and serve ( You will find why I suggest you to do this ). Don't toss the stuff that stuck on your roasting pan just yet. This is THE GOOD STUFF! This is where you should go and buy yourself a decent roasting pan. So that after you take it out from the oven, you can place it on your cooktop and heat it up like a normal pan. To that bits and fat in the roasting pan, add about 2 - 3 Tbs of flour ( Depend on how many chickens that you roast ) then on low heat you cook the flour first for about 2 - 3 minutes. Then you can add 1/4 cup of white wine to the pan, or you can use chicken stock or even water. Stir until they are combine. This is the gravy. Adjust the seasoning to your taste too. This can be use for the sauce for the chicken or you can pour it on top of your mashed potatoes.



What I like to do with this, I pour out the gravy from the pan, then I take out the onions and the garlic from the chicken's cavity. Then I use an immersion blender to blend all of that into a smooth gravy. Tastier this way. Nothing to waste too except the lemon and the herbs stalks... If you do this, you can use less flour since the onion, and the garlic will be the thickener agents.

Here is a good recipe from Barefoot Contessa's Book on roasting vegetables:

Roasted Winter Vegetables

1 lb carrots, peeled
1 lb parsnips, peeled
1 large sweet potato, peeled
1 small butternut squash ( about 2 pounds ), peeled and seeded
3 Tbs good olive oil
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
2 Tbs chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

1. Preheat oven to 425° F. Cut the carrots, parsnips, sweet potato, and butternut squash in 1- to 1 1/2-inch cubes. All vegetables will shrink while baking, so don't cut them too small.

2. Place all the cut vegetables in a single layer on 2 sheet pans. Drizzle them with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Toss well. Bake for 25 to 35 minutes, until all the vegetables are tender, turning once with a metal spatula.

3. Sprinkle with parsley, season to taste, and serve hot


NOTE: Did you know that with the left offers roasted vegetables you can make Roasted vegetables Soup? Use either blender or immersion blender to puree the vegetables then thin it out with more chicken stock. Add salt and pepper according to your taste.To make the chicken stock, keep reading ...

So for today, here is your dinner. A simple, satisfying roast chicken with maybe roasted potatoes, and roasted vegetables, or you can make a simple steamed green beans to go with it, a mash potatoes perhaps, etc...etc...Then you pour the gravy on top of the chicken or mash potatoes, if not keep it in your freezer in case you need gravy to boost your other cooking like Southern style biscuits with gravy on top like this recipe.


Now...After you and your family finish devouring the chicken. Remember about my suggestion to cut the chicken's thighs, legs, wings, then slice the breast thinly first and serve? Why? If you have small children like I do, when you sliced the breast into several thin slices, you can serve this to your children because it is easier for them to eat the chicken without the bones, but mainly because this way, right after you take all the meat parts out from the body of the chicken, use the whole carcass for your chicken stock!

Leftovers Roast Chicken Stock

2-3 Roast Chicken bones or with meats still on.
5 cloves garlic, unpeeled, cut in half crosswise
3 carrots
2 medium onion, quartered
2 parsnips, unpeeled, cut in half ( optional )
2 celery stalks with leaves, cut in thirds
2 sprig of parsley
1 sprig of fresh thyme ( or you can use dried too about 1 Tbs )
3 tsp salt
1 tsp whole black peppercorns.

Place everything in a stockpot the simmer it for 4 hrs. Strain the entire contents of the pot throught a colander and discard the solids. Chill the stock overnight. The next day, remove the surface fat. Use immediately or pack in containers and freeze for up to 3 months.

OR you can do like I do, I use my slow cooker and put everything in it and set it for 8 hrs cooking time.




Alright so let me sum it up so far, roast the chicken, roast the vegetables. This way you can make one hell of a dinner, then use what ever left to make gravy, chicken stock, roasted vegetable soup.

Now this is why I asked you to roast several chicken at one time. Those cold chicken is good for EVERYTHING!

So let's say this is day 2.

Here is what you can do with that cold chicken.

Make several salads! Make Chicken noodle soup! Make Chicken Fritata! Place those chicken slices on top of your pasta! Or you can place those sliced chicken breast on your bread with cheese, tomato slices, etc, then make a panini which is a grill sandwich.

Curry Chicken Salad ( from Paula Dean's recipe collection )

1 large roasted chicken, cut into 1 inch cubes
1/2 cup chopped celery
1 (8-ounce) can sliced or chopped water chestnuts, drained
2 cups seedless red grapes, halved
1 (2-ounce) package slivered almonds

Dressing:
1 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 teaspoons curry powder
1 tablespoon prepared mango chutney
Salt

Gently combine the chicken, celery, water chestnuts, grapes, and almonds in a large glass bowl. Combine the dressing ingredients and mix well. Add to the chicken mixture and stir gently to combine. Season with salt, to taste.


Just go to FoodTV.com, then if you type Chicken salad, on their search engine, this is what you are going to get 73 recipes in total.

Another recipe for chicken salad from Martha Stewart:



ROASTED CHICKEN SALAD

Serves 6
Use a store-bought roasted chicken to save time. To take this salad on a picnic, pack it in an airtight container and keep it fresh in a cooler.


1 cup pecan halves (about 3 ounces), broken in half lengthwise

1 whole roasted chicken (about 3 pounds), skin removed

8 scallions, white and light-green parts only, trimmed and thinly sliced

2 stalks celery, strings removed and thinly sliced

8 ounces lady apples (about 4), or Fuji apples (about 2 medium), cored and sliced into bite-size pieces

5 tablespoons golden or dark raisins

1 tablespoon coarsely chopped fresh oregano leaves

Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper

Sour Cream Dressing

1. Preheat oven to 350°. Spread pecans in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Toast in oven until fragrant, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes. Remove from pan; let cool completely.

2. Pull chicken from the bone; discard bones, and cut meat into 3/4-inch pieces. Transfer to a medium bowl; add scallions, celery, apples, raisins, and oregano. Season with salt and pepper. Add dressing; toss to combine. Chill, covered, until ready to serve.


For making chicken noodle soup, just shred or cut the chickens into 1-inch cubes. Set it aside. With the home made chicken stock that you made previously, add carrots, celery, onion. Cut them into the same size then with 1 Tbs of butter cook them until they are softened. Add 1 tsp of minced garlic. Add 1 bay leaf. As an option you can add fresh herbs like thyme to this soup. Then add few cups of water and let everything simmer for half an hour, then add the chickens and pasta egg noodles and let all of them simmer again for another half an hour. Add salt and black pepper according to your taste. When you want to serve this soup, you can sprinkle some chopped parsley on top.



Chicken Fritata

4 Tbs unsalted butter, divided
1 cup 1/2 inch diced roast chicken
4 Extra large eggs
7 ounces ricotta cheese
1/3 Gruyere cheese, grated.
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/3 chopped fresh basil leaves or green onion
3 Tbs flour
1/2 tsp baking powder

Preheat the oven to 350F

Whisk the eggs in a large bowl, then stir in the ricotta, Gruyere, 2 Tbs melted butter, salt, pepper, and basil ( or green onions ). Sprinkle on the flour, and baking powder. Set aside.

Melt 2 Tbs of butter in a medium size pan ( I think mine is 8-inches ) over medium low heat. Make sure your pan is oven-proof. Add the chicken then pour the eggs mixture to the pan.

Place it in the middle of the oven. Bake the fritata until it is browned and puffed, about 40 minutes. It will be rounded and firm in the middle and a knife inserted in the fritata should come out clean. Serve hot.



Another grea recipe for soup is this:

Chicken Dumpling Soup

Soup:
2 to 3 tablespoons cooking oil
1 large onion, diced
2 carrots, diced
1/2 stalk celery, diced
Meat from 1 chicken, cooked and shredded
4 to 6 cups chicken broth
1 cup fresh cut green beans
1 cup pearl barley
1 teaspoon celery salt
1 tablespoon fresh chopped parsley
2 bay leaves
Salt and pepper

Dumplings:
1 cup milk
1/2 cup butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 cupall-purpose flour
3 eggs

Soup:
In a small amount of cooking oil sweat the onion, carrots and celery. Add chicken, broth, green beans, barley, celery salt, parsley and bay leaves. Simmer until the barley is tender, about 30 minutes.

Make dumplings:
Bring the milk and butter to a boil, add salt and nutmeg. Remove from heat and immediately add flour stirring until dough leaves the sides of the pan. Incorporate the eggs, 1 at a time, forming a sticky dough.

Season the soup, to taste, with salt and pepper. Add spoon sized balls of dumpling dough and simmer until dumplings rise. I use ice cream scooper to make the dumpling
.



Above and Below: The pictures of this dumpling soup is not the same with the recipe.
I use different recipe.



Okay... by now I hope I can give you ideas that making Roast Chicken is so easy yet... with this one recipe, you can create so many possibilities and there is almost nothing to waste when you finish with it!

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