Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Classic Roast Chicken with Julienne Glazed Carrots and Peas

How do you know when a meal is really good? For me, it's a feeling of wanting the flavor in my mouth all evening, or the fact that I can't stop thinking about the food, when dinner is over. Truth be told, I have never roasted a whole chicken. The idea of it has always given me the heebie jeebies, and I just never wanted to bake anything with the skin on it, nor did I want to reach inside and grab out any giblets. Blech. My little sis has recently been encouraging me to try my hand at roasting, as she's been using "Ina's Perfect Roast Chicken" recipe for a couple of months now. I decided not to make Ina's recipe, mostly because I didn't have all the ingredients (fennel, a whole bulb of garlic, and fresh thyme were all missing from my fridge). I found this "Classic Roast Chicken" recipe on the Cooking Light website, and it looked right up my alley. It was much easier than I thought it would be. First of all, it's really not that gross or slimy. Phew. The rub is really easy to throw together and apply to the chicken. Almost immediately after throwing the old bird in the oven, my house started to smell... Amazing. Yes. Totally and incredibly wonderful. I'd make this again, just to smell it.

Anyway, I made this almost exactly as directed in the recipe, and the taste was out of this world. Never has Kevin so quickly exclaimed, "THIS IS DELICIOUS! 5 Bowls!!!" This roast chicken has the most amazing herbal flavor, and it extremely juicy and tender. I put lemon wedges and rosemary inside the bird, which supposedly contributes to the moisture content. The gravy, which I also made exactly as the recipe stated, was truly delicious. I served this with roasted taters, and also added a recipe for Julienne Glazed Carrots, to which I added peas, to up the veggie content. In the end, I wished I had done ONE thing differently - I wished I'd gotten a bigger chicken, so we could have had more leftovers. Honestly, this recipe is just so good. I want to try other roast chicken recipes, but I can't imagine liking another one any more than this one. It was that good...

Glazed Julienne Carrots

Yield: 8 servings (serving size: 1/2 cup)

2 tablespoons reduced-calorie margarine (I used a lot less)
1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar (I used a couple of tablespoons)
4 cups (2-inch) julienne-cut carrot
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
*1 Cup of Frozen Peas (Just throw them in with the carrots)

Melt margarine in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat; add sugar, stirring until melted.

Add carrots, salt, and pepper and cook 10 minutes, or until carrots are crisp-tender, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat. Stir in parsley.

CALORIES 57 (30% from fat); FAT 1.9g (sat 0.4g,mono 0.8g,poly 0.6g); IRON 0.5mg; CHOLESTEROL 0.0mg; CALCIUM 22mg; CARBOHYDRATE 10.1g; SODIUM 123mg; PROTEIN 0.6g; FIBER 1.9g

Cooking Light, NOVEMBER 1996

Make this. It is a perfect go-to recipe for roast chicken. 5 Bowls. No question.

Classic Roast Chicken with Gravy

Be sure the butter is softened so it combines thoroughly with the herbs.

Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 5 ounces meat and about 1/4 cup gravy)

1 (3 3/4-pound) whole roasting chicken
1 tablespoon butter, softened
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried rubbed sage
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 carrots, peeled and halved
4 stalks celery, halved
1 onion, quartered
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 1/2 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons water
1/4 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 375°.

To prepare chicken, remove and discard giblets and neck from chicken; trim excess fat. Starting at neck cavity, loosen skin from breasts and drumsticks by inserting fingers, gently pushing between skin and meat.

Combine butter and next 5 ingredients (through pepper) in a small bowl. Rub seasoning mixture under loosened skin and over breasts and drumsticks. Tie ends of legs together with twine. Lift wing tips up and over back; tuck under chicken. Place carrots, celery, and onion in a single layer in a roasting pan. Place chicken, breast side up, on top of vegetables.

Bake at 375° for 40 minutes.

Increase oven temperature to 450°, and bake an additional 20 minutes or until a thermometer inserted in the meaty part of thigh registers 170°. Using tongs or insulated rubber gloves, remove chicken from pan, tilting slightly to drain juices. Let stand 15 minutes. Remove vegetables from pan with a slotted spoon; reserve.

To prepare gravy, place a zip-top plastic bag in a 2-cup glass measure. Pour wine into bag; add drippings from pan. Let stand 2 minutes (fat will rise to the top). Seal bag; carefully snip off bottom corner of bag. Drain drippings into measuring cup, stopping before fat layer reaches opening; discard fat.

Return vegetables to pan. Add wine mixture and broth to pan; cook 10 minutes over medium heat, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Remove vegetables from pan using a slotted spoon; discard. Combine flour and water in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk to form a slurry; add slurry and 1/4 teaspoon salt to pan, stirring constantly. Simmer 1 minute or until slightly thick.

Remove skin from chicken; discard. Carve chicken, and serve with gravy.

CALORIES 287 (39% from fat); FAT 12.4g (sat 4.4g,mono 4.3g,poly 2.3g); IRON 2.4mg; CHOLESTEROL 114mg; CALCIUM 35mg; CARBOHYDRATE 4.4g; SODIUM 721mg; PROTEIN 37g; FIBER 0.9g

Cooking Light, MAY 2006

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