Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Perfect Roast Chicken & Brussel Sprouts Salad *Recipes 9 &10*

This was by far the VERY BEST Roasted Chicken I have ever ate!! The skin was crispy and golden brown with flecks of parsley running through. The chicken cut like a dream and was very moist, tender and buttery....You could cut the chicken breast with a fork!! It was just simply juicy and delicious!! I highly recommend that everyone tries this Roasted Chicken (page 67) recipe at least once. To accompany the roasted chicken I decided to make Tyler's Brussel Sprouts Salad with Pancetta and Cranberries (page 230). This complimented the chicken perfectly.

Here is the recipe for the Roasted Chicken:

Perfect Roast Chicken:
1 - 4-5 lb. whole free-range chicken
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 lemon, halved
1 garlic bulb, halved through the equator
1 sprig fresh rosemary
4 springs fresh thyme
2 sprigs fresh sage
1/2 bunch fresh Italian flat-leaf parsley
2 sticks unsalted butter; room temperature
2 cups button mushrooms
Preheat oven to 400. Rinse the chicken with cool water, inside and out, and pat dry with paper towels. Season the cavity with salt and pepper; then stuff with lemon, garlic, rosemary, thyme, and sage. In a food processor combine the parsley and butter and process until well combined. Season the butter with salt and pepper (I was generous with this).
Place the chicken, breast side up, in a roasting pan. Tie the legs of the chicken together with kitchen twine. Rub the herb butter over the chicken. Put the mushrooms in the bottom of the pan; roast chicken and mushrooms for 1 hour 45 minutes, until the drumsticks move easily in the sockets and the juices run clear (180 in the thickest part) Baste every 30 minutes. Remove chicken to a platter, tent with foil, and let stand for 10 minutes before carving.

I followed the directions exactly and was so pleased with the results. At first I was irritated with Tyler for the amount of butter I was rubbing on that chicken. It certainly seems like way too much. But, I understand it now. The butter helps with the color, the crispness and the tenderness of the chicken. I bought the whole free-range and organic chicken, even though it was $10.50 and I think it was well worth it. The chicken just looked a lot better when I took it out of the wrapping. I am so pleased with this recipe that it is the only way I will ever cook a chicken again.

The Brussel sprout salad will hit just about every taste bud you have. It is sweet (dried cranberries), salty, bitter, savory...You begin with 6 ouces of pancetta and a little olive oil in a saute pan and cook for 2-3 minutes. Then you add 2 lbs. of Brussel sprouts that are separated into leaves. You then add 1/4 cup dried cranberries, 3 tablespoons shallots, 1 garlic clove minced and toss to combine. Immediately add the 2 tbsps. of balsamic vinegar and 1/4 cup chicken broth and cook 3-4 mins. until the brussel sprout leaves have wilted. Season and serve warm. The picture in Tyler's book looks great and bright. When I added my balsamic vinegar it darkened up the final dish quite a bit. It wasn't as pretty as his was, but it tasted really good.

I'm thankful to be inside and have power tonight. We are very lucky!! Kentucky is hitting a record low with the amount of people in the state that are without power. This is one of the worst storms we have had.

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