Warm & Juicy Roast Chicken – A Sunday Supper

23 Jan

Roast Chicken and brussel sprouts with bacon and fingerling potatoes

Roast chicken is one of the easiest and most satisfying meals you can make at home.  Juicy and warm with a crispy skin, a well seasoned roasted chicken is succulent and comforting. And because it is simple, the flavor to work ratio is off the scale. Chicken is the most common type of domesticated bird in the world, and we’ve been eating them for forever, literately.  It was the most prevalent meat available in the Middle Ages, was part of a presidential campaign when in 1928 Herbert Hoover ran on the promise to “put a chicken in every pot, a car in every garage.” Since then it has been on a steady incline in the US since the 1950’s, and is currently eaten more than any other protein in the US.

A beautiful roasting bird ready for seasoning

Like most things, starting with the best quality ingredients is one of the best things you can do to improve your cooking and the flavors that you ultimately share at your table.   Finding a fresh not frozen bird is the first step in this hunt for city dwellers, but it isn’t that difficult these days.  In Cambridge, Mayflower Poultry is about as fresh as you can get. You can even pick up some undergarments with their logo, “Live Poultry Fresh Killed” on them.  I purchased this particular bird at Wilson Farm in Lexington, because it is close to where we live, but no matter where you live most markets will have organic free range birds on hand all the time.

Dressed and ready for the oven

Simple is essential.   Salt, pepper, butter and an herb (I used tarragon, a favorite of mine) are all you need.   I chopped a handful of fresh tarragon leaves and added it to some melting butter, and then drizzled the herb butter over the chicken. I put half a lemon and the tarragon stems into the cavity and trussed the bird. I had a bit of trouble trussing the bird because it was missing a wing (came that way, and when I called Wilson Farm they said that that sometimes happens, and I could exchange it if I wanted) so the legs were higher than I normally like them.  I placed the roasting pan in a pre-heated oven at 475 degrees.  I roasted the chicken for about 45 minutes, putting a piece of foil on top of it for the last ten minutes.   I used a quick read thermometer and when it read about 155 I pulled the bird out and let it rest.  With the foil on top, it continued to cook and reached 165 in another ten minutes.

Chopped bacon for the brussel sprouts

Brussel sprouts in a bowl of ice after steaming

While my chicken done, I prepared some brussel sprouts and fingerling potatoes.   I cut the brussel sprouts in half and steamed them for a few minutes until they were almost al dente.  If you over cook brussel sprouts they tend to releases the glucosinolate sinigrin, which has a sulfurous odor, and for this reason that many people seem to dislike Brussels sprouts.

Fingerling potatoes with herbs and olive oil

Brussel sprouts almost done, I moved on to my fingerling potatoes, which I simply simply roasted in the oven with some olive oil, salt and pepper and some leftover tarragon and thyme.   Simple is essential, simple is good!

Blood oranges

Mixed salad with blood orange supreme vinaigrette

The final part of this comforting Sunday Supper was a mixed green salad with some candied almonds we had left over, and a blood orange vinaigrette. I supremed the blood oranges and used the juice of the remnants along with some olive oil and vinegar.  I tossed the brussel sprouts with the fried bacon – can’t go wrong there – along with a touch of balsamic vinegar we brought home from Italy last year, and the plate was completed with the roasted fingerlings.

A Sunday Simple Supper

A wonderful meal that although simple, was not plain.  Everything was fresh and full of flavor, and in the company of my wife and daughter, it was a perfect Sunday Supper.

Remember, Food is Love!




3 Responses to “Warm & Juicy Roast Chicken – A Sunday Supper”

  1. Tunde January 23, 2011 at 7:54 pm #

    This looked like a wonderful dinner. Tarragon is one of fav herbs as well. Blood oranges, almonds and greens. I’m still skeptical about brussel sprouts, I should however give ’em a try.

    • Justin Ide January 23, 2011 at 9:05 pm #

      Go for the Brussel sprouts … they are wonderful!

  2. Tania January 24, 2011 at 10:51 am #

    I love getting chickens at Mayflower… they are so good. Nothing beats a good roast chicken. and it’s so easy, I don’t understand why people don’t do this more often.

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