Saturday, April 25, 2009

Spring...not quite here

Here in Chicago, Spring is on it's way...finally. But not before Mother Nature dumps a ton of rain on us. Some of us try to be cheerful and go around saying things like "April showers bring May flowers" while we pray for sunny days and warm weather. Others, like myself, go out and buy the biggest, fattest, roasting chicken we can find, cozy in, and start the business of comforting ourselves with food. There is nothing in the world like the aroma of a chicken roasting to pull you out of the doldrums. Once you get your roaster in the oven, kick back and relax. Read a good book, listen to your favorite tunes, whatever makes you feel good all the while anticipating the goodness to come.

Here is one of my favorite recipes:

Spring Roasting Chicken
1 (5-7 pound) roasting chicken - the bigger the better
Kosher salt
freshly ground pepper
1 large bunch of thyme or rosemary - whichever you prefer
1 lemon, halved
1 whole head of garlic, halved crosswise
1/4 stick of melted butter
1 large onion, thickly sliced
6 or more carrots cut into chunks
1-2 pounds of Yukon Gold potatoes cut into chunks
Olive oil

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

Rinse the chicken inside and out and pat dry with paper towels. Liberally salt and pepper the inside of the chicken. Stuff the cavity with half of the thyme, both halves of the lemon, and half of the head of garlic. Brush the outside of the chicken with the melted butter and sprinkle with salt, pepper and paprika (for color). Tie the legs together with kitchen string. Place the onions, carrots, potatoes, other half head of garlic, and the rest of the thyme or rosemary in a large roasting pan. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Spread around the bottom of the roasting pan and place the chicken on top.

Roast the chicken for 2 hours or until juices run clear. Remove the chicken and vegetables to a platter, slice chicken, and dig in!