On Sundays, I like to spend a bit more time cooking. This provides me with great satisfaction and comfort going into our busy work week. This morning I made two soups for during the week. This afternoon, I started on the chicken dish. Having finished another Julia Child biography recently, this particular recipe was the right one to make. Please take the time to make this one…and stuff the bird with the stuffing. I know there are many people out there that warn you not to. However, if you maintain a clean kitchen, prepare the bird in a clean manner, and make sure that the stuffing is heated through properly, you’ll be just fine. The stuffing mix is actually put into the bird in a warm state. (The recipe doesn’t tell you to cool the mixture.) Enjoy!
Tonight was a late dinner night. However, it still was our Sunday night dinner. I couldn’t whip together eggs ‘n bacon. It has to be a nice meal as we should have more time to cook. Not today! I bought some chickens at the grocery store this weekend ($0.68 per pound sale at a couple of Pick ‘n Saves in the area!) I also have an herb garden bed that needs some good use before the season is over. I clipped some rosemary, some parsley, and a good bunch of tarragon. (Julia Child would have approved!)
The plan: Roast chicken with the fresh herbs from the garden and vegetables.
- Heat oven to 450
- Chop the herbs to a nice mince. Blend 3/4 of the herbs you use into softened butter. I put about 2 tablespoons into 6 tablespoons of butter.
- Clean the chicken and rub the butter mixture all over. (Under the skin on the breast too!)
- I cut up a lemon into four wedges and squeezed the juice inside of the chicken and placed the squeezed lemons too.
- Season with salt and pepper.
- Place (trussed) chicken on top of cut vegetables, breast side down. (I used carrots, celery, and onion tonight. By the way, the remaining herbs were sprinkled on top of these vegetables before the chicken was laid on top.
- I roasted the chicken for a little over an hour. About 30 minutes in, I flip the chicken so that the breast is on top. This allowed the dark meat of the chicken to get a good head start while protecting the delicate breast meat.
- I removed the chicken once the space between the leg and the thigh registered 160 degrees.
I love a roast chicken. Though today was warm and we did a ton of work outside in the yard, this type of meal is so comforting and nourishing after a long day’s work. We each have a side of the breast on the first meal of roast chicken. We’ve found this is the best point to eat the white meat as it’s super juicy. It will dry out when reheated.
Hope you have a good week. This meal is definitely going to point to a good week for us!
Over the weekend, I set the DVR to record our local PBS affiliate, MPTV. Julia Child was going to be featured on a fund drive. Watching the shows, we saw her omelet episode, bouillabaisse episode, and my favorite, the chicken episode. Having pulled a roaster out of the freezer, it reminded me how a simple roast chicken could be.
I worked from home today as I had to chaperone the other half to the doctor to have his esophagus looked at. I know, how does a foodie get along with someone with a sensitive tummy? I make it work. Admittedly, it can be hard at times…but that is part of the challenge. Long story short, I had the time today…middle of the week…to roast a chicken. The basic roast is my favorite. Salt, pepper, and some butter. Moist, flavorful, easy to create leftover variations. I like the basic approach as I don’t have to commit to a series of leftovers. I can take some and make an Asian dish. The next day Italian…and Mexican the next. If I start out making a honey-balsamic glazed chicken…I’m kinda stuck in the Mediterranean genre.
After a long wait in the doctor’s office and a never-ending series of emails and phone calls for work, this was a great cap to the day. Don’t be afraid…the chicken is your friend…and the whole chicken is your juicy friend. Hope everyone enjoys the rest of their week!
I am thrilled to say that this week has been a complete success. Though I had a few bumps earlier in the week, my buddy Julia came through as always. This brings me to a periodic concern I have about all the cooking choices available today. Are you testing your recipes?????? I believe the secret to a good cook is a fearless nature with perseverance to the core. You can’t give up if you’re going to make a great dish. There will always be mishap and the flavor combination that becomes disaster. However, if you don’t try to move forward, you’ll be stuck with the old. (Don’t get me wrong…I make my old hat turkey stroganoff a couple of times a year. I have stopped making it weekly though!!)
Now for the details…
As I said, Julia came to the rescue. I am confident that anything Julia Child touched and put to paper is going to be successful. I pulled out the old cookbook and looked for something a bit rustic and different than we’ve had before.
Boeuf a la Catalane was it!
This French dish comes from the corner of France near Spain and the Mediterranean. It’s made with beef, rice, and onions. It’s a stew of sorts. However, witht the addition of rice, I would call it a cross between a stew and paella! Look for recipes for this dish online. I’ve even seen a variation with green olives. Though, I’d be the only one in our household eating the dish then. Hmmm…never thought about it that way. This was good enough to not want to share. Maybe I will make it with green olives next time!!!
Now on to dessert
Since it’s Sweetest Day today, I decided to make my better half a favorite fall dessert flavor, pumpkin. I found a Pumpkin Bread Pudding recipe in the October 2007 issue of Gourmet magazine. I have to say, great choice. Crunchy bread crust, creamy custard, sweet and spicy pumpkin. A hit!!! The only thing to do better would be a nice vanilla bean ice cream scoop. Reader beware: A scoop might send you over the edge with this rich, filling dessert. I’d be happy with just a small, tablespoon size scoop…melting over the warm crusty bread. Maybe it’s time to go to the store and get some ice cream!!! Recipe follows:…