Whole Roasted Chicken with Fennel, Potatoes and Kalamata Olives
Sorry for the delay in posting! It is such the bane of blogging - life gets in your way (sometimes: this is a good thing, sometimes it is not). For example: last week was all about dealing with heightened allergies, hives, soccer injuries (son) and having our basement baking-soda-blasted (nasty cement walls... the clean-up alone... ugh). But: it was also about planting garden boxes (incl 6 trips to the nursery for dirt), watching soccer games, grabbing chocolate croissants with Caleb (pictured) before dropping him at school, watching Anthony build a chicken coop (see him smiling---below) and going for a routine weekend-morning walk with James (m' mate). So yes, I was a bit sidetracked. But, never far from my blog: here is a bonafide post with recipe included (and a good one---I might add).
I used to be intimidated by the notion of dealing with the whole chicken. I was least afraid of the classic: boneless skinless chicken breast---which I cooked often. I eventually got over my fear (I mean, in a face-off between myself and a dead bird... the odds are WAY on my side). Guess what I found out? All it takes to face your 'kitchen fears' is a little gumption, a willingness to make mistakes and curiosity for culinary sake.
And now? I probably still make errors when fabricating a chicken (BTW there is more than one way to skin a cat cut up a chicken!), but my freezer will be forever full of chicken stock and separate bags of thighs, legs and even chicken livers (yummo chicken pate---more on that later).
That being said... I stopped cutting up chicken long enough to roast a few, whole birds. And it was so worth it. My current favorite way to roast a whole chicken: sliced fennel, potatoes and kalamata olives, tossed with olive oil and Italian seasoning and plopped into a 9x13. Rub whole chicken with olive oil---or bacon grease if you love it like I do---stuff cavity with quartered onions and halved lemons, whole garlic cloves, some sprigs of rosemary and salt and pepper.
Tie. Though in my case: take out those culinary-approved rubber bands. A funny little obsession. Often you will find one wrapped around my wrist for no apparent reason---though at the ready for any reason at all.
Place tied chicken on top of veggies; insert into 375 oven for an hour. Baste once or twice. Poke thigh with knife to make sure juice runs clear not red (or check temp. gauge, should be 165). I slice into four parts for eating: two breasts and two full legs. I put yummy vegetables in the bottom of large shallow soup bowls, add accumulated broth and top with chicken. Dinner: done.
More on Chickens:
- My son Anthony writes his own Pickin A Chicken blog (I know: how cool is that?). He was in charge of picking our urban chickens, and found the online info. to be disjointed at best. SO he decided to do the legwork for you and now has a very informative blog about chickens!
- Anthony has been building a chicken coop with re-purposed wood.
- Delish.com offers a number of chicken recipes for your oven, grill and more!
- Default Dinners (my 'coined' term for family go-to meals): look for my 1-2-3 Buttermilk Chicken Recipe (my mom makes this all the time!)
- Wow. A milestone: we just ordered our 'urban chickens'! In Seattle we are allowed 8 chickens and without hesitation: we ordered the full 8. It was a fun exercise, finding a balance between good-lookers, egg-layers, good-natured chickens... but of course: more on that later (no doubt with scads of 'cute chic' pics).