Monday, April 8, 2013

52 Meals #1: Roasted Chicken with Lemon and Garlic

52 Meals, the weekly Sunday dinner challenge I issued to myself, started off this week as a resounding success. Each Monday I'll be sharing our Sunday dinner, complete with pictures, recipes, and tips for making cooking at home fun and easy. 

The Meal: I wanted to start off #52Meals with a classic, and one of my all time favorite meals. This week we roasted a whole organic chicken, flavored with lemon and garlic. Accompanying the chicken was smashed potatoes, roasted carrots, and pan gravy. 

The Recipes: 

Roasted Chicken with Lemon & Garlic
  • 1 Whole Chicken (organic/pre-brined)
  • 6 Carrots peeled and chopped into fork sized pieces
  • 10-15 cloves of Garlic
  • 1 Lemon cut into quarters
  • 1 Cup of Chicken Stock
  • 1 Tspb Olive Oil
  • Compound Butter
    • Softened butter
    • Spices: Salt, Pepper, Cayenne, Lemon Pepper
    • Lemon juice from 1/4th of lemon
  1. Set Oven to 475F.
  2. Clean and dry chicken. Trim the excess fat and loosen the skin on the breast.
  3. Mix the ingredients for the compound butter and rub the mixture directly onto the chicken breast, under the skin. 
  4. Place the quartered lemon into the cavity of the chicken. 
  5. Add the olive oil and half the chicken stock to the bottom of a dutch oven (or roasting pan). Tip: My Le Cruset makes the best roast chicken in the entire world, and I'll never cook a chicken in anything else. 
  6. Tie up the legs of the chicken and place it into the dutch oven. 
  7. Add the carrots and the garlic around the chicken. 
  8. Put the dutch oven into the 475F degree oven uncovered for 20 minutes. 
  9. After 20 minutes reduce the temperature to 325F degrees and cook until the internal temperature reaches 155F.  The internal temperature of the chicken will rise about 10 degrees to around 165F. 
  10. Take the chicken and carrots out of the dutch oven and place it onto a platter, covered with foil to rest for at least 10 minutes.
  11. Carve and Serve with pan gravy (directions below). Tip: Pull the lemon out of the cavity and squeeze the juices onto the chicken right before serving. 
Pan Roasted Chicken Gravy
  1. After removing the chicken and carrots from the dutch oven, deglaze the bottom of the dutch oven with the remaining chicken stock. 
  2. Scrape up all the brown bits to incorporate them into the sauce. Add salt and pepper to taste. 
  3. To thicken the gravy, slowly whisk in flour, stirring out any lumps that may form. 
Smashed Potatoes
  • 1 lb Baby Yukon Gold Potatoes
  • 1 Tbsp Butter
  • 1/2 cup Chicken Stock
  • 1/4 cup Heavy Cream
  • 5-6 cloves of Garlic 
  1. Wash and dry each potato. 
  2. Cut/peel off any brown or icky spots. 
  3. Cut each potato into quarters and drop into a pot of cold, salted water. 
  4. Bring water to a simmer and cook until potatoes are knife tender. 
  5. In a separate saucepan, combine the butter, chicken stock, heavy cream, garlic, salt and pepper and cook on low for 10-15 minutes. 
  6. When the potatoes are knife tender, drain the potatoes and run them through a food mill (or ricer); add skins back in. 
  7. Combine potatoes and butter/cream mixture; fold together until combined. 
The Verdict: absolutely delicious and exactly what I had envisioned. 

Total Time in the Kitchen: About 90 minutes from start to table and enough inactive cook time to clean the kitchen and run the dishwasher while the chicken was in the oven. 

Difficultly Level: 3 out of 5. 

If you have any questions at all, leave a comment below and I'll make sure to answer as quickly as possible.  

Follow along during the week on twitter & instagram; I'll be using the hashtag #52Meals to corral all my photos in one place. 

Next Week's Meal: Italian Sunday Gravy