Roast Chicken for Les Paresseux

I don’t know about you but for me it has been an extremely busy week! It was my weekend on at work with what seemed like the never ending of emergencies, delivering of babies, and studying for my exam in anatomy and physiology, so I apologize now that I haven’t posted something new in the last couple of days. Now that I’m back lets focus on the good stuff! I have been on this kick of wanting to learn how to cook French food, it looks and smells delicious, and there is always some sort of bread and/or potato involved. I don’t know about you but I LOVE carbs!

I’m going to start off by saying this recipe is NOT mine what so ever. My wonderful boyfriend got me a fabulous French cook book last Christmas, and almost a year later I finally cracked into it, it’s called “Around My French Table” by Dorie Greenspan. All I can say is if you want some fabulous French style food, that you can make in a snap, with some basic ingredients in your home buy this book! Around My French Table. Her cookbook has won a couple of awards and is a best seller, and I’ll be cooking through some of her amazing recipes with you.

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In this recipe I definitely had to improvise on how some things were done, for example this recipe calls for a Dutch Oven which I do not have. With that being said I just used a ceramic 9′ X 13′ pan and some aluminum foil and it turned out just fine. To get started make sure your oven rack is in the middle, so you can achieve a nice even cook on the chicken. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.

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In that 9′ X 13′ pan pour about two tablespoons of olive oil and grease the whole pan with out leaving “dry spots”. Then place a slice of French bread in the middle, I put one of the middle pieces of the loaf in just for size, I felt that the end pieces weren’t big enough.

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I personally like to put my spices and ingredients that go together in ramekins, I think it makes it easier, you don’t have to though. In a ramekin place a good part of salt and a good part of ground black pepper and give it a good mix to blend the spices.

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Apparently I can’t read directions, hence another improvise, in the recipe she tells us to cut the garlic head horizontally and I cut the garlic vertically. It did work out perfectly though and I personally liked being able to spread the garlic out more, so whatever way you decide to cut them is perfectly fine. If you do decide to cut them vertically like I did, you can separate them apart into individual cloves and cut the root off. I also took off the white flaky layer but I did leave on the actual skin of the garlic.

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For those of you that don’t know much about herbs, from left to right, there is rosemary, oregano, and thyme. You can by them fresh at your local grocery store or if you’re like me, I have a nice little potted herb garden that I can just cut from. If you don’t have one and can afford a couple pots and some herb starts in the spring I highly recommend starting a garden. Another modification I made was it calls for half a sprig of each of the herbs, I changed it to a whole sprig of rosemary and couple sprigs of oregano and thyme because they were pretty small.

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Now here’s where you really get down to business, seasoning the chicken. Take the salt and pepper and do a nice coating all over the chicken, under the wings and legs, on the back side, and on the belly side. After you’re done with that, sprinkle a nice coat of salt and pepper on the inside of the chicken as well as put in a half of the garlic, the rosemary, thyme and oregano. Then place the chicken onto the piece of the french bread.

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Since the chicken is seasoned now. Place the other half of the garlic, I did 2 more sprigs of rosemary and a small handful of both the oregano and thyme, and put them evenly around the chicken. Next take some olive oil and put a couple of tablespoons in the pan, I went in circles around the pan just to evenly disperse it and to coat everything.

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This next part is completely up to you on how you want to cook your chicken. I personally love cooking with wine and enjoying a nice glass of it too. I feel that wine really adds a good flavor to dishes, but its all on personal taste and beliefs, if you choose to opt out of using wine you can use chicken stock and you’ll use the same amount as well. Since were on the subject of wine this recipe calls for a dry white wine, I personally went with a Pinot Gris  from a local winery that I love to go to. You can also use Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio, Pinot Gris, Pinot Blanc, and Sémillon its really whatever you would like to use.

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In with the chicken you’re going to pour 2/3 cup dry white wine or chicken stock in the pan.

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Next cover the chicken up with aluminum foil and make a nice tight seal all the way around the pan. Once your oven is ready place the pan in the middle of the oven at 450 degrees F. for 45 minutes. During this time you don’t need to check on the chicken or open the oven, unless for some odd reason there is smoke coming from their.

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While the chicken is cooking in the oven you can start cutting up your vegetables. First be sure to wash and peel your carrots. You can choose use a potato peeler or a knife, I prefer a potato peeler because its easier and safer then a knife. Once you get your carrots peeled go ahead and cut them into good size chunks and place them into a bowl (all of the vegetables are going to go into this bowl so make sure its a decent size).

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With the shallots peel them down to the nice meaty layer, the ones on the far right. I just pictured them for those who have never worked with shallots. The far left is what they look like when you purchase them in the store. Once you peel off the flaky layer your going to get a dark shiny layer which is similar to the layer peel on a clove of garlic. You just want to peel it off and the purple meaty layer should be right after that. Once you get them peeled you can place them in the bowl with the carrots.

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The recipe calls for four small potatoes, I was feeding myself and two very hungry men so I went with six red potatoes. First scrub the potatoes clean since they have been in the ground and are covered in dirt. If you choose to do the six red potatoes, I sliced mine into thirds and then the thirds into fourths and placed them in the bowel as well.

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In the bowel with the vegetables and potatoes, drizzle them with olive oil and make sure their coated evenly. Then salt and pepper them to taste, making sure their coated evenly.

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When the chicken is done cooking for the first 45 minutes remove it from the oven. Uncover the chicken and place the potatoes, carrots and shallots evenly throughout the pan. Cover the pan and once again place it back into the oven for another 45 minutes.

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Once the chicken is done spoon out the vegetables out of the pan into a separate bowl. You can choose what you like to do here, so you have the choice of either letting the chicken rest in the pan for 5 to 10 minutes or you can transfer it to a separate plate. In the recipe Dorie Greenspan tells us that there should be only a little pan sauce, but since I didn’t follow directions very well and kinda made it my own I had more then a little pan sauce, which I was perfectly fine with. I hope you enjoy this delicious one pot dinner as much as I did.

Ingredients:
Olive oil
1 slice of French bread, use the rest to serve with dinner
1 Whole chicken, roughly 4 1/2 to 5 pounds
Salt and pepper
Rosemary, thyme, and oregano
1 garlic head, cut in half
About 2/3 cup dry white wine or chicken stock
4 baby potatoes
2 Carrots, the long ones
4 shallots

Oil a Dutch oven or a 9′ X 13′ pan with olive oil. Take a paper towel and spread the oil all over  the pan making sure it is evenly coated. Place one slice of french bread in the middle of the pan. Preheat your oven to 450 degrees F. At this point if you rinse your chicken off you can, I personally do, but it is completely up to you. Place some salt and pepper into a bowl and give it a good stir, then season the chicken inside and out. Take half of the garlic, a sprig of rosemary, small handful of thyme and oregano and place them in the cavity of the chicken. Place the chicken on top of the piece of French bread in the pan. Next take the other half of the garlic, 2 more sprigs of rosemary and another small handful of thyme and oregano and distribute them evenly around the chicken. Take a couple tablespoons of olive oil and drizzle it around the chicken, then add your 2/3 cup wine or chicken stock into the pan. Cover the pan with the lid or some aluminum foil and place in the oven for 45 minutes.

While the chicken is cooking start preparing the vegetables by washing them and chopping them into decent size chunks. Once their cut up place them into a bowl and coat them with a little olive oil. Salt and pepper to taste. When the chicken is done cooking for the first 45 minutes remove it from the oven and distribute the vegetables evenly around the chicken. Cover the pan back up and place back into the oven for another 45 minutes. Once the chicken is completely done cooking remove from the oven. Spoon out the vegetables into a separate bowl and let the chicken rest for 5 to 10 minutes before serving.

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