Roasted Chicken with Pan Gravy

How many ways are there to make CHICKEN? Probably a million, but nothing beats a perfectly roasted chicken especially on a Sunday afternoon. I’ve been told I’m addicted to cooking roasted meats on a Sunday and I think my family is right. There’s just something about slow cooking a meal while watching my favorite sports team. Whether a roast, stew, or chicken I’m never disappointed.

This recipe is sure to never disappoint and if you follow the Chef Secrets-Chicken listed your chicken will be perfect every time!

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Ingredients:

  • • 1 fresh whole chicken
  • • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • • 1 whole head of garlic, halved
  • • 1 lemon, cut into wedges
  • • 1 sprig fresh rosemary
  • • 3 sprigs fresh thyme
  • • 3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Pan Gravy:

  • Pan drippings
  • 1 tsp fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 1/4 c white wine
  • 1/2 c chicken stock
  • 3 Tbsp unsalted butter, cold

Directions:

  1. Bring the chicken to room temperature by removing it from the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes prior to cooking.
  2. Heat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  3. Season the inside of the chicken with salt and pepper and fill the cavity with the onion, garlic, lemon and fresh herbs.
  4. Tie the legs and tuck the wings on the bird and completely dry the outside of the bird.
  5. Rub the olive oil on the skin of the bird and season with salt and pepper.
  6. Place the bird on its breast and roast on a cooking rack for 15 minutes on high heat.
  7. Reduce the heat to 350 degrees and rotate the chicken on the right side, basting and cooking for 15-20 minutes.
  8. Rotate the chicken to the left side, baste and continue cooking.
  9. Rotate the chicken to its back, baste, and cook until the total cooking time reaches 1 hour.
  10. Roast until the internal temperature reaches 165 between the thigh and breast.
  11. Remove the chicken from the oven to rest for at least 15 minutes before carving.

Pan Gravy Instructions:

  1. Place the roasting pan on a burner on high heat.
  2. Stir in the white wine scrapping all the drippings from the tray.
  3. Add the chicken stock and simmer for 5-7 minutes to reduce the sauce.
  4. Add the rosemary to the sauce and season with salt and pepper.
  5. Reduce the heat and stir in the cold butter to thicken the sauce and serve.

Chef Secrets-Chicken

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Who couldn’t use a little extra help in the kitchen? There are always easier ways to make that special dish more special or save time in the kitchen and thus Chef Secrets was created! This is a new series on my blog to share great tips and tricks of the trade and hopefully you’ll share some of yours as well!

The beginning of the year is usually a time where most people are extremely health conscience, but clean healthy eating does not mean NO FLAVOR. Here are today’s Chef Secrets to creating delicious chicken every time!

  • When choosing poultry, make sure there is no liquid residue either wet or frozen on the bottom of the package. Excess liquid means the meat has been frozen and the cells have released a percentage of the liquid. When cooked the bones will be darker than a fresher bird.
  • Apply pressure to the breastbone of the poultry before buying. If they bone isn’t pliable, the chicken is older and will not be as tender when cooked.
  • Did you know you CAN freeze a chicken IF the chicken has been defrosted in the refrigerator and has not remained the refrigerator more than 2 days.
  • FREE-RANGE chickens are more flavorful than closed cooped chickens. Free-range chickens are ale to move around the yard therefore, developing more flavor. If possible, purchase young free-range chickens for maximum flavor and tenderness.
  • To create a flavorful roasted bird every time, roast your chicken on the SIDE for 15 minutes, basting and alternating sides until the final 15-20 minutes of cooking. Roast the bird on it’s back for the final 20 minutes. Your chicken breast will be moist and flavorful!

What’s the diff? Just some quick notes to help you understand the difference between chickens!

  • Broilers/Fryers: 7 week old birds that weight from 3-4 pounds.
  • Roasting Chickens: Hens weighing between 5-8 pounds and have more fat than broilers
  • Stewing hens: 1-year-old birds weighing 4-8 pounds. Retired laying old hens that need to be slow roasted, but full of flavor.
  • Capons: 10 week old castrated roosters weighing 8-10 pounds.
  • Rock Cornish Game Hens: 4-6 week old chickens weighing 1-2 pounds are a hybrid between Cornish and Rock chickens.

Honey Mustard Chicken with Crispy Bacon

Who doesn’t love a great piece of chicken, crispy bacon coupled with creamy sharp cheddar cheese. As you know I love taking ingredients we use everyday in the kitchen and create something fresh, new, and absolutely delicious! Juicy chicken thighs and a tangy honey mustard marinade will make this recipe a keeper for your family! Let’s get started!

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Ingredients:

Marinade-

Chicken-

  • 4 chicken thighs, boneless and skinless
  • 8 slices of bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • 1 Tbsp canola oil
  • 1 ½ C. mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 Tbsp salted butter
  • 2 C. cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 2 tsp. paprika
  • Salt, to taste
  • Fresh cracked pepper, to taste
  • 2 tsp. fresh parsley, chopped

 

Directions:

  1. Combine the marinade ingredients in a bowl and whip until blended, about 30 seconds.
  2. Place the chicken thighs in a zip lock bag and pour 2/3 of the marinade over the meat, seal and place in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours or overnight.
  3. Place the remaining marinade in a container and place in the refrigerator.
  4. Remove from the chicken from the marinade solution and preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  5. Place an oven proof skillet on the stove top and heat 1 Tbsp of canola oil over medium high heat.
  6. Sear the chicken in the pan until golden brown on each side, 4 minutes each depending on heat.
  7. Remove the PAN from the heat and brush the chicken thighs with the RESERVED  honey mustard marinade.
  8. Season the chicken with salt, pepper, and paprika.
  9. In a separate pan, heat 2 Tbsp of butter and sauté the sliced mushrooms.
  10. Top each chicken thigh with equal portions crumbled bacon.
  11. Top each chicken thigh with equal portions of saute mushrooms.
  12. Divide the sharp cheddar cheese and place on top of each chicken thigh.
  13. Place the pan in the oven and bake for 8-10 minutes until the chicken is cooked through and the cheese is melted.
  14. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with the parsley garnish and serve.

Mexican Rice Bowl

This is one of my FAVORITE recipes! Have I said that before? I’m sure I have but I REALLY mean it lol! The perfect combination of cilantro, lime juice, black beans and corn and you’re in heaven. This recipe is perfect as a meal topped with a fresh salsa and you are instantly transported to HEAVEN. Take a peek!

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Ingredients:

  • 1½ C long-grain white rice, uncooked*
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 package smoked mexican turkey or chicken sausage, cut diagonally
  • 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 14 oz chicken broth or stock
  • 1¼ C water
  • 1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 C. whole kernel corn, frozen or fresh
  • 2 Tbsp fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • Crack pepper, to taste

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine long-grain rice, onion,sausage, and extra virgin olive oil ensuring the rice is completely coated.
  3. Place the chicken broth and water in a medium-sized pot and bring to a boil.
  4. Place the rice mixture into a casserole dish or Dutch oven.
  5. Pour the broth mixture into the casserole or Dutch oven and place a cover over the container.
  6. Bake for 30 minutes.
  7. After 30 minutes, stir in the black beans, corn, and cilantro.
  8. Cover and bake an additional 15-20 minutes or until all of the liquid is absorbed.
  9. Remove the casserole from the oven.
  10. Top the completed dish with fresh salsa to garnish.

*long-grain rice works BEST for this dish to avoid excessive gumminess.

Greek Pizza

Fridays are made for pizza and what’s better than pizza made at home! If you haven’t noticed many of my recipes are very versatile meaning you can add or change any of the ingredients. If you’re watching your diet, yep this pizza is for you especially since studies show the Mediterranean diet is one of the healthiest diets you can eat! Get creative and let each family member “create” their own pizza!

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Ingredients:

  • 1 package flat bread
  • 2 C. fresh baby spinach leaves
  • 8 oz cooked chicken breast, chopped
  • ½ C. cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • ¼ C. feta cheese, crumbled
  • 2 Tbsp walnuts or pine nuts, chopped
  • ½ tsp dried oregano, crushed OR 1 ½ tsp fresh oregano, chopped
  • ½ tsp dried rosemary, crushed, OR 1 ½ tsp fresh rosemary, chopped
  • ¹⁄³ C. Red Wine Vinaigrette*recipe follows

Red Wine Vinaigrette:

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Place the flat bread on a large baking sheet.
  3. Add the spinach, chicken, tomatoes, feta cheese, nuts, and spices.
  4. Drizzle the pizza with the Red Wine Vinaigrette.
  5. Bake the pizza 10-15 minutes until the pizza is warm and serve.

 

 

 

Spicy Sesame Ginger Wings

Over the past couple of years between Football, Basketball, and Golf seasons, I have eaten my weight 3 times over in wings! A little sweet, a little spice and the traditional wings are transformed into a treat that’s not only crispy, but magically transformed.

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Ingredients:

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven broiler and spray the broiler pan rack with non-stick spray.
  2. Place the chicken wings in a bowl and combine with the canola oil and salt and toss to coat.
  3. Arrange the coated wings on the broiler pan rack and broil 12 inches from the heating element for 45 minutes, turning until golden brown and crispy.
  4. While the chicken is cooking, combine the rice vinegar, soy sauce, brown sugar, Asian chile sauce, Sriracha, ginger, and 1 scallion in a blender until smooth.
  5. Pour the mixture to a saucepan and bring to a boil for 5 minutes until the sauce thickens.
  6. Add the chicken wings to the sauce and toss to glaze for 5 minutes.
  7. Place finished wings on a platter and garnish with scallions and sesame seeds.

adapted from Food & Wine

 

Chicken with Basil Dumplings

I’ve never needed a good reason to enjoy a warm soothing bowl of soup. While searching for a new way to give chicken thighs a makeover, stumbled across a delightful dumpling recipe from Dawn Vezina,  my daughter aka “the palate” recommended the basil twist and a star was born!

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If you prefer dark meat over the traditional chicken breast, you will find this recipe exceptionally tasty and combined with the light, fluffy dumplings this soup is perfect to combat the winter blahs and the dreaded flu.  The REAL perk is this soup is even BETTER the next day!

Ingredients:

Soup:

2 chicken leg quarters, cut

2 celery ribs, sliced

1 cup carrots, julienne

1 large onion, diced

1 can chicken stock (14 ½ oz)

2 Tbsp fresh parsley, chopped

2 tsp beef bouillon granules

2 cloves of garlic, minced

1 ½ tsp salt

1 twist fresh ground pepper

Dumplings:

2 c.  flour

4 tsp baking powder

1 tsp basil

1 tsp salt

¾ c.  milk

4 Tbsp canola oil

Directions:

In a large stock pot, combine the chicken, celery, carrots, onion, chicken broth, parsley, minced garlic cloves, beef bouillon granules, salt and pepper.  Add water to completely cover the chicken. Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce the heat , cover, and simmer for 2 hours or until the chicken is cooked through to the bone.  Remove the chicken and let stand until it is cool to the touch.  Remove the skin and tear the meat from the bones, returning the skin to the soup.

Season the soup with salt and pepper to taste. Return the soup to a simmer. Meanwhile, combine the dumpling ingredients in a mixing bowl and mix until a stiff dough is formed.  Drop the dough one tablespoon at a time into the simmering soup.  Cover the pot and simmer for 15-20 minutes.  Serve immediately