Anyway, I really wanted to get pictures of Skylar in the leaves like I did at exactly this time last year. Fortunately we did right before the blizzard hit. Unfortunately, there was something foggy on my lens and I didn't realize it. Oh well, photographer I am not, but it's fun to compare this year to last and see how big she's gotten (sniff, sniff).
So go on with your bad self, and roast up a chicken.
I adore Ina Garten and started making her Perfect Roast Chicken a few years back. The name does not lie, it turns out exactly right every time. If you've never tried roasting a chicken before you NEED to try this recipe. (And if a whole raw chicken grosses you out like it does me--suck it up. It will be worth it!) Just 10 minutes of prep time and your work is done. Make your husband carve it.
PERFECT ROAST CHICKEN
1 5-6 pound roasting chicken
freshly ground black pepper
1 large bunch of fresh thyme (there is no substitution for fresh here!)
1 lemon, halved
1 head of garlic, cut in half crosswise
2 T. of butter melted
1 spanish onion thickly sliced
1 cup chicken stock
2 T all purpose flour
Preheat oven to 425. Remove the chicken giblets. Rinse the chicken inside and out, removing any excess fat and leftover pin feathers. Pat the outside dry. Place the chicken in a roasting pan. Liberally salt the inside of the chicken. Stuff the cavity with the thyme, both halves of lemon, and all of the garlic. Brush the outside of the chicken with melted butter and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Tie the legs together with kitchen string and tuck the wing tips under the body of the chicken. Scatter onion slices around the chicken.
Roast for 1 1/2 hours or until the juices run clear when you cut between a leg and a thigh. Remove to a platter and let rest under foil while you prepare gravy.
(Gravy isn't my thing.....I don't do gravy, but in case you do--here it is.)
Remove all the fat from the bottom of the pan, reserving two tablespoons in a small cup. Add the chicken stock to the pan and cook on high heat for 5 minutes, until reduced, scraping the bottom of the pan. Combine the 2 T of chicken fat with the flour and add to the pan. Boil for a few minutes to cook the flour. Strain the gravy into a small saucepan and season it to taste. Keep it warm over a very low flame while carving the chicken.
The finished result:I usually serve it with Ina's Caramelized Butternut Squash, which I could eat as a meal on it's own. The condensed version of the recipe is as follows:
Peal and chop 2 medium butternut squash (4-5 pounds total). Toss with 6 T. melted unsalted butter, 1/4 cup of brown sugar, 1 1/2 teaspoons of Kosher Salt, and 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper. Roast for 45-55 minutes, until squash is tender and caramelized.