Monday, September 14, 2009

Cook Once, Eat Twice: Chicken Edition

I'm a big fan of cooking once and eating twice ... which, of course, is just another way of saying I like leftovers. They're like money in the bank. I mean, really, if you're going to go to the trouble of cooking, you might as well cook BIG and set yourself up for a week of tasty meals.

While I can't imagine that any of you actually need a recipe for roast chicken, I'm going to offer you one anyway. Why? Because a simple roasted chicken is perhaps the easiest, most economical and versatile way to cook once and eat twice ... or thrice!

In this case, I roasted a bunch of new and sweet potatoes along with the bird and later in the week we'll be using the leftover potatoes, along with some chicken, to form a delicious and savory chicken hash.

Herb Roasted Chicken:
  • 1 whole roasting chicken, about 3 1/2 pounds
  • 2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 large cloves of garlic, peeled and minced
  • pinch of Kosher salt
  • 1 tbsp. chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 tbsp. chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 tsp. Emeril's Chicken Rub
  • 1/2 tsp. poultry seasoning
  • generous grating of fresh black pepper
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup of dry white wine
  • one medium onion, peeled and sliced
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and cut into large chunks
  • 1 medium poblano pepper, cored, seeded and sliced, if desired
  • 2 large shallots, peeled and quartered
  • 1 cup chicken broth or stock
Pre-heat your oven to 375 degrees F.

Mince the garlic and sprinkle it with a pinch of Kosher salt. Mash the garlic and salt into a paste by pressing the flat of a large chef's knife against the garlic and dragging the flat of the blade across the garlic and salt. Continue mashing and pressing until the garlic has softened and is the consistency of a thick paste. Scrape up the paste and place it into a small dish. Add the olive oil, rosemary, thyme, Emeril's Chicken rub, poultry seasoning and some freshly ground black pepper. Whisk well to combine. Reserve.

Place the chicken into a large roasting pan, breast side up, and drizzle inside and out with the white wine. Slather the outside of the entire chicken with the reserved oil and herb mixture to coat. Place a few slices of onion into the cavity of the chicken and sprinkle the rest atop and around the chicken. Add the carrots, pepper strips and shallots to the bottom of the pan, nestling them around the bird.

Roast in the middle of a pre-heated 375 degree oven for approximately 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 hours, or until done.

After the bird has roasted for one hour, pour 1 cup of chicken broth over the chicken and into the pan, then continue roasting for 1/2 to 3/4 of an hour.

Depending on the size of your bird and the quality of your oven, the chicken may take some additional time to cook. The safest way to determine if a chicken is cooked is to use an instant read thermometer. The FDA recommends cooking chicken until a minimum internal temperature of 165 degrees has been reached. To check the temperature, insert an instant read thermometer into the thickest part of the breast or between the inner most thigh and wing. You may also refer to this FDA Chicken Fact Sheet for approximate cooking times and further instructions. Personally, I like to roast mine until it reaches 170 degrees ... better safe than sorry! I also prefer to roast at 375F rather than 350F - and, again, that's just me.

The finished bird should be well browned and the juices will run clear when poked with a knife. Remove the cooked chicken from the pan and tent with foil, allowing it to rest for at least 5 minutes before carving. Meanwhile, strain the juices from the pan, reserve, and remove the cooked carrots and peppers, etc. for serving alongside the chicken. To serve, carve the chicken and drizzle with the reserved cooking liquid and some of the pan vegetables. Enjoy!

Now, obviously, if you're cooking for a larger crowd you should roast a larger chicken. A 3 1/2 pound bird is enough to serve the two of us for most of the week. Cook according to your needs, but do cook enough to have some leftovers if you want to play along with me this week.

Come back tomorrow and I'll tell you all about those yummy roast potatoes and we'll get to that chicken hash on Wednesday.

Bon appetite!


Heavenly Housewife said...

There are few things yummier than roasted chicken. I can never have to many chicken recipes :D

stephchows said...

i just can't get past having to take the gut baggie out... BLEH!!!! no roast chicken for this lady over here :D

The Diva on a Diet said...

HH - I couldn't agree more!

Steph - that's what husbands, or fiances, are for!

Christie's Corner said...

I love roasted chicken and the herbs your using makes my mouth water.

I'm also a big fan of the creative leftovers. But I don't think there will be any if this tastes half as good as I imagine!

doggybloggy said...

a roast chicken has only two lives around here - the first day as a whole bird and bones in a broth the second day...

Deb said...

Lately my roast chickens have been coming from the deli at my local supermarket - you inspire me to do more....

Anonymous said...

My family won't eat leftovers if it is presented as the same dish, but a slightly different dish with the same cooked ingredients is always great. Looking forward to your next recipe!

The Diva on a Diet said...

Charmian - its one of my favorite meals too!

doggy - so true ... I'm only cooking for 2 here and we end up with a lot of leftovers. Our chix have at least 3 lives. LOL

Deb - trust me, I'm guilty of the pre-roasted bird myself. Our local market makes a really nice Latin spiced version. Soooo good!

5 Star - I know plenty of grow-ups who won't eat the same meal unless disguised ... like my husband some times! LOL

words...words...words... said...

Very few foods have such a high deliciousness/effort ratio as a properly roasted chicken. Mmm. I live alone, so if I roast one on a Sunday it gets me through most of the week. Have you ever tried butterflying a chicken and high-heat roasting it? It's fantastic. I have a recipe that roasts a chicken and does a phenomenal potato side dish as a ONE POT MEAL. I'll be sure to send it to you.

pixelgal said...

I hope Words will share the recipe for butterflied chicken. Sounds like something I could master. As you know, Papa Diva's faves include roast chicken, probably at the top of the list as a matter of fact. This will be our dinner tonight...though Deb's idea ain't bad either.