Monday, April 2, 2012

Sunday Dinner: Rosemary-Garlic Roast Chicken

Straight from the oven--and waiting to carve!

 Two of my favorite Rs? Roast chicken—and Rosemary! Roast chicken is one of those super-homey flavors that I crave when it’s coolish outside, and rosemary, well, need I say more? What I like about a Sunday dinner of roast chicken is that I can put it in the oven and pretty much leave it until it’s done. (Luckily my home office is next to my kitchen—so I can always check on it, and I can enjoy the gorgeous aromas that waft towards me during roasting time.) Yesterday I served it with pasta topped with roasted eggplant-tomato and pepper sauce (will share soon!). I paired both with a kumquat and toasted pine nut, citrus vinaigrette-topped leafy green salad (and a cool Pinot Grigio—that Dad picked!). Accolades from the crowd!

Rosemary-Garlic Roast Chicken

Serves 8 to 10 with leftovers

Vegetable oil (for lightly greasing the pan)
2  all-natural (I usually buy Murray’s) roasting chickens, about 6 pounds each (of course you can just cook one for a smaller crowd)
6 rosemary sprigs, plus sprigs for garnish (optional)
8 cloves of garlic, with skin on
2 to 3 shallots (or 1 to 2 red onions), peeled and coarsely chopped
Coarse salt and freshly ground black (or mixed) pepper
Olive oil

Preheat the oven to 500°F. Lightly coat a roasting pan and rack with vegetable oil.

Remove giblets and neck from the chickens. Rinse and pat them dry. Place the chickens on top of the greased pan rack (though you’ll see I didn’t use one here!) or simply into the greased roasting pan. Place them breast side up in the pan (you can see that I put ‘em foot to head!).

Sprinkle the rosemary, garlic, and shallots on top. Season with salt and pepper. Drizzle a bit of olive oil, and rub into the skin of the chicken.

Bake at this heat for about 20 minutes, and then lower the temperature to 375°F.

Roast until cooked, about 2 hours or until golden and a meat thermometer inserted into thickest part of thigh (and not touching the bone) reads 165°F. Let them stand for about10 minutes before carving. Garnish with additional rosemary sprigs if desired, and serve. Store leftovers (excellent for arroz con pollo, sandwiches, and so much more!) in a sealed container in the fridge.

Plated--with pasta and salad

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