Monday, January 3, 2011

Roasted Chicken with Rosemary

 When I first got married, I wasn't much of a cook.  I knew how to make a few recipes, but as a single vegetarian, dinner mostly consisted of salad and ice cream.  I did go through a phase where I was obsessed with Asian noodle soups and trying to recreate Martha Stewart desserts, but once I started seeing the results of all of that cooking on my thighs, I went back to salads (and a little less ice cream). 

One of the first gifts my mother-in-law was a Taste of Home cookbook.  I remember feeling very proud of mine because she got the same one for all of the daughter-in-laws, so it felt like an initiation into the family. I had know her for about 14 years at that point, seeing that I'm best friends with her daughter (hence how I met my husband), but this moment felt like family. 

This was the first recipe that I made for Abe from the cookbook and it was the first time I had ever made a whole chicken.  I remember being very nervous about it, but then amazed at how easy it turned out.  Since then, I've made several different recipes, but always get the same reply from Abe and Jimi....."It's really good, but it's not like your rosemary chicken."  So, while they humor me by trying my newest found recipe, I humor them by making the basic chicken that they love so much.  If I ever find a recipe that tops this one in their mind, I will be sure to run to the blog to post it!

The beauty of the recipe is that it makes 2 guaranteed meals for pretty cheap.  I always take the bones and simmer it in a pot of water with some whole peppercorns, garlic cloves, bay leaf or two and a couple of onions and carrots thrown into a large pot, and make chicken noodle soup the next day.

Recipe by Isabel Zienkosky, found in The Taste of Home Cookbook

Rosemary Chicken
Serves 9

1/2 cup butter
4 tablespoons minced fresh rosemary or 2 tablespoons dried rosemary, crushed
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 roasting chicken (5 to 6 pounds)
9 small red potatoes, halved
6 medium carrots, halved lengthwise and cut into 2 inch pieces
2 medium onions, quartered

In a small saucepan, melt butter and stir in rosemary, parsley, garlic, salt and pepper.  Place chicken on a rack in a roasting pan; tie drumsticks together with kitchen string.

Spoon half of butter mixture over chicken.  Place potatoes, carrots and onions around pan and drizzle the remaining butter over them. 

Cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees for 1 1/2 hours, basting every 30 minutes (I'm lazy and skip this part).  Uncover;  bake 30-60 minutes longer or until a meat thermometer reads 180 degrees and vegetables are tender, basting occasionally.

Cover with foil and let stand for 10-15 minutes before carving to allow juices to settle back into chicken.  Serve vegetables with chicken.

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