Sunday, March 23, 2008


Lot's of firsts this year. The first year in recent memory that it snowed on Easter. The first year in about forever that we didn't have to go anywhere on Easter day. The first year that I cooked the entire meal. The first year in *way* too long that we actually colored Easter eggs. The girls had a blast and dh and I were just happy to stay home.

I decided to roast a chicken and despite a rocky start, it turned out pretty well. The recipe was simple. The meat was moist. Definitely a keeper.

I served the chicken with all our traditional family favorites. Maybe it's the fact that I'm constantly trying new recipes, but on holidays my family clamors for the same traditional items: Green Bean Casserole, Broccoli Casserole and Mashed Potatoes. Of course there had to be yeast rolls. This year the new addition was Rachael Ray's Spinach and Artichoke Stuffed Portabello Mushrooms. Suffice it to say they will not be be making a return appearance. They were so bad, I've already blogged about them! LOL!

My Favorite Simple Roast Chicken
"Mon Poulet Rôti"
by Thomas Keller

One 2- to 3-pound farm-raised chickenKosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons minced thyme (optional)

Unsalted butter
Dijon mustard

Preheat the oven to 450°F. Rinse the chicken, then dry it very well with paper towels, inside and out. The less it steams, the drier the heat, the better.Salt and pepper the cavity, then truss the bird. Trussing is not difficult, and if you roast chicken often, it's a good technique to feel comfortable with. When you truss a bird, the wings and legs stay close to the body; the ends of the drumsticks cover the top of the breast and keep it from drying out. Trussing helps the chicken to cook evenly, and it also makes for a more beautiful roasted bird.Now, salt the chicken — I like to rain the salt over the bird so that it has a nice uniform coating that will result in a crisp, salty, flavorful skin (about 1 tablespoon). When it's cooked, you should still be able to make out the salt baked onto the crisp skin. Season to taste with pepper.Place the chicken in a sauté pan or roasting pan and, when the oven is up to temperature, put the chicken in the oven. I leave it alone — I don't baste it, I don't add butter; you can if you wish, but I feel this creates steam, which I don't want. Roast it until it's done, 50 to 60 minutes. Remove it from the oven and add the thyme, if using, to the pan. Baste the chicken with the juices and thyme and let it rest for 15 minutes on a cutting board.Remove the twine. Separate the middle wing joint and eat that immediately. Remove the legs and thighs. I like to take off the backbone and eat one of the oysters, the two succulent morsels of meat embedded here, and give the other to the person I'm cooking with. But I take the chicken butt for myself. I could never understand why my brothers always fought over that triangular tip — until one day I got the crispy, juicy fat myself. These are the cook's rewards. Cut the breast down the middle and serve it on the bone, with one wing joint still attached to each. The preparation is not meant to be superelegant. Slather the meat with fresh butter. Serve with mustard on the side and, if you wish, a simple green salad. You'll start using a knife and fork, but finish with your fingers, because it's so good.

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