Never Retiring the Roasted Chicken …….

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With out fail, a roasted chicken with fresh veggies is one of our most repeated and favorite dishes for the weekend. It’s great for entertaining, because you can prep ahead of time and put it all in at once, leaving you more time to hang out with your guests. Our new trick, thanks to Aunt Noelle, is taking the left over bones and meat and making a chicken broth out of it, to use for later in the week. It’s crazy how much tastier (while much more nutritious) the broth is this way, vs those store bought cartons.  The biggest trick with this dish is timing the bird, which can be kind of intimidating at first. Sometimes it takes a few tries with your oven to determine the best length of time (still juicy, but fully cooked). I’m kind of always paranoid of eating under cooked chicken, but thankfully Nick has it timed perfectly now. I’m currently obsessed with this meal, so hopefully Nick doesn’t get sick of it anytime soon.

Roasted Chicken with Carrots and Potatoes (serves 2 with leftovers)

Ingredients:

  • 1 large roasting chicken
  • 2 yukon gold potatoes per person
  • 4 sprigs of fresh rosemary
  •  4 sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 1 tea spoon of salt & pepper
  • 1 bunch of carrots
  • 1 tea spoon of ground ginger
  • 1 tea spoon of cumin
  • 1 tea spoon of cinnamon
  • 1 tea spoon of fennel seed
  • 1 tea spoon of chili powder
  • 1 tea spoon of nutmeg.
*The trick to this dish is that you let the potatoes roast under the chicken, which sits on some form of grate (lots of roasting pans have holes in them to let the juices flow through.) This allows the chicken juices to baste the potatoes as they cook, creating the best roast potatoes ever. You could probably even just cook the chicken directly over the potatoes, although I’ve never tried that.
For potatoes: 
1) Nothing special here… just wash and quarter your potatoes, then boil them with a generous pinch of salt, 4 sprigs of rosemary, and 3 sprigs of thyme, until just soft enough to piece with a fork.
2) Here you can start the chicken, as the potatoes boil.
3) Drain the potatoes (should be a good amount of rosemary and thyme stuck to them, which is good), toss in a little olive oil and pretty generous amount of salt and pepper (although remember you can add more salt and pepper later, so don’t go crazy). It’s ok if they start to crumble apart.
4) Add these to a roasting pan., sitting under the chicken.
For the chicken: 
1) pre-heat oven to 500F
2) rinse chicken, removing organs if they’re there (sometimes come in a little pack stuffed into the body cavity.) Dry inside and out (you want a dry chicken to get crispy skin).
3) generously salt and pepper the cavity, with a few sprigs of rosemary and thyme.
4) Truss the chicken so that the legs are held close to the body. Fold the wings under the back of the chicken.
5) sprinkle the chicken very generously with salt and pepper (salt draws away moisture and gets it to crisp up… I once saw Thomas Keller say it should look like the bird was under a light snow.) I like to sprinkle the salt from a little ways above the bird so that it spread reasonably evenly. Some people rub the bird with olive oil, I just leave it dry.
6) add the chicken to the oven, reduce temperature to 425. Then just let it roast for 1 hour to 1:10 depending on how big your bird is. Test the temperature with a thermometer (trust your thermometer, don’t let the bird over cook).
7) let the bird sit for 5 mins before serving. Don’t cover with tin foil, or the skin will get soggy.
For the Carrots:
1) peel carrots, sprinkle with olive oil
2) Sprinkle generously with ground ginger, cumin, cinnamon, pepper, fennel seed, chili powder, and a little nutmeg. Mix so carrots are well coated with the spices.
3) Add to the roasting pan, under the chicken. I leave the tops under the potatoes so they stay green. Roasting the entire time should get the bottoms nice and caramelized.

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We had a busy filled weekend with friends and brought little Miss Char down to our old hood in the West Village. It was fun to be back, but actually reassured us that we made the right decision moving up town with a baby. People are way more accepting of strollers up here 🙂 Today we had a little play date with Char’s buddy Jade. They were both fascinated with the jolly jumper (successful purchase Nick!).

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