Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Dark Days Update #3: Oven Roasted Chicken with Root Vegetables & Buttermilk Rolls

Sunday night I was tasked with cooking me and Gail's most recent meal for the Dark Days Challenge. Though a meal of buttermilk rolls, oven roasted chicken and root vegetables seems pretty straightforward it was challenging because until Sunday night I had NEVER roasted a whole chicken, or even attempted it. Another interesting aspect of this meal is that, as previously mentioned Gail is vegetarian. A while back she mentioned to me she would be willing to try chicken again if I was willing to cook it. With this in mind the pressure was really on to find an appropriate dish that would appeal to both of us, without being overpowering to her chickenless existence. I decided if Gail were going to try chicken again it would have to be good, but it would also have to be relatively simple so I choose a classic dish: Roasted whole chicken with root vegetables. Traditional, simple, and delicious (I hoped).
Below is a photo of the results, which I am extremely pleased with as well as the recipes used:
First off, is the rolls which were very easy to make and extremely good. This recipe is taken straight from Susy over at Chiot's Run. I urge everyone to head over there and check out the recipe as well as the great modifications and suggestions contained within. I've reproduced the recipe strictly for the basic rolls without any adjustment.

Basic Roll Dough
makes approximately 2 dozen rolls
1 cup milk or buttermilk
1/3 cup butter
1/4 cup sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 beaten eggs
4 1/4 - 4 3/4 cups of flour
1 packet of yeast
--In a large bowl, mix 2 cups of flour and yeast. In a medium saucepan, heat buttermilk, sugar, butter and salt just till butter starts to melt (120-130 degrees F). Add milk mixture to dry mixture along with eggs. Mix until flour is incorporated, then beat on high speed for 3 minutes.
--Mix in as much remaining flour as possible, but you want the dough to be fairly soft. Knead for 4-5 minutes until dough is smooth and elastic. Shape the dough into a ball and place in oiled bowl. Let rise in warm place till double, about 1 hour.
--Turn dough out onto counter and divide into the size of dough balls needed for whatever final bread you're making. Shape dough into desired rolls and place on baking sheets or pans. Cover and let rise in warm place till nearly double in size, about 45 minutes to one hour.
--Bake in 375F(pre-heated)oven until golden on top, will be about 12-15 minutes for rolls.
My notes: I mixed the whole thing by hand, so a mixer is not required. I ended up using 4 1/4 cups flour, at which point I felt the dough was sufficiently soft.

Oven Roasted Whole Chicken with Root Vegetables
For the Root Vegetables:
Wash, clean, and peel (if neccessary) your choice of root vegetables and set aside. I used:
2 handfuls of fingerling potatoes
1 large bunch of carrots
2 parsnips
1 yellow onion
1 turnip
2 cloves of garlic squashed and minced
1 teaspoon rosemary
1 teaspoon thyme
1 teaspoon sage
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
large pinch kosher salt.
olive oil
--Quarter and chop all the vegetables and place them in a bowl along with 1/2 a tablespoon of olive oil. Mix everything thoroughly until all the vegetables are coated in oil. Add herbs and mix well.
--Set aside until Chicken is ready for the oven.

For the Chicken:
1 3-5 lb Chicken
lemon or apple for the cavity
1 teaspoon rosemary
1 teaspoon thyme
1 teaspoon sage
5-6 cloves of garlic squashed and minced
1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
pinch kosher salt
1/8 of cup olive oil
--Bring chicken to room temperature. I purchased a frozen chicken on Saturday morning that weighed just under 4 lbs. I let it sit in the refrigerator until Sunday afternoon and pulled it out about 2 1/2 hours before I cooked it.
-- heat the oven to 425 F
--Pat chicken dry with paper towel
--Season the cavity with salt, black pepper, some of the rosemary, and 4 cloves of the squashed garlic. Add 1/2 a lemon or apple to the cavity. (optional: Add small head of garlic to rest in the cavity with the lemon or apple)
--Gently pinch the skin back on either side of the breast, rub the herb and garlic mixture just under the skin, without removing it.
--Rub 1/8 of a cup of oil around outside of the bird. Rub any remaining herb mixture on the outside of the bird.
Place the root vegetables into a roasting pan, with the chicken in the center
--Roast at 425F for 25 minutes.
--After 25 minutes turn down oven to 375F and roast for an additional 60 minutes or until internal temperature at the thigh reads 165F.
--Remove chicken from the roasting pan and rest 15 to 20 minutes. At this point check if the vegetables are done. If not give them a few more minutes.
--Carve chicken. Enjoy!

What was really nice about this meal as a whole was that as the chicken was finishing up I could use the oven space to make the rolls so everything was warm and fresh from the oven when we sat down to eat!
I was very pleased with my first experience roasting a whole chicken. The bird, from Stillman's at The Turkey Farm was moist and flavorful. The simple mixture of herbs and garlic carried well between the chicken and vegetables. Everything was cooked to perfection. I can't wait to do this again.
Gail did not eat a lot of the chicken, as I expected. She had a few small pieces, which she said tasted good, but 'different'. She wouldn't rush out to have it again, but if I made more at some point she would try a little more.

The promise of chicken soup to come from the leftovers is a big draw for her!

Local ingredients in the Rolls: Buttermilk (Garelick Farms), Butter (Kate's Homemade), Eggs (Baffoni's Poultry Farm), Flour (King Arthur Flour)
Local ingredients in the Chicken with Root Vegetables:
Chicken, Potato, Carrot, Parsnips (Stillman's Farm) Apple, Garlic, Yellow Onion (Allandale Farm) Turnip (Schartner Farms), Rosemary and Sage (My Garden)
I would also be remiss if I did not point out all the MassGrown cider I've been enjoying. I get a gallon each week from City Feed & Supply, which is also where I find Baffoni's Eggs and random other goodies!

1 comment:

Daphne said...

Yum. I love roasted chicken. I have a whole bunch of whole chickens in the freezer from one of the local farms. They are so not going to last until the farmers market opens again :<