Delicious Roast Chicken

So, what I’ve been hearing lately is that you must go to France to experience the perfect roast chicken… while it seems like a perfectly legitimate excuse to go to the land of love, I’m not buying it. You can make a delicious roast chicken right in your very own kitchen.

What I love about roast chicken is you can dress it up or dress it down, kind of like a good pair of heels… You can serve it to company with some pretty roast vegetables (think brussel sprouts, sweet potatoes, red onions, and herbs) to go with it, or you can make it on a Tuesday for your family alongside some mashed potatoes. It’s a classic dish.

Ingredients:

  • Whole Chicken
  • 2 Lemons, cut in fourths
  • 4 sprigs of Rosemary
  • 4 sprigs of Thyme
  • 4-6 Cloves of garlic, peeled
  • Half of an onion, roughly sliced
  • 3 carrots, roughly chopped
  • Olive oil
  • Butter

Instructions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Take your herb sprigs, veggies, garlic, and lemons and make a bed for your chicken. (I’ve used a cast iron skillet, 8 x 8 Pyrex, or you can use a roasting pan.) Reserve about one sprig/piece/slice of each to shove in the chicken’s cavity. Pour a little olive oil on top of your bed of aromatics and season with salt and pepper.                                                       
  3. Take your chicken and drain the liquid from the cavity, and pat dry the chicken with a paper towel. (P.S. I’m not gonna pretend I know more than I do, and I never know what to do with the parts inside the chicken… sometimes I cook them, sometimes I chunk them. Totally up to you. My husband was the one who went to culinary school, not me.)
  4. Shove the reserved aromatics (lemon, garlic, herbs, onion) in the chicken’s cavity. Place your chicken on top of the bed of herbs and veggies                                       .
  5. Pour some olive oil on top of the chicken and season (aggressively) with salt and pepper.
  6. (Optional) I usually put a few pats of butter on the bottom of the dish with the veggies, and a tablespoon or so inside the chicken. It adds nice flavor and keeps it moist! If you don’t do dairy, you can leave it out, or sub more olive oil. Just make sure your veggies don’t dry out completely during the cooking process.
  7. Bake for 2 hours (I normally use a 5 pound chicken) or until internal temperature reaches 165 degrees.

Notes:

  • I have seen recipes that recommend a shorter cooking time, but it will depend on a variety of factors: the size of your chicken, your oven, ect. Just be sure internal temperature gets to 165 degrees Farenheit.
  • If you don’t have fresh herbs available to you, try seasoning your chicken with Trader Joe’s 21 Salute seasoning. It has a mix of everything in it: herbs, lemon zest, pepper, ect.
  • You can totally tie the legs with twine and get fancy like you see on the Food Network, but I usually don’t have cooking twine at home.
  • Save the bones to make a homemade broth! 

I hope you enjoy this recipe! I’d love to hear from you. What’s your favorite side dish to have with roast chicken? Comment below!

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Cilantro Lime Yogurt Sauce

The other day I asked my husband what he wanted for dinner. Now what this really means is: pick a side and a starch. In our house we hardly ever have a traditional salad. I found that with my boys they eat tons of vegetables if I just chop them up in toddler sized pieces, put them on a plate, and serve it with Ranch dressing. Anyho, so I asked Nathan what he wanted for dinner. He asked for grilled chicken and my cilantro-lime rice.

While I am making dinner, I remember that a few weeks ago when I made this dish we really wanted a sauce to go with it. Actually, it was when I was making the cilantro lime rice with some grilled fish. I remembered that the dish was good, but almost begging for a sauce … A nice cool and creamy element to the dish. Obviously, I had a lot of cilantro and lime on hand so I pulled out the food processor and got to work. I came up with a cilantro and lime yogurt sauce. This sauce is ridiculous. I wanted to eat it by the spoonful. Ok, I did once. Are you ready for the recipe? I actually measured this time so I could out the recipe. It’s quick and easy too! I made it while my chicken and rice were cooking, and still had time to chop up all our veggies before it got done.

cilantrolimesauce

Ingredients:
• 1 cup plain yogurt
• ¼ cup roughly chopped cilantro
• 1-2 cloves of garlic
• ¼ teaspoon black pepper
• ½ teaspoon salt
• Zest of one lime

Directions:
1. Place all the ingredients in the food processor.
2. Pulse until the cilantro is well blended in the sauce.
3. Pour into a bowl and serve over chicken, fish, or protein of your choice.
4. Stop licking the spoon and go eat your dinner!

Notes:
• The yogurt I used was just plain (full fat, baby) yogurt. If you use Greek yogurt, you may need to thin it out with a splash of milk if the sauce isn’t the consistency you want.
• When I made this I used 2 cloves of garlic and it was just a tad strong for me. Don’t get me wrong, I loved the sauce, but the garlic lingered long after dinner. So, if you like a light garlic taste then just start with 1 clove.
• I normally skip a dressing with my veggies, but I ended up using this not just on my chicken, but as my dressing for the vegetables too!

What other ways can you see yourself using this sauce? Any other variations you want to try?