Use It Up

January 26, 2011 § 2 Comments

It’s been a, shall we say, lean week around here. and I made a deal with myself that I wouldn’t buy anything food related this week.  We would make it on what we already had in the pantry, freezer, garden, from friends…wherever it came from, I wasn’t buyin’ it.  So, this week there has been a lot more bread baking, a lot more home-made snacks, and one dinner that involved whole wheat pasta and was, primarily, the color of Dijon mustard.  Yick. But it didn’t cost any extra money!  No one else was as excited about that as I was.

This meal, however, stuck to the “mission” of the week, is about as easy as a home-made meal can get, smelled great while cooking, was pretty, AND tasted great (by everyone’s standards)!  Small victories feel pretty big sometimes.

Chicken in a Pot (inspired by Dorie Greenspan’s Chicken for Lazy People)

1 whole chicken

Salt and pepper

herb sprigs (thyme and rosemary are the most aromatic)

Several garlic cloves

1 lemon or orange, cut in half (optional)

Assorted vegetables (potatoes, Brussels sprouts, carrots, onions)

Extra virgin olive oil

Preheat your oven to 450 degrees F

Take a whole chicken.  Dry the chicken inside and out and season with salt and pepper (if you want extra succulent chicken put it in a large bowl the day before and salt liberally. Refrigerate until the next day when you are ready to cook. If you don’t have time, don’t worry about it).  Tuck its wings if they aren’t already tucked.

Place sprigs of herbs, and garlic cloves in the cavity of the chicken. (I also put a small orange in there for fun, but it’s not necessary).

Take a dutch oven or a large roasting pan with a tall lip and drizzle some olive oil in the bottom. Place the bird in the pan breast side up.

Roast uncovered in the oven for 45 minutes.

While you wait, cut up vegetables in pieces of approximately equal size and toss together in a little olive oil, salt and herbs (again, whatever you have. I used thyme b/c I always have it from the garden).

When 45 minutes is up, toss the vegetables into the pot with the half-cooked chicken.  Roast for 45 more minutes (90 minutes total for the chicken).

When you remove the pot the vegetables with be tender and the chicken will be a caramel color on top.

Now turn the chicken over (still in the pot) and lean it up against one side of the pot so the breast is down and the feet are up. This will let the juices run down into the breast and make it more juicy. To do this, I used a carving fork and my hands, but you can use tongs, spoons, whatever.

Let the chicken rest, covered loosely with foil, for 15 minutes.

Serve with good bread.

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