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Friday, September 7, 2012

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom

When Charlie and Kate were little, we used to read to them all the time.  Of course, each one had their favorite books.  Charlie was a huge Benjamin Bunny fan and Kate loved the If You Give A Moose A Muffin series.  As many times as Ted and I read those stories to the kids, the all time standout favorite for both of them was Chicka Chicka Boom Boom.  

Let me tell you, even after all these years, I can still recite that book.  Even with my somewhat dwindling memory... "A told B, and B told C, I'll meet you at the top of the coconut tree."  I could go on but I'll spare you, lest it gets stuck in your mind for all eternity.

This has absolutely nothing to do with today's recipe.  I just liked the title for a post about a chicken dish, so I went with it.  Listen girls. It's not easy to come up with pithy titles everyday, so work with me here.

Everyone has a zillion recipes for roast chicken, so add this one to the list.  It's a nice, one pot (pan?) meal, that you can throw together in a snap.  It's also good for using up whatever veggies you have hanging out in the frig.  I had brussels sprouts so I threw them in along with carrots, garlic, and potatoes.  The possibilities are limitless!

Just make sure to make this chicken in a pan large enough to hold the vegetables in a single layer.  If you pile (instead of scatter) the vegetables around the chicken they won't get crispy, and that's the best part of this recipe.  And I wouldn't want you to be disappointed.

Recipe: Garlic-Roasted Chicken and Vegetables
(Adapted from Giada De Laurentiis)


For chicken:
1 (6 1/4-pound) chicken, rinsed and patted dry
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
5 sprigs fresh rosemary
5 sprigs fresh thyme
1 lemon, quartered

For butter:
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
3 large garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary leaves
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme leaves
1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice (from 1/2 large lemon)
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

For vegetables:
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
6 baby red potatoes, halved
4 medium carrots, peeled and halved lengthwise
2 large parsnips, peeled and quartered lengthwise
2 large shallots (about 8 ounces), peeled and halved
1 clove garlic, peeled
1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary leaves
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup low-salt chicken broth
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper


Position an oven rack just below the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

For the butter: In a small bowl, combine the butter, garlic, rosemary, thyme, lemon juice, salt and pepper until smooth.

For the chicken: Tuck the wings under the chicken. Season the cavity of the chicken with salt and pepper. Spoon 2 tablespoons of the butter mixture into the cavity. Place the rosemary, thyme and lemon quarters in the cavity. Tie the legs together loosely with kitchen string. Place the chicken in a large roasting pan

Starting at the neck end of the chicken, loosen the skin over the entire chicken breast. Smear the remaining butter mixture over theoutside and under the skin of the chicken, being careful not to tear the skin.

For the vegetables: In a large bowl, toss together the oil, potatoes, carrots, parsnips, shallots, garlic, rosemary, thyme, salt and pepper.

Arrange the vegetables around the chicken in a single layer. Add the broth and roast until the vegetables are tender and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the chicken thigh registers 160 degrees F to 165 degrees F, about 1 1/2 hours. Let the chicken rest for 20 minutes.

Transfer the chicken to a platter. Arrange the vegetables around the chicken. Scrape the contents of the roaster into a 4-cup measuring cup. Spoon off the layer of fat that rises to the top. Season the pan juices with salt and pepper, if needed. Serve the chicken with the pan juices.

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