Saturday, August 14, 2010

Roasted Whole Chicken with Fresh Herbs, Wine, and Potatoes.....

We had our beloved newly engaged cousin Patrick and his lovely fiance, Shelygan over for dinner last night.  Mustn't forget that we also had Patrick's Mom, Sheila over as well.  Have I mentioned that she introduced Joe and I to each other roughly 8 years ago????  Another story for another time....

This was a very special occasion which of course, was very deserving of a very special celebratory menu.  I did what I usually do, I poured over different menus over and over again, changing every last detail of what I'd  be serving.  Whenever planning a menu for entertaining, I am sure to come up with something that will allow me to be with my guests, that's the point, isn't it?

Anyway, I've completely had it with the heat.  I confined myself to my kitchen, with a/c of course, and turned on my oven.  What's not to love about lots of garlic, fresh herbs, and wine?  You put all of the deliciousness under the skin so that the meat has unbelievable flavor, even if eaten without the skin.  This dish is special enough for company, and easy enough for a weeknight.  Don't forget to save the carcass for stock.  Wrap in plastic wrap and into a freezer bag, label and date.  Delicious stock for later!

Roasted Whole Chicken with Fresh Herbs, Garlic and Potatoes

1 3-4 lb. whole roasting or fryer chicken (roasters are larger, I love fryers)
3 sprigs of fresh rosemary
6 sprigs of fresh thyme
5 large cloves of garlic, minced
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon pepper
4 medium size russet potatoes, peeled and sliced into wedges
1 tablespoon olive oil
½ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
1 ½ cups white wine, can be sauvignon blanc, chardonnay, pinot grigio
1 16 oz. package petite frozen peas

1) Line a baking sheet that has 1” sides with non stick foil. Preheat oven to 325’.
2) Peel potatoes and cut into wedges. **Place in large bowl, cover potatoes with water. Set aside.
3) Remove rosemary and thyme leaves from stems, chop finely. Put into a small bowl. Peel garlic and mince, put into herb bowl. Add olive oil,  1 teaspoon kosher salt and  1/2 teaspoon pepper. Mix well. If you make ahead, you must refrigerate.
4) Remove giblets and rinse chicken. Pat dry with paper towel. Carefully run your fingers under the chicken skin, just to make space for the spices and garlic. Generously rub the spice mixture under skin throughout the entire chicken. Rub remaining mixture on outside of chicken and don‘t forget the underside. Place on prepared sheet.
5) Roast chicken for an hour.
6) Drain potatoes well. Put back into large bowl and drizzle with olive oil, add  1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Mix well with your hands. Remove chicken from the oven and carefully arrange potatoes on same sheet as chicken trying not to overlap.
7) Roast another hour. Internal temperature of chicken should be 170’ or higher.
8) Remove from oven, allow to rest for about 10 minutes tented with foil. Carve and arrange chicken pieces, potatoes and peas on a serving platter. Pour juices over chicken and potatoes. YUM!
Makes 4-6 servings.

*If you would like to use chicken pieces instead of a whole chicken, simply put herbs under each piece. (4 breasts or a whole cut up chicken) Arrange potatoes and chicken on baking sheet at the same time. Bake at 375’ for 45 minutes. Add wine and bake another 15 minutes. Add peas and bake another 10 minutes.
**I soak the potatoes in water to keep them from turning brown while waiting to be cooked and to remove some of the starch.  I think they absorb more flavor after soaking.

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