A Simple Menu

Here is my take on a roast chicken and potatoes meal. Perfect for company.

Roast Chicken   print

1 large roasting chicken thawed
5-6 T softened butter
fresh herbs minced ( I like fresh italian parsley, rosemary and thyme)
3-4 cloves of fresh garlic minced
1 lemon zested
Salt to taste
Fresh ground pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Remove insides from chicken, rinse inside and outside of chicken and pat dry with paper towels. Please remember to wash hands after contact with chicken. Set chicken aside breast side up in shallow roasting pan. If you desire you may also use a glass baking dish. This is what I use and prefer for this recipe. 

Mix softened butter with minced herbs, garlic and the zest of 1 lemon. After lemon has been zested, cut lemon in half, then place in chicken cavity. Season cavity with salt and fresh ground pepper. Carefully use fingers to separate the skin of the chicken from the meat. Take butter mixture and using your hand massage this into breast meat under skin. (I know this may be unpleasant for some of you but it is worth it.) Whatever is left on hands rub over skin. Season outside of chicken with salt. Roast chicken in oven until temp reads 165 via a 
food thermometer. SInce the time to cook the chicken with depend on the weight cooking times will vary. Here is a general rule of thumb. Roast a whole (thawed) chickens for 20 minutes per pound, plus an additional 15 minutes.

Potatoes Baked in Cream print

2 lbs. yellow potatoes thinly sliced
1 1/2 cup heavy cream
1 1/2 cup half and half
Freshly ground black pepper
Freshly grated nutmeg

Preheat oven to 350º F. Arrange layers of potatoes so that they slightly over lap in a 11 x 7 x 2 inch pan or its equivalent. I like to season with salt and pepper as I layer.  Just be careful not to season too much.  Mix together the heavy cream and half and half in mixing bowl then carefully pour over potatoes. Make sure that the potatoes are covered completely. Bake for 1 to 1 1/2 hours until mixture has slightly thickened.  Increase oven to 400 degrees F. Remove from oven and season again with salt, pepper and nutmeg. Return to oven and bake until brown, bubbling and the cream mixture has thickened. This recipe was adapted from one I found in Saveur Cooks Authentic French. I substituted half and half for the whole milk. I always have half and half on hand for coffee but never buy whole milk due to the high fat content. Yes, I realize the irony of this statement!  I also used yellow potatoes instead because of their buttery texture when cooked, plus they have a tender skin that does not need to be peeled. This saves a lot of prep time for something else useful like relaxing on the couch with a glass of wine before company arrives!

Remember make with steamed broccoli or your vegetable of choice. Also I highly recommend a crusty loaf of bread from your favorite store, bakery or wherever you may buy it to mop up all the creamy goodness left behind.

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