Old Fashion Sunday Roast Chicken Recipe

It seems that the concept of sitting down to a nightly meal with the family has gone the way of the Model T Ford for many families.  It was not that long ago that the entire family gathered around the kitchen table, with no television on or phones, and ate.  Along with the eating was the oft dreaded family discussion. The kids all shared what had gone on both during school and after.  It was a time to bond with the parents.  Mind you not everything was discussed (no kids always shared everything).  Now it seems that everyone is running in different directions.  All too often if a meal is provided it is from a “fast food” place or take out from somewhere.  The reasons vary.  It has been my unfortunate pleasure to find out that so many of the “parents” find it unnecessary and even worse do not realise the importance of a good nutritious meal.  This will not turn into a soapbox about the apathy and ignorance of much of the general population, instead it will be what it is meant to be: An article about a delicious meal that the left overs can be used for lunch or repurposing into another supper time meal the next day, the day after or even a snack.

Chicken is the most versatile of proteins.  The problem is most people overcook it.  

Follow the recipe and enjoy a crisp skin chicken that is tender, juicy and just plain delicious!

Serves 4 with leftovers

4-5 pound/2-2.5kg Roasting Chicken with giblets*
1 lemon
1 1/2 teaspoons/7ml sea salt
3/4 teaspoon/4ml ground black pepper
3 tablespoons/45ml/45g butter, softened
1/2 tablespoon/7ml tarragon, chopped
2 carrots, cut in half and length wise
1 onion cut into sixths
2-3 stalks of celery cut in half
chicken neck (if it is included)

Stuffing

3 tablespoons/45ml olive oil
giblets (liver, kidney, heart)*
1/4 cup/60ml dry sherry or white wine
1 medium onion, diced
1 stalk celery, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 cup/250ml chicken stock or water
3 cups/30g plain bread croutons
zest of one lemon
1/2 cup greek olives, diced
small handful of parsley, chopped
1/2 teaspoon/2ml sea salt
1/4 teaspoon/1ml ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground mace (optional)

Pre-heat oven to 425F/218C/GasMark 7

*Remove bag with the giblets and the neck from the chicken.  Heat olive oil in a large saute pan over medium heat.  Add the giblets and saute for 5-7 minutes.  Add the sherry and reduce by half (about 4-5 minutes)  remove the giblets to a cutting board.  Add the onion, celery, and garlic to the pan. Cook for 3-4 minutes or until the onion is translucent and the celery soft.  

While the onion is cooking cut the meat off of the cooked heart (you do not want the white part). Add the cleaned giblets, onion, garlic, and celery to the processor with any remaining liquid in the pan to a food processor (you can chop by hand but the final product will be smoother in the processor). Mix the cooked onion mixture, lemon zest, olives, croutons, parsley and stock in a large bowl. Season with salt and pepper and mace.  Place in an oiled baking dish, dot with one teaspoon butter and cover with foil.

Rinse the inside of the chicken in the sink under running cool water. Tilt to let drain.  Pat the bird dry with paper towels.  Season the cavity with half of the salt and pepper.  Place the cut lemon and orange inside.  Smear the softened butter on the skin, top and bottom.  Season with remaining salt and pepper.  In a large roasting pan place the chicken neck and cut up vegetables.  Put the bird on its side on top of the vegetables and place in the preheated oven.  Lower the temperature to 350F/176C/GasMark 4.  

Let it roast for 35 minutes.  Using paper towels to protect your hands, turn it over to its other side and let roast for another 35 minutes.  Turn it breast side up for 15-20 minutes to brown. If you prick the thigh, the juices should run clear.  The breast temperature will be about 165F/82C; the thighs, 165-175F/82-88C.  Any more and you will have an over cooked bird.  

Remove the bird to a cutting board and let rest.

After the first 35 minutes of roasting your chicken, place the stuffing in the oven. Uncover and continue cooking for 15 minutes.

Easy Family Meal, Roast Chicken Recipe - Fort Lauderdale Personal ChefTake the vegetables out of the roasting pan and put them in the food processor. Skim off as much fat from the cooking liquid as possible.  Add the skimmed cooking liquid to the processor and whiz until everything is pureed.  This is your gravy.

Serve with mashed potatoes, roast tomatoes and green beans.  You can roast potatoes along with the bird if you prefer.

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