Saturday, January 12, 2013

Food: Rosemary's Pot Roast Chicken

My friend Rosemary, who hails from England, told me about a pot-roast chicken that she made for a friend who was sick.  She even put up a photo of it on facebook and made me positively drool.  Last Saturday I went to her house for dinner and got the "recipe" (more like a formulary, really) from her, and I made it yesterday.  And oh, man.  It was amazing.

Here's what you need:
1 whole chicken, giblets removed (I used a roaster, not sure about weight)
about 3 carrots, peeled and cut into quarters
1 pound small potatoes or large potatoes cut up
3 leeks, cleaned and cut into 2" pieces
2 large onions, chopped up into large pieces
1 mugful of white wine (I used a 12-oz mug)
fresh thyme or whatever herbs you like, to taste (I used probably 2 Tbsp thyme)
a couple tablespoons unsalted butter
seasoned salt
black pepper

Heat oven to 350 Farenheit.

Remove giblets if you haven't already.  This is a step I loathe, and I use rubber gloves for it every time I do it, even if the giblets are in a tidy little bag.  YUCK!

Layer the onions and leeks in the bottom of a large, oven-safe pot with an oven-safe lid.  Mine was a 5qt enameled cast iron Dutch oven, and it BARELY held everything; I had to do some very creative formatting to get it all to fit in.  Try for 6 or more quarts to make your life easier.

Add carrots and potatoes on bottom.  This is where I had to do creative formatting.  I put the carrots and potatoes around the chicken because otherwise the lid wouldn't shut and you need to cover this bad boy up.

Pour your mugful of white wine over the chicken.  Dot the chicken with the butter that you crumbled up or cut up (either way - I crumbled), sprinkle with the fresh thyme that you chopped up, and season with seasoned salt and black pepper to your taste.

Cover and bake for a long time.  My chicken took over 2 hours.  The rule is 20 minutes per pound I think.  But most whole chickens have instructions on the package.  Consult this.  I cooked mine until the handy-dandy pop-up thermometer thing in it popped up.  It may sound silly, but I am utterly lost without that thing, and that thermometer makes me cook a moist chicken every time.

During the cooking process, baste the chicken about twice with the liquid in the bottom of the pot.

For the last half hour, remove the lid of the pot so the chicken skin can brown on top.  I also turned up the heat to 400 because I was getting impatient and hungry, which yielded a nicely browned skin and moist bird.

Serve and try not to eat it all in one sitting.  It is delicious.