Roast Chicken 

 
Some (especially Ina Garten’s husband Jeffrey) would argue that there is nothing more comforting than a roast chicken with vegetables. After smelling my house while this was in the oven, I’d have to agree with them. Sure, you can buy a rotisserie chicken from the grocery store but it’s just not the same, and not nearly as delicious.

So I implore you to try this simple recipe and you won’t be sorry. Feel free to make it your own, increase the quantity of ingredients to feed a larger crowd or add different veggies, slices, herbs, etc. Let’s get started!  

INGREDIENTS 

  • 2tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 ½ pounds small red potatoes (about 15)
  • 1 pound medium carrots (about 6)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • kosher salt and black pepper
  • 1 3 ½- to 4-pound chicken
  • 1 lemon
  • 8 sprigs fresh thyme

INSTRUCTIONS 

  • Place the butter on a plate and set it aside to soften. 
  • Heat oven to 425° F (I used the convection setting and it worked beautifully) and begin preparing the vegetables. Scrub the potatoes. Peel the carrots, halve them lengthwise, and cut them crosswise into 2-inch pieces.
  • Place the vegetables in a large roasting pan or baking dish and toss with the olive oil, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper. 
  • Remove the neck and the bag of giblets from inside the cavity of the chicken and discard them. (Thankfully, my chicken didn’t come with any of these but just in case…)
  • Pat the bird dry with paper towels.
  •  Prick the lemon several times with a sharp knife and place it in the chicken along with the thyme.
  •  Rub the outside of the chicken with the softened butter and season with ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper. 
  • Tie the legs together with kitchen twine or a handy reusable silicone kitchen tie like I have, found here. Place on top of the vegetables in the roasting pan. It should look like this!Like my roasting pan? It’s Rachel Ray stoneware, get your own here!
  • Put the chicken in the oven and roast until the vegetables are tender, the chicken is golden brown, and the juices run clear when the thigh is pierced with a fork, 65 to 75 minutes. (If you use an instant-read thermometer, it should register 165° F when inserted in the thickest part of the thigh.) 
  • Let the chicken rest for at least 10 minutes before carving.  
  • Serve & enjoy!  

how much wood would a woodchuck chuck…

Chuck roast. I asked the butcher for a good definition and this is what he sent me…

“This particular cut of meat comes from the sub primal cut known as the chuck, an area located near the neck and shoulder area of the steer. It’s very popular as a ground meat due to its high fat content but is also delicious left whole and served as a roast. The fatty tissue, collagen, (no Botox necessary) melts for the most part during long cooking methods and makes for a delicious meal.”

Smart and funny! I picked a good one, that’s for sure! That may be the technical definition but I, however, define it as the ultimate air freshener and perfect meal on a cold rainy day like today. I decided to combine a few of my favorite recipes and flavors to make the perfect pot roast. Give it a try, I dare you. 

Beauty & The Butcher’s Pot Roast  

Ingredients

  • a few tablespoons olive oil
  • Chuck Roast apx. 4 lbs.
  • 1 good sized yellow onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup good balsamic vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons Dijon mustard (don’t you just love Dijon mustard? I feel it’s an under utilized condiment that adds a tangy distinguished flavor to many dishes. Not to mention the grey poupon jokes.)
  •  a handful of thyme. obviously fresh sprigs would be prefered but I only had dry on hand and it’ll do pig, it’ll do.
  •  2 cups beef broth
  • several carrots (honestly whatever you have on hand and yay! no peeling! just chop off the ends)
  • kosher salt & black pepper

* side note: you may have noticed the lack of potatoes in the list of ingredients. this was done purposely. although most traditional roast recipes call for them, I find that after cooking for such a long period of time the potatoes become mealy and mushy. that combined with the fact that I make a pretty mean mashed potato, i prefer to prepare them separately, mash them, and serve the roast atop the delicious spuds.) All that being said, add potatoes if you want, it will still be yummy.

Instructions

  •  Preheat oven to 300F.
  • Heat oil in a large dutch oven (i love my blessed discounted le crueset dutch oven! If you don’t have one then a crock pot should work too) over high heat.
  • Season chuck roast well with salt and pepper, add to pan and brown well on all sides (a few minutes a side.)
  • Remove roast and set aside.
  • Add chopped onion to drippings in pot and reduce heat to medium.
  • Sauté onions until soft, about 5 minutes.
  • Add balsamic vinegar, increase heat to medium-high and boil until reduced and slightly syrupy, about 4-5 more minutes. 
  • Stir in Dijon. Man I wish you could smell this right now!
  • Set roast on top of onions in pot.
  • Pour in 2 cups beef broth and add thyme. 
  • Cover and place in oven for 2 1/2 hours or until very tender.
    Add carrots and to pot and return to oven. Continue cooking until they are tender, about 30 minutes or more depending on how you like your carrots.
  • Season again with s&p, serve over a bed of mashed taters, and enjoy!