Saturday, February 16, 2008

valentine's day: dinner

i don't really do valentine's day. we don't celebrate with gifts, fancy dinners out, or even hallmark cards. i have, in the past, received lovely handmade cards from my husband and we often do a nice dinner in. this year i skipped my workout to come home right after work and pop in a chicken to roast. i've done turkeys and cornish game hens, but never a plain old chicken. i'm glad i did - it was so juicy and delicious! here's my recipe:

roasted chicken & potatoes
1 3-5 lb chicken
1 onion
8 garlic cloves, peeled
3-4 medium yukon gold or red potatoes
1 1/2 cups low sodium chicken broth
2 tbsp olive oil
fresh thyme
fresh rosemary
salt & pepper
butter (i used brummel and brown for this)
kitchen twine
1. remove bag of dog goodies from inside the bird
2. rinse and dry the chicken and place breast up in a baking or roasting pan (i used pyrex)
3. chop onion into large chunks
4. salt the cavity and stuff with garlic cloves, 1/2 the onion chunks, and a few sprigs of thyme
5. carefully lift the skin on top and spread butter inside, stuff with thyme
6. on the outside, spread butter and generously salt and pepper the skin
7. tie up the legs to close the cavity
(wash hands here)
8. chop potatoes in medium chunks
9. arrange potato and remaining onion around the bird and under wings for support
10. put rosemary and thyme sprigs in and around potatoes
11. pour broth into bottom of pan (not over the bird)
12. drizzle olive oil over potatoes and season with salt and pepper
13. put into an 425˚F oven and roast for 15-20 minutes
14. lower heat to 375˚F and roast for another 50 or so minutes
15. remove bird from oven when internal temp reaches 170˚ and skin is crispy and deep golden
16. place bird on serving platter and pour juices from pan into a sauté pan
17. while the bird rests for 15 minutes, return potatoes to oven to crisp (you can make gravy now, too)

simple gravy
juices from roasted bird
1 tbsp corn starch
glug white wine (i used sauvignon blanc)
salt and pepper

1. add cornstarch to juices in the sauté pan (over medium heat)
2. whisk until smooth
3. add wine and salt and pepper to taste
4. bring to a boil and simmer to reduce
5. strain into a gravy boat

during the time i crisped the potatoes and made gravy, i also sautéed some green and yellow zucchini with red peppers (olive oil, salt and pepper) to round out the meal.
the table was set (including our valentine's day candle stick set) and we drank a bottle of pouilly-fumé and ate heartily (ha!).

it was tasty!