One of the local farms provides the plumpest, juiciest and most tasty chickens that I have ever eaten to our local gourmet supermarket. I buy them on occasion, because their price makes them a treat and because a chicken for one provides a lot of extra meals, and I do tend to like variety in my dining.
That being said, there really is nothing like the taste of roast chicken, especially one that has had sage leaves from the garden and farm-fresh butter stuffed under its skin prior to roasting and which has cooked, nestled in a bunch of roasted vegetables dusted with more sage.
1 3-3.5 lb organic farm chicken
1 large organic carrot, washed and cut into bite-sized pieces
1 potato, washed and cut into bite-sized pieces
1 parsnip or other favorite root vegetable, washed and cut into bite-sized pieces
1 large shallot, peeled and cut into large chunks
10 large sage leaves, roughly chopped
1/4 tsp dry sage
2 Tbsps unsalted butter
1 Tbsp olive oil
Salt to taste
Preheat the oven to 425.
While the oven is heating up, prep your vegetables and your chicken. Stick your finger under the breast skin and shove in the butter into which you have added half of the chopped sage leaves. Salt the chicken well, inside and out. Place the remaining chopped fresh sage in the chicken cavity.
Place the chicken on a large rimmed baking tray or in a oven-safe deep dish. Nestle the vegetables around it. Drizzle the vegetables with the olive oil, dust with the dried sage and liberally with salt.
Roast the chicken for an hour and a half, stirring up the vegetables and basting the chicken breast with some of the pan juices at the third and two thirds done mark.
Remove from the oven and tent well with foil. Let rest for ten minutes and then carve into portions and serve. Keep the carcass and all of the remaining meat, vegetables and pan juices for many other uses.
The chicken has provided/or will provide me with:
- one dinner: one breast eaten with roasted vegetables
- one midnight snack: a cold drumstick shared with the cats
- one lunch: the remaining breast sliced and made into a sandwich with lots of mayo and some grainy salt
- one dinner: chicken, spiced rhubarb and sorrel stew, made with some of the stock from the carcass and some of the leftover meat
- one lunch: a bowl of Suan la Tan, that delightfully sour Chinese soup
- one dinner: miso ramen, made with some of the stock from the carcass and some of the leftover meat
- one lunch: squash soup with sautéed mushrooms, pickled plum and pumpkin seed oil
- pint jars of stock for the freezer for future use
(And there's me done with eating chicken for a while...)
This is a one hour and fifty two minute to the table meal, of which one hour and forty minutes were unattended cooking and resting time.