Let’s face it–ordinary Sunday roast chickens are getting pretty mundane and boring! But when you’re like me, you don’t settle for regular roast chicken. I mean, in the same time it takes you to roast a boring chicken, you can roast a fabulous chicken that’ll make your taste buds dance! Another great thing about roasting a chicken for me and my hubby Michael is that there is always plenty left over to create another meal the next day. Talk about a “two-fer!” Here’s the plan:
Day One: Divalicious Roast Chicken with a Lemon Butter Sauce, Roasted Red Potatoes, Steamed Broccoli (and cornbread dressing for the hubby)
Day Two: Southern Chicken and Dumplings and Cornbread (Do you see the pattern? Mike won’t go without the cornbread!)
Day Three: Sicilian Chicken Soup (with homemade chicken stock!)
Divalicious Roast Chicken
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon Herbs de Provence
1/2 teaspoon chopped or minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 roasting chicken (about 6-8 pounds)
4 tablespoons butter, softened
1/2 cup chicken stock or dry white wine
4 tablespoons butter
2 teaspoons lemon rind, grated
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon fresh parsley, chopped
1 teaspoon chopped onion
In a small bowl, combine the seasonings with the softened butter. This will be called THE HERB BUTTER from here on out. Pat the chicken dry and season the inside liberally with salt and black pepper. Rub a small amount of the herb butter under the skin, DIRECTLY on the chicken breasts. Rub the entire chicken with the remainder of the herb butter.
Pour the chicken stock or wine on the bottom of your roasting pan. Place chicken breast side up in pan. Roast in preheated oven at 425 degrees for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 375 degrees and roast for another 45-50 minutes or until the meat thermometer reads 180 degrees in the thick part of the thigh.
If you do not possess a meat thermometer, then you can check that the meat has been properly cooked in two ways:
- The drumstick should move about freely when wiggled.
- The juices of the chicken run clear upon inserting a skewer into the leg.
Remove from oven and allow to rest for 10-15 minutes to allow juices to redistribute and settle. This is really important. Slow down, you won’t starve and the juicy chicken will be well worth it!
Lemon Butter Sauce: Combine the butter, lemon rind, onions and lemon juice. Simmer over low heat for 3-5 minutes. Mix well and add in the parsley. Spoon a small amount of sauce over each piece of chicken when served.
Chicken and Dumplings
4 quarts chicken stock
1 can condensed cream of celery or cream of chicken soup
1 bay leaves
1 large onion, chopped
1 rib celery, chopped
(In this case, I used ALL the meat left on the carcass of the roast chicken, About 3 1/2 cups. If you’re just making the dish, use either a whole roast chicken or 8 pieces of chicken)
1/2 tsp rosemary, chopped
1/2 teaspoon sage
1/4 cup shredded sharp cheddar
Place chicken, celery, onion, bay leaves, and cheese in stock and cook at a low boil for 20 to 30 minutes, until meat begins to fall off the bones. Remove bay leaves. Add cream soup, rosemary, and sage to chicken and continue to boil. If desired, you can thicken the stock at little by mixing 2 tablespoons cornstarch with 1/4 cup of water and adding it to the stock. Drop the frozen dumplings into boiling stock. Never stir dumplings. Shake the pot gently in a circular motion to submerge dumplings in stock. Cook until the dumplings float and are no longer doughy, 3 to 4 minutes. Do not over cook.
Serve with cornbread or garlic bread!