Mark Bittman called for four bone-in chicken thighs, but since we haven’t had any meat for the past two weeks, I thought it would be a good idea to add some more. There was an organic, free range, whole chicken at the store for only eight bucks and I got that. Instead of cutting it up, I opted to roast it whole, adapting Ina Garten’s Perfect Roast Chicken recipe. The vegetables cooked in the wine sauce were served on the side with some rice. Since eggplants are not in season, I picked some asparagus instead and threw in some carrots and celery to add crunch.
According to DFJ, this meal was like a birthday meal for a country bumpkin in rural France. Wholesome, simple, and scrumptious altogether. I couldn’t agree with him more.
I loved the first meal, but I have to say that the leftovers won my heart. Sometimes the only thing that’s certain in life is leftovers… if you made something delicious the night before, you always know that tomorrow, the leftovers will taste even better. That was definitely the case for this recipe. Before it was put away, the rest of the chicken was cut up into parts and added in the vegetables. So, the chicken pieces soaked up the good sauce and when leftovers were reheated in a skillet with a bit of butter, it tasted so much better. The chicken meat was so tender it came right off of the bones, rich, juicy, buttery… luscious! LUSCIOUS is the word to describe it!
In hindsight, I will follow directions closely… Or I could just do everything the same, except after the chicken is roasted, I will cut it up and throw the pieces in with the vegetables and cook until the sauce is thick, then add a tablespoon of butter. This way, I will get that luscious taste from the get-go.
Roast Chicken(slightly adapted from Ina Garten’s Perfect Roast Chicken)
3 lb whole chicken1 tbsp salt
pepper, fresh ground
1 lemon, large
2 tbsp olive oil
5 cloves garlic
2 tbsp oregano and thyme, fresh
Remove the chicken giblets and rinse the inside and outside well with water. Place chicken in a roasting pan. Sprinkle salt and pepper inside and outside the chicken and spread with your hands.
Squeeze ¾ of the lemon’s juice outside the chicken and spread with your hands. Squeeze the remaining ¼ of the lemon’s juice inside the chicken. Pour a tablespoon of olive oil inside the chicken and coat the outside with another tablespoon. Cut ½ of the squeezed out lemon into slices and stuff inside the chicken.
Smush 3 garlic cloves and stuff inside the chicken. Using a garlic press, press the remaining cloves and spread with your hands outside the chicken. Sprinkle a tablespoon of the herbs inside chicken and another tablespoon outside chicken.
Roast in an oven preheated to 425 degrees F for 1 hour and 20 minutes.
Vegetables au Vin(adapted from Mark Bittman’s Vegetables au Vin with Coq)
3 slices of bacon, cut in small pieces1 tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium onion, roughly chopped
8 white mushrooms, 1 large portabella mushroom
1 cup chicken stock
1 cup Pinot Noir
2 bay leaves
fresh parsley sprigs
1 tbsp dried thyme
handful of green beans
2 carrots, chopped
3 celery stalks, chopped
handful of asparagus
½ tsp salt
pepper, freshly ground
Cook bacon pieces in a large pot over medium heat until slightly brown. Add a tablespoon of olive oil and let it heat up for about 30 seconds. Sauté the garlic until golden brown. Add the onions and cook until soft, about 1 minute. Add the mushrooms and cook until soft, about 3 minutes. Add the chicken stock, wine, bay leaves, parsley sprigs, and dried thyme. Bring to a boil, then add the beans and cook for a minute. Add carrots and celery and cook for a minute. Add asparagus and cook for another minute. Season with salt and a good dose of pepper. Let simmer on low for 10 minutes. Stir occasionally.
Serve around the roasted chicken and make sure to get a lot of sauce to soak the underside of the chicken.
What to do with the leftovers:
Cut up what’s left of the chicken parts and put these in the same container as the vegetables. Keep in refrigerator.
The next day or meal, heat half a tablespoon of butter in a large skillet over medium heat. When the butter starts to sizzle, place the chicken and vegetables with the wine sauce on the skillet. Heat for 12-15 minutes, turning the chicken pieces over half way into the cooking time and stirring the vegetables occasionally.
This dish is great served with rice or roasted potatoes on the side.
Oh good food, how I love you!