I checked it out from the library and the moment I opened it was transported to a land of food, culture and love. I have French relatives and hope one day they can show me around France, but until that day I live vicariously through experiences of people like Kathleen. Her writing masterfully sweeps you through a variety of emotions; fear, compassion, joy, excitement, sorrow, embarassment, and lots of laughter. Her book is worth reading simply for the story of her husband in a coffee shop with women shouting “Will you go to bed with me!” in French at him. Eric and I spent 5 minutes cracking up after I read that part to him. If you haven’t read it yet, get your hands on a copy.
I wanted to make green beans to go with the chicken, but didn’t have fresh ones, so I used a can of beans from the pantry. Some of you may protest that canned beans aren’t as good as fresh, which is true, but they’re cheap and available year round. They actually turned out really delicious. I put the bean recipe first because it’s shorter, but you’ll actually want to wait to make it until your chicken is almost done. The best thing about roasting a whole chicken is how far you can stretch it. We’ve had 3 meals (2 servings each) already and still have over half the meat left, plus the carcass for making stock! If money is tight, I highly recommend getting a whole chicken rather than the frozen bags of chicken breasts. The flavor is way better, and you actually get more for your money. Be on the lookout over the next couple weeks for shredded chicken recipes. This is no longer an “authentic” French roasted chicken, it’s lip smacking good!
Green Beans with Red Onion
Oven Roasted Chicken with Potatoes
makes 1 chicken
1 3-3 1/2 lb chicken
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
TBS softened butter
1 small carrot sliced
1/2 cup minced red onion
2 TBS melted butter
1 TBS cooking oil
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Sprinkle the inside of the chicken with the salt and pepper then smear 1 TBS of the butter inside the chicken. Wash chicken in running water and dry with paper towels. Rub on top of and under skin (between skin and meat as much as you can) with the rest of the butter. Truss the chicken and place breast side up in a pan then scatter the veggies around it.
Place in oven and set timer for 5 minutes. Melt butter in a saucepan with the oil and get your basting brush ready. When timer goes off, turn chicken its left side and quickly brush with basting mixture (try to be fast so oven temperature stays high). After another 5 minutes turn chicken to its right side and repeat basting. Let brown another five minutes.
When 5 minutes are up, reduce oven setting to 350 degrees. Baste chicken again, leave it on its side, and baste every 10 minutes for the next 25 minutes. Stir vegetables occaisionally to coat in drippings. When 25 minutes is up, turn to its other side and baste every 10 minutes for another 25 minutes. If you run out of basting mix, use the drippings in the pan.
After those 25 minutes, turn chicken breast side up and baste again. Let roast for 7 minutes, baste, then roast a final 8 minutes. Chicken is done when drumsticks move easily in the socket and juices run clear yellow. Remove from oven and let sit on a platter 10 minutes before carving. Use a slotted spoon to scoop vegetables and potatoes and spoon them over the chicken. Garnish with fresh parsley.
Approximate Cost/serving: 1 organic free range chicken was $12.50 for us. We get about 14 individual servings from it used in different dishes, plus the carcass for stock which I’ll call 2 more servings. So although the entire dish costs around $13 to make. Each serving of chicken is about 83 cents.
Gluten Free: Nothing in the recipe contains gluten.
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Nutritional and cost information is for estimating purposes only, and subject to variations due to region, seasonality, and product availability.