Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Roasted Chicken with Veggies

Last month, Poppy threw up at my mom's house two days in a row.  I am fairly certain it's due to her trips to the neighbor's dumpster or her affinity for turkey poop, but either way, she had an upset stomach.  I decided to make chicken and rice for the dogs to settle all bellies.  I grilled my mother on how to prepare chicken and what cuts (do you say cuts of chicken or just beef?) I would find at the grocery store.  When I got there, I found that my cheapest option, surprisingly enough, was an entire chicken.  I was terrified, but I bought it anyway and started frantically texting my mom and Laura, and googling "how to cook an entire chicken for dogs," which shockingly didn't get me that much help.

I decided that even my two (no Ginny yet!) were not going to be able to eat an entire chicken, so I let Jesse know that I was roasting an entire animal and that he should come help.  Secretly I was super scared of actually having to cut the meat off the chicken, and I knew I wouldn't be happy to do that myself.  So inviting him was not purely selfless.

I used lots of information from The Kitchn, my mother, and LG, and this is what I came up with.  Apparently, you want to roast the chicken slightly raised off the bottom of the baking dish.  Of course I don't own a roasting pan (what do I roast besides brussels sprouts!?) and my cooling racks didn't fit in my baking dishes.  So I improvised; I had read somewhere that you can always rest the chicken on top of some vegetables, which will allow air to circulate a little bit better.  So I sliced up some potatoes and carrots and an onion, and tossed those on the bottom.  Then I had to touch the chicken - gag - and put it on the veggies.  Then everyone told me to "find the giblets" but I never did!  So thanks everyone for having me shove my hand inside a chicken's butt and neck.  Clearly there was a giblet thief for my chicken.

Then I stuffed it, and really, I don't know why people do that.  Does stuffing herbs inside a chicken really make it taste better on the outside? The jury is still out on that one.  Either way, I put herbs, garlic and lemons inside, which was unenjoyable.

Into the oven it went.  I am always so worried about giving people salmonella, so I was hoping that little white button thing would pop out and tell me it was done, but it didn't.  I ended up double checking with a meat thermometer, and I was good to go in about an hour and a half.  Then I handed Jesse a knife and realized he, too, had no idea what he was doing.  He had never carved a bird before either.  I have to admit that I have never liked him more than I did when I saw him dry heaving as he hacked the meat off the carcass.  I think we were both pretty scarred from the entire experience.

But in the end, I was proud of myself.  I roasted an entire chicken and used the meat to feed a human and two happy dogs.  I felt very grown-up.  Having a mortgage and knowing about 401Ks is grown-up, but nothing is more grown-up than roasting a chicken.  And Jesse said the chicken was juicy and delicious and the veggies were cooked perfectly. What kind of freaked me out is that the vegetables suddenly had a sauce on them... I had not made a sauce... but okay.  Most importantly, the dogs loved the chicken and rice, and there was no more throwing up.

Do you see how much I love my dogs?  I love them enough to roast a chicken for them.  This is why my heart is so heavy this morning.  I miss you, Daisy Mae.


roasted chicken with veggies
a Trust the Vegetarian original (what irony!)
serves 6

4 - 6 pound while chicken
4 russet potatoes, peeled and quartered
4 carrots, peeled and broken in half
1 onion, quartered
olive oil
salt and pepper
1 lemon, halved
2 garlic cloves, peeled
2 sprigs rosemary
2 sprigs thyme
1 small bunch parsley


1) Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.  Place the potatoes, carrots and onion in the bottom of a large baking dish.  Put the chicken on top.  Pat the chicken dry with paper towels, and then rub olive oil over it to ensure the skin gets crispy.  Generously salt and pepper the chicken.

2) Place lemon, garlic and herbs inside the chicken.  Place it breast-side up in the roasting pan.  Put the chicken in the oven and immediately lower the temperature to 400 degrees.  Roast for 50 - 90 minutes, depending on the size of your chicken.  Other ways to know when it is done: until it registers 165 degrees at the thickest part of the thigh, the juices run clear, and the legs and wings wiggle loosely.  

3) Transfer chicken to a cutting board and lest it rest 15 minutes.  Then carve and serve.

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