Tag Archive: rosemary


Lemon Rosemary roast chicken

Sometimes finding the right roast chicken recipe can be kind of like the search for Nessie or the Chupacabra. You want to believe it’s out there, you want to find it, but your intellect tells you it can’t be real. Your heart has been broken over chicken before and you just don’t know whether you should believe.

You can believe. Eventually you will hit the right one. The one that is perfect for you. This one is perfect for me, and by extension the people in my house, because I do all the cooking and they sort of are at my mercy.  That is how I roll.

 

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Nessie? No…it’s really a seal…but it works for me.

So, here is my roast chicken recipe. It’s a bit loose because your cooking time will vary based on  the size of your chicken, the awesomeness of your oven and what veggies you may want.

Ingredients:

  • 1 chicken for roasting.  You buy whatever brand you want….I am not a brand despot. I usually get between a 6-8 lb chicken because, leftovers.
  • Lemons – about 3 or 4 depending on how big your chicken is. You’re going to stuff that chicken with them.
  • Rosemary. Fresh is best.
  • Butter, salted (I dislike when they don’t tell you whether it should be salted or unsalted. Assume salted when they don’t because they should tell you and salted butter is delightful. Assume nothing with me though. I will tell you).
  • 3-5 lbs potatoes. Whatever you like. It’s chicken, not a mathematical formula
  • Package of celery hearts. You can skip if you hate celery. You can use parsnips or something else. Or nothing else.
  • Carrots. This, I eyeball. However many you like.
  • Olive oil
  • Chicken broth…JUST IN CASE. I like to hedge my gravy bets.
  • Roasting Pan. Ok, while this is not mandatory, my chicken in a roasting pan turned out so much better than it ever has in one of those throwaways. The right tools…blah blah.

What do I do?

You cook it. I kid.

Pre-heat oven to 350. Now, I cook my chicken at 350, 15 minutes per pound. You cook yours however makes you happy. I also had a chicken the last time with one of those things that pops when it’s ready and it popped exactly when I thought it should, so I win chicken manufacturer!

Here’s what you do to prepare your chicken. Cut up your lemons and chop up your Rosemary, first thing. Then cut up your butter into slices. Rosemary is to taste but about 2 tablespoons maybe. Wash your chicken obviously and don’t forget to pull out the bag of chicken innards.  Dry your chicken pretty well and then place it in the pan.  Salt, pepper to taste. Now, I place a couple of pats of butter in the pan, under the chicken, completely up to you. If you are making gravy from the drippings, it smooths out your gravy nicely.  Next, take the pats of butter and put 3-4 more pats up under the skin of the chicken, under the breast. It’s good, trust me. You will need to work this a bit, but I have faith in you. If you have butter left, put it in the cavity of the bird. I only used about 1/2 a stick but you could be Paula Deen about your butter, I have no idea.  Next, stuff the cavity of your bird with the lemons, holding two wedges out.  Take your olive oil, about a tablespoon and drizzle it over the chicken. Next, rub the oil in…all over your chicken. It makes for a crispy delightful skin. YOU WILL THANK ME.  Lastly, take 2/3 of the rosemary and sprinkle over your chicken.

Now, wash the hell out of your hands and your knife and then ready your veggies. Cut up the potatoes, carrots, celery, parsnips into chunks, all around the same size. Place them in the pan around the chicken. Salt, pepper, drizzle with olive oil, remainder of rosemary, lemon and you can place the lemon in the pan with the veggies too.

By now, your oven should have dinged to let you know it’s ready. Cover your chicken with either a roasting pan lid or tin foil and then cook it for about an hour or so. This is going to depend on how big your chicken is. I made an 8 pounder the other night. In an hour, you should have juices galore, so baste away. Get ALL of the surface area. Put back into oven, uncovered. It’s not going to get brown and crispy and lovely like you want it to if you don’t uncover it. Unless you are magic.

I let it go another 30-40 minutes and baste again. If it is getting too dark but is not ready, cover again.  The internal temperature for chicken should be 165 degrees (or if the little thingie pops out but I check the temp regardless).  When it’s ready, I let it rest on a cutting board (I use a plastic one, not wooden) and then scoop veggies in a bowl. I then, pour the drippings into a saucepan, using a strainer to catch anything that is not a dripping. Heat on low and then I use Wondra to thicken it up into gravy, using a little at a time. Salt, pepper and when it’s where you want it, done.  Side note: my mom always used Wondra so it’s what I use. If you have another gravy making technique or you just want to use drippings as is, fine. They will be lemoy and buttery.

Eat and enjoy!

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Herb-a-licious!

Herb-tastic, even. So…I have herbs. Ok, I should really say that I have greenery because they haven’t fully sprouted yet, although a few are going gangbusters.

After about a week, less actually, we had some growth in the Tarragon and the Chives. After another day, the basil started sprouting. This is the Basil by itself and the seeds I threw in with the Basil plant I already had going (and I wish they’d had Sage seedlings when I went because I would have liked to do the same thing with the Sage plant.  Following that it was the Oregano, Cilantro and Parsley.

Herby!

See?  The beginnings of something great! What worried me was the Rosemary. It was proving to be a bit shy and wasn’t doing much of anything. This would make me the saddest of the sad because my favorite herb is Rosemary and were it not to grow, I would take it very personally. But, as luck would have it…bit of a slow grower.

Rosemary...thank the herb goddess!

So, not much yet…but it’s getting there. Very very very slowly.  Ok, well I knew this wouldn’t be an overnight sensation of herb-acity! (Yes, I can work in a lot more of these so be careful about how you tread in the comments mein leiblings).

So, today I pruned the basil plant back by grabbing some of the leaves and I’ll use them tomorrow for something. But the thing was about to tip so I figured it was good timing. Did the same with the Sage and fried it up (I cannot tell you how fantastical Sage is when you fry it up in a bit of olive oil) with some Polenta cakes (don’t get excited, I bought a package of organic Polenta from Trader Joe’s, I didn’t make it myself).  So, I had some leafy greenness!

Happiness is a fully grown herb!

Check out my 1970s counter top! You should see the fake wood paneling on my walls. No, I’m not kidding. Yes, I wish I was.

But I can hear you, my gentle readers, saying “The Hell?! Where be photos of the growth? Those herbs are lovely but you didn’t grow them sister, show us the goods!” And so…I shall and remember, patience is a virtue as I have a world of bad puns at my disposal and I am not afraid to use them.

Let’s break it down…going from left to right. The two at the very left are Rosemary. I hope by putting them together, they will compete to grow the fastest.   Next to them, Cilantro in the back (which is something people either love or hate. I love it) and  sweet Basil in front of it. You can never have enough Basil. Really.  Next door to them is Parsley and in front of him, if you couldn’t tell, Chives.   I suspect that is what is going to have to be replanted first. They’re leaning a bit as you can see and what was interesting is that they were leaning into the Sun.  Next, Oregano in the back and then Tarragon, looking startlingly like each other.

A few more snaps!

Basil Plant with some growth and herb-lings!

Ok kiddos…there we are, about 2 weeks out and we have growth! It’s always good to know that the skills you think you have do show themselves!

 

No Garden, no problem!

I live in an apartment. I’ve pretty much always lived in apartments and this tends to make gardening a bit difficult. Our last apartment, we had a sizeable back deck and we planted the hell out of it. The fella built me lattice work and wooden railings to which we affixed window boxes. We had flowers, plants and vegetables.  It was something we both got a lot of enjoyment out of. When we moved, we gained more space for living and way less for gardening.  But we’ve always, at least, had houseplants.  This is the kitchen, as you can see…a veritable see of green. We like photosynthesis!

Yay for plants!

You see that Christmasy looking plant. That was wee when the fella bought and thanks to the tender loving care of mom and I, it is now huge.  We’ve got the thumbs of green in my family.  We also still have a poinsettia that we’ve managed to keep alive (mostly mom) and it is NOW starting to get red leaves again, I shit you not.   So, all this to say…I like to grow things and I don’t have a lot of room.

So, I like to garden and I like to eat…so…so…I think to myself “Herb Garden!” Because really…I need another hobby like I need a hole in my head, but once I start down a path, I jump in with both feet, in the deep end. Shallow end is for sissies. Also, swimming analogies are way more ironic when you really don’t swim. But what is a metaphor between friends.

Herb-tastic!

So, the above is Sweet Basil, Sage and Fern Dill, which I bought specifically because I liked how it looked and this plant looked a little sad and lonely and in need of some love.  These are just to start off and give me something use now, which I have. The basil was used on a little tortilla pizza I made earlier in the week.  It was very tasty and it smells divine.  My hope is that my brand spanking new basil plant will follow suit.

But since buying them already grown is not really the point, seedlings abound! Rosemary, Chives, Garlic Chives (which I didn’t use), Cilantro, Oregano, Parsley, Tarragon and more Sweet Basil.

Seedlings!

So, the pots are biodegradable and once they are ready to be planted in larger containers, they can go with the herbs.  Pretty handy. I hope. In a funny twist of fate, I opted to not use the tray ones above and used slightly bigger separate ones.   And yes, two Rosemary packets, it is my favorite herb. And no, no thyme…it makes me ill actually. And yes, I am sure it is tasty but I am not going to grow something I’m not going to use. No point there.

And so…we begin.

Rosemary for rememberance

And in the end, for now…we have this!

Ta Da!

I wrote the names on them so I could keep track of what everything is as it’s growing before it truly spouts leaves. This way, I can see what is working well and what might not be working quite as well.  When they grow (and I mean, when…not if, I am optimistic! And possibly delusional, which is another story), I will be able to tell by look and smell, but for now, this is a good way for me to keep track of things. And if you don’t think I would have a detailed schematic of a garden, you don’t know how type A I can truly get about some things.

I even re-planted the other 3 herbs in big girl pots, so they know they can stay with me permanently! I had some Basil seedlings left so I put them in with the Basil plant because…well, why the hell not? Let’s run her up the flagpole and see how she flies.

And why tell you? Well, because this is a blog and that is what you do but also because I plan to document my experience in herb-dom here and it’s best I warn you all in advance. Don’t say I never gave you anything.

So…from me and my herbs…adieu!

The line-up!