Thursday, November 10, 2011

Drunk Man's Chicken

I picked up a couple of whole chickens this week on a super sale, figuring that a roast chicken is a quick and easy meal to whip together on nights that I'm pressed for time. I haven't made this recipe in years, but used to make it quite often.  It only takes a matter of minutes to get everything ready and in the oven.

Somehow though, as the day got progressively crazier, last night's dinner plans went from roast chicken with a homemade pasta/veggie salad and fresh peas to roast chicken with quinoa and peas to a Tim Horton's sandwich and Diet Pepsi... 

Let me explain. The chicken was in the oven, the quinoa in the rice cooker and the water was boiling for the peas.  Just had to get Logan, fresh from the bath, into his pyjamas and off to bed and we'd finally get to sit down to some well deserved adult time, including a glass of wine.  Wiggling around on the change table as usual, as I reached for a wipe right in front of me, Logan gave a big kick, arched his back and flew right off the end of the change table, head first. Basically landing vertically, on his head. I was right there, only inches from him and just couldn't grab him in time.  And there goes the roast chicken...

Although he seemed fine to me, after a call to Info-Santé, we decided to follow their recommendation of taking him to the hospital just in case. Insert Tim Horton's sandwiches for dinner here. Long story short, he was fine, as we suspected. And our roast chicken sat half-cooked in an oven that was turned off as we walked out the door to emerg, complete with 2 1/2 week old. Thankfully, it nonetheless finished cooking while we were at the hospital and we were able to enjoy it for dinner tonight instead. And of course, very thankfully, there was nothing wrong with Logan (well, aside from his temper, if you ask me!).

Funniest part is that the kid didn't even learn that it's not a good idea to wriggle around like that when he's being changed. I'm going to have to find a new location to change him, before he one day kills himself... as he started the whole routine again today. But this time, I anticipated the major back arch as he kicked into the table and caught him in time. Kids...

In any case, here is the recipe for you to enjoy. Much tastier than a Tim Horton's sandwich for dinner.
1 chicken (3 1/2 lbs/1.75 kg)
4 to 6 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
1 onion, peeled and quartered
1 stalk celery, cut into 4 pieces
1 tsp. dried thyme (optional)
1/2 C chicken stock
1/2 C dry red or white wine
1 tbsp. Worchestershire sauce
1 tbsp. butter
1 tbsp. flour
salt and pepper

1.  Remove giblets and neck from chicken.  Rinse and pat dry inside and out.

2.  Using fingers, gently loosen skin from chicken breasts to form pockets.  Stuff garlic pieces into each pocket, patting gently to spread and flatten slightly.  Stuff onion and celery into cavity of chicken.

3.  Tie legs together with string.  Tuck wings under back. (I didn't bother with this step).

4.  Sprinkle chicken with thyme, if using.

5.  Place chicken, breast side up, on race in small roasting pan.  Pour in chicken stock, wine and Worchestershire.  Baste chicken with mixture.

6.  Roast in 325 degree Farenheit oven, basting every 30 minutes for 1 1/2 to 2 hours or until juices run clear when chicken is pierced and meat thermometer inserted in thigh registers 185 degrees Farenheit.

7.  Transfer chicken to platter.  Cover with foil and let stand 10 minutes before carving.

8.  Meanwhile, transfer pan juices to measuring cup and skim off top layer of fat.  In saucepan, melt butter and sprinkle with flour.  Cook over medium heat, stirring for one minute.

9.  Pour in 1 C pan juices (adding more liquid if necessary) and salt and pepper to taste.  Bring to a boil.  Cook, stirring, until sauce is smooth and thickened.  Taste and adjust seasonings, if necessary.

10.  Pour into warmed gravy boat and serve with chicken.

Makes 4 to 5 servings.

Note: can cook potatoes and carrots beside chicken.

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