Tag Archives: roast chicken

Roast Chicken with Cinnamon-Currant Rice Stuffing

Once you have the perfect roast chicken in your dinner repertoire, you have to start developing unique ways to change it here and there. One new way I’ve started experimenting with is stuffing. Whether it’s a wild-mushroom risotto or rice mixture, I find that a good stuffing can transform our favorite roast chickens.

This recipe is from my mom, so it comes with childhood memories of comfort food. Now that I’m making it myself, I realize the science behind the magic: that tantalizing aroma is from the warm cinnamon and lemon stirred into the rice stuffing, along with the toasted pine nuts, currants and sweet onion.

As a child, I probably wouldn’t have eaten the wild mushrooms that become golden and roasted along with the bird, just swimming in chicken juices, but now they are the perfect flavor addition. I added a few details that make this recipe my own, but I remember its roots. 🙂

Roast Chicken with Cinnamon-Currant Rice Stuffing

Ingredients:

  • 1 small onion (or equivalent shallots), finely chopped
  • 2 T. olive oil
  • 2/3 cup uncooked long-grain white rice
  • 3 T. pine nuts
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 1/4 cups chicken broth
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 T. dried currants
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 whole large chicken, at least 4 lbs., washed and patted dry
  • 1/2 lb. mushrooms, sliced or quartered
  • 1 fennel bulb, sliced
  • 1/2 tsp fresh rosemary, chopped

Preheat oven to 325. Saute onion in oil in heavy saucepan until soft but not brown.  Stir in rice and pine nuts; cook until all are light brown.  Grate lemon rind.  Stir chicken broth, garlic, currants, salt, cinnamon, and lemon rind into rice.  Cook covered over low heat 20 minutes (rice will be slightly chewy).

Fill chicken cavity with rice mixture (make sure you’ve removed the giblets!). Scatter fennel and mushrooms around roasting pan; sprinkle with olive oil and toss to coat. Place chicken, breast side up, in roasting pan, on top of vegetables.  Tie the legs together with chicken twine. Rub chicken skin with olive oil. Drizzle reserved lemon juice over chicken and mushrooms; sprinkle with rosemary.  Season chicken with salt and pepper.

Roast chicken until juices run clear when thigh is pierced, 1 1/2 hours. Let chicken rest 10 minutes, covered in foil, before carving. Meanwhile, scoop rice into bowl, and serve the mushroom mixture along with chicken juices.

Serve sliced chicken along with sides, and a side salad.

Yummy! That rice stuffing is key. Roasting with the chicken, it takes on all those juices and extra flavor – just wonderful. I certainly plan on making it as a side dish, just adding more liquid and cooking it longer.

Enjoy, friends! xoxo

Lemon-Oregano Roast Chicken

As many of you know, Grant and I are sharing a CSA this year from Shore Farm Organics. CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture – basically, you sign up to receive a box of farm-fresh produce every week from the farmers’ market.

Every Tuesday, I visit the cobblestone market downtown and pick up my package, overflowing with tender fennel fronds, crisp lettuces, fresh herbs and an assortment of other items: chard, beets, squash, cucumbers, cauliflower, etc. The assortment is different each week, which is why we love it!

Recently, we got a lot of fresh oregano, rosemary and basil. I had no idea what I’d do with all that oregano until I considered a Greek-inspired roasted chicken, with a lemon-oregano compound butter rubbed all over the bird.

And so this meal was born, adapted from my traditional roast chicken recipe. The lemon and herbs combo permeates all of the chicken meat, providing you with days of yummy leftovers.

Lemon-Oregano Roast chicken

Ingredients:

  • One 3-4 lb. chicken, giblets removed, rinsed and patted dry
  • 2 T unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • Zest of one lemon
  • 1 lemon, cut in half
  • 1 bunch fresh oregano
  • 1 bunch fresh thyme
  • S&P
  • Paprika
  • 3 cloves garlic, unpeeled

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Mix softened butter with lemon zest, pinch of S&P and 1 T chopped fresh oregano. Set aside.

Place chicken on roasting rack set in roasting pan. Stuff it with remaining oregano, zested lemon sliced in half, garlic and rosemary. Rub most of the butter mixture under the skin, then rub the remaining over the outside of the chicken skin, just to coast. Sprinkle chicken with salt, pepper and paprika. Tuck the wings under the body and tie the legs together with kitchen twine (optional).

Place chicken in oven and roast for 1:15 to 1:30 hours. When you pierce between the leg and thigh, the juices should run clear. When done, remove from oven and let rest 20 min. That will give you enough time to prepare a salad, toast up some bread or make your favorite Greek-inspired couscous (as I did).

I set my bird on a tray with more fresh herbs, just to be pretty. The smell, the sight and the taste of the chicken was all perfect – proving that roast chicken is good at any time of year!

Enjoy your next chicken dinner, friends! xoxo

Chicken on an oven rack

One of my Southern Belle friends, Miss Valentine, told me a tale about a chicken that you roast by placing it on the bare oven rack. That’s right – no roasting pan or dish holding the bird. Just flesh and metal. It’s genius, she says, because the chicken juices drip onto a pan of potatoes placed below, essentially FRYING the potatoes! I’m so glad someone finally figured out how to make chicken juices even more magical: using them to fry things!

I’ve never met a roast chicken that I didn’t like, so I immediately requested the recipe.

The dish is quite simple, as all roasts really are. You season the bird and let it roast with other vegetables for an hour or so while your house fills with that mouth-watering aroma. A simple, hearty and thrilling dish to make for company or even a date!

I recently did just that, and here’s how I made it mine…

Write Gal’s Unusual Roast Chicken

  • One 4-lb whole chicken, giblets removed and skin checked for pin feathers
  • One lemon
  • Kosher salt
  • Cracked pepper
  • Two sprigs fresh rosemary, chopped
  • Four sprigs fresh thyme, chopped (use any herbs you like)
  • 5 cloves of garlic, minced, separated
  • EVOO
  • 2.5 lbs yukon gold potatoes
  • Chopped parsley, for garnish

Preheat the oven to 400.

Wash and dry the chicken, then season the inside well with salt and pepper. Cut the lemon in half and place inside the chicken. Mix 4 T EVOO with 2 crushed cloves of garlic and rub all over the chicken. Sprinkle the skin well with salt and pepper, then tie the legs together.

Cut the potatoes into thick chunks and spread on a large baking sheet with a drizzle of olive oil (I also added one sliced onion here, but use your imagination! Fennel? Carrots? Parsnips?) and salt and pepper. Place the potatoes on the bottom rack of the hot oven and place the chicken directly above it, so all juices will fall on the potatoes.

Roast for 45 – 50 min., or until juices run clear when you pierce between the thigh and body. Remove the chicken to a serving platter and tent with foil. Sprinkle the potatoes with the remaining garlic and herbs. Continue roasting until they turn a bit golden and are sizzling. Remove and prepare to eat!

Carve yourself big slices of the tender-as-all-get-out meat and spoon up the veggies, topping with parsley, if using. I highly recommend using an organic chicken because the taste is so much better and it is way juicier.

I’m sure you’re wondering if this made a huge mess in the oven. I have no idea … do I look like a girl who does her own dishes? 😉

Another night, another bottle...

Enjoy, friends! xoxo