August 12, 2010

Roasted herby lemon chicken, braised carrots and lemon cucumber tom. salad

As noted in my post from yesterday I was going to make a meal with the majority of my CSA box, this is the dinner I have come up with. It's a mixture of Winter comfort and Summer flavors (winter because SF is 50˚ in August). I will also show you how to flatten out a chicken for quick and even roasting, stuffing is for thanksgiving. I learned this technique in the Joy of cooking cookbook, but it took me awhile to figure out their drawings- I hope my images help you out.

Lemon Herby Chicken

what you need:
fresh herbs 
half onion quartered
whole roasting chicken (veg. fed)
3 cloves garlic, fresh lemon basil, lemon thyme, rosemary and sage
2 tlbs lemon
and a chicken for roasting
Step 0: Preheat your oven to 375˚, get out a baking dish and get ready to get gross.

Step 1: In goes lemon juice, EVOO, herbs and garlic into food processor (or blend and cut by hand), should be a nice light green slurry.
Step 2: In baking dish add the lemon remains from step 1, a few cloves garlic and the onion. Pile them in a nest like fashion for the bird to land on.
Step 3: Get into the Bird! Open the bad boy up and take out the sac o' stuff and set aside (we will talk about this later). Rinse the chicken and pat inside out with paper towels. Once that is done place the bird spine side up, or as I like to call it the nasty extra skin side up.

Step 3.5: Time to cut!!!!! Get out some poultry sheers or a knife (if you are crazy) and cut between the spine (or that nasty extra skin thing), cut through the bones all the way to the other end. Do it on both sides. 
the joy of cooking only has confusing drawings.
Once cut on both sides rip it out! (place spine to the side)
Step 4: Breaking some Bones, Breaking some Bones!!! Flip the bird over (as you will notice it seems like the joints are loose now, they are). Place your hand in the CPR position and Push! you want to hear some cracks and when you notice the legs and thighs are lying flat you've done your job.

Step 5: Make a small incision (button hole) in the extra pieces of skin around the thighs and tips of legs, then tuck the tips of the legs in the button holes. This eliminates the need for string ever!

Step 6: Grab your herby slurry and start to cover the bird with it, make sure to go underneath the skin (do this by finding a skin "entrance" and wiggling your little hand gingerly inside being care not to tear the skin) once the bird is totally covered begin to salt and pepper it, I strongly recommend a kosher or sea salt as well as fresh ground pepper, table salt and old pepper don't do a good meal any justice. 
Place the covered and smothered creature on it's lemon, garlic nest, tuck the tip of the wings under the bird so they don't burn. Add some remaining lemon segments in the joints to get some extra lemon flavor, throw it in the oven for about 20min/lb. (4 lb=80min or so) and call it a day....

Step 7: When you feel that the chicken is almost done (you will know when it is done if the leg and thigh pull away from the bird easily), but may need some more browning crank the oven and let it go- don't forget to baste the chicken every 20min or so. When the chicken is nice and brown pull it out and let it rest for 10min DON'T FORGET! you can always stick a knife in it after it's rested to check for doneness, if you do it before all the juices will run out and you won't actually be able to tell.

Wait!!! there are sides!

Braised Carrots

what you need:
1 T. butter
1/4 C. chicken broth

Step 1: Heat butter in pan, on a low temp.

Step 2: Clean carrots but don't peel, cut in half or more if larger (if small carrots leave whole). Throw into melted butter add thyme, garlic and S&P cook till tender, not brown about 10min then add broth.

Step 3: Put in oven for about 30min (till broth is absorbed into the carrots).

Lemon Cucumber Tomato Salad

what you need:
lemon cucumber (or reg. but it won't be as cool)
cherry tomatoes (sliced)
fresh basil
1 T. lemon juice
  1 T. EVOO
1 tsp. rice wine vin.
S & P

Step 1: Slice cuc. put it in a bowl, add toms and basil (lightly tear it).
Step 2: whisk lemon juice, EVOO and rice wine together till it emulsifies.
Step 3: pour and mix in to salad add S&P to taste.

your plate should look like this:

kitchen tips:

Don't throw anything out!
Make sure to keep all of your chicken bones, gizzards and what have you for stock, if you don't want to deal with them now wrap them in foil, write what contents and date it (trust me you will forget) and throw them in the freezer for the future.


 If you are like me and buy quality meats on sale then freeze them, but then want to use them the same day (take a breath)- Have no fear! The best remedy for this is to put the meat in a tap temperature bath for a few hours, slightly quicker than on the counter and way better than the mic.

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