Jen’s Fave Roast!


In a trip to Chicago four years ago, I met Jen. Quite surprisingly, we hit it off in the first two minutes that we met. Why, if there was a category in the Guiness Book of World Records for a ‘fastest getting to know you’ moment, we would’ve bagged the top prize! Haha. Ours is a long distance friendship, though, with us touching base with each other only through Facebook and YM. And our most glaring common denominator? FOOD!

Sam with Tita Jen. Chicago USA, 2007.

Jen just amuses me with her very  insightful nature everytime we talk about food. She’s one foodie who’s one with her food– all the time. Heart and soul in the kitchen, heart and soul in whatever she lays her hands on. I totally admire her. And yeah,  was giddy getting a recipe from her today with a very sweet note to match. This note comes all the way from Mexico where she and hubby, Sieg, are now based after having stayed in Tokyo, Japan for quite awhile.

Finally, Jen, here goes your dish:

Hey Caren!

It took me 6 months to finally write and cook something for you.  Let me warn you first that am not much of a writer so when you asked me to write something for you, I scratched my head and thought, “can I just cook for her instead?!?!”  What to write? What to cook? You are probably expecting a Mexican inspired dish from me especially since we are living in the heart of Mexico. I have not yet immersed myself into Mexican cooking so I thought my all time favorite could do the trick (hopefully!).  So, I bought myself a good-sized whole chicken, a bunch of rosemary, two handfuls of mushrooms, and a couple pieces of lemon, onion and garlic and said, “I would cook my favorite Roast Chicken recipe for a dear friend”.

This recipe was sourced from Tyler Florence of Food Network. Am not so good at whipping up my own recipe but am used to searching for the best recipe and adding my own touch to it.  I love cooking Roast Chicken! While it takes a lot of time to cook (approximately 1.5 hour), I find it very easy to make and while it’s cooking, I can then do other things than just stay in the kitchen.

For the Roast Chicken, you will need:

1 whole chicken

Red onion, cut in quarters (enough to stuff the chicken)

1 Lemon, cut in half

Fresh rosemary

6 cloves of garlic, smashed

1 tablespoon olive oil and more to drizzle on the chicken

Few slices of bacon (not necessary)

Salted butter

Sliced mushrooms, washed and dried

Salt and pepper

Granulated garlic or garlic powder

Wash the chicken thoroughly and dry with a paper towel.  I buy my chicken here clean already (no insides and with the neck part cut) but still I wash it again, specially the inside.

In a bowl, mix the onions, lemon, garlic and rosemary. Add salt, pepper and granulated garlic.  There’s garlic in the mixture already but because I love garlic so I put a pinch of granulated garlic still.  Add the olive oil and toss.

Take the butter, add a bit more salt and place little pieces underneath the skin.  The recipe did not call for this but I find that it adds more taste to the meat.  I could just imagine using Dairy Cream butter but I don’t have that here L.  Season the inside of the chicken with salt and pepper then stuff the chicken with the mixture. To keep the mixture inside, I pull either the skin of the chicken to close the bottom part and use a toothpick to close it.  Then I tie the chicken legs and wings.  I honestly don’t know how to tie a chicken but I do whatever to keep the legs and wings from spreading while cooking (ha!ha!ha!).

Season the whole chicken with salt, pepper and garlic powder.  Place on the roasting pan, drizzle some olive oil and sprinkle whatever rosemary you have left.  The recipe called for just roasting the chicken as is but I normally add some onions, garlic and lemon pieces on the roasting pan.  Roast the chicken (breast side up) in 400F for 1.5 hours. 

You might ask what do you need the bacon for as I mentioned needing it on the recipe list.  After 45 minutes of roasting the chicken, lay the strips of bacon on the chicken and add the sliced mushrooms on the pan (before adding the mushrooms, I season it first with salt and pepper). 

Baste the chicken with its own liquid (from the pan) to keep it moist.  Once done, take out the stuffing and leave it to rest for 15 minutes.  This I did not know before, apparently you need to let it rest to keep the moisture inside the chicken.  With the juices of the lemon, I find that the chicken is a bit wet, not crispy enough for my liking. So after cutting it, I would put it back in the oven for about 5 to 10 minutes.

I love French fries so I always eat my roast chicken with fried potatoes.  But this version is a bit healthier.  Cut the potatoes, season generously with salt and pepper, add rosemary leaves and drizzle with a bit of olive oil.  Toss the potatoes so each piece has some olive oil.  Place in a Pyrex pan and put it the oven for 30 minutes. To save time, just put it in the oven when the chicken has been roasting for an hour.

Voila! There I have my Sunday Chicken Dinner.


About caren yrastorza

Might take forever and a day to describe who I am and what I do. In condensed words, I am a transient traveller of life.Sure, you may never freeze moments in time, but hey, you may write about them! So, please, join me as I walk you through the hallways of my mind, heart and soul. Come, join me in my journey back Into My World...

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