Archive for the ‘Sauces’ Category

Roasted Chicken Dinner

May 1, 2008

Roasted Chicken

Since we just moved, I’m not working this week. So in between the unpacking and organizing I’ve been able to make some really yummy things. I had been wanting to roast my own chicken for a while now. I always love the ones that you can buy from the grocery store pre-roasted, plus a whole roasted chicken is SO cheap! I got a 5.39 lb bird for $4.50!! That’s insane! Plus, I’m going to get two meals out of the bird AND homemade chicken stock made from the bones for later use.

Ok done ranting about how much I fell in love with whole chickens because of their cheapness (is that a word?) and/or usefullness (I like adding “ness” to the ends of words).

This was seriously one of the best dinners we’ve had in a LONG time. No, it’s not something you can do on a work night because the chicken does take a couple hours to roast but OH WELL! Suck it up and roast a chicken on a Sunday sometime because I promise you will NOT regret it!

The recipe from the chicken came from my Better Homes and Gardens New Cookbook which I loooovvveee (that’s “love” in the drawn out form for emphasis). I really liked the recipe because it didn’t ask me to stuff anything inside the chicken’s “cavity”. YUCK! That word “cavity” just makes me cringe, much less sticking my hand and perfectly good onions/carrots/etc. inside of it! Also, I like the recipe because the end result has TONS of flavor but it doesn’t require you to go out and buy any expensive fresh herbs. I saw some recipes that called for like 6 sprigs of fresh rosemary…what do you think I’m MADE of money?!?

I served the Roasted Chicken with roasted potatoes, fresh bread made in my Breadman breadmaker wtih and olive oil/herb dipping sauce, brown gravy, and salad. It was such a satisfying meal!

Roasted Chicken Table

And YES I know the “gravy boat” in this photo is actually a creamer but I can’t seem to locate my gravy boat after the move. Grrr!

Herb-Roasted Chicken from Better Homes and Gardens New Cookbook

Makes: 4 servings


1 3 to 3 1/2 pound whole broiler-fryer chicken (Mine was 5.39 lbs)

2 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted

2 cloves garlic, minced (I used 3 b/c as mentioned in previous post, we love garlic)

1 tsp dried basil, crushed

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp ground sage

1/2 tsp dried thyme, crushed

1/4 tsp lemon-pepper seasoning or black pepper


1. Rinse inside of chicken. Pat dry with paper towels. Skew neck skin of chicken to back and tie legs to tail (I did neither of these things). Twist wing tips under back. Place chicken breast side up, on a rack in a shallow roasting pan. Brush with melted butter. Rub garlic over chicken.

2. In a small bowl stir together basil, salt, sage, thyme, and lemon-pepper seasoning; rub onto chicken. If desired, insert a meat thermometer into center of an inside thigh muscle, not touching bone.

3. Roast, uncovered, in a 375 degree oven for 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours or until drumsticks move easily in their sockets and chicken is no longer pink (180 degrees F). (The package the chicken came in said to roast about 20 minutes for every pound so I calculated based on that. Then, I checked the temp and continued cooking until it reached over 180 degrees. Also, I basted the chicken with more melted butter and/or drippings in the pan every 30 minutes.) Remove from oven. Cover; let stand for 10 minutes before serving.

Roasted Potatoes

Source: None really except I did get some help from the ladies on the What’s Cooking board on the Nest!

While the chicken was resting, I just took some small quartered potatoes (mine were yellow but red would work just fine) and rolled them around in the roasting pan I used to roast the chicken in. There was lots of yummy chicken dripping goodness in there to coat them. Then I sprinkled with a little bit of kosher salt and then stuck the pan back in the oven and roasted the potatoes for about 20 minutes until they were crispy on the outside and tender on the inside. They were SO STINKING GOOD. I’m not even kidding you MUST try this if you roast a chicken.

Brown Gravy

This is just the way I’ve seen my mom/grandma make gravy. At one point I thought I ruined it but it came out surprisingly well. Sorry it’s not all that precise but you just kind of have to judge for yourself how much to put in.

2-3 Tbsp. drippings from the chicken

1-2 Tbsp. flour

1-2 cups of chicken broth

Heat the drippings in a sauce pot over medium heat. Whisk in the flour to combine with drippings and keep whisking until the color turns to a dark-ish brown. Then whisk in a cup of chicken broth (P.S. this is the point where I thought I screwed up because I whisked in about a 1/2 c. of broth and it looked like it burned and congealed all together in one big lump. However, once I whisked in about another cup of broth it turned into a very nice brown gravy!). If the consistency is still too think you can stir in more broth. Taste and season with salt/pepper. Pour over your chicken and potatoes and enjoy!



Simple Tomato Sauce

April 6, 2008

No picture for this one but I just had to share the recipe because it was SO yummy and super easy. I made this Tomato Sauce to go with Chicken Parmesan tonight and I will definitely make this sauce again and again! I couldn’t believe how simple and tasty it turned out.

Simple Tomato Sauce

Source: Cooks Illustrated

1 28 oz. can diced tomatoes (I used Crushed Tomatoes w/ Italian Seasonings to save the step of pureeing the tomatoes)
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp. tomato paste
1 tsp. olive oil
1/8 tsp. red pepper flakes (I used probably a full teaspoon)
1 tbsp minced fresh basil leaves
salt and pepper

Pulse the tomatoes with their juices in a food processor until mostly smooth, about 10 1-second pulses; set aside (I omitted this entire step by using Crushed Tomatoes). Cook the garlic, tomato paste, oil, and pepper flakes in a medium saucepan over medium heat until the tomato paste begins to brown, about 2 minutes. Stir in the pureed tomatoes and cook until the sauce is thickened and measures 2 cups, about 20 minutes. Off the heat, stir in the basil and season with S&P to taste (I also seasoned with Garlic Salt).