Mother-in-law’s chicken

My mother-in-law shared a simple, yet delicious-looking, roasted chicken recipe with me earlier this week that I vowed to make last night. Sad as it may be, the idea of going to the grocery store after school and making my first whole chicken really got me through a long, soggy day. Things got even better when Alex said he was going to make our friend Mark’s butternut squash soup recipe to go along with it.

I won’t get into the gory details of just how full our bellies were, but it’s safe to say that it was so good, we couldn’t stop eating it. We managed to polish off a 5 lb chicken in about thirty minutes. I highly recommend this recipe for it was just as tasty, if not better, than the Zuni Cafe chicken. I know I know, big promises, but it was *that* awesome. This will certainly become a staple in my recipe binder so thank you Joyce!

Mother-in-law’s chicken (inspired from the roast chicken recipe in the barefoot contessa cookbook)

  • 1 5-6 lb roasting chicken
  • kosher or sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 large bunch fresh thyme
  • 1 lemon, halved
  • 1-2 heads of garlic, cut in half crosswise
  • 2 TB butter, melted
  • 1 onion, thickly sliced
  • 1 cup chicken stock or white wine (to de-glaze pan)
  • Optional: 6-8 new red potatoes, 4 carrots

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Remove the chicken giblets. Rinse the chicken inside and out. Remove any access fat and leftover pinfeathers and pat the outside dry. Place the chicken in a roasting pan. Liberally (don’t be shy) salt and pepper the inside of the chicken. Stuff the cavity with the bunch of thyme, both halves of the lemon, and all the garlic. Brush the outside of the chicken with the butter and sprinkle again with salt and pepper. Tie the legs together (I didn’t do this part) with kitchen string and tuck the wing tips under the body of the chicken. Scatter the onion rings (and if you want, add 6-8 whole new red potatoes and 4 carrots cut into quarters) around and underneath the chicken.

Roast the chicken for 1 1/2 hours or until the juices run clear wen you cut between a leg and a thigh. Remove to a platter and cover with aluminum foil for about 10 minutes while you prepare the gravy. Set the oven on low and put the vegetables back in to keep warm. Remove the fat from the chicken pan and add either a cup of chicken broth or white wine to the pan, scraping up the brown bits that are stuck on the bottom. Stir on high heat for about 3-5 minutes until gravy thickens.

Slice the chicken onto a platter and serve immediately with the warm gravy.

Mark’s butternut squash recipe

  • Tart apple
  • Yellow onion
  • Decent sized butternut squash (you can use any sweet squash here)
  • Vegetable or chicken broth
  • Cloves
  • Cinnamon
  • Nutmeg
  • Optional: creme fraiche

Chop and saute the onions until translucent. Add the sliced and peeled apple. Add the peeled and diced butternut. Add enough broth to cover the butternut (don’t use too much) and simmer until the butternut is soft all the way through. Transfer the squash/apple/onion mixture (with a slotted spoon) to the food processor and puree using as little broth as possible. Transfer the pureed mixture to another pot and add the remaining broth until it is the desired consistency. Save the extra broth if you plan to refrigerate the soup and add it when you warm it up. Add spices as desired. Top w/ Creme Fraiche if desired.

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