Tuesday, October 19, 2010
BAREFOOT CONTESSA PERFECT ROAST CHICKEN
Note to Yankee Candle: your housewarming candle collection would be greatly enhanced by a Perfect Roast Chicken aroma. This new candle could be used by homeowners desperate to sell their homes. Trust me when I say it's better than the smell of cookies baking. When DSO came home from work, the smell was so enticing he was ready to have dinner at 3:30 PM!
I've roasted many chickens over the years and up until this point my favorite has been the one based on the dish served in Boston's Hammersley's Bistro (click here). As delicious as that preparation is, the Barefoot Contessa's recipe is everything she promises and more. One would guess that my Italian ancestry might mean that fennel is a staple of The Food of Love kitchen. That has not been the case, though I love the flavor anise imparts. However, I can tell you that it will soon become a regular on the veggie rotation; it was that good.
The recipe for this quintessential chicken is available on the Food TV website (click here). I usually read the comments to see what others think of the dish and what caught my eye immediately was the suggestion to roast the chicken in a Dutch oven. Since I love my Le Creuset monster Dutch oven, that's just what I did.
Perdue roasters had been on sale, so I bought an 8 pound chicken. Needless to say, there was plenty of leftover chicken. Stay tuned for chicken marsala crepes which I'll post toward week's end.
Where to begin? The onions break down and sweeten the carrots and anise even more. The lemon, garlic, and thyme in the cavity of the chicken truly does flavor every bit of the meat with punches of flavor. The breast meat was moist--no gravy is needed for this chicken. The skin (yes, I sneaked a bite) is better than any potato chip. Anyone who can read and tell time can make this chicken. If you've never tried Ina's version of a Sunday classic, this is the perfect weather for it.