With another chicken day coming up at the farm on Saturday, I wanted to share with you my favorite roast chicken recipe and why I think a roast chicken is one of the most versatile and stretchable meals to have in your repertoire.
Roast chicken is so simple. I have taken Thomas Keller's Simple Roast Chicken recipe and simplified it even further. You need only a plump chicken that is patted dry, salt it inside and out, plop it in a pan and shove it in a 450 degree oven. That's it! A 3 pound chicken takes 1 hour. 4 pounds takes 75 minutes. 5 pounds, 90.
It comes out perfect every time. It is foolproof, simple and goes down easy!
I carve it and serve it with whatever is in season or catches my fancy at the market. This time it was roast potatoes and lightly steamed Brussels. Ooooh, the drumstick is my favorite part, especially when it is hot out of the oven. Sometimes one of them doesn't even make it to the serving platter.
Nothing is wasted when I roast a chicken. I carve up the rest of the meat and pop the bones in the freezer for stock. I always thought stock was something difficult and chef-y but it isn't. It's roasted bones, vegetable scraps, herbs, seasoning and water simmered all day, strained, skimmed, divided into containers and frozen. Sure you need to watch it, but the hands on time is really very little.
This particular chicken was transformed into roasted vegetable and wild rice soup the next day. I roasted confetti squash and carrots that I seasoned with salt, pepper and fresh thyme leaves.
Saving all my scraps for the next batch of stock, of course!
Then sauteed up a bunch of mushrooms.
And simmered some wild rice...
I used the stock from the freezer, simmered it on the stove and added the leftover roast chicken meat, the roasted veggies, mushrooms, wild rice and a dribble of cream and served up a hearty bowl of delicious soup.