What better recipe to choose (yes, we’re chosing the order in which we cook our recipes this month – not helpful for me, who really enjoyed the structure. I make decisions all day – I enjoyed being directed a little!!), for a short week on our cooking journey. We didn’t get our recipe choices until Monday… so, given the fact that roast chicken is a favorite, and it was easy… you get the idea. This recipe was made for me! And for this week.
Ok, I’ll admit it, I made this once before when I first got the book. This time, I thought I’d go the purist route – only chicken! no vegetables! Also, I learned a few things from reading others’ posts: mainly “keep the lid off when baking”; which lead to another try at “the bread trick”. When I made this the first time, I put the bread in the bottom of the pan, but covered my chicken as it roasted (it calls for a Dutch oven), so I ended up with a lot of wonderful juice in the bottom and a barely distinguishable piece of bread.
I was in Sedona over the weekend, and remembered to bring home a bunch of wonderful, fresh herbs from the garden. As Simon & Garfunkle prompted me, I ended up with parsley, sage, rosemary & thyme. (corny, yes, true, yes…). Dorie suggests rosemary, thyme and oregano. But it’s fall, and I love sage, and then there was still some lovely fresh parsley…
|My ingredients ready to prep.
Beautiful herbs from up north, along with garlic, chicken, salt, pepper, olive oil…
does not get a lot simpler that that!
|Afore-mentioned bread in the bottom of the oiled Dutch oven|
|Everything ready to put together. Chicken salted and peppered, check.
Liver ready to put back inside the chicken, check.
Herbs & split garlic, check, check, check…
|ready to bake!|
|The lovely chicken as it comes out of the oven.|
This recipe makes a great chicken. In fact, it’s exactly what a great chicken should be. Wonderful chicken flavor with hints of herbs and mellow garlic. The chicken liver turns out beautifully (I have to admit, I didn’t get a lot farther that trying the bread, eating some liver, and a little of the juicy chicken breast). I still don’t think I have the “bread trick” right – and if I do, it’s probably something I should stay away from. Mine was carmelized on the bottom, but filled with chicken fat (not that it’s a bad thing), certainly not nearly as virtuous as I’d like to think having “roast chicken” should be. It was, however, delicious.
Here’s what I learned: With the lid off, the herbs and garlic got overly crisp. But the skin was great, and there was at least the option of the bread. When I made this before, with the lid on (and the optional vegetables), everything stayed nice and softened, and there was still some crispiness to the chicken skin. I know the garlic was yummy… but both were terrific, which is why I’ll make this again.