Friday, September 2, 2011

Roasted Chicken for September

It's been a heck of a week for Vermont.  With Tropical Storm Irene walloping the state on Sunday - particularly the towns in the southern and middle portions, like Waterbury, Windsor, and Mendon.  Living in Burlington, my husband and I were fortunate enough to have suffered little more than a power outage.  (We drove through most of Irene on our way back from West Virginia on Saturday and Sunday, but made it safely - and that's another story.)

It's been amazing seeing the communities rallying around the hardest hit areas and jumping to help neighbors.  From the donations pouring in from lesser-affected Vermonters to community-wide efforts to clean up and begin recovery, it seems as though the whole state is banding together to move forward.  I could assemble a list of all of the ways readers from Vermont and beyond can assist, but so many others have done a much more thorough job than I could do.  So, check out:

With recovery underway, it seemed fitting to roast a chicken as we welcome the beginning of September.  A simple roasted chicken seems like the ultimate comfort food, perfect for sharing with friends.  The act of sharing the meal over tender roasted vegetables (local, of course, to continue supporting our farmers) feels warming and soothing, even though we have a way to go to find our way back to "normal."  It's a nice break.

A Roasted Chicken for September
Click here for printable recipe

1 5-6 lb. chicken
3 T. butter, melted
1 T. parsley, finely chopped
1 small clove garlic, minced
Zest of 1 lemon
2 t. fresh lemon juice
Salt & Pepper

Roasted Vegetables
1 small bulb fennel, chopped
2 leeks, halved and cut into 1-inch pieces, and rinsed well
3 large carrots, peeled and cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces
1/2 lb. fingerling or other small potatoes, scrubbed and halved
1/4 c. olive or vegetable oil
1/4 c. white wine
Salt & Pepper

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.  In the bottom of a roasting pan, combine the fennel, leeks, carrots, and potatoes.  Toss with the olive or vegetable oil, as well as a pinch of salt and a dash of pepper. Drizzle the white wine into the roasting pan with the vegetable mixture.  

Prepare the chicken: First, combine the melted butter, chopped parsley, garlic, lemon juice, and a generous pinch each of salt and pepper.  Whisk well, and then brush or spoon the butter mixture all over the chicken.  Place the chicken breast side down in the roasting pan, and transfer to the oven.  Let roast for 30 minutes, checking after the first 15 minutes and rotating the pan if needed.

Remove the roasting pan from the oven and rotate the chicken breast-side up (a pair of tongs and a tea towel come in handy to maneuver  the bird).  Continue roasting for another 30-45 minutes, or until the juices run clear when you pierce the meat between the leg and the thigh.  Remove the roasting pan from the oven and transfer the chicken to a cutting board.  Let it sit for 10 minutes before carving and serving over the mixed roasted vegetables. 

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