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Saturday, February 5, 2011

Not Really Engagement Chicken

There is an urban legend of the Engagement Chicken, a dish that if made for your boyfriend, he will be so impressed with your domestic skills he'll propose.

I've been married for a year and a half, so I'm not putting it to the test, but I thought it might be a good way to make my first attempt at roasting a whole chicken.  After research, I decided to take aspects of recipes from Ina Garten, the Pioneer Woman, and good old Joy of Cooking .

The first step of making roast chicken is by far the hardest.  You have to remove the neck and innards and rinse the raw bird.  Because he is a good person, my husband did that part for me while I covered my eyes and ran out of the kitchen.

After it was all clean and patted dry with paper towels, I stuffed a halved lemon and 4 cloves of garlic inside, and coated the entire chicken with olive oil.  After coating with oil, I sprinkled liberally with salt, pepper, sage, and thyme.


The best part is that that's all you need to do to prepare it.  It went into a 400 degree oven for an hour and a half.  All my cookbooks said to cook until a meat thermometer read 180 degrees and the juices ran clear when pierced.  Somehow I have two fancy digital instant read thermometers and neither would register a temperature, so I may have cooked a few minutes extra just to be sure.  Food borne illnesses are not romantic.  


The drippings in the roasting pan went into a basic gravy.

I made basic bread stuffing to serve alongside.




Bread Stuffing
based on the Joy of Cooking

1/2 pound cubed bread
2 Tablespoons butter
1 medium onion, chopped
1 large stalk of celery, chopped
1 Tablespoon dried parsley, or 1/4 cup fresh
1/2 teaspoon dried sage
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1 cup chicken broth or stock

In a medium skillet, melt butter and saute onion and celery about 7 minutes, or until onion is translucent.
Turn off heat, and mix in spices.
Toss with bread cubes and pour into a baking dish.
Pour chicken broth or stock over bread mixture and toss to combine.
Bake in a 400 degree oven 30 minutes or until lightly brown.

Pan Gravy
based on the Joy of Cooking

Drippings in roasting pan
1/4 cup white wine or water
3/4 cup chicken broth or stock
1 Tablespoon butter
1 Table spoon flour
salt and pepper

After removing chicken from roasting pan, place pan over two burners on medium high and pour in wine or water.  
Use a wooden spoon to scrape any bits off the bottom of the pan and simmer gently for 5 minutes.  
Pour into a gravy separator and discard fat.  
Add drippings to a saucepan with chicken broth.  
Heat to a simmer over medium high heat.  
In a small bowl, mash together butter and flour.  
Add a few teaspoons of broth mixture to make a paste.  
Add paste to saucepan slowly, stirring to combine completely.  
Season to taste with salt and pepper.  
Simmer for a few minutes until gravy reaches desired thickness.  

Make an appointment at Vera Wang because marriage proposals might be coming!



5 comments:

  1. Hi Anne...I had no idea you started this blog...what fun!!!This meal looks delicious, and I'm sure you know by now that I am quite the stranger when it comes to the kitchen...though I do intend to change that soon. I will be sure to keep checking in here for your tips :)

    <3 Cousin Beth

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  2. You didn't try to cook it upside down! This is a family tradition.

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  3. @Elizabeth Thanks, Beth! And huge congratulations to you - we are thrilled for you and Alex!

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  4. I have had this on my "to make" list for almost a year! Now I definitely will try it!

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  5. @*jackie* - Give it a try, J, but be prepared for a lot of leftovers! I'm already planning to do chicken pot pie and some sort of pulled buffalo chicken thing later in the week.

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