For some reason, I love the idea of roasting a chicken once a week. In theory, that’d be great if we had a family of 4. But in reality, it’s just the two of us and we don’t eat that much.
Regardless, last night I roasted a chicken for dinner. Since my “accident” last week, husband has really stepped up and made (or bought) dinner pretty much all last week. Accidents can and will happen in the kitchen. If you lose grip of your sharp knife, step away and pray you’ve got solid shoes on. I screwed up and tried to catch my falling knife.. I think. Regardless, I’ve got a nice gash beneath my right pinky and it’s made cooking, working and just about everything else pretty darn difficult. Try washing your hair and taking a good productive shower with one hand. oof. But I digress…
Back to chicken. We’re out of chicken stock, and I like the idea of roasting a chicken because 1) it makes the house smell good, and 2) the oven keeps the house a little warmer.
Since my hand isn’t ready for mincing garlic (and I refuse to use a garlic pres.. think I sent it off to the Goodwill with the last batch), I went lazy. I took my whole chicken, drizzled with olive oil, sprinkled some freshly ground salt and pepper over the top, and decorated it with a little slab of butter. Plain and simple. And delicious!
Roast for an hour and 20 minutes at 350 until the skin is golden brown. You can also use one of those meat thermometers. But I think it’s rude to poke and prod with something like that. And don’t forget to baste. This was such a juicy bird.
Something new I tried yesterday (but did not photograph) was my first attempt at baked polenta. I’ve had a recipe for a lot of years that was scanned out of a cookbook that I don’t think is noted on the scan. Basically, it was 1 part polenta to 4 parts liquid for a medium polenta, plus salt and either butter or olive oil.
I went for the “medium”… it was okay. In an 8×8 Pyrex, I greased it up with olive oil, then tossed in 1 cup polenta, 4 cups water, a few grinder twirls of salt and a few counts of olive oil. Baked at 300 (or 350??) for an hour and 20 minutes like the recipe stated. Then baked it again for about another hour. Note to self: use a bigger Pyrex! And do a better job of greasing it up. There are polenta grits s-t-u-c-k to the glass. Tasted good, but definitely not pretty.
Now let’s talk about brussels sprouts. This was fun. We had some shallots in the fridge, so I diced them up, and quartered the sprouts.
In a really hot pan, used some of the chicken “juice” (aka pan drippings) as my oil. Mmmmm. Throw in the shallots and let them caramelize a bit.
Then add the sprouts. I really want to type this in all caps… It’s really that simple!!
You can finish it off with some grated Parmesan cheese. I really wanted to do that, but instead went for slivered almonds. Good decision.
All in all, this was a really easy meal to make. The sprouts were the most labor-intensive component, and with the polenta and chicken just hanging out in the oven, you’ve got time to do other things while dinner is cooking. Like laundry. And dominoes.