Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The Barefoot Contessa's - Perfect Roast Chicken

One of my favorite Food Network hosts and cookbook authors is Ina Garten…. I really enjoy watching her show, The Barefoot Contessa. Most of her recipes look very good and I find her to be knowledgeable and her on air personality to be, entertaining and calm, and she doesn’t grate on my nerves like so many of the newer hosts. I think I have almost every one of her cookbooks but am embarrassed to admit that as much as I like her, her program and cookbooks, I’ve only prepared one of her recipes. Years ago I made a brownie recipe and it was fabulous!

I’ve wanted to roast a chicken and wanted to do something a little different than my usual way and had been looking at her Perfect Roast Chicken for about a year or so. I think the thing that kept me from using her recipe was the fact that it called for fennel…I have had no experience with this vegetable…ever. I had no idea what to look for, how to prep this vegetable or whether I would even like it….but part of my cooking experience is to try something new, at least once in a while. How am I to grow as a cook if I don’t try different foods and recipes and techniques….and I have been stuck in a rut lately. So, I pulled out some cookbooks and looked on line to read up on fennel, went to the supermarket and bought one, along with the rest of the ingredients for this recipe and went to work.

Perfect Roast Chicken
by Ina Garten - Barefoot Contessa
Print Recipe

1 roasting chicken (5-6 pounds)
Kosher Salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 large bunch fresh thyme, plus 20 sprigs
1 lemon, halved
1 head garlic, cut in half crosswise
2 tablespoons butter (1/4 stick) melted
1 large yellow onion, thickly sliced
4 carrots cut into 2-inch chunks
1 bulb fennel, tops removed, and cut into wedges
Olive oil

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Remove the chicken giblets. Rinse the chicken inside and out. Remove any excess fat and leftover pin feathers and pat the outside dry. Liberally salt and pepper the inside of the chicken. Stuff the cavity with the bunch of thyme, both halves of lemon, and all the garlic. Brush the outside of the chicken with the butter and sprinkle again with salt and pepper. Tie the legs together with kitchen string and tuck the wing tips under the body of the chicken. Place the onions, carrots, and fennel in a roasting pan. Toss with salt, pepper 20 sprigs of thyme, and olive oil. Spread around the bottom of the roasting pan and place the chicken on top.

Roast the chicken for 1 1/2 hours, or until the juices run clear when you cut between a leg and thigh. Remove the chicken and vegetables to a platter and cover with aluminum foil for about 20 minutes. Slice the chicken onto a platter and serve it with the vegetables.

I’ve never cooked with or eaten fennel before….it reminds me of anise…has a mild licorice flavor. I thought, especially after it was roasted and became caramelized that it was quite tasty. I rinsed it off then removed the green tops and just used the bulb.

Salt and pepper the inside of the chicken then stuff with thyme, lemon and garlic.

Brush with melted butter. I love these silicone brushes!

Salt and pepper, tie legs together and tuck under wing tips.

Toss carrots, fennel, onion and thyme in olive oil.

Place chicken on top of vegetables, place in oven and roast for 1 1/2 hours...or until the temperature (taken in breast) reaches 165 degress F.

Place chicken and vegetables on a platter, cover with aluminum foil for about 20 minutes then slice chicken and serve.

The chicken was was moist, tender and I could definitely taste the thyme. The roasted vegetables in the bottom of the pan were nicely roasted and caramelized. There were plenty of drippings in the pan for gravy...I just chose not to make any. I decided to serve the chicken with some recently purchased fresh green beans that I cooked in the slow cooker.

Sheryle on Foodista


Tangos Treasures said...

Oh yummm
Wish I had read this before I roasted mine!

Unknown said...

Oh wow....look at all those yummy goodies inside that bird! It looks fabulous! :) I think I cooked with fennel once, a while back but I don't remember what. I'm pretty sure I like it otherwise I'd remember for sure LOL

Jessica said...

Looks yummy. Anything with a head of garlic in it has to be delicious!

I've never used a silicon brush before. Do they hold the butter better? I'll have to get one for my kitchen.

Cookiebaker said...

Tango - The chicken was good, I know I'll be using this recipe again.

Danielle - I was surprise but I liked the fennel...tasted a little lik anise...had a mild licorice flavor.

Jessica - I like the silicone brushes, I think they do a good job plus wash up can put them in the dishwasher.

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