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‘Home-cooked Roasted Chicken’

September 14, 2010
By Wendy Monro

School is back in session. Each morning the big yellow school buses crisscross town, kids are weighed down with their back packs, and before we know it, the fall leaves will blanket the ground.

It amazes me how different things are once fall begins.

It's incredible how the temperature drops so suddenly.

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Roasted chicken with potatoes and vegetables.

Yes, soon there will be snow. We won't think about that just yet. It is nice to get back to a schedule. I have every minute accounted for from 5:30 a.m. until I crawl into bed at about 10 p.m. I will admit that it doesn't always go exactly as planned; but, I am a list maker and I feel better pretending the whole week is scheduled. I just adjust the list as I go along.

Over the summer, we started a new business. It has been a huge adjustment for me to work full time while still trying to keep the house clean, take care of the kids, and feed everyone the way I like to.

Not only is school and homework now in the mix, but so is hockey, dance and choir. I think 24 hours is not enough time in the day.

Fact Box

Roasted chicken

Serves: 5

Time: 1 hour

1 whole chicken

1/4 cup olive oil

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon pepper

2 cloves garlic, chopped finely

1 teaspoon Emeril's Essence

1/4 cup fresh Italian parsley, chopped finely

1 lemon, sliced

1 tablespoon butter

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Clean the chicken with warm water. Place the whole chicken in an oven safe dish, breasts up. Stick the lemon slices and pats of butter under the chicken's skin, over the breasts. In a small bowl, combine the olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic, Essence, and parsley. Mix well. Coat the entire chicken with this mixture. Stick it in the oven and let it cook for about 45 minutes. Once the 45 minutes is finished. Cut into the chicken breast to see if it is cooked all the way through. If not, place it back into the oven for another ten minutes and check it again. The chicken meat should not be pink, it should be white. Once it is cooked all of the way through, cut the chicken meat into the sizes you prefer. Serve with potatoes or rice, vegetables or salad. Enjoy.

I haven't figured out a way to change this. I may petition for a 30-hour day. I wonder how that would go down?

Due to all of the tasks I have to accomplish in one day, some nights it seems so much easier to order in food or to pick up something ready-made from the store.

Sometimes, I give in and do this.

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I go and pick up dinner or have it delivered. There are times when I am just too tired to deal with cooking a whole meal and then clean the kitchen afterward. That's fine. I don't beat myself up over this.

At the same time, I don't want to give up on our home-cooked dinners.

I love cooking. I love sitting around the table all together as a family. I can't give that up.

Cooking and feeding my family is one of the passionate aspects of my life. I can't give up on passion.

No one would ever want to give up on love in order to get all of the things accomplished on a list.

So, I will cook. I have decided to think of the cooking as the recess in my day.

If my daily schedule was a school day, cooking would be the recess. It's what I look forward to. It's the break from the routine.

Cooking is the pleasure or the reward for everything else that is a task. When I think of making dinner this way, I approach it with enthusiasm.

I look forward to it. Making dinner for my family is a luxury not another to do item on a list.

This week I made a dish that is so easy. It's almost cheating. The recipe is roasted chicken.

There are several reasons why I love to roasted chicken.

First, buying a whole chicken is a bit cheaper than buying chicken pieces. One could feed an entire family for less than $10 when the entre is roasted chicken.

Second, it takes minutes to prepare the chicken and the oven does everything else, leaving you time to finish whatever you didn't do on your list. It's so easy.

Third, after I cut the chicken up, I know I will be throwing the leftover bones into a huge pot with all of the cuts of vegetables I have saved in the freezer over the past couple of weeks to make the best chicken stock. I use the chicken stock in many more dishes after the chicken is long gone.

So, making a roasted chicken ends up lasting for many meals to come.

Finally, roasted chicken tastes so darn good.

The crispy, seasoned outer skin envelopes the moist and juicy inner meat.

I like to coat the skin in herbs and spices. I place butter and lemon under the skin to give the meat a great citrus flavor.

Set this next to some roasted potatoes and vegetables and you have a nutritious delicious meal to serve to the people you love. I was so pleased with this meal the other day that I hopped up after and did the dishes with glee.

Having food and the ability to create a great meal for my family is a luxury. I am not even going to put it on my list. Lists are for things you may forget to do. I would never forget to do this. No one puts smile at everyone you see on the list or love your husband and children. We just do it.



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