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Ontario, Canada
I am a wife, mother and grandma who enjoys the many aspects of homemaking. A variety of interests and hobbies combined with travel keep me active. They reflect the importance of family, friends, home and good food.
Cook ingredients that you are used to cooking by other techniques, such as fish, chicken, or hamburgers. In other words be comfortable with the ingredients you are using.
--Bobby Flay

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Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Roasted Chicken Dinner

The traditional family meal for many families is roasted chicken in cooler months but you know roasted chicken makes an excellent weekday meal as well. Chickens are generally small enough that they can be roasted in about an hour in a conventional oven depending on the size of the chicken. The perfect weekday to roast a chicken is one that you either don't have to work or a day that either yourself or another family member can put the chicken on about 4 pm if you normally eat at 5:30 pm. If you are a WAHM, SAHM or homemaker roasting a chicken on a weekday makes perfect sense. Why would you want to roast a chicken on a weekday? The reason is quite simple. Not only will you enjoy a lovely, comfort meal but there will likely be enough left overs for the following day's lunch not to mention the carcass for when you want to make stock.

roasted chickenRoasted Chicken

We love roasted chicken but whole chickens are expensive here averaging over $8 each. I can actually buy a cooked, ready to serve rotisserie chicken from the deli for $5! For a few dollars more about the $12 range I can buy a turkey in the US when they are on sale so I don't roast whole chickens very often. Whole chicken can be roasted unstuffed on a broiling pan or stuffed using a simple stuffing made with homemade poultry seasoning.  The roasting time for chicken is 20 minutes per lb at 135ºC (350ºF) in a conventional oven. Internal temperature should be 75ºC (165ºF) using a meat thermometer. Do not over cook as this will dry out the chicken.

I have mentioned several times on this blog how much I enjoy using my Hamilton Beach® 6.5 quart countertop roaster. What I have noticed is that foods cooked in this roaster cook considerably faster and that includes roasted chicken. Using a countertop roaster of this size can easily shave off a good half hour of roasting time for chicken something that is appreciated when roasting chicken anytime. Roasting using a countertop roaster saves both time and energy costs!

roasted chicken gravyGravy

Some people pour the drippings and any liquid from the roasting pan through a strainer into a sauce pan then thicken for gravy. This is not a good idea for a few reasons. First and foremost you are losing a lot of flavour by using this method. Always make your gravy in the roasting pan. The only time this will not work is if you roast in a clay baker. For that reason a clay baker is not the best choice for roasting. Straining the gravy before making it removes all those little tasties that add to the flavour of the gravy as well. Leave these bits and pieces in the pan while you make the gravy. Pour your gravy through the strainer into a gravy separator before serving the gravy.

roasted chicken dinnerRoasted Chicken Dinner

Monday I roasted a chicken for dinner using the countertop roaster. I served the roasted chicken with stuffing, steamed spinach and reheated sour creamed potatoes left over from Saturday's dinner. It was a lovely, comforting meal on a cold, blustery March night.

Often vegetables are overcooked which is a shame. When you overcook vegetables not only do they lose visible appeal, the texture becomes mushy and they also lose valuable nutrients. One of the worst offenders is boiling vegetables to cook them. Instead, I prefer steaming vegetables to al dente (meaning with bite) to keep their beautiful bright colours and nutrients. Steaming your vegetables also saves you energy costs. So instead of covering those vegetables with water to cook them, try steaming instead. I'm sure you will love the results!

I reheated the left over sour creamed potatoes in a covered glass casserole dish for about 20 minutes at 135ºC (275ºF). Quite often reheated potatoes can be drier in texture and that is because they lose moisture during the reheating process. Covering the casserole dish with a lid ensured any moisture in the potatoes stayed in the potatoes to keep them moist. They warmed up nicely!

1 food lovers commented:

April said...

That looks like such a delicious meal. I've never made roasted chicken, but keep saying I'm going to do it. I figure if I can make a Turkey at Thanksgiving, then I can make a chicken.