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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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Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Cooking With Kids - Quick Roasted Chicken Dinner

Roast chicken is not something a lot of folks would consider making during the week especially working moms.  However, a roast chicken is a rather frugal meal because there is usually left-overs for lunches the following day plus you have the carcass to make stock if desired.  During the week, time is often at a premium.  If you get home at 4:30 PM, the ideal goal is to have dinner on the table by 6 PM but if you have older kids that get home earlier, popping a roast chicken in the oven is about as easy as it gets so dinner can be ready earlier.

roasted chicken out of oven
My favourite way to roast chicken includes stuffing, cooked in the bird, but when wanting a quick roast dinner the stuffing should be omitted.  The bird will quickly roast with the cavity left empty, usually within about 75 minutes.

I am a strong advocate for getting kids into the kitchen cooking and creating as soon as they can stand!  A young kitchen helper could easily get a bird into the oven ready for the parents to take over when they get home although this is better suited to kids about 10 years old and older.  Mom or Dad should rinse the chicken then cover and place in the fridge ready for the child to take over when they get home from school.  Have a small covered roasting pan ready for the young helper who will put the chicken into it.  I will stress small for two reasons.  First, it is easier for the younger cook to lift and second it cooks the chicken faster.  Add 1 c of water, a couple dabs of butter and sprinkle with salt and pepper then lid.  The oven is set to 350°F and place the covered roasting pan in the oven.   That's it.  In an hour and fifteen minutes the chicken and juices will be ready, just in time for the parents to take over.  The juices can be thickened for gravy.  If the child is old enough, they can wash and poke potatoes for baking, placing them in the oven after the roast has been cooking for 45 minutes.

This is my quick version of a roast chicken dinner but don't get the wrong idea, as it is very flavourful.  The meat is tender and juicy.  The only thing missing is the stuffing.  I usually serve with baked potatoes and steamed vegetables, in this case steamed carrots.  I also use a lighter thickener for the gravy since it will be used on the entire plate.

The beauty of this plan is involving your kids.  Our kids were in the kitchen from day one.  Our grandkids are following suite.  Sure there is a lot of things they aren't capable of doing but you would be surprised at what they can do.  I love cooking with my kids.  One of them will say, hey Mom, have you tried this?  We learn from each other and now I have the great pleasure to learn cooking through the eyes of our grandkids, three generations cooking together.  What a wonderful gift that is!

1 food lovers commented:

LindaG said...

I actually don't like stuffing, but I love roast chicken, and I like the simplicity of this recipe.

Thanks for sharing it with us!