Thursday, May 26, 2016

Roasted Chicken, May 25, 2016

When I roast a chicken, I usually keep it very, very simple. A little butter or olive oil rubbed on the surface, along with salt & pepper. Then, a squeeze of lemon over the top, with the spent remains stuffed inside the chicken. Rosemary sprigs tucked under the skin & placed inside.

Last night, I tried Ina Garten's directions, from her Barefoot Contessa Cookbook, figuring hers would be infinitely better than my usual chicken. I skipped the gravy, as I was already overdoing it with an incredibly rich cheese sauce for our broccoli. Perhaps it would have been better with the gravy. I love garlic, but the entire head of garlic called for would have been better used, in my opinion, as a stand-alone treat, to be spread on sturdy sourdough. Furthermore, the thyme flavor permeating the chicken was entirely too strong for me. However, my wife liked it and, if you love thyme, you might also like it. You can find the recipe here, although the version in the cookbook doesn't call for any carrots or fennel and it does include directions for gravy. Personally, I would definitely do the carrots and fennel. I usually do carrots, potatoes, & onion with my own recipe. The onions with the chicken I made last night were completely delicious!

Since the recipe didn't call for any veggies besides onions, I baked a couple of potatoes to serve, along with making a bunch of steamed broccoli and this decadent cheese sauce that would be great for a traditional orange mac & cheese, too:

Cheese Sauce
1/2 stick butter, melted (this could probably be less or you could use a little olive oil)
1/4 c. flour (2 tbsp, if you use less butter)
2 c. milk, heated (2% works just fine---I expect skim would, as well)
16 oz. jar Cheez Whiz type sauce
2 c. shredded cheddar (2% melts fine, but I wouldn't go with fat-free)
A grinding of pepper

Blend the butter and flour until it makes a smooth paste. Mix in the milk with a whisk until everything is smooth. When hot through, add Cheez Whiz, whisking to incorporate. Next, add the cheddar, stirring to melt. Add pepper. When everything's all melty and hot, use on broccoli or what-have-you. Makes 8 cups.

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