You guys when it comes to cooking I am not a whiz. The more you follow me here you more you will be wowed by my stunning ability to cut corners, find the easy way out and generally slack in the kitchen than any of my actual “recipes”. I use quotes with that because these aren’t so much recipes as much as they are ideas and the cool tools I use to create these ideas. Luckily for you guys, I only share my success stories here and you do not have to suffer like my family through all my kitchen failures (ask Mike one day about salmon alfredo- he will cringe & laugh at the same time). One of my favorite ways to wow with ease is to roast. Roasting, y’all, is the bees knees (who came up with that?). It the easiest thing to and it produces rich full flavors that just impress people. Nothing says comfort like a roasted plate of savory awesomeness. I grew up in the south where cooking low and slow is basically an art form, and thats the way I do. I learned to roast from the Pioneer Woman and her righteous pot roast. Initially I followed her recipe to a tee before unlocking her secret- infuse flavorful liquid & aromatic veggies to the meat, put in a dutch oven on low oven heat and leave it the heck alone for HOURS. In fact she actually said on a tv morning show one day, “if you pull it out and its not tender just put it back in for longer.” The key to roasting is time. Time heals all things including dry meat. And, my friends, we need to get one thing straight here and now. Your crockpot is not a replacement for your dutch oven. The crockpot is fine for stews, shredded chicken, etc. But don’t roast things in your crock pot, just don’t ok. Its not the same, I promise you.
I don’t know why but roasted chicken just feels like a Sunday meal. So the other Sunday when I had a hankering for it I whipped up a much more elaborate meal than I normally do. But even with that smidge of extra effort this meal was totes easy. Heres how it goes:
First prep! I always stuff my poultry with aromatic veggies (onion, carrots, garlic and usually celery but I didn’t have it on this go) as well as oranges & apples- those fruits make all the difference! I LOVE my Norwex veggie cloth for cleaning fruits & veggies with peels or rough exteriors because it allows me to clean them throughly without peeling off all the nutrients.
Then cut all those goodies up so you can stuff them in and around the bird.
I put that stuffed bird on top of some of the goodies inside my beloved Le Crueset Dutch Oven. It my most loved and used kitchen tool and worth every single penny. You need one, seriously. I just can’t describe the flavor difference of a good dutch oven over a crockpot. Also the movers can’t break my cast iron dutch oven like they did my crockpot, major plus. Anyway put that stuff bird in the pot and season him up with salt, pepper (if you hubs doesn’t hate pepper like mine- seriously I can’t even) and an italian seasoning blend. If I had a good crop of fresh herbs I would have used that, but I don’t so dried blend it is. I am big fan of use what ya have and have your own make it work moment, or “Tim Gunn it” as I like to say. Then add butter. No sweeter words were spoken then “add butter” You don’t need a lot. It doesn’t have to be a cardiac arrest bird, just enough to add a little flavor. I stick a bit inside the bird too.
Now before you put the lid on it you add a little magic in the form of flavor infused liquid, for me thats almost always sherry. Its my grandmother secret, more on this coming in another post. How much? Eh pour some on the bird and a little around it. You don’t want the bird to be going for a swim more of a toes in the water kind of depth, you get me?
Ok so stuffed bird, seasoned & buttered, taking a little dip in some sherry in the pot. Put the lid on it and put him in the oven for HOURS, like 4 or 5 at 350 degrees. Just walk away and let the magic happen. Do something productive, take a nap, whatever just don’t touch the bird. No fussing with him, no checking on him- just let him take his skinny dip in private ok? At about the two hour till done time stick two sweet potatoes in a dish and put them in the oven next to the pot (again, don’t touch the pot more than to shift it over).
When the 4 or 5 hours is up take out the pan with the sweet potatoes and the dutch oven. Put the sweet potatoes in a prep bowl then move your bird all by himself to the pan (careful all of these are hot!) and stick him back in the oven to tan while you finish up all the fun.
Put a slit in the sweet potatoes so they can cool while you cut the ends off some asparagus. Add the asparagus to the pot with the veggies and delicious roasting juices and make sure they all play nicely and share the warm liquids, then put a lid on them over lo heat so they can all get aquatinted with each others yummy flavors.
Now this I forgot to photograph but while the bird is getting a tan and the veggies are getting acquainted, you can make the creamy dreamy sweet potatoes. I remove the skins and mash them up with a heaping tablespoon full of greek yogurt, a smidge of butter, a few shakes of cinnamon and a pinch (just a pinch) of palm sugar. I use greek yogurt because my oldest is worlds pickiest eater and the registered dietitian we had to see when she was one said that if my daughter was only going to take one or two bites they had to be power packed bites. Since sweet potatoes is one part of the meal I can count on her eating I add extra protein and calories to it- you do what you need to do.
Serve up your potatos and the veggies then pull that bird out of the oven, he should look something like this:
Carve him up and put him on the plate with all the other goodies. I also made some muffins but they weren’t terrific so I left them out of this story. Add a glass of wine, take a photo for Instagram and then dig in. Easy Peasey, no lemon squeezing because I just can’t do lemons with chicken it makes me feel like I am eating pledge.
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Whole Chicken (fryer)
Salt & Pepper
*** disclaimer- I personally purchased, own, use & love everything I talk about on this blog. I did not receive any compensation, nor was I given products from any of the companies featured on this blog with the exception of Norwex, unless otherwise noted in the post. I am a Norwex Independent Consultant and I do receive a commission for any Norwex products I sell. That being said, I would NEVER sell something I wasn’t crazy in love with and knowledge about. Ok? ok.***