Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Tuscan Rubbed Chicken

Good Morning! Sitting here on my second cup of coffee and trying to get my brain fired up for the day. Topic of the day? Whole Roasted Chickens. When not feeling super creative, I’ll just do my go-to Three: Grapeseed Oil/EVOO, Lemon, Garlic (S&P, too). Other days, I'll go for my fella's favorite - Garlic, Lime Juice, Grate Lime Peel, Salt & Pepper. Just roast it for a couple hours on 350. These are the standards at my house. Along with Dick Dale & Otis Redding. 

But, I just purchased this big beautiful Basil plant from TJ’s so, today, we are jumping out.

One question, though, "What to DO?!" After some foraging in the pantry ::which lead to a much deserved organization of the cabinets::sigh:: then, finally....tomato paste…AH HA! It was there, where lighting did strike.

The Juice

A whole chicken gifts us with all its yummy juices that gather in the pan. To waste all that good stuff would be a travesty! Luckily, it’s no hard task to make good use of the juices. Throw in some carrots & potatoes in the bottom of your roaster and toss with the chicken in the drippings as they all cook together. 

Or, separate the fat from liquid and freeze both for another day – a.k.a. broths, rice, crispy breakfast potatoes, sautéed veggies… Later this week I'll be posting the recipe for a No-Noodle-No-Nonsense Chicken Lasagna with Tomatoes roasted in the pan drippings. TO DIE FOR. 

What I'm trying to say is the possibilities are endless – we like that.

Tuscan Rubbed Chicken


1 Whole Chicken

Stuffing

½ Yellow or White Onion
½ Cup Approx. Celery bunch
Handful Fresh Basil Leaves

Rub

2 Tbsp Tomato Paste
Splash of Water (1-2 Tbsp)
1 ½  Tbsp Grapeseed or Olive Oil
1 ¼  tsp Garlic Powder
½ tsp Dried Basil

Sprinkle of Salt/Pepper


First, prep chicken on a roasting pan to catch the drippings and liquid, which also allows the skin to brown all around and not sit in a pool of juices (ie….rubber flappy skin on one side – no bueno!)

Sprinkle all around with salt and pepper. The recipe calls for just a sprinkle of each in the rub so you can be liberal. Salty skin is good skin in my book. The salt and pepper will sit and soak in to the chicken while you prep the stuffing and rub.

Stuff chicken with half of a yellow onion, ½ cup approx.. celery and a healthy handful of basil. I was down to the little end-bunch-of-celery-full-of-flavor-leaves, so I used that and it was PERFECT – I love that leafy part of the celery!






Just kind of haphazardly chop them all and fill that chicken UP! 



In a food processor, puree tomato paste, basil, oil, water, garlic powder, dried basil, salt and pepper.







Rub a nice layer over the whole chicken.







Start the chicken at 350 degrees for 25 minutes; lower temp to 325 and roast for another 45 minutes. 



Normally, I roast on 350 the entire time, but found with the tomato rub, roasting on 350 for the full time browns the rub a too dark, whereas 325 is the sweet spot.

Remove from oven; let rest. Gather the dripping into a bowl and let the fat rise to the top.




Use a gravy separator or spoon out the solid fat slick off the top, leaving just the solids and juices below. 



 Reserve juices and use them! That chicken died to give you the JUICE so really go for it - freeze for broths or flavoring rice or check in later this week for that Chicken Lasagna recipe with Quick Roasted Tomatoes in Pan Drippings Here


A little before & after:


Until Next Time...Happy Cooking!!!



XoXo






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