The Many Faces of the Roasted Chicken

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Cooking dinner every night is not a welcome chore, even for someone who cooks all the time. We all have other things we would rather do: read a book, watch a movie, go shopping, go back to bed, you name it. But, it’s a chore that I am responsible for and I cook dinner about 5 nights out of the week. The other two nights are usually left overs, a cheat meal (frozen pizza, canned soup, mac & cheese) or we go out.

Nothing is more economical or healthier than a home-cooked meal. And for this family of five, we don’t want to bust our budget on food. One of my favorite items to cook is roasted chicken. It really is versatile. In our family, a big bird can provide us with ample meat and leftovers to make a good soup or sandwich. And when they go on sale, you can easily pick up a 5-pounder for less than $4.

You can roast your chicken whole, cut it up into smaller pieces, or butterfly it. And a whole chicken keeps the peace at our dinner table.

The Professor wants the leg & thigh.

Middle-Child wants breast meat.

The Princess wants whatever the Middle-Child wants.

And Hubby wants the butt, leg & thigh.

If I had first choice, I would probably choose the thigh. But, of course, I’m usually stuck with the scraps of meat stuck on the carcass. But, if everyone eats, I am happy.

Last night I made this Mustard Roast Chicken. I used a stone ground mustard with champagne mustard and mixed it with shallots, olive oil, lemon juice and fresh herbs. To really optimize flavor, you want to put this slurry UNDER the skin, between the breast meat and skin, as well as slather it all over the chicken. It’s messy, but worth the effort. It wasn’t too spicy for the kids. The skin was crispy and the meat, juicy. Perfect, in my book.

You can easily come up with your favorite flavor combinations. You do need a little fat to spread around the chicken, I’ve used butter and olive oil in the past. Here are some the varieties I have made with the Amazing Roast Chicken, in one form or another:

Balsamic Chicken
Brined Chicken
Chicken Cacciatore
Crispy Butterflied Chicken
Garlic-Schmeared Chicken
Greek Roast Chicken
Indonesian Ginger Chicken
Lemon-Rosemary Chicken
Oven-Fried Chicken
Persian Eggplant Stew (Khoreshteh Qiemeh Bademjoon)
Roast Chicken
Roast Chicken with Maple-Soy Glaze
Saffron Coated Stuffed Chicken

Okay, this post may not be as exciting as Black Forest Cake or Lemon Tea Bread or some other baked goods, but the chicken commands some respect!!

Anyone there?

Anyone?

Bueller?

Bueller?

For the full recipe for Mustard Roast Chicken, click here!

4 Responses to The Many Faces of the Roasted Chicken

  1. Looks great to me! I often wonder if those people who buy roasted chickens at the grocery store know how easy it is to do it yourself.

  2. Merut at #

    Mmmmm. . . Mustard chicken sounds delicious. How lucky that most of the members of your family want different pieces of the bird. I didn't realize you could get one for so cheap! I wish I cooked five days a week (I don't count opening a can of condensed soup as cooking). Some weeks are better than others I guess. This looks delicious!

  3. Foodiva at #

    Wow, that is a whole lot of ways with chicken! I'm especially intrigued by the Indonesian and Persian versions, must give them a try. Btw, I feel exactly the same way you do about having to cook as a chore, it's not much fun as cooking for the hell of it!

  4. That looks gorgeous!

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