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:
Crispy Butterflied Chicken
Greek Roast Chicken
Indonesian Ginger Chicken
Persian Eggplant Stew (Khoreshteh Qiemeh Bademjoon)
Roast Chicken with Maple-Soy Glaze
Saffron Coated Stuffed Chicken