I've hit another milestone. On the heels of my first anniversary, I have now reached my 100th post.
I've also joined the Foodie Blogroll. Check it out at the bottom of the page.
Back to the chicken thing, I decided that this week I would go with a classic for my high-volume recipe of the week. I actually might have a rehearsal this week, so I guess it's a bit more crucial that I have food at home at all times (the rehearsal schedule for this show is so disorganized).
I have waxed poetic in the past about my love of roast chicken. It's a great dish that can feed you for a few days if only a couple of people live in the house (although I think I could probably eat a whole one by myself in one sitting if given half the chance, but we won't go there). It seems in recent weeks I've been seeing a lot of roast chicken on the Food Network. It also always seems that the chickens are covered in bacon. I've never roasted chicken covered in bacon before and decided this would be the perfect time to try it.
Both Ina Garten and Tyler Florence have done variations on this kind of chicken. My recipe is closer to Ina's. Tyler's version had herb butter stuffed under the skin. While I normally do this when I roast chicken, putting butter under the skin and covering it with bacon seemed like overkill to me. Ina's recipe also stuck with my favorite chicken flavors: thyme and lemon. I couldn't find a big enough chicken for my purposes at Whole Foods yesterday, so I bought two small ones, causing yet another variation on the theme.
The perfect accompaniment for roast chicken is mashed potatoes. Once again, I used a variation on Ina Garten's idea. She poached garlic in olive oil and then used all of that oil in the potatoes and mixed cream into them. I used whole milk and half the olive oil and added a couple of tablespoons of butter instead. You can't do mashed taters without butter. You just can't.
Bacon-Wrapped Roast Chickens
2 3-ish pound chickens, rinsed and patted dry
2 Tbsp butter, melted
1 good-sized bunch of thyme
2 lemons - one juiced, one quartered
1 onion, quartered
1 minced clove garlic
12 strips bacon
Salt and pepper
Heat oven to 425.
Sprinkle chicken inside and out with salt and pepper. Mix lemon juice and garlic with butter and brush all over chickens. Divide the lemon quarters and the thyme and place in the cavities. Cover chicken with about 6 bacon strips each. You may need to cut a strip in half to cover evenly. Place on baking pan and lay onion quarters around them.
Roast for one hour. Remove bacon and roast 15-30 minutes more until skin in nice and brown and crispy.
Garlic Mashed Potatoes
3 lbs Yukon Gold poatotes, peeled and quartered
1/2 cup whole milk, warm
3 Tbl butter
1 head garlic, cloves peeled.
1 cup olive oil
Boil potatoes for about 20 minutues or until tender.
Boil olive oil with garlic cloves for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and continue to let garlic infuse the oil.
When potatoes are tender, drain and put back into the hot pot on the stove for a couple of minutes to let them dry. Then mash them using whatever your preferred method is. I like using a masher myself. Add the 1/2 cup of the oil, butter, and milk and salt and pepper to your taste.
Use the remaining 1/2 cup oil to dress your veggies, or spread it on tortilla wedges or pita wedges and bake for a garlicky, crispy treat.
I used my remaining oil on some braised green and red chard last night.