roast chicken and potatoes

Posted on April 15, 2012


Saturday was one of the most bizarre lazy days I’ve had in a long while. My sisters stopped by with a friend, and we went out to eat a little mexican place we wanted to try. Angela’s has amazing guacamole, and also sells margaritas by the pitcher, for $30. I’m glad we went, but I was sorry to find out that my alcohol tolerance is still shamefully low. A pitcher will fill 4 glasses about twice, just so you know. And I, and beyond the point of being buzzed after two glasses it turns out… My sisters however remained unaffected.

Shortly after returning to the house, everybody decided to take off. Leaving me feeling a bit drunk, and confused about why it was so damn bright out, and wishing I had more food to soak up the alcohol (even though I was still full from lunch) it’s the most confusing feeling I’ve experienced in a while. I realized how infrequently I drink these days. It’s almost shocking…

I spent some time drinking coffee, to straighten my head out, finally finished folding the laundry I’d done, and then began googling recipes to use up the foods I had in the fridge. Due to the fact that I felt trapped in the house (not able to drive to food shop because I stupidly thought day drinking was a GREAT IDEA!) I had to narrow in on things that ONLY involved the ingredients I had in the fridge and cabinets. This is what I found. I also wanted to use up the rest of the mac n’ cheese I had made the other day, and use up the potatoes that I bought at Trader Joe’s the other night.

My Favorite Simple Roast Chicken
by Thomas Keller

preheat oven to 450 degrees
takes about an hour or so to cook

3-4 lb organic roaster chicken (from Trader Joe’s, roughly $6!)
salt, pepper, thyme (optional)
butter (optional)

also need:
roasting pan
kitchen twine

take out giblets, rinse chicken inside and out, and cut away extra pieces of fat, check chicken for leftover feather bits, and clean thoroughly.

dry chicken inside and out, salt and pepper the insides – tuck the wings underneath the bird, and truss the chicken* then sprinkle the top of the chicken with a tablespoon of freshly ground salt, bake until the juices run clear from the chicken’s leg.

*Trussing a chicken. This should be a very simple task for anybody who has ever roasted a chicken before. I used to find roasting birds a pretty daunting task. One of the main reasons I find it so hard to do is that I can NEVER ever seem to keep any kitchen twine in my kitchen. Seriously, how hard could it be?! Buy it, keep it in a drawer, and then not freak out when I choose to roast a chicken. I have used kabob sticks and other random things to truss a chicken in the past, which would probably make Julia Child roll in her grave, several times. Last night I didn’t have anything to get this chicken’s legs closer together, so I said *(&@# it, and just left it how it was.

Ina Garten’s Mustard Roast Potatoes
preheat oven to 450
cooks for about 30 mins (+/-) 

2.5 lbs small potatoes, i used organic golden potatoes
1 onion (white or yellow)
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons whole grain mustard (which I didn’t have, but I googled substitutes, and if you use half as much you can substitute dijon mustard) 
kosher salt
1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1/4 cup chopped flat leaf parsley (which I omitted because I didn’t have any)

also need:
small bowl to mix ingredients, or a ziploc type bag to mix together in
cookie sheet or pan with a bit of a higher edge
I washed the potatoes, scrubbed them and dried them. Chop potatoes into about 1″ pieces, or a good “bite size” piece. Placed them into a ziploc bag.

Chopped a medium sized onion into little pieces, and added them to potatoes.

Covered the potatoes and onions with everything (except fresh parsley cause I didn’t have any fresh, only dried, and didn’t even see that til it was already too late…) else and shook them up. This step can be done ahead of time so that the potatoes can sit in the mustard sauce and soak it up in the fridge, or cooked immediately, which is what I did.

If you are going to cook these two things together, definitely start the chicken ahead of the potatoes, which I did not have the forethought to do… Also, try to take chicken out exactly when it’s done cooking, cause it will start spitting juices on the inside of your oven, which will make things a little smoky, if you aren’t careful… or it could just mean that you need to clean the oven the next day…

Toss potatoes every once in a while so that they cook evenly, and get brown. Take out when you can easily poke with a fork.

Warm up baked mac and cheese, and enjoy. This was one of the best roast chickens I’ve made in a while. Though, I’ll be honest, I don’t often make roast chicken, cause I feel overwhelmed with the responsibility to use the leftovers for something good like chicken pot pie, or soup base, or something. Here’s hoping for a easy transition to a leftover remix of roast chicken today. Just need to get motivated, and it’ll be good to go.