Saturday, February 4, 2012

Sunday Dinner: Roasted Greek Chicken with Vegetables

Being able to cook a meal for dinner throughout the week is often challenging for many.  Between work schedules, kid schedules, and everything else we're all expected to do throughout the week, a home-cooked meal is often put aside for anything that can be ready - now!  Unfortunately, Sunday dinner may be the one time throughout the week that families are able to gather together, around the same table, at the same time.  Here is a wonderful option!  Yes, your local grocery store will likely sell those rotisserie chickens, ready to eat..... but, a home-roasted chicken is SO much better!  With the right combination of vegetables added to the pan, you have a complete meal!  I hope this can become one of your family favorites!

Roasted Greek Chicken with Vegetables

You'll need a large roasting pan with the rack.  Preheat oven to 425-degrees and move oven rack to a lower level.

1. In the bottom of the roasting pan add the following vegetables cut into chunks:
  • 1 large yellow onion
  • 2 celery stalks
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 green pepper
  • 8 oz. white button mushrooms
  • 4 medium red potatoes (I leave the skins on, but you can also peel)
 Add 1 cup chicken stock, 1/2 cup white wine, juice of 1 lemon.  Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt/pepper.
Then, wiggle the rack into the pan.

2. Prep the following vegetables by quartering them, to stuff into the chicken:  
  • 1 celery stalk                                                        
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 small yellow onion
  • 1 lemon
Put these in a small bowl.  Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt/pepper.  Set aside while you get the chicken.

3.  Use a 5-6 lb. whole chicken.  Place chicken in your sink and carefully remove from packaging (safety first so you don't poison yourself with raw chicken juice!).  Roll up your sleeves, open up the chicken, and remove anything inside the cavity, including any large chunks of fat.  Rinse with water.  Place chicken onto the rack in your pan.

4.  Stuff the reserved vegetables into the cavity of the chicken.

5. Liberally drizzle olive oil to coat the skin of the chicken.  Sprinkle with salt/pepper to coat.

6.  Roast at 425-degrees for 1 hour.  Baste with juices from the pan and continue cooking for another 30 minutes.  At this point, check the temperature of the chicken using a meat thermometer.  Chicken is fully cooked at 180-degrees.  You can pull it out of the oven if it's just shy of that (around 170-degrees), tent with foil and wait for temperature to increase since the meat will continue cooking once it's out of the oven.

7. Carve and serve!

Here are my tips 'n tricks:
  • If the chicken is done cooking but the potatoes are not, remove the chicken onto a large cutting board and tent with foil.  Continue roasting vegetables until cooked to your liking.
  • You can tie the legs together using kitchen twine, but I didn't here and it was still fine!
  • You can substitute any of the vegetables - but to keep it an authentic Greek chicken, you must have the potatoes!

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