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Roasted Chicken with Fennel, Lemon and Vegetables
ROASTED CHICKEN VERSUS ROTISSERIE CHICKEN
We live in a fast-paced world and constantly hunt for ways to cut corners and save a few moments of our precious time. Unfortunately, in doing so, we sometimes sacrifice the joy of preparing a homemade meal and the explosion of flavors and aromas our culinary skills can provide. Do you remember those long ago Sunday dinners? The fragrance of a home cooked meal, slowly baking in the oven and wafting throughout the house was indescribably delicious. Well, if you can spare a few hours and bring the family together for a scrumptious feast, then my roasted chicken recipe should bring back some down home goodness for both family and friends.
- 5 - 6 lb. Whole Chicken
- 5 Stalks Celery, Coarsely Chopped
- 1 Fennel/Anise, Quartered
- 6 Carrots, Cut in 2 Inch Pieces
- 2 Whole Lemons, Cut into Slices
- 1 TBS Parsley
- To Taste Salt
- To Taste Pepper
- 1 TBS Poultry Seasoning
- 1 TSP Paprika
- 1 TBSP McCormick's Grill Master Chicken Rub
- 1 TSP Thyme
- 2 Cups Chicken Broth
- 2 Cups Water
- 1/4 Stick Butter
- 1 medium Onion, Coarsely Chopped
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Place chopped vegetables and several lemon slices on the bottom of the roaster pan. Season with 1/2 tablespoon of poultry seasoning, salt, and pepper.
- Pour 2 cups of chicken broth and 2 cups of water over vegetables and set roaster rack on top.
- Melt butter in either a saucepan or the microwave and set aside.
- Remove giblets from the chicken.
- Rinse chicken in cold water, being sure that you clean out the cavity. Pat dry and place on roaster rack.
- Squeeze remaining lemons over the chicken and throw a couple of the slices inside the cavity. Tie chicken legs together.
- Brush the melted butter all over the chicken. Then sprinkle with thyme, poultry seasoning, paprika, McCormick's chicken rub and salt and pepper to taste.
- Cover the roasting pan and chicken with aluminum foil and place in oven for 1/2 hour. After 1/2 hour go ahead and remove the foil and baste the chicken several times during the next 1.5 hours. Remove from oven once the juices run clear.
I like to bake chicken with fennel/anise because it gives a hint of licorice flavor. Serving this dish on a large platter with slices of white meat and a leg and thigh, surrounded by the roasted vegetables is pleasing to the eyes. I also drizzle some gravy over the chicken.
SUGGESTED SIDE DISHES
Baked Potato with Sour Cream and Chives - Idaho potatoes work best
Mashed Potatoes - Real mashed potatoes for a real meal
Steamed Broccoli - Served with a dollop of butter
Steamed Asparagus - Or baked, wrapped in prosciutto and drizzled with olive oil
JUST SAY "NO" TO FAST FOOD
I'm one of those people who love to grocery shop. I eagerly await the coupons and grocery flyers inserted in the Sunday newspaper before fine tuning my shopping list that was started several days earlier. I'm not the type who rushes into the store to pick up a few things. Oh no, not me. I make sure I travel up each and every aisle. Admittedly, I can drive my wife a tad nuts.
I cannot recall the last time I ate at a fast food restaurant. When you prepare home cooked meals you are afforded an opportunity to control your fat content and the amount of salt, along with portion size. Another added benefit is the fact we get to sit around the kitchen table and enjoy a family meal. Furthermore, the leftovers are great for so many things, including sandwiches and homemade chicken soup.
I love to cook. I'm happiest first in my garden and secondly when I'm at the stove thinking up a new twist to an old recipe. It truly is a labor of love to be the household chef.
WRITTEN BY: DENNIS L. PAGE