I took my wife to see Alton Brown, a Food
Network personality, last Christmas
(yes, we are foodies… obviously).
He asked the audience,
“What’s the most important item for cooking you have in your home?”
People shouted out “Oven!” “Sink!” “Hot pads!” “Fridge!” “Chocolate!”
While he replied, “No… Nope… No…”
Then he stopped and said, “It’s the table”. He talked about how too often we are taking Instagram pics of what we’re eating, glorifying the food in a sense, rather than who we are eating with. Family, friends, breaking bread together… that’s what the glories of food and cooking are all about.
So here’s a wonderful recipe you can share around the table. It’s been one of Betony and my favorites this year. Sing the Simon & Garfunkel song together as you make it… and don’t forget the gravy.
1- 4-1/2 lb whole chicken
2 tsp dried rosemary
1-1/2 tsp ground or dried sage
1-1/2 tsp dried thyme
2 bay leaves
5 tbsp olive oil, divided
4 small russet potatoes, quartered lengthwise and sliced into wedges
8 large shallots, peeled
1-3/4 cups chicken stock
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
6 tbsp butter
1. Preheat oven to 425 F.
2. Rub chicken inside and out with salt; mix rosemary, sage, thyme and a generous amount of black pepper and rub some of herb mixture inside chicken. Place 1 bay leaf inside cavity and tie up chicken. Brush chicken with olive oil, then sprinkle with remaining herb mixture. Place chicken in a heavy roasting pan and arrange potatoes and shallots around chicken. Sprinkle veggies with remaining oil and remaining herb mixture. Add remaining bay leaf and toss to coat.
3. Roast chicken 1 hour 15 mins. Transfer chicken and vegetables to a platter and tent with foil.
4. Pour pan juices into a measuring cup and spoon off fat. Add enough stock to make 2 cups. Add vinegar to roasting pan and set over burners to bring to a boil; deglaze pan and reduce to a glaze. Add stock and reduce to 1/2 cup. Lower heat and whisk in butter one tablespoon at a time; season to taste and stir in parsley.
Recipe from “The Bon Appetit Cookbook” by Barbara Fairchild