Growing up I loved Sunday dinners at our house, fried chicken, a good old fashioned pot roast, chicken and dumplings or chicken with mom’s homemade noodles. Scrumptious eats made with love by my mom – it just doesn’t get any better than that. Thank you for those great memories Mom! Friday night hubby Tom and I were in Whole Foods and they were having a one day sale on organic free range whole chickens so we bought a couple to cook up for our own special Sunday dinner. You can’t go wrong with lemon, rosemary and garlic, they were tailor made for chicken. A whole chicken satisfies both my love of white meat and hubby Tom’s favorite the dark meat. I do like a drumstick or a chicken thigh now and then but white meat remains a favorite!
We decided to try a new to us method of roasting the chickens. First the whole chickens are butterflied – meaning the back is cut out and the chickens are flattened. This methods carves off almost a half hour on the roasting time! That means if you wanted to, you could have this meal on a weeknight and not just for a Sunday dinner. Since we had never butterflied a chicken before this You Tube Video taught hubby Tom how to go about it. He said it was easy and worked like a charm.
This recipe comes from one of my favorite cookbook authors- Pam Anderson and is in her cookbook How To Cook Without a Book. Anderson suggest to go ahead and cook two chickens since you have the oven going. We took her advice and cooked two chickens. The leftovers will come in handy later in the week for making my favorite Rosemary Chicken Salad. This chicken was super moist – yes even the white meat and the flavor of the rosemary, garlic and lemon was perfect!
Of course you can leave the second chicken plain, seasoning it simply with salt and pepper so it’s more versatile. It can be cut up and frozen for future heat and eat meals. Or it can be deboned, shredding or dicing the meat as you go. At this point I like to freeze it in 4 ounce bags making it easy to thaw out just the amount I need for a recipe. Precooked chicken is perfect in any of these recipes such as Chicken Cheese Enchiladas, Baked Chicken Taquitos, Chicken Nachos, Quick & Easy Pierogie Casserole, Chicken & Pasta Bake with Basil, Cheesy Chicken & Spinach Stuffed Shells or Creamy Chili Corn Soup with Black Beans.
Easy Roast Chicken with Lemon, Rosemary and Garlic.
3 – 3 1/2 pound whole chicken, butterflied, rinsed and patted dry *
1 teaspoon lemon zest finely grated
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 teaspoons fresh rosemary leaves, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1- 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil (I only used about 2 teaspoons)
1. Adjust oven rack to the lower middle position. Pre heat oven to 450 degrees. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with foil. Make sure to use a rimmed baking sheet as there will be a lot of juices.
2. Mix the lemon zest, garlic cloves, rosemary, salt and pepper in small bowl.
3. Butterfly the chickens, loosen the skin so you can get under it and spread the herb mixture evenly over the meat under the skin. Pat the skin back into place. I also seasoned the outside of the chickens with a little salt and freshly ground black pepper.
4. Place the chicken halves on the prepared rimmed baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil, place in oven and roast for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and squeeze lemon juice over chicken, place back in oven and continue to roast until juices run clear about 5-15 minutes longer – depending on how large the chicken is.
5. After removing from oven, let chicken stand for 5 minutes before cutting. We discard the skin and cut into serving sizes.
Serves: 4- 6
*You Tube Video on How To Butterfly a Chicken
Note: If you want to cook a second chicken without the lemon, rosemary and garlic just season it well with salt and pepper under the skin and proceed with roasting instructions.
Recipe adapted from Pam Anderson’s cookbook How To Cook Without a Book.
This spinach, mandarin orange, Craisin and walnut salad with Liquid Gold Salad Dressing has been showing up on our menu a lot lately. We love this salad and sometimes we have it twice in the same day. I could just add a little of the leftover roasted chicken and call it a main dish! The Liquid Gold Salad Dressing is perfect on a spinach salad and with the fruit you get a little extra liquid from it’s juice which adds so much flavor. My daughter Katy pointed out to me that she likes to buy the baby spinach instead of the baby mixed greens because if they aren’t eating up the spinach fast enough as a salad she can sauté the spinach as a side dish. That doesn’t work with the baby salad greens. Great tip Katy!
Spinach, Mandarin Orange Salad with Craisins and Walnuts
For each person
3 cups fresh organic spinach
1/2 tablespoon Craisins
one mandarin orange, peeled (Feel free to use apple slices, pears, strawberries, grapefruit segments or blueberries.)
one walnut half – chopped
one tablespoon Liquid Gold Salad Dressing *
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.
Combine everything together in a medium size bowl and toss to combine.
Estimated Nutritional Information*
Calories 138.2, Fat 4.6g, Cholesterol o mg, Sodium 100.6mg, Carbs 19.4g, Fiber 5.5g, Protein 3g, WWPP 4
*You can also use a Raspberry or other fruit flavored purchased salad dressing or a Balsamic dressing.
A Nutmeg Notebook Recipe
*The nutritional information and WW PP values posted on Nutmeg Notebook are my best estimates based on the brands of products I use and the software programs used to calculate them. If you rely heavily on the nutritional information and WWPP values I encourage you to double check the values given, using the brands of products you use. If you find big differences feel free to email me or leave me a comment letting me know.
The entire weekend was not spent cooking. We did get out for a little hike on Saturday. The first hiking trail we drove to didn’t work out as the water was too high to cross the river to reach the trail head! What a bummer – we were so disappointed. We still enjoyed the view and the drive there. Thank goodness hubby Tom had a second hike planned for us as the first one was going to be short anyway.
The journey although rough was worth it. It’s always fun when you get rewarded with a waterfall on a hike.
Home made sandwiches hit the spot for lunch.
The stunning view from the top.
Have a Fantastic Week!
Okay it’s your turn – feel free to leave a comment, ask a question or just say hi!
Growing up did you have a big Sunday dinner?
Do you ever cook ahead?