I flew the coop over 20 years ago. At the time my parents lived on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. My new apartment was a walk-up in a tenement across the park on the Upper East. It was far from fancy but it was all mine. I was finally independent, but if I ever needed anything they were just a crosstown bus away. Close but not too close. Fast forward to marriage and three children, and the coop is now coming back to me. Mom and Dad are moving to the burbs!
My kids could not be more thrilled to have Grandma and Grandpa as their new neighbors. For me, it will be an adjustment running into my parents at the local Starbucks, but it’s great to have a babysitter moving practically next door. Don’t worry Mom, we only need you to watch the boys every other weekend – :)
To celebrate their “return to the nest” we’re roasting a chicken this week. I’ve never roasted a whole bird before and it was surprisingly easy. This method was suggested by my local butcher. She said once I’ve got this mastered she’ll give me the secret to the perfect pork roast…
Citrus Roast Chicken
1 3/12-4 lb. whole roasting chicken, organic if possible
1-1/2 Tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature
Coarse sea salt
½ orange, cut into wedges
1 lemon, cut into wedges
2 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
3-4 carrots, peeled, cut into 1” chunks
3 medium potatoes, cut into large chunks
1 Tbsp olive oil
Preheat oven to 475 degrees.
Before cooking the chicken rinse in cold water. Then scrub the chicken inside and out with coarse salt. Then rinse again and pat dry. Make sure the chicken is completely dry, this will result in a crispy skin.
Rub the butter all over the chicken. And if you are feeling brave, gently loosen the skin on the breast side and add some butter underneath. It’s a little messy but I was told not to skip this step.
Once the butter is rubbed all over, liberally season with salt and pepper. Fill the cavity of the chicken with the orange, lemon and garlic. Place in roasting pan.
Toss the carrots and potatoes with the olive oil and some salt. Scatter around the chicken. Place in oven for 20 minutes. Then add about ½ cup of water to the pan and roast for another 1 hour to 1 1/2 hours, depending on size of chicken, basting once or twice. Add more liquid to pan if needed.
Chicken is ready when the juices run clear. Use an instant read thermometer to make sure internal temperature reaches 165 degrees. (Insert into thickest part of thigh)
Let rest for 5-10 minutes and serve.
And the VERDICT is:
Matthew (age 7): “Good chicken”
Liam (age 5): “Can I eat that lemon?”
Dylan (age 5): “Why is that lemon in there?”
Although not nearly as convenient, this was even better tasting than a rotisserie.
Mom & Dad, welcome to the neighborhood!
For my local readers:
Fairway Market presents Funny Food Art Workshop!
When: Sunday, September 21, 2014 from 1pm – 3pm
Where: Fairway Market in Pelham Manor, 847 Pelham Parkway, 914 633 6550
Fairway invites friends and families to come and have fun with their food as Bill Wurtzel, author of “Funny Food 365 Fun, Healthy, Silly, Creative Breakfast” teaches families how to create funny food art. Fairway will supply all healthy ingredients, including waffles, strawberries, raisins, pita, bananas and much more, as well as entertainment from the author, who is a jazz musician. Signed copies of the book will be available for purchase. Cost per participant is $1. Register at customer service or online at www.fairwaymarket.com.
This promises to be a fun event – hope to see you there!