Monday, January 11, 2010

Amateur Gourmet Cooking - Roast Chicken (aka Cooking for Dummies)

One of my lovely followers asked me if I ever post recipes on my blog, since I claim to be an "amateur gourmet chef" in the About Me section to the right. The answer to that question is, no, I don't. But I should! What a great idea for a weekly post! Thank you Elizabeth!!

Perhaps a little background of my cooking skills is in order. When I was in high school I was responsible for taking care of my younger brother during the summers, and I got paid to do so. One day he told me he wanted Chef-Boy-R-D Ravioli for lunch. So I took out a bowl and promptly microwaved his meal. Upon hearing the *ding* of the microwave, I removed the extremely hot dish to find THAT I HAD BURNED IT. Seriously? Seriously. PS - When I say, "Cooking for Dummies," clearly I mean me, not you.

In college and in my post-grad years, I subsisted on Kraft Macaroni and Cheese, Lean Cuisines, hot dogs, and the occasional chicken breast. When Mr. Rose and I met, he impressed me one night by cooking lasagna, asparagus, and cucumber salad. Wow. This guy is a keeper. After we got married, he was the primary meal preparer because he was better at it than me he got home first most nights.

All that changed round about the time I became a Stay-at-home Mom. AND I HAD NO IDEA HOW TO MAKE ANYTHING. So, I got out my Mother-in-law's recipes and started going through them, trial and error like. There were some serious duds (my attempts, not the recipes) and some yummy winners. I became obsessed with watching the Food Network, and I actually picked up a bunch of tips and techniques to improve my culinary skills.

Over time, I have developed some favorites, and among those, my favorite favorites are the EASY ones! One that I made last week is a whole roasted chicken. Here's how you make it:

Twenty Garlic Chicken

  • Buy whole chicken roaster
  • Rinse chicken (remove the giblets), pat dry, and place in a shallow pan. If you have never cooked with chicken before, crawl out from under your rock make sure you wash your hands thoroughly after handling raw chicken.
  • Mix together in a small bowl: 1 Tbsp olive oil, some salt, paprika, and black pepper. I don't measure any of the seasonings, just use a 2:2:1 ratio in the order above. Just mix it up until it is a red paste.
  • Spread the paste all over the chicken.
  • Place enough chicken stock to cover the bottom of the pan.
  • Add twenty, unpeeled, garlic cloves in the pan.
  • Roast in 350 degree oven 20-25 minutes per pound.
  • When it is done, let it sit for a couple of minutes before carving. I normally take this time to make some instant or frozen "Steam N' Mash" potatoes. The really yummy part is to take the roasted garlic from the chicken and mash it up in the potatoes.

This recipe is super easy, yummy, and cheap. The 4 lb chicken I bought last week was less than $4. Add in the mashed potatoes ($2) and frozen veggies ($1), and you've got yourself dinner for 4 for $7. Trying doing that at McDonalds.



Shell said...

I've never actually cooked a whole chicken. Might have to try it!

5thsister said...

I learned how to cook after having kids. It was a financial necessity. When I moved into my new home, 12 years ago, my neighbor introduced me to Food Network and Emeril. I then became enamored with the Iron Chef (the Japenese version) and Tyler Florence. I was hooked. And good thing, too. I've found one of my callings as I simply love to cook! It's my passion. I, too, have had several mishaps along the way but the journey has been worth it!

Life with Kaishon said...

It sounds good : ) And simple. I am so not a good good cook!

Naomi de la Torre said...

Great recipe!! I love garlic too. I'll have to try this one. And your post was hilarious too. Burning a dish in the microwave? That sounds like something I would do.