Sunday dinner was my creation tonight. I had intended to bang out a new recipe by Jamie Oliver however I made a snap judgement last minute that I wanted to do my own thing and ventured in a slightly different direction. I started with an appetizer pizza:
1 Dough ( we buy ours from the pizzeria) Floured
1 Roasted Red Pepper ( Large)
3 Roasted and Sauteed Small Onions
1 Cup Parmesan Cheese
2 Sprigs of Basil
Roll the dough over flour to avoid sticking, then sprinkle Parmesan to cover the crust. Assemble roasted red peppers and onions, sprinkle additional Parmesan to cover ( to your liking) then top with 1 sprig of basil and grill for 8-10 minutes on medium heat. Top with fresh basil and enjoy!
Then came the Roasted Stuffed Chicken with Mixed Veggies:
6.50lb whole chicken
2 vidalia onions (quartered)
1 sweet potato or yam (Cubed)
2 red potatoes(Cubed)
1/2 Cup Fresh Chopped Parsley
5 Cloves of Fresh Garlic( Peeled)
4 Carrots ( Chopped)
1 Long Yellow Squash (Cubed)
1 Zucchini (Cubed)
1/4 cup fresh Thyme
1 Stick of Butter (1/2 Cubed, 1/2 in slices)
1/2 Cup Olive Oil
Salt & Pepper
Preheat oven to 375 F. Wash chicken and set in roasting pan ( you can use a rack if need be) Wash and cut all veggies ( NO MUSHROOMS) and put 1/2 in a bowl. Combine with juice of 1 lemon and set aside the halves. Sprinkle parsley over veggies and salt and pepper to taste. Add 1/2 of the thyme into mixture. Stuff the chicken from the neck to rear and cap with a lemon half. Shove sprigs of thyme into bird and under skin with additional parsley ( leave a little bit) Slide slices of butter under the skin ( separate with fingers making sure not to puncture or rupture skin. Slide all the way to the back of the chicken if possible ( You will be elbow deep in chicken, if you are squeamish or get grossed out, don’t make a whole chicken- sub out already cut pieces and bake in a roasting pan)
Rub the bird down with slices and cubes of butter and add veggies around the bird in the pan. Top with additional cubes. Sprinkle salt and pepper over the top of the bird. Rub down again with Olive Oil ( get in the creases and under the skin and around the wings and legs) Top with parsley and put in oven. Make sure you add butter and olive oil to veggies in the pan ( a light coating- do not douse) so that they do not burn away. Zest lemon over the top to add flavor to the skin. Bake on 375 for 30 minutes and then drop heat to 325 for another hour and a half ( at least) Keep an eye on the belly button and make sure it pops, you will likely have to carve off the legs and wings and put the legs back in the oven as they are dark meat and will take longer to cook. Figure for a 6LB chicken you are looking at 2 hours. Make sure you watch it, there is nothing worse than over cooked chicken!
For the Mushrooms and Sweet Potatoes:
1 Package Baby Bella Mushrooms (Cleaned and Sliced)
1 Sweet Potato or Yam ( Cleaned and Cubed)
Generous pour of Red Wine ( I use a burgundy blend)
Salt & Pepper
Combine all ingredients as you did for the roasted veggies above. Note that mushrooms will cook MUCH faster. I am allergic to them so I don’t often work with them but these came out great (or so I was told) I work a lot by trial and error. I cooked them all together, next time i would either separate them in the pan or cook separately as the mushrooms were done a good 20 minutes before the potatoes. Toss them in Olive Oil, parsley, lemon juice salt & pepper, Bake on 325 for 20-30 minutes. Mushrooms will be done when they brown nicely. The wine adds a robust flavor. ( additionally these mushrooms are FANTASTIC with steak au poivre or filet mignon) Toss them and rotate them in the pan repeatedly.
Pre-Roasting: Mushrooms and Sweet Potatoes
I also made a pearled cous cous ( I used Near Easts Garlic & Herb) Cook as directed on the box. I added 1/2 Tablespoon of minced garlic.
Finished Product: Roasted Chicken, Mixed Veggies, Roasted Sweet Potatoes & Mushrooms and Pearled Cous Cous!