Monday, October 15, 2012

The Golden Hour (Recipe: Roasted Garlic-Sage Roast Chicken)

I'm sitting in the house with only the glow of this netbook as my sole source of light.  It is silent.  Calm.  The only thing I hear are my fingertips tapping the keys in a rhythmic pattern only I know.  My cat is giving himself a bath-he is not very modest at the least-slurp, slurp.  Rain is hitting the windows and there is the slightest rumble of distant thunder.  I'm sitting here amidst the golden hour-a perfect opportunity to go exploring in the days first light and click away through the camera lens.  But I don't want to move from the couch.  I don't want to wake anyone up.  I want this.  Silence.  Calm.  It doesn't happen often.
Autumn Sunset
This brief moment of pause wraps up my weekend perfectly.  I cherish the weekends I have at home, usually I'm working.  But this weekend, since the hubs was at a conference, it was just me, E (aka Baking Tot) and nothing but time on our side.  I had planned to spend Friday in Austin-visiting my favorite grocery store, hitting the park and then I remembered ACL was in town.  No worries, there will be other days.  Yesterday, we spent a good portion of the day at our neighborhood festival.  E had so much fun.  He rode the oil drum train three times and as we sat in the park eating a yellow sno-cone he said, "Mom, that train was awesome."  I was so happy we both enjoyed ourselves, especially after last year's episode.
Nature Walk Bounty
As I look out the window now, the golden hour has passed.  It is grey and a car's headlight is reflecting off of the wet pavement.  It may seem like you would be greeted by a burst of cool, crisp autumn air if you'd open the door but the air here is at the very least room temperature.  The rain though can have one ache for some comfort.  A cup of soup, a warm cup of tea, a comforting Sunday dinner.
Golden October
Friday, my Father-In-Law offered me some snippets of herbs from his garden.  The sage was beautiful and where there is sage, there is usually a roasted chicken to follow.  I love making roasted chicken-the different combinations of flavors, the comforting sides that accompany the bird, the beautiful, crisp golden skin-for all these reasons I believe roasted chicken is the epitome of comfort food.

And maybe I have not missed my golden hour after all.  Maybe all I will have to do is roast a golden bird.

Golden Hour Roast Chicken
serves 3-4 
Print This!
This is a very detailed instruction to a Roasted Garlic & Sage Roasted Chicken.  You do not have to follow this recipe word for word.  You may want to use a different herb-great! If you don't want to make the compound butter-fine!  Plain ol' butter will work just as well and you can skip step #2.

1 5- to 6-pound whole chicken
Kosher Salt
Black Pepper
1 head of garlic
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 handful of sage
1 lemon, halved
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 large yellow onion, thickly and evenly sliced (about 1/2 inch thick slices)
1 cup chicken stock
2 tablespoon flour
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Make Roasted Garlic-Sage Butter:  Pluck 2-3 cloves off of the head of garlic and place the unpeeled garlic on a square of foil.  Reserve remaining head of garlic for aromatics. Drizzle cloves with olive oil, sprinkle with salt & pepper and fold foil into a packet.  Place foil packet in the oven as it is heating.  At 10 minutes remove foil packet and poke a paring knife into the cloves of garlic.  If cloves are golden in color and knife enters with ease-garlic is roasted and ready, let it cool enough to handle.  If not, place back into oven for a few more minutes and try again.  Meanwhile, place the room temperature butter into a small bowl.  Reserve half of the sage and set aside for later.  Chop the remaining sage finely yielding approximately one teaspoon and add it to the butter.  Squeeze the cooled, roasted garlic out of its skin and add it to the butter mixture.  Mash roasted garlic, butter and sage with a fork until incorporated.  DO-AHEADButter can be made in advance, keep refrigerated for 2-3 days or freeze it for 6-8 weeks.  Just bring it to room temperature before rubbing it on the bird.
  3. Prepare Bird:  Remove the giblets, innards, etc.  Rinse the chicken inside and out.  Remove any excess fat and/or pinfeathers and pat the outside dry.  Place onion in the bottom of a roasting pan creating a "rack" for the chicken.  Place the chicken on top of the onions.
  4. Add Aromatics:  Liberally salt & pepper the inside of the bird.  Stuff the cavity with the remaining bunch of sage, both halves of the lemon, slice the remaining head of garlic in half crosswise and add it to the cavity as well.
  5. Time For A Massage:  Rub the chicken down with the softened garlic-sage butter-give her a good rub down and make sure you hit every surface, nook & cranny.  Loosen the skin on the breasts and rub a generous amount of butter underneath the skin.  Sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper-even underneath the skin on the breasts.  Tie the legs together and tuck wingtips under the body of the chicken.
  6. Get Cooking:  Roast the chicken for 30 minutes at 425 degrees F and then bring the oven temperature down to 375 degrees F.  Roast for approximately 1 1/2 hours, until the juices run clear or the temperature registers 165 degrees on a meat thermometer.  Remove to a platter and tent the chicken with foil.
  7. Good Gravy:  Remove all fat from roasting pan, reserving 2 tablespoons.  Add the chicken stock to the pan and cook on high heat for 5 minutes, until reduced, scraping up the bits from the bottom of the pan.  Combine the reserved chicken fat with the flour and add to pan.  Boil for a few minutes to cook out the flour.  Strain gravy into a small saucepan and season it with salt and pepper.  Keep warm over low heat.  Serve with chicken.

1 comment:

Mama Pea said...

I know the feeling well. What a beautiful photo of the sky.