What’s Cookin’ – Roasted Chicken & Rice Pilaf

It’s a two-fer today!  This is a family favorite meal in our house.  Of course, you have to add a vegetable or a salad to make it complete.

Rotisserie and roasted chickens are popular ready-to-serve meals that are widely available in your local grocery store and food warehouse.  What you may not know is that a Roasted Chicken is as easy to make at home as it is to buy in the store.  This is also a very inexpensive meal to prepare and, even if you are serving only 2 people, the leftovers can easily be used in chicken salad, Easy Chicken Noodle Soup, or just reheated.

I stock up on roasters when they go on sale.  Not only can you make a nice Roasted Chicken for Sunday dinner, but you can put a whole chicken in a crock pot with aromatic vegetables in the morning and have a great meal in the evening for a quick and easy weeknight meal.

Don’t be skeered, buy a whole chicken, and cook one up today!

Cast of characters – whole roaster, stuffing ingredients, herbs, oil, cooking spray, roaster with rack.

Note on stuffing ingredients: I had on hand and used a lemon, onion, and garlic.  You can use any combination of aromatics that you have on hand (carrots, celery, onion, apple, etc.).

Note on herbs: I had sage, rosemary, and thyme from my herb garden.  You can use whatever you have on hand, fresh or dried.  You can also use lemon pepper or any of the mixes on the market.  You may have to adjust the salt and pepper if your mix contains it already.

Make sure you remove the “bags” of gizzards from the innards of your bird!  Wash and dry your chicken.  Salt and pepper the cavity.  Stuff the large cavity with your ingredients of choice.  If you have cooking twine, you may tie the legs together.  This will help the bird to cook more evenly, but it doesn’t hurt if you don’t.

Please make sure that you have washed your hands and are using a clean cutting board.  You don’t want any cross contamination from handling raw poultry!  Chop your fresh herbs if you are using them.  You want 2 TB of herbs, fresh or dried.  Add herbs along with 3 TB of oil, 1 TB of kosher salt, and 1 tsp of pepper in a bowl and mix.  Now rub this heavenly mixture all over the chicken.

Put your well massaged bird into your roasting pan that has been coated with cooking spray (this will make cleanup later much easier).  Tuck those wings under and tie up those legs if you are so inclined.

Put bird into a 400° oven for 1 to 1-1/4 hours.  The time will vary depending on the size of your bird.  You may also use a different oven temperature if you are cooking other items at the same time.  Simply adjust for a longer or shorter cooking time.

You want to roast to an internal temperature of 165° (USDA guidelines) or until a knife pierced into the thickest part of the chicken yields clear liquid.  Remove from the oven, cover with aluminum foil, and allow to sit for 10 to 15 minutes prior to carving.  This ensures a moist chicken for eatin’.

After the bird is in the oven, you can relax until you are ready to prepare your side dishes.  Our family favorite side dish with Roasted Chicken is Rice Pilaf.  It is so easy and delicious, you will never buy the boxed stuff again!

 

The cast of characters – 2 TB butter, 2 to 3 ounces of uncooked spaghetti noodles, 1 cup of uncooked, long grain rice, 3 chicken bouillon cubes, and 3 cups of water.

In a large saucepan, melt butter and add uncooked pasta that has been broken up into small pieces.  Saute until the pasta is browned.

Note: I do not “measure” the pasta, rather I take a handful and break it up right over the pot so that there is a layer of pasta in the bottom. 

Add 1 cup of uncooked rice and stir.

Add 3 cups of water and 3 chicken bouillon cubes, stir, and bring to a slow boil.  Reduce heat to low, cover saucepan, and let simmer slowly for 25 minutes.  DO NOT lift the lid.  After 25 minutes, remove from heat, and allow to sit for another 5 minutes.  DO NOT lift the lid.

Finally, remove the lid, and stir with a fork to loosen the rice and distribute the pasta evenly.  Serve.

Here is the Roasted Chicken and Rice Pilaf.  The chicken is crusty on the outside and moist on the inside.  The tender and flavorful Rice Pilaf is a nice complement to the Roasted Chicken.  Yummy!

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