Brad and I had our friend Bobby over for dinner last night for two reasons – 1. so I could teach Bobby how to make balloon animals, and 2. so Brad and I could ask Bobby to be the officiant at our wedding next September. Brad and I met because of Bobby, who had organized the fundraiser at which Brad and I met for the first time. Bobby’s married a few couples already as an “ordained minister”, and Brad and I couldn’t think of anyone more perfect to marry us. He’s one of our favorite people, and we’re so grateful to have him be such a key part of our wedding.
For appetizers, we snacked on a whole round of Boursin and rice crackers, because that might be our favorite combination ever, and roasted grapes with thyme, which is one of the easiest/more interesting appetizers you could make. We had roasted butternut squash soup and a simple roast chicken for dinner, with a cold lemon souffle for dessert. Oh, and wine. Lots of wine. Lots to celebrate!
|Bobby left our house like this after dinner, and went to a local bar for a nightcap, where he told me this look “went over like gangbusters” – obviously.
ROAST CHICKEN (serves 4)
– 1 4-lb. chicken, giblets removed.
– Kosher salt & pepper
– Sage and Thyme leaves
1. Preheat oven to 450.
2. Remove the chicken’s giblets, then rinse off the chicken and thoroughly pat dry inside and out. The drier the chicken, the less steam, which means more dry heat and a crispier chicken.
3. Truss the chicken. There are a number of ways to do this, probably the simplest being to just tie the legs together against the breast. This helps keep the chicken juicy, and also helps it roast evenly. It also makes me want to be a vegetarian, EVERY TIME, because handling a whole chicken just icks me out. I kind of have to hustle through these couple of steps.
4. Loosen the skin away from the breast meat with your fingers. Arrange thyme sprigs and sage leaves underneath the skin layer for a little extra flavor. This is optional, but I really like it.
5. Place the chicken in a dutch oven (Le Creuset is perfect), salt and pepper the bird. Kosher salt should be rained over the chicken liberally – maybe 1/2 a tablespoon, and the same for pepper.
6. Roast the chicken for approx. 1 hour – no basting, just roasting. The skin should get crispy and golden. Before removing from the pan, baste with the juices, the transfer to a cutting board. Tent with foil, and let sit for 15 minutes before carving and serving.
Greek yogurt is everywhere nowadays. I’ve started using it in baking, cooking, even in dressings. But a Greek yogurt coating? On chicken?? When I first read about this on Pinterest, I thought it sounded totally gross, but I was too curious to find out how it would be. Turns out, it’s healthy, flavorful, and creates a little tangy coating that keeps the chicken juicy. This recipe can be ready from start to finish in an hour, tops, which gives you enough time to make a nice side salad, or steam some veggies, and have yourself a nice glass of wine. We’ve used this recipe dozens of times, and it’s just one of the easiest, most delicious ways we make chicken.
GREEK YOGURT CHICKEN
– Chicken breasts
– 1 container greek yogurt (I like Chobani)
– Freshly grated parmesan cheese, approx. 1/3 cup
– 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
– 1 tbsp. kosher salt
– 1/2 tsp. pepper
1. Preheat oven to 375.
2. In a “breading” bowl, combine the yogurt, cheese, and seasonings, stir to combine.
3. Place a cooling rack over a deeper roasting pan lined in foil. This creates a “convection” type of cooking for those of us with basic ovens (someday, Viking convection oven. I’m coming for you!).
4. Coat the chicken with the mixture. You really don’t need a lot of it – it’s a ton of flavor in even a thinner coating.
5. Bake for 45 – 55 minutes, depending on your oven. It seems like some folks have had a lot of luck with this coating turning golden, almost “fried” looking, but whatever color it ends up being, just make sure you make a small slice to check that it’s cooked all the way through.