I'm back! On the travel docket this week was rural Pennsylvania (such a weird place for a large corporate office, but whatever), and Atlanta. Atlanta was especially enjoyable since I finally got to meet my adorable niece, Blair. She's quite the cutie and such a good baby...I could just squeeze her! But I won't - you never know what will come out of a baby if you squeeze too tight.
I had such a great time hanging with my siblings and siblings-in-law and I'm a huge fan of Atlanta because they have the best restaurants! Some of the things I enjoyed were arugula and watermelon salad with goat cheese, braised pork cavatelli with roasted tomato sauce, prosecco sorbet, watermelon wheat beer, cheddar beer soup, and a delicious homemade veggie fritatta with chai pistachio muffins made by my sister-in-law Melissa. Pure bliss. Good thing there was also a really, really long walk (with lots of hills!).
I'm awfully glad to be home, though. I love to travel and consider myself lucky to be able to do so much of it, but its exhausting and I am looking forward to a quiet couple of weeks at home. Plus, I missed my puppy so much it hurts...that darn mongrel is the cutest pup in the world and I can't stand being away from her. Oh, and my husband. I also missed THAT mongrel. And he's pretty cute too!
This chicken recipe is the last I have in my archives, so I need to step it up and spend more time in my kitchen and less time in restaurants with my credit card.
This was my first time cooking a whole chicken and I was a little nervous because, well, its a whole chicken. And there are giblets in there and a neck and skin and bones, and....other gross things. I was proud that I remembered to take the giblets out before I cooked the chicken...because, well, you just never know with me. And it turned out wonderfully. However, I was annoyed because the timer thingy never popped up and I wasn't sure when it was done. So I googled "how do I know when my whole roast chicken is done" and I got a million different conflicting answers. Do I check the leg or the thigh? Or the breast? Do I look for 150 degrees or 170? How the heck do you know when the juice is clear when its running out of a yellow-orange-ish colored bird? Does crispy indicate a bird that is done, or just that the skin is crispy? It was all very confusing and I was worried about eating dry chicken or an unfortunate case of food poisoning, but it seems I took the old bird out at just the right time because it was delicious! I'll never buy a grocery store rotisserie chicken again. Actually....that is a lie. I will totally buy those rotisserie chickens when I don't feel like taking the time to roast a whole bird, but a girl can pretend, right?
Anyway, I was really pleased with how this turned out and we had tons of leftovers. I was SO excited about all the possibilities that the leftovers held....salads, quesadillas, enchiladas, wraps...the world was my oyster. Unfortunately, I hit the road for like a week after packing up the leftovers and ended up throwing most of it away when I got home. I HATE that. Must plan better next time.
Herb Roasted Whole Chicken
Source: Inspired by Tyler Florence
1 whole chicken, giblets removed
Salt and pepper to taste
2 lemons, halved
1 small onion, quartered
1 sprig fresh rosemary
2 tablespoons butter, softened
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons each, fresh rosemary, thyme and sage, chopped
zest of 1 lemon
juice of 1 lemon
1 teaspoon grill seasoning
Preheat over to 375.
Pat chicken dry and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place halved lemons, quartered onion, and rosemary sprig in cavity of chicken.
Combine butter, olive oil, garlic, fresh herbs, lemon zest, lemon juice and grill seasoning in a bowl. Rub mixture under skin of the chicken, as well as all over the surface. Place in roasting pan.
Roast for 1 hour at 375 and then turn oven up to 425 to ensure crispy skin. Roast for another 20 minutes or until thermometer inserted into the thigh registers 165 degrees.
Let rest and carve.
Roll out pastry on a lightly floured surface to an 18x15" rectangle. Using a sharp knife or pizza cutter, cut dough into nine 6x5" rectangles. Whisk egg white and 1 tablespoon water in another small bowl for egg wash.
Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Stir cornstarch and 1 1/2 tablespoons cold water in a small bowl to blend. Combine fresh cherries and next 4 ingredients in a large saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until cherry juices are released, about 5 minutes. Add cornstarch mixture; bring to a boil, stirring often. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally.
Working with 1 pastry rectangle at a time, place on a work surface and brush edges with egg wash. Scoop 3 tablespoons cherry mixture onto one side; fold dough over filling so that short ends meet, forming a 5x3" packet. Crimp edges with a fork to seal. Using a sharp knife, cut a few slits in top of pie to vent. Place on prepared baking sheet; repeat with remaining dough and filling.