Yesterday I had a 'practice' Valentine's Day dinner. It's my favorite holiday, because I love spoiling people. And the people you love are the easiest to spoil, especially with food!
First of all, I love roasting chickens. They always come out juicy and crispy, which is impossible if you cook a chicken any other way. So those pictures are of my beautiful chicken. By the way, buy your chicken from a meat counter, not in a package. There will be much less fat, gross skin, and leftover 'feathers' and way, way, WAY less pumped-in sodium water.
Anyway, I also made a beet soup from a Martha Stewart recipe, an orange salad, of which I was very proud because it was the first time I used that technique where you peel the orange and slice out the sections with a knife (I have no idea what it's called), and a dark chocolate cake with strawberry buttercream, but it turned out awfully because I didn't use a recipe but just threw some things together, so I will not be sharing that one.
Do try roasting your own chickens. I love them in an iron skillet, because there is so much more flavor and you can get crispy skin all over (which in my opinion is the best part), and you can do so many things with a one-pan meal that starts with a chicken in the middle.
Butter and Garlic Roasted Chicken
(So named because sometimes I use olive oil or sometimes I do not use garlic. There are a thousand ways to roast a chicken, literally)
1 3 1/2- 4 lb chicken (if you get it from a counter, as suggested, they will be between 3-5 lbs, but 5lbs is a giant chicken..! Just increase or decrease cooking time, and use your thermometer)
7 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
4 sprigs fresh rosemary
4 large sage leaves
6 thyme twigs
8 tbsp butter, melted, + 1 tbsp for skillet
At least 2 tbsp sea salt, 1 tbsp freshly ground pepper
4-5 red potatoes, scrubbed and cut into 1" pieces
-Move your oven rack to the middle-bottom of your oven and heat oven to 415*.
-Melt butter in skillet over low-medium heat and remove from heat. Place chicken in skillet back-down. Stuff two crushed-til-broken cloves of garlic under the breast skin. Cut the herbs in half and stuff one half plus three cloves of garlic into the bird cavity. Using a pastry brush, brush the melted butter all over the top, sides, and in the creases between the legs of the chicken. You should have about 2 tbsp left. Finely chop the rest of the herbs and rub the herbs, sea salt and pepper all over the skin of the chicken. Place potatoes around the chicken and brush the remaining butter on top of them. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
-Place the entire skillet in the oven and roast for 60-75 minutes (depending on your desired done-ness and the size of your chicken) until a thermometer stuck in the thickest part of the chicken reads at least 165* and no more than 180*.
-Remove from the oven and let the chicken rest for about 10 minutes before serving.