My kind of dinner party is where making dinner IS the party. My sister-in-law and I love to cook together. It's the best- talking and working and tasting simultaneously. On one of our last nights living at camp together, Audra and I decided to make what we plainly refer to as the chicken dinner.
A whole roasted chicken, with plenty of herbs and sea salt. Underneath is a layer of garlicky carrots drizzled with butter or coconut oil. mmmmmm. Feel free to add your favorite root vegetable to the mix, too.. potatoes, turnips, rutabaga, sweet potatoes, etc. When you're eating it, you never want anything else. We have this meal at least once a week, and the leftovers are awesome.* During winter squash season (which is just starting!!) I always pop one in the oven to serve with it. My favorite is delicata squash, but hubbard, butternut, and acorn are yummy too.
Anyway. It was about 4:00 in the afternoon. The babies were napping. The boys were busy. We got straight to work in the kitchen, our favorite place to hang out. She peeled carrots while I chopped. She rinsed and dried the chickens while I picked herbs-sage, rosemary, and thyme. She chopped garlic while I stuffed and seasoned the birds. We both stood back and admired our beautiful cast iron creations. Then we hefted them into the 375 degree oven, set the timer for an hour and a half, and sat back with our copies of Anne of Green Gables as the smell of garlic started to waft throughout the house. Perfect.
Do you have someone you can cook with? Do it!
Invite someone over to make something scrumptious with you.
It makes dinner 10x more fun and 1/2 the work.
Roasted Chicken Dinner
2 or 3 potatoes, sweet potatoes, or turnips (optional)
a few cloves of garlic, peeled and chopped
one 5 lb. chicken
herbs of choice
Peel and chop carrots into bite size pieces and place in a large cast iron. Drizzle with butter (or coconut oil) and sprinkle with chopped garlic. Toss to coat. Rinse chicken and place on top of veggies. Season chicken with plenty of salt, and any herbs you like. I always use thyme, sage, and rosemary. Optional: stuff chicken cavity with salt, garlic, half of a lemon, or herbs.
Place in a 375 degree oven and roast for 1 1/2 hours.
Let rest for 5 minutes. Carve and serve.
*The process after we have eaten the chicken dinner: tear leftover meat from the bones and place in a baking dish, this is easiest when it's still warm. Add leftover carrots to the dish and drizzle with some leftover juice from your pan. Voila! Meal #2 ready to go in the oven for tomorrow. Next step, broth. I always make it after we have this meal. My super-easy broth routine: Place chicken bones in a stockpot and cover with filtered water. Bring to a boil, skim off any scum that rises, turn down to low. Let simmer overnight. In the morning, remove from heat, pour through a strainer, and use for making your favorite soup or chili.