Friday, May 23, 2008

Rosemary, Sage and Thyme Scented Chicken

Gregg was getting back from a business trip to Kansas City this afternoon, so I wanted to have a wonderful aroma to greet him when he walked in the door. I decided on this recipe but am not sure where it came from. I really must get more organized and remember to identify the source. I go surfing a lot on the Internet when I am looking for new ideas, and I came across this one not too long ago. The chicken here probably overwhelms the platter but it was the smallest one I could find on my last shopping trip to our local supermarket, and I didn't have the time to look elsewhere. It took a little longer to cook but everything came out really well and we have lots of leftovers for the weekend ahead. I also found out that I didn't have Rosemary in my herb collection, so I used Basil. I suppose the title should read Basil, Sage and Thyme instead.
Rosemary, Sage and Thyme Scented Chicken

Fresh orange juice and savoury herbs infuse roast chicken and healthy vegetables with that enticing "home-roasted dinner" aroma and ever-so-satisfying flavour.

Preparation time 15 minutes Roasting Time 1-1/4 hours Makes 4 servings
2 oranges

3 to 4 lb (1.5 to 2 kg) whole roasting chicken

1 tsp (5 mL) butter

1 tsp (5 mL) each dried thyme leaves and sage leaves

1 tsp (5 mL) salt

3 medium-size potatoes, preferably Yukon Gold

2 red onions

1 lb (500 g) pkg peeled butternut squash pieces

1 tbsp (15 mL) olive oil

1-1/2 tsp (7 mL) dried rosemary leaves

Preheat oven to 400F (200C). Slice oranges in half. Squeeze out about 1 cup (250 mL) juice. Don't discard orange peels. Rinse chicken. Pat dry with paper towels. Place in a roasting pan wide enough to hold chicken and vegetables around it. Stuff orange peels into cavity of chicken. Rub butter all over chicken, then sprinkle with thyme, sage and 1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt. Roast, breast side up, in centre of preheated oven 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, cut unpeeled potatoes into quarters. Slice each onion into 6 wedges. Cut squash into bite-size chunks. Place potatoes, onions and squash in a large bowl. Add juice and oil. Sprinkle with rosemary and remaining 1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt. Stir until evenly coated.

Once chicken has roasted 30 minutes, remove from oven. Baste with any pan juices. Tumble vegetables and marinade into pan around chicken and spread out. Return to oven. Roast, uncovered, until a meat thermometer inserted into thigh reads 170F (77C), 45 minutes to 1 hour. Stir vegetables halfway through cooking. If chicken skin browns too quickly, loosely cover chicken with foil. If pan juices start to burn, add a little water. After removing pan from oven, let stand 10 minutes before slicing chicken and serving with vegetables and pan juices.

Squash is one of our most nutritious winter vegetables. Its deep yellow-orange colour makes it rich in cancer-fighting beta carotene. It also contains a good dose of fibre. Comforting and satisfying yet not high in calories, 1 cup (250 mL) baked mashed butternut squash has 98 calories, a whopping 6.9 grams of fibre and just 0.2 grams of fat.

Nutrients per 4-oz (125-g) serving white meat and vegetables
14 g protein
6.6 g fat
64.6 g carbohydrates
7.7 g fibre
3.3 mg iron
121 mg calcium
619 mg sodium
357 calories

Excellent source of folacin, magnesium, thiamine, niacin and vitamins A, B6 and C
Good source of iron

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