January 29, 2009

Baked Chicken

My husband likes to cook, almost as much as I do. We enjoy a lot of nights together during the week in the kitchen cooking together (which are some of my most favorite times). I’ve been showing him a few of my most favorite, not to mention easy recipes.

Last night he made Dad’s Baked Chicken. This is a recipe that I actually learned to cook when I was a kid. My dad didn’t do a lot of cooking, but he and I would cook dinner for my mother at least once a week, when I was a kid.

This recipe is what I call my dad’s signature meal. He always served this baked chicken with wild rice, a vegetable and a dinner roll. Last night Charlie made Uncle Ben’s Wild Rice, steamed broccoli, and Sister Shubert Dinner Rolls.

Try this recipe for an easy week night meal for your family!

Dad’s Baked Chicken
1 whole chicken, about 3 lbs.
1 large onion, chopped coarsely
1 carrot, coarsely chopped
1 celery stalk, coarsely chopped
2 Bay Leaves
2 springs fresh thyme
4 springs fresh parsley
Salt and pepper to taste
1 T. soften butter
2 T. Garlic powder or 4 whole cloves of garlic
Dried thyme
*Frozen stock or 2 cups of chicken broth

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Remove chicken giblets. Wash chicken with cold water, then pat dry. Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper, including the inside of the cavity (if using garlic powder – do the same). Rub seasonings into chicken really good.

In cooking pan, place your frozen stock or broth and place half of the onions, celery, carrots, bay leaves and 2 springs of parsley.

Stuff the inside of the cavity of the chicken with remaining ingredients (vegetables, herbs and garlic cloves). Then rub softened butter all over the skin of the chicken and sprinkle chicken again with salt, pepper and a little dried thyme.

Cover dish and cook for about 1 hour or until done, then remove from oven. Use an instant read thermometer – these make life so easy! Let chicken rest is dish for about 15-20 minutes. This lets the juices remain in the chicken.

* For stock: Whenever I cook any meat – I keep the stock and freeze it in mason jars in my deep freeze. These juices make the best soups ever and are also great to use for cooking rice (replace stock with water).

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