Friday, April 13, 2012

Lemon roasted chicken with celery root mashed potatoes

It's official- I've got a pretty bad case of writer's block right now. I could talk about how taxes are due in a few days and how I haven't even started them. Or about how today is Friday the 13th. But I'm not really inspired by anything right now, and all I really want to do is share some awesome recipes.

THREE awesome recipes, to be exact.

Lemon and rosemary roasted chicken on top of celery root mashed potatoes with roasted garlic

So let's cut the chit-chat today and get down to bizness, shall we?

1. Roasted chicken.
Unfortunately, I can't find this recipe anymore. Edit: FOUND IT!!! I first saw it on Punchfork (an awesome website/phone app that collates popular food blog recipes), but when I went to look for it again I swear it was gone. No browsing or searching led me to the original source. Edit: But luckily I had saved in in my phone notes. I just forgot I had it!

But from what I can remember it was very similar to my favorite roasted chicken recipe (french chicken in a pot). Except that this recipe uses a lemon. Yum. And some whole-seed mustard to finish off the sauce. Double yum!!

Getting ready to take a trip in a hot oven

2. Celery root mashed potatoes
What happens when you add a root with a hint of celery flavor to your mashed potatoes? A party in your mouth, that's what! Something about the celery flavor really lightens and brightens up your regular 'ole mashed potatoes. And it's a super healthy tuber so it adds health benefits to its starchy side-kick.

I forgot to take a picture of this lesser known vegetable, so here's a photo from Wikipedia

You know what else adds lots of awesome flavor to mashed potatoes?

3. Roasted garlic
You take a head of garlic, chop off the top, drizzle with olive oil, wrap in foil, and roast that bad boy until the spicy, pungent garlic turns into a creamy, mild, and sweet nectar from the gods.

Before... 

...and after

Individually, all 3 of these recipes are absolutely delicious. But put them together and there's no better soul-satisfying meal.

The lemon, parsley, and dijon mustard really brighten up the flavor of the chicken

Yours in allowing pictures of her hearty meal to steal the show when her writer's block has set in,
Jacqueline

Celery root mashed potatoes, adapted from various recipes
In the various recipes I found, the pound ratio of celery root: potatoes varied from ~1:3 to 1:4. Mine was a bit less than that. It all depends on how much you want the flavor of the celery root to come through. I think a ratio between 1:2 and 1:3 is really good.

Treat this recipe as regular mashed potatoes and add whatever mix-ins you like. I'm going with roasted garlic today, but you can add chives, raw garlic, parsley, etc.

Ingredients
1 celery root, peeled and diced
2 large roasting potatoes, diced (peeled optional)
salt and pepper, to taste
1 head of roasted garlic (see recipe below)
butter, milk, heavy cream, yogurt, cream cheese, mascarpone and/or whatever kind of fat you want to use (for a super delicious fat-ass recipe, click here)

Directions
1. Place celery root and potatoes in a large pot and cover with cold water. Salt the water and bring to a boil. Cover partially and boil until vegetables are tender, about 30+ minutes. (You can test to see if the veggies are done by sticking a knife in them. If the knife cleanly slides out of the veggies, they're cooked!)

2. Drain the veggies and transfer to a large bowl. Using a potato masher or electric mixer, beat until desired consistency. Add your fat of choice (I just used milk and a bit of butter to keep it "light"), salt/pepper to taste, and mix until smooth.

Roasted garlic, adapted from Simply Recipes
Roasted garlic is so deliciously mild and sweet in flavor that you can eat it straight from head or simply spread on a piece of toast. 

1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.

2. Peel away the outer layers of the garlic bulb skin, leaving the skins of the individual cloves intact. Using a knife, cut off 1/4 to a 1/2 inch of the top of cloves, exposing the individual cloves of garlic.

3. Drizzle a couple teaspoons of olive oil over each head, using your fingers to make sure the garlic head is well coated. Cover with aluminum foil and place on baking dish. Bake at 400°F for 30-35 minutes, or until the cloves feel soft when pressed.

4. Allow the garlic to cool enough so you can touch it without burning yourself. Use a small small knife cut the skin slightly around each clove. Use a cocktail fork or your fingers to pull or squeeze the roasted garlic cloves out of their skins.

Lemon and rosemary roasted chicken, from the Guardian UK

Ingredients
1 lemon
1 free-range or organic chicken
4 sprigs fresh rosemary
Extra-virgin olive oil
300g pancetta lardons, optional
1 bunch young carrots, scrubbed clean but not peeled 
4 small parsnips, scrubbed clean but not peeled
12 new potatoes, scrubbed clean but not peeled
20 shallots or raw pickling onions, peeled and left whole
10 peeled cloves garlic
6 sprigs fresh thyme
Coarsely ground black pepper and sea salt
½ bottle good white wine
½ tbsp seeded mustard
100g chopped flat-leaf parsley

Directions
1. Heat the oven to 180C/350F/gas mark 4.

2. Make a few deep incisions in the lemon but don't cut right through so it falls to pieces. Stuff the chicken with the lemon and the rosemary, and rub extra-virgin olive oil all over the skin.

3. Put a little olive oil in a large casserole pot on top of the stove and heat gently. Add the lardons and cook until crisp (if using- I did not). Stir in the carrots, parsnips, potatoes, onions, garlic, thyme and shallots, coating them all in the oil, add the wine and bring to a boil. Turn off the heat, place the bird on top of the vegetables, cover with the lid and place in the oven for an hour.

4. Remove the lid, return to the oven and cook for another half-hour, so the chicken skin browns and hopefully becomes crisp. Lift the chicken from the pot and transfer to a warm plate, arrange the vegetables on large serving platter, top with the chicken and keep warm.

5. Reduce the cooking liquid until quite thick, then stir in the mustard and season to taste. Stir in the parsley, spoon over the bird and proceed to the table.

6. Carve the bird at the table: remove the legs first, then carve off the breasts. If you are not confident of dividing the chicken at the table, you could quite easily do it in the kitchen before spooning over the sauce, but the dish then loses a bit of dramatic effect.

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