Alright – it’s no culinary masterpiece but I thought “roasted chicken” needed some jazzing up.
Several months ago my Maternal Grandmother, Nana, who is recovering nicely by the way, gave me a cookbook called “The Congressional Club Cook Book” (1993 Edition). An Act of Congress formed the Congressional Club in 1908 and its members include the spouses of Members and former Members of Congress as well as the wives of the President, Vice President and the Speaker of the House. The Club is self-sustaining through the sale of The Cookbook.
After much internal debate I chose Abigail Fillmore’s recipe for Roasted Chicken. Mrs. Fillmore was the First Lady from 1850-1853 in case you needed a little American President refresher like I did.
I love me some roasted chicken because it’s healthy and needs little preparation to make it a meal. I used to buy a pre-roasted chicken at the grocery store several times a month because roasting chicken myself seemed incredibly daunting. It was actually so simple – there will be no more pre-roasted chickens for me!
Abigail Fillmore’s Roasted Chicken
1 4lb roasting chicken
salt & pepper to taste
1 small onion
½ teaspoon thyme (or sever sprigs of thyme)
1 sprig tarragon
2-4 tablespoons butter, softened (No love will be lost if you use olive oil here)
*I added 2 more sprigs of tarragon and 3-4 sprigs of thyme. I also threw two lemon halves inside the cavity as well. Yum. More is more!
Preheat the oven to 350°. Clean the inside of the chicken and rub with lemon juice, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Add onion and herbs to the cavity. Truss chicken and place in roasting pan. A quick search will show you that trussing the chicken simply means tying the legs together on top of the bird. This step is by no means necessary but it does add to the elegance of the finished presentation.
Rub softened butter over the skin and sprinkle with salt and pepper to finish.
Bake 20 minutes per pound or until a meat-thermometer reads 180° when inserted into the fleshiest part of the thigh (not touching bone). Mrs. Fillmore says that the chicken is done when the leg moves up and down easily.
Let the chicken rest 10 minutes to allow the juices to redistribute.
Once we have eaten all (or most) the meat off the bird, I freeze the chicken carcass with the leg bones to make chicken broth at a later date. This makes me feel very “Suzie Homemaker”! Happiness.
Yes, this meal looks like Thanksgiving, but who doesn’t love roasted chicken and stuffing? The bread stuffing is from the American Woman’s Cookbook; however, the roasted rosemary potatoes are my own creation. I will be posting this meal in three separate posts, so stay tuned!