Just when I thought I’d run through my bag of tricks, just when I figured I’d done it all. I roasted meat, veggies & tubers in a new and vibrant way. That’s right, I brought two roasting techniques together all in one meal and in one pan no less. The results you ask? Click on brother, or sister …
Admitedly, this could be done with any roast of meat. But tonight I was blessed with a whole chicken. Picture Biggles standing over the sink, opening up the chicken muttering to himself, “Great, another @!#$% roast chicken. In all that is right in the world, why me?” It’s what I had and that’s that.
In any case, there I was poised over the sink pleading with my mind to come up with something, anything. After trimming, washing, patting dry the chicken, I turned to the stove. There was the large turkey sized roasting pan I’d used earlier to make a stellar batch of veggie stock. Well, since it was already dirty we’ll use that to roast our chicken in.
At this point the world is your oyster and in this case? The roasting pan was my muse. But you have to be careful. Here’s the underlying principle, if you set your meat and veggies directly in the pan? The veggies will get all caramelized and tender while the chicken will have a bottom that was roasting in chicken fat, all pale and no good. While, if you put in a trivet (wire rack) on the bottom of your roaster, the chicken will be up a bit and the bottom part will be perfect and yummy. Yet the veggies will see too much heat and super-roast (they’ll look like raisins). I suppose you could add the veggies later in the roasting scheme of things. But that’s hard and it won’t give you those caramelized, sweet, tender tubers you’re looking for. Another technique is to use your roasting buddies as a trivet and place your chicken on them. This is always a superb way, but you can’t get the caramelized goodies. The chicken is sitting on top and keeping them away from direct heat. You dig?
It was at this point I took out the large wire rack and got my little round cast iron trivet and placed the chicken on that, trussed and salted. Cut up yer favorite veggies, fresh herbs & tubers, toss in bowl with a little oil to coat. Place chicken/trivet on one side and veggies (no trivet) on the other. Install in to a 400 degree oven on bottom rack. 375 might be okay too, but not more than 400. The veggies & tubers would incinerate at anything higher. Cook until chicken is done, maybe an hour and 20. You’ll need a probe thermometer to make sure. Do NOT forget to turn veggies & tubers over and around every 20 minutes or so.
OooOOOoo, I can hear you now. “OH BIGGLES !!! Don’t open that oven door, please! Oh my, every time you open that door, you’ll lose 20 minutes of cooking time.” Bullshit. If you’re losing 20 minutes of roasting time every door opening? You need a new range, foo. Listen, bakers and chefs will tell you. You simply cannot just put food in to an oven and leave it the entire cooking time. Cookies need to be rotated, meat needs checking and your veggies need attention. Just make sure you have your pot holders handy, tongs at your side and move quickly. Close the door and don’t sweat it. I opened my oven door tonight about 3 or 4 times and my chicken was done EXACTLY on time! Eat that.
And we did. The chicken was nicely roasted and the dark meat was perfect. The veggies & tubers came out spectacular, all sweet and tender. The only improvement might be to make a little lemon butter to drizzle over the roasted goodies when done, they were sweet enough to handle it.
Meat Sweetness #2.
All the best,