This year we managed to make Christmas last until January 15th. One benefit of having large families spread all over the country is that there’s a great excuse to celebrate and celebrate and celebrate. We started in the beginning of December with my grandparents, visiting a beautiful lighted garden and enjoying a nice dinner. After that we (I) broke all rules about withholding presents until, you know, Christmas, and started giving Dan his presents a little at a time. That was a great idea. Next came Meredith’s dance recital and Amelie’s baptism. We love nieces. After that we headed to North Carolina to do Christmas with my family. We were so lucky that we were able to see aunts, uncles, cousins, parents, siblings, and friends. Once we returned we had a week of New Year’s downtime before we celebrated first with Dan’s parents and then the next weekend with Megan, John & the nieces. These last two celebrations were at our house, which gave me the opportunity to cook recipes I’d had tucked away for company, something I love to do.
For these celebrations I made a roasted chicken on a bed of root vegetables, rice, sauteed beet greens, and a lemon meringue pie. The first week the pie was a disaster (because I used tapioca beads, silly me) but the second week it was silky and perfect. The flip side, of course is that the fudge I made for the Turcotte family to take home the second week was grainy and totally off. Because- and I say this in all seriousness- there is no such thing as a perfect meal when I have company. Something always goes wrong.
The roasted chicken, however, was perfect. Rubbed down with butter and stuffed with garlic cloves it had brown crunchy skin and moist, flavorful meat. The vegetables were bursting with flavor, all pink from the beets in the mix. It was a wonderful meal to wrap up this year’s Christmas celebrations! And now that the decorations are down, I’ll just need it to be spring… immediately (closes eyes and ignores freezing rain outside the window).
The nieces and I with their new Christmas hats! Photo by Dan
Roasted Chicken & Root Vegetables
1 whole chicken
4 tbsp butter
1 tbsp salt
8-10 cloves garlic
4-6 medium size carrots
3 red potatoes
1 large vidalia onion
1/4 cup olive oil
Salt & pepper
1 hour before you’re ready to cook your chicken, take your chicken out of the fridge. Remove the innards, rinse with cold water, and allow to come to room temperature. Also allow your butter to come to room temp. Tie legs together.
Begin by rubbing your chicken down with butter. Then, cut slits throughout the body and legs of the chicken. Stuff each slit with a clove of garlic. Sprinkle with salt and set aside.
Preheat your oven to 475.
Peel and dice your beets and carrots. Cube your potatoes and cut your onion into large chunks. Place all vegetables into a large roasting dish. Toss with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Make a bed in the vegetables and place the chicken on top.
Cook at 475 for 20 minutes and then lower the temperature to 400. Cook an additional 45 minutes. Remove the chicken from the oven and allow to rest 10 minutes before serving. Baste with juices.