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Whole chicken - what to do besides classic roast?

So I have a busy day, a whole chicken, and we just had roast chicken a few days ago. I'd love something very very simple, maybe just with different spices? I usually roast my chickens after squeezing a lemon over them, putting the lemon in the cavity, sprinkling Italian or Provence-style herbs over them, and putting them in the oven until they are done. I just need some new inspiration - any ideas that are also dead simple? I also have about six mushrooms that need using up, some sour cream, about a half cup of yogurt, some carrots, and the usual kitchen stuff on hand. Thanks.

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  1. Chicken and dumplings...

    1. I recently prepared this Moroccan Spice Mix for a fish recipe but decided I like it even better with chicken.

      2 tablespoons coriander seeds
      2 tablespoons fennel seeds
      1 tablespoon cumin seeds
      1 tablespoon cardamom pods
      10 whole cloves

      Toast spices in a small, heavy skillet for about 7 minutes, let cool completely, then grind in a spice grinder.

      I've rubbed this into chicken breasts and baked them. If I had a whole chicken, I'd spatchcock it and either bake it or use a chicken-under-a-brick technique.

      It doesn't use up your ingredients, but you could serve the chicken with double-baked potatoes stuffed with a mushroom-sour cream filling.

      2 Replies
      1. re: JoanN

        You've called to mind a great recipe for roast chicken that's rubbed with a spice paste that includes lemon and the Moroccan spice mixture ras-el-hanout and stuffed with whole lemons in the style of Marcella Hazan's roast chicken with two lemons.

        Here's the recipe: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

        The spice mix in the above post is a version of ras-el-hanout; there are many versions out there on the web. The one I've made and liked is this one, in the following recipe, but even with fewer spices, it's delicious. http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

        1. re: Caitlin McGrath

          That ras-el-hanout looks wonderful. Thanks.

      2. You could chop up the birdie into eight sections, give 'em a quick dredge in flour and a quick fry, then dig up some diced tomatoes out of the pantry, pulverize the carrots (and onions and garlic) in the food processor and let everything simmer for a nice cacciatore. The mushrooms would be nice in that. Serve it over spaghetti or whatever. Maybe combine the sour cream and the yogurt with whatever fruit you have lying around for a nice dessert parfait.
        Carol www.CookinTeens.com

        1. Mark Bittman's Hainanese Chicken is something really different and delicious:
          Not what you're looking for today, maybe, but some other time? Takes a little over an hour, most of which requires no attention from you.

          5 Replies
          1. re: BerkshireTsarina

            This is a classic French way of making a chicken in a pot. Make sure you use a large (5-7qt) dutch oven that seals well (I put some parchment paper or tin foil to make an extra seal). It is extremely tasty, easy and the jus that it produces is so tasty.

            Poulet en Cocotte
            serves 4
            1 whole roasting chicken (4 1/2 to 5 pounds), giblets removed and discarded, wings tucked under back
            2 teaspoons sea salt
            1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
            1 T olive oil
            1 small onion, chopped medium
            1 small celery stalk, chopped medium
            6 medium garlic cloves, peeled and trimmed
            1 bay leaf
            1 medium sprig fresh rosemary
            1/2-1 teaspoon lemon juice

            1. Adjust oven rack to lowest position and heat oven to 250 degrees. Pat chicken dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper. Heat oil in large Dutch oven, over medium heat until just smoking. Add chicken, breast-side down; scatter onion, celery, garlic, bay leaf, and rosemary around chicken. Cook until breast is lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Insert a wooden spoon into cavity of bird, flip chicken breast-side up and cook until chicken and vegetables are well browned, 6-8 more minutes. Remove from heat, place large sheet of foil over pot and cover tightly with lid. Transfer pot to oven and cook until instant-read thermometer reads 160 degrees when inserted into thickest part of breast and 175 in thickest part of thigh, 80-110 minutes.
            2. Transfer chicken to carving boards, tent with foil, and rest 15 minutes. Meanwhile, strain chicken juices from pot through fine mesh strainer into fat separator. Discard solids. Allow liquid to settle 5 minutes, then pour into saucepan and set over low heat. Carve chicken, adding any accumulated juices to saucepan. Stir in lemon juice. Serve chicken, passing the jus at the table.

            1. re: hankstramm

              "giblets removed and discarded"!!!!????

              1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                The birds I've been getting lately don't even have the gibss.

                1. re: hankstramm

                  I've been roasting more chicken now that prices here have declined a bit. There are always a couple of wornen near the chickens, slightly pushing one brand or another. last time one was saying how the chickens (these are all packed in pairs) I selected were less of a bargain because they contained the giblets and feet. I said I made my selection because I wanted the giblets. She was shocked and asked what I did with them. I was shocked and just went away with my chickens shaking my head.

                  1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                    SAM!!! You are a piece of work, I swear...your posts always make me laugh out loud!!!

          2. how about a butterflied--or spatchcocked--whole chicken rubbed with bbq spices and oil. the rub i use includes paprika, chili powder, onion powder, garlic powder, turbinado sugar, and black pepper. a split chicken is dandy on the grill and requires no attention--one hr split side down and off to the table (for a fryer). oven is fine, too--about 375.

            use shears to split the chicken along the backbone--even better, cut along each side of the backbone and take it out completely. press the bird a bit to flatten the breast arch. also, squnch out the leg/thigh quarters so they're not under the carcass.

            1. An oldie from the Frugal Gourmet is to rub a mix of equal parts soy sauce, honey, and roasted sesame oil on the raw chicken, and basting it with more of the mixture as it roasts. Makes spectacularly brown, tasty skin.

              1. cut that birdie up: Arroz con pollo.

                1. Let me tell you, I brined a chicken for the first time over the weekend and I'm hooked. It was the best I've ever had in terms of moistness and flavor. I used a recipe out of the book Charcuterie. The process is "dead simple" as you want. Take 1 cup of kosher salt to 1/2 cup of sugar nad dissolve it in water on the stove. You want about a gallon of liquid for the proportions of salt/sugar. Also, make sure the water is cool before submerging the chicken. I used about a qt of water and dissolved the sal/sugar on the stove. Once they were dissolved I added ice cubes to cool it down and enough water to bring the whole mix to a gallon. After that I added an onion, a head of garlic sliced laterally, thyme, tarragon and cracked peppercorns. I had a 4 lb chicken and submerged it in the brine for 12 hours. I then pulled it out of the brine, dried it and let it sit uncovered for a day in the fridge (that lets the brine distribute through the bird)...slathered it with soft butter and roasted it for 75 minutes at 415 in a pan with carrots, fingerlings and coursely chopped onion. Let it rest for 15 minutes or so and it was likely the best chicken I've ever had.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Den

                    Den, I've been meaning to brine - for about 10 years now (!) - but haven't gotten around to it. Your chicken note has given me renewed resolve. This weekend I'll give it a start for Monday dinner. Thanks!
                    Carol D. www.CookinTeens.com

                    1. Simple for me ... cut in half to split the chicken so it lays flat, take out the back bown. Season with cumin, pepper, salt and Italian seasoning and a little paprika. Now grill in a cast iron a large pan in olive oil and butter mixture. Once brown on one side flip and then add 1/4 cup chicken broth and finish in a 400 degree oven until brown and crispy. If you have a little honey or any fruit preserves it makes a great glaze over the chicken at this point to get a nice brown. If not. Just a little butter will work fine. Takes about 20-30 minutes. Remove and then then cover to let rest. In the same pan add some broth, then add the mushrooms and a sliced onion, once soft add the sour cream and yogurt, both will work together and additional broth to make a nice sauce. White wine will too if you have some on hand.. This will make a great sauce over the chicken.

                      Serve with a simple wild rice and roasted potatoes. Even some pasta would work fine. Easy and great flavor. Some fresh thyme is a great flavor to this.

                      1. These are all great ideas - I'm going with the soy/honey/sesame oil idea for tonight, but I obviously have to buy some more chickens. Thank you all!

                        4 Replies
                        1. re: Marsha

                          This recipie is even better with Garlic, Ginger and Lime,

                          1. re: wallyz

                            Anytime I think soy honey and sesame I think garlic ginger and lime. I do that combo a lot and love it. I like to butterfly the chicken if possible and let marinade all day and then grill. Outside or in or can even pan saute which is fine. I stick some garlic and ginger under the skin as well for some extra flavor and then cook with some fresh lime wedges in the pan Very yummy and easy.

                            1. re: kchurchill5

                              Yes - it was very good, but the comment was made: "Next time, maybe some ginger to liven it up" - garlic and lime would be welcome as well. Thanks!

                              1. re: Marsha

                                No I just meant soy, ginger, oil, garlic and lime etc is what I often use. I is a wonderful combination

                        2. Hey, I know Marsha is all set for dinner tonight but I had to post this for future consideration and for other Chows out there who might be just starting to think about dinner tonight.

                          It's paprika roast chicken from Gourmet Feb issue. At oven temp of 500 it cooks in 30min and the spice mix is yummy. I have already made it twice.


                          1. Made the butterflied grilled chicken under a brick from this month's CI last night. Delicious!!

                            1. Your post and another's has inspired me to roast chicken tonight. I used Mexican spices on the skin. Rubbed vegetable oil and lemon juice all over the chicken, then thickly coated it with chili powder, garlic powder, salt, pepper and a tad bit of cumin. It came out beautiful. Then I made an avocado cream sauce, to serve over the sliced chicken... wow! Was that ever good~yum.

                              3 Replies
                              1. re: chef chicklet

                                I do it with salmon too, very good, just enough spice but not too much. The chicken would be great.

                                I just may have to roast a chicken too!

                                1. re: chef chicklet

                                  I really like the idea of a creamy avocado sauce over the spicy chicken. How did you do the sauce????

                                  1. re: foxy fairy

                                    I swear ff, I've been dreaming about this sauce for years! Very quickly let me tell you. I first had this sauce (or from what I can remember) at a restaurant years ago, served as special dish but only once in awhile. Their version used only skinless chicken breasts, then covered the chicken in a decadent avocado cream sauce. Recently, all the talk about chicken, and another poster looking for a Mexican rice inspired me to roast chicken once again, but different. For the sauce I found a suitable recipe online yesterday and went with it, well sort of.

                                    I changed it a bit. I only used 1 avocado (that's all I had)
                                    I put that in the blender with about 1/4 cup of torn cilantro leaves, 1 sliced scallion
                                    some smooshed garlic paste (salt, oil and 1 clove)
                                    Added the juice of one 1 lime - these were terrible limes I used 1 1/2
                                    whirled it and kept pushing the avocado puree down adding a little chicken broth to help it along. And of course salt and pepper.

                                    After getting it to to a nice smooth consistency, I just let it hang out in the blender until I was ready to slice the chicken and plate. Then I removed the avocado puree and I transferred it ito a heavy little sauce pan and over low heat/ stirred gently to warm it through, I added a little more chicken broth. Once it was warm enough, I added cream and adjusted the salt and pepper. It was the most beautiful green if that gives you any idea, but the taste you certainly knew it was avocado sauce. I had to use restraint to not keep tasting it, it was just that good. There was barely a little over a cup of sauce when done.
                                    The recipe advised to add jalapeno or serrano, which I normally would of done, but the three year old was eating the same meal, I held back. It would of been off the chart with the fresh serrano added, I love heat. However the crust on the chicken made up for the heat of the serrano, the texture and spices against the creamy avocado sauce was a thing of beauty. And it was okay that I didn't make more, the sauce was smooth and rich, 4 and 1/2 of us had plenty. Oh and the compliments!

                                    Not to forget, the Mexican red rice was pretty good too! fFrom, Rick Bayless'
                                    Mexico One Plate at a Time. I changed that a bit as well.

                                2. I see tagine mentioned above. I made this chicken tagine with eggplant in December and two people went ABSOULETLY WILD raving about this dish. This is not exactly a roast but it's a great preparation for a chicken. I did the entire dish in my Le Creuset and popped it in the oven for quite a while so the flavors would deepen (the recipe doesn't call for that, but I really liked the results).


                                  1. I really like the idea of a creamy avocado sauce over the spicy chicken. How did you do the sauce????

                                    6 Replies
                                    1. re: foxy fairy

                                      Oops, this is a reply to chef chicklet above.

                                      1. re: foxy fairy

                                        Honestly Someone sent this to me last year. I think it is the original recipe. If I could I'd tell you where from on the web but many of the same versions. It works great.

                                        Creamy Avacado Sauce:

                                        2 avacados
                                        1 teaspoon minced garlic
                                        2 tablespoons chives minced
                                        1 tablespoon fresh cilantro minced
                                        1/2 tablespoon fresh tarragon minced
                                        1/2 lime juice
                                        1 tablespoon butter
                                        1/4 cup light cream

                                        Puree the ingredients in a blender or processor, then add to a warm saute pan with the melted butter and cook until heated on medium. DONT boil. Add the cream, s/p and heat till warm. NOTE: Don't want the butter, just spray the pan with a little pan to heat the avacado sauce.

                                        I love to serve over chicken which I marinaded in:
                                        4 chicken breasts, lime juice, olive oil, chili powder, cumin, cilantro/parsley, onion, and garlic.

                                        Chef C made chicken very similar. I think she did a whole chicken, I have done breasts or thighs before and did salmon too. I want to try a whole chicken like her. I think that would be great flavor. When I did salmon I just marinaded 15 minutes just on top. Didn't want too much spice on the fish.

                                        1. re: kchurchill5

                                          Yes this is pretty close, I didn't use tarragon and I think the recipe I printed out did call for that. I made the addition of using a little chicken broth. Oh and I didn't use the butter, not sure why I would need that. But yes I got this off the internet, with the changes I tought it was very good. If you do the whole roast chicken, kc, what I did is I really slathered it good in veg oil first, then really poured on the spices. Thick. Where you think, OH that's got to be wrong, trust me, you will love the contrast, and it makes the skin so crispy, the chicken was so moist I think it might of acted as a seal!
                                          here's the link.http://www.grouprecipes.com/sr/16366/...

                                          1. re: chef chicklet

                                            Yum, yeah, someone sent me the avacado sauce last year and made it a few times with quesadillas but I looked and too many were the same. No idea where they got it from. I used the butter once, but not since, just some pam sprayed so it didn't stick. I'm sure you could just add the cream and nuke slow to warm it up too. I've got to try the whole chick. I just used breasts cuz I had them. But the whole chick sounds really good. thx

                                            1. re: kchurchill5

                                              Not sure why you think it would stick, or maybe because I added the broth and warmed it gently my consistency was looser. No butter or oil was needed, but then as usual I didn't go strictly by the recipe. It's a gorgeous sauce, almost hollandaise like.

                                              1. re: chef chicklet

                                                It may have been something on my pan, the first batch stuck a bit, so I sprayed a little pam the next time. Could of been just a fluke.