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Dec 1, 2013 04:34 AM

December 2013 Cookbook of the Month, ALL ABOUT ROASTING by Molly Stevens: Chicken & Poultry

Please use this thread to report on the following chapters from ALL ABOUT ROASTING by Molly Stevens

Chicken & Poultry, pages 251-375

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  1. Basic (Roast Turkey) with Gravy, pg. 338

    We used our own preferred method for the turkey itself, but always open to new gravy recipes we gave MS's version a whirl, and were very pleased with the results.

    First make a very rich turkey broth--5 lbs of necks, roasted for an hour, are transferred to a stockpot, de-glaze the roasting pan with 2 cups water, add to stockpot, add reserved giblets, less liver, add enough water to cover--about 8 cups--bring to a boil, skim, and add a carrot,an onion, a celery stalk, bay leaf, salt & peppercorns, simmer for three hours. Strain and refrigerate.

    This really makes a lovely broth, as it should with a 5+ lbs meat to 10 C water ratio. Although we both love liver, I do think MS is right, leaving it out of the stock makes for a much smoother flavor profile and clearer stock.

    When the turkey comes out of the oven, remove the bird from the pan, and pour the drippings into a measuring cup (we use a separator). Reserve some of the fat from the drippings to make the roux. Meanwhile de-glaze the roasting pan with brandy or wine, and then add back the de-greased drippings and some of the stock to the roasting pan. in another pan make a roux with reserved fat and flour, add in the liquid from the roasting pan, and an additional 3 cups of warmed stock. All in all one of the best turkey gravies we've ever made--rich yet smooth and plenty flavorful.

    1. Basic Roasted Cornish Game Hens
      page 330

      the recipe is simple and clearly written
      there is interesting note on page 332 on Some Colorful Cornish Game Hen History (and Shopping Note)

      1. Ginger Roast Chicken and Elbow Macaroni with Tomatoes and Pan Sauce, page 283

        My first recipe from this book and my first COTM report in a long, long time and I have to say...I'm crushed. My husband gave this dish a 3 out of 10. :(

        Basically, you rub a slurry of grated ginger, olive oil, salt (and maybe pepper, can't remember), under the skin of the breast and thighs. Rub it all over with olive oil, S&P and let it infuse for a minimum of 2 hours. (I did the minimum.) Squeeze the juice of one lemon all over, then pop it in the oven breast up, legs to the back.

        After (I think) 25 minutes, pour some dry white wine over the chicken.

        In the meantime, cook some macaroni noodles to al dente. And cook up some fresh grated ginger, minced garlic and a pinch of salt until fragrant, then add a can of tomatoes (you can also use fresh, but it's not a good time of year here for that) then simmer until it reduces some and a couple of bits caramelize.

        Pour the tomato sauce into the noodles. When the chicken is done, pick it up with tongs and tip it so that the juices pour into the roasting pan. Carve the chicken (after proper resting of course), capturing the juices. Put all of the pan and carving juices into the macaroni.

        What I forgot: at the end, you're suppose to add from fresh basil or parsley. I forgot it, even though I had it. :( Also, you're supposed to roast the giblets along with the bird, but mine seemed to be all liver, which she said to discard.

        The other thing I did was put the chicken and pasta in the fridge overnight (I cooked this last night), then heated it up in the microwave for dinner tonight.

        It was utterly ordinary. Maybe I lost something valuable by not serving it directly out of the oven. I can't imagine the missing parsley was the crucial factor, but I suppose it could have been. Even the giblets didn't seem to be mandatory: in the recipe she called for a whole chicken "preferably" with giblets.

        It wasn't awful by any means, but I probably won't repeat it. I mean, all of the drippings, a glass of wine, a tablespoon+ of ginger, and the juice of a lemon went into it, how could it not be amazing? But, it just wasn't. :'( My husband, who is kind of an ingredient savant, couldn't even detect a hint of ginger in the dish.

        Would be interested in hearing from someone who serves this hot out of the oven and remembers the fresh herbs. I could have let the chicken sit longer, but I did do at least the minimum and I could have done the giblets, but that wasn't strictly required. The only two violations were that I forgot the herbs and I waited until the next day to serve it.

        Sorry, no pics. It was perfectly lovely.


        10 Replies
        1. re: The Dairy Queen

          Oh man, sorry to hear this. Could *you* taste the ginger in it? I'm with you - can't imagine the lack of parsley would be a deal breaker. I looked at this recipe and remembered how for me, tomatoes and ginger somehow don't meld, so I decided not to put it on my list. Still and all, I too would like to hear how it works for others.

          1. re: LulusMom

            Only if I ate the skin of the chicken specifically could I taste the ginger. There was a very subtle heat, if I could describe it that way, to the macaroni.

            I'm beginning to wonder if I didn't use a good enough quality chicken. I used an Amish-raised chicken, which seems like a good choice, but maybe I needed a different chicken? Or, now that I think about it, maybe my chicken was too big and for the size of the chicken I should have increased the amount of ginger? Gosh, I don't know. That's why I'm curious to see how someone else fares with this dish.


          2. re: The Dairy Queen

            Oh, that's too bad! I was interested in this one also. I still may try it, though not this week as we're still working our way through our turkey leftovers.

            1. re: Westminstress

              I would love a second opinion on this one!


            2. re: The Dairy Queen

              Sorry to hear this was a disappointment, TDQ. I have this one flagged as anything with elbow macaroni can't be too much of a fail for my kids. I will be sure to report back if I make it. Any advice on how to tweak? I might try with thighs instead of a whole chicken since we are a dark meat family.

              1. re: greeneggsnham

                I'm sure chicken thighs would be good. I, too, love chicken thighs. It could be quite the production to get the ginger slurry under the skins, though. Maybe let it rest with the ginger slurry longer than the 2 hour minimum? And don't forget the parsley!

                I'm not saying it was an awful dish, but it was way, way oversold in the head notes.

                ""This is what I call a sleeper recipe. At first glance it doesn’t look like much — a whole chicken rubbed with a little fresh ginger, roasted, and served alongside elbow macaroni tossed with diced tomatoes and the roasting juices. Exactly what makes this dish so remarkable is hard to pinpoint, but there’s a wonderful alchemy that occurs when the chicken, ginger, and tomato all come together. It’s comforting, a little exotic, and truly delicious. "

                To me, it was a pretty ordinary chicken and pasta dish. Fine, but not "remarkable" or "exotic". No "alchemy" of any kind. I was expecting something where the sum of the parts were greater than the whole.


                1. re: The Dairy Queen

                  The head notes are pretty effusive, huh? That's part of what drew me to the dish. I ended up going with a different recipe for my chicken thighs (reviewed below) but I am still planning on trying this one. I will probably leave the ginger slurry on overnight, as you suggest. We'll see if that makes a difference.

              2. re: The Dairy Queen

                Ginger Roast Chicken and Elbow Macaroni with Tomatoes and Pan Sauce, page 283

                So, I finally made this and while not as disappointing as TDQ's experience, it didn't knock my socks off either. I used 3 lbs bone-in, skin on thighs instead of a whole chicken and I did the ginger paste the night before, so it was marinating for 20 hours or so.

                My thighs produced a tremendous amount of drippings, particularly when supplemented with the wine. Adding all this chickeny goodness to the tomato sauce made the tomato sauce the star of the show. I am not typically a big fan of the ginger-tomato combo, but the tomatoes with ginger, garlic, wine and chicken drippings did make a really delicious sauce for the noodles.

                Unfortunately, the chicken itself did not absorb much ginger flavor and did not seem to mesh particularly well with the noodles and sauce. The chicken wasn't bad, but it just seemed like roasted chicken thighs. And to me roast chicken and noodles with tomato sauce are not necessarily a natural pairing.

                I served this with blasted broccoli, which made a nice pairing. Oh, and looking at TDQ's post above, I realize i forgot the herbs as well. So it is still possible, that that's the key to the dish's alchemy!

                In the end, glad I tried it, but probably won't repeat it. I may however supplement tomato sauce with chicken dripping again if I happen to be doing both roast chicken and tomato sauce at the same time.

                1. re: greeneggsnham

                  Thanks for taking one for the team! This one is now officially off my list.....

                  1. re: greeneggsnham

                    Aw, too bad. I wished it had been better for you. Oh well, at least I know it isn't "me."


                2. Roasted Chicken Pieces with Apricots, Olives, and Orange

                  I don't have the book but used the recipe from this website provided by BigSal (thank you!)
                  Chicken pieces marinate in red wine vinegar, honey, olive oil, paprika, oregano, orange zest, orange slices, green olives, black olives, s&p. Then roast the whole lot.

                  We have a winner! This recipe was delicious. The orange slices release their juices during the roasting so it has a great citrusy taste and smell. The dried apricots plump up from the juices. The chicken was tender from the marinade (I did 7 hours, you can do up to 24). The only change I made was to use green olives that were stuffed with garlic. The recipe did not call for any garlic but I thought it would be good with a savory/sweet dish - and it was.
                  Also, be aware that it really takes more than an hour to roast at 375 degrees (recipe said 40-45 minutes which was not sufficient for my oven).
                  I served with Brussels sprout recipe from Molly Stevens - also very good (I will write up in vegetable thread) - and couscous.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: foodcompletesme

                    Roasted Chicken Pieces w Apricots, Olives, Orange, Pg.304

                    "We have a winner!", to quote Foodcompletesme, and we agree. We used 4 whole legs that we separated into drums and thighs, included the hot paprika in the marinade along with a mix of picholine and Kalamata olives, everything else as written. The chicken marinated for 24 hours and was absolutely delicious when finished roasting. If I recall correctly, I think the total time for roasting was 45-50 minutes to produce tender juicy chicken with crisp skin, the meat infused with the luscious marinade.

                    The picture in the link above shows more sauce than we had, plus our apricots didn't look as raw, if you will, as those pictured. We used organic dried Turkish apricots from Trader Joe's. Nevertheless, the finished dish was wonderful. We also served steamed Jasmine rice, and Roasted Brussels Sprouts from the book.

                    1. re: foodcompletesme

                      Roasted Chicken Pieces with Apricots, Olives, and Orange, p. 304

                      This was a nice twist on the typical North African flavors, with the sweet/sour of the vinegar and honey, plus oregano and smoked paprika (as Stevens suggests). I enjoyed effect of the roasted oranges and their juices mingled with the marinade and juices of the roasted chicken, and I love the marinating of the oranges, olives, and apricots with the chicken - definitely enhanced the whole. My four thighs were done in the time indicated, by my oven is convection and fast generally. Served on a bed of baby spinach, drizzled with the modest pan juices.

                    2. Green Salad with A Vinaigrette Made from Pan Drippings, 268

                      This is the salad that is served with the Basic Roast Chicken recipe on page 263. It makes a good all-purpose dressing as well. I served it with MS's Basic Roast Sausages, page 248. The greens mix I used was romaine, red leaf, and bibb lettuces. Chopped vine tomatoes and steamed cauliflower were in the salad too. The vinaigrette consists of: minced shallots, red wine vinegar, Dijon mustard, S & P, and pan drippings but I used the optional EVOO. I put all the ingredients into a jar, covered it tightly and shook the jar till everything was emulsified. I find this works much better than whisking.

                      This is a fine vinaigrette. The shallots and Dijon combine beautifully with red wine vinegar giving the salad a pleasant mellow tang. Since we like salads I will use it frequently this month. I prefer to make all the little accompaniments to a main dish directly from the current. COTM if possible.