Don’t you often stare at those chicken breasts in your fridge or freezer and think what can I do with those today and in a hurry!? I know I do.
So what do I do?!? I skip the chicken breasts and go right to the whole bird! I know some of you are thinking, what am I going to do with a whole chicken?!?! Roasting a chicken is quick and easy and you can get several meals out of it depending on the size of your family and the size of the chicken. Next you are thinking…that takes soooo long!! Roasting a chicken does not have to be the 3 hour slow roast process your mom use to do. Thanks to Ina Garten and her Barefoot in Paris cookbook I roast a chicken in just over an hour.
Last night I timed myself. It took me 5 minutes to prep the chicken to go in the oven. After 5 minutes I was free to do what ever I wanted for the next hour or so. I had 4 pound chicken. I sprinkled it with a little Kosher salt and fresh pepper inside and out and stuffed the cavity with 2 cut up lemons. The chicken was sitting on big slices of sweet onion in the pan and I poured some melted butter over the top of the chicken. Into the oven it went! You can get fancier and do rubs under the skin or roast in on a beer can on the grill. There are many ways!
The key is to find the time IN ADVANCE to roast the chicken. It requires planning. Once you have the chicken you can carve it up and serve it different ways. I happened to have a few extra minutes before swim team so I cut up a loaf of Italian bread into large cubes and make my own “croutons”. These too can be made in advance and put in a ziploc bag. When the chicken is just out of the oven and the bread cubes are still warm, placing the chicken pieces on the cubes and drizzling some of those pan juices over it all is the best!!
Last night I did not have time for that. They went on the plate next to the chicken as each person needed to eat.
At the same time I took 2 Zucchini and cut them into rounds and halves. I steamed them for 5-7 minutes. Sprinkled with just salt and pepper and that was it! There are a ton of veggie recipes that you can do fancy dressings or add things to the veggies. When you are in a hurry you don’t have time for that. Cutting and steaming took less than 10 minutes.
If you have roasted the chicken in advance you have lots of time to work with. It can be served, warm, cold, at the table, on the baseball field, in the car, etc. If your child can eat Chick-fil-a in the car or on the pool deck they can eat roasted chicken pieces. People take Fried chicken on picnics! This is no different. It’s homemade and its healthy.
Yes, yes, yes….”I am a busy working mom and I have no time for that roasting process.” Fair enough. Why do you think every grocery store has a Rotisserie chicken section now?!? If you are going through the drive thru you can go through the grocery store. Pull up and send your 10 year old in with $10. Send in $15 and grab a bag of baby carrots as well. They were learn some life skills to boot. I like Whole Foods because I know its organic and not injected with a lot of stuff. $10 for a chicken!?!? Add up what you are spending in that Chick-fil-a drive through for your family of 4 or more and see just how much you are spending.
You just might have some left over for another meal or for a little chicken salad for yourself.
Roasted chickens that is where it is at!