Sunday, August 24, 2008

Rotissere Chicken

Well, this is what we had for dinner. I have to say, we have become addicted to this chicken recipe. I grew my own fresh herbs this summer, sage, thyme, rosemary, lemon balm, oregano, basil, peppermint, chives and lavender. One day, we decided to roast a chicken and I suggested to Dave that we put the spices in between the skin and the meat. It turned out fantastic and we have been making it this way ever since. I hope you all enjoy this!!! I know we do.

1 6 – 7 lb roaster (chicken)
1 bunch fresh sage
1 - 2 stalks fresh rosemary
1 - 2 stems fresh oregano
1 – 2 stems fresh thyme
1 bunch fresh parsley
1 stem fresh basil
pepper, salt and paprika

First, try to equally separate the spices so that you will have an equal amount for the breast and the stomach (instructions will follow). To prepare the chicken for roasting, remove the innards from the stomach of the roaster. First, wash the chicken inside and out. Massage the salt and pepper on the inside (stomach) of the chicken. Then, carefully, separate the skin from the breast of the chicken by working your fingers underneath the skin. The first bunch of spices, will be placed in between the skin and the breast of the chicken. If you can, work some of the spices underneath the thigh as well. With the remaining herbs, stuff the stomach of the chicken for the aroma. You can either rotisserie the chicken on the grill, or you can bake using the instructions that are on the packaging of the roaster. However, this recipe is going to use the grill. Tie up the legs of the chicken with cotton string and make several rotations of the string on the chicken in order to prevent the legs and the wings from flapping away. Insert the skewer length wise through the bird and secure on the grill. Salt and pepper the outside of the bird and sprinkle paprika on the entire outside of the chicken (it is easier to do this one you have put the bird on the skewer). Rotisserie on 275 degrees for approximately 2 hours to 2 ½ hours with the recommended internal temperature reaching 180 degrees.

With the carcass of the bird, we then make chicken stock by throwing ALL leftovers (not the meat, but do use skin, livers, etc), with additional herbs, cover with water and let simmer for 3 -4 hours. Strain and freeze. Makes fantastic chicken stock.

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

Yes, I know I said healthy, but even I know, every once in a while, you need to eat something sweet and gooey and just plain yummy!! We have a rhubarb plant in our back yard. Each year, after we harvest the rhubarb, we make a pie. This was Dave's recipe, but you know, you could substiute your favorite fruit...peaches, blueberries, raspberries, nectarines, whatever is your favorite. For the diabetics, instead of the sugar, use a sugar substitute, like Splenda. It is all about substituting to make it fit your specific dietary needs. For those of you who don't want to go through the time it takes to clean and cut up your fruit, use frozen. I am one to actually go strawberry picking and then clean and cut up the fruit for the pie. :o)

4 cups chopped rhubarb
2 cups sliced strawberries
1 1/3 cups granulated sugar
¼ cup cornstarch
1 tbsp lemon juice
¼ tsp cinnamon
pastry for 9 inch double crust pie
1 egg beaten

In bowl combine first 6 ingredients. On lightly floured surface roll out ½ of the pastry and line pie plate. Spoon in filling. Brush pastry rim with egg. Roll out top pastry. Use fork to secure edges. Trim and flute edge. Brush with egg. Bake on a baking sheet at 425 degrees for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 375 degrees and bake 50-60 minutes.