Thank goodness, it’s Sunday. Sunday in the fall can only mean one thing – roast chicken! Golden, beautiful and just screaming of childhood memories. Many a Sunday we came home from Mass and sat down to a late afternoon supper of roasted chicken. The house was warm and filled with family. Cousins, aunts and uncles. People we weren’t really related to but called family anyway.
I can remember my cousins and I cutting up golf balls to add to our pot of bark soup while we waited for the chicken to roast. What’s that you say? What’s bark soup? A big pot of water with wood bark, grass clippings and dirt from the yard, with whatever else might look like pretend food. Stir the pot, serve it up but only pretend to eat it. I guess I’ve been cooking for as long as I can remember.
When I was a little girl, my father built a one-room playhouse in the back yard. It was about the size of a small bedroom, with an opening for the doorway (without the door) and two large frames for the windows (without any glass). There was room enough for a couple of cots for beds and a table with four chairs. When the girls had control, it was a mountain cabin or house on the beach. When the boys took over, they threw out the cots and table, arrange the chairs side-by-side and nailed cardboard over the windows. It was a rocket ship, and they were going to the moon.
Whatever happened to children using imagination rather than video games to be entertained? For that matter, whatever happened to playing outdoors? Too cold? Put on a coat! Too hot? Run through the lawn sprinklers or head for the nearest creek. How I wish children could be children again. How I wish I could be a child again!
Roasted Herb Chicken and Potatoes
1 Roasting Chicken (6 lbs)
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste
2 teaspoons dried oregano, divided
4 baking potatoes, peeled and quartered
1/4 cup Butter, melted
3 tablespoons lemon juice
3/4 cup Chicken Stock
1 Lemon, cut into wedges for garnish
1 bunch Curly Parsley for garnish
1 bunch fresh Oregano for garnish
Heat oven to 350 degrees.
Rinse chicken inside and out with cold water. Pat dry. Place chicken, breast side up, on a rack in a shallow roasting pan. Season chicken with salt, pepper and half of the dried oregano.
Peel and cut baking potato. Arrange potatoes around chicken. Season with more salt, pepper and remaining oregano.
Melt butter in a small bowl in the microwave. Mix lemon juice with the melted butter, then pour over the chicken and potatoes. Add the chicken stock to the roasting pan.
Bake, uncovered, 2 to 2 1/2 hours, or until thermometer inserted in the thigh reads 180 degrees. Baste chicken every 20 minutes with pan drippings as it roasts.
Remove chicken from oven; tent with foil and let stand 15 minutes.
Arrange chicken on a large carving platter. Arrange potatoes at one end, lemon wedges at the other.
Tuck parsley and oregano around the platter for a splash of leafy color.
Carve at the table for a dramatic presentation.
Vegetable Suggestion: Matchstick Carrots