Sunday, June 7, 2009

All limed out.

I may have failed to mention in yesterday's post that it was the Second Annual Caipirinha Saturday. Not an actual event, but whatever. It was the second time that a ton of caipirinhas were made and consumed on a summer Saturday. After our run and lunch, Jamie, running buddy and I sat in the apartment, made some caipirinhas and watched random tv. Sometimes it just happens. Love it.

Needless to say, I wasn't feeling 100% this morning (but not hungover!) and planning this week's dinner menu was tough...especially since I needed to find dinners that used up the 6 or so limes we have leftover. Yeeh. Hopefully you enjoy this week's experiments!

For those on Foodbuzz, I mentioned my urge to roast a chicken while sitting poolside yesterday afternoon. CLEARLY there was not going to be roasting of any sort happening on Caipirinha Saturday! What was I thinking?? Since we had the chicken, and a stick of butter sitting out, I decided to do the chicken for tonight's dinner!

I went with my standard roast chicken/turkey approach (that I've never really written down) and it got two thumbs up from taste tester Jamie :)

Here are the ingredients for my herb butter:
Btw, the 'Roasting Blend' was 2 sprigs of rosemary, 1 sprig of parsley and a TON of thyme. WTF??

The stuff I like to shove inside the bird (lemon, garlic, onion, herbs from the herb pack):
That green rubber band is this nifty thing I found at Bed Bath and Beyond the first year I made a turkey. I can't truss a chicken or turkey to save my life so when I found these I was so excited. They're made out of oven-safe stuff (sorry, I've tossed the packaging and can't seem to find them online!) and they stretch out enough so you can keep the wings AND legs snug. GENIUS!

And here's my chicken after it's butter bath, ready to go in the oven!

Simple Roast Chicken
4-5 lb chicken, rinsed and patted dry
1 stick butter, at room temperature
2 cloves garlic
1 sprig rosemary
1 sprig thyme
1 tsp white vinegar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
1/2 lemon, cut into quarters
1/2 onion, unpeeled, cut into quarters
5 cloves garlic, unpeeled, cut in half crosswise
handful of fresh thyme, rosemary and parsley

Preheat oven to 425. In a food processor, combine butter, garlic, rosemary, thyme, vinegar, salt and pepper. Set aside.

Stuff cavity of chicken with lemon, onion, garlic and herbs. Take butter mixture and rub underneath the skin of the chicken. Truss the chicken (or just tie the legs together with the band I mentioned above) and rub any remaining butter mixture all over the chicken. Place on a rack in a roasting pan, breast side down. Pour some water into the bottom of the roasting pan (just enough to cover the bottom) and cook for 45 minutes at 425.

After 45 minutes, drop the temperature down to 350 and cook for another hour. Let sit before carving.

To supplement the chicken, I made a
Warm Israeli Couscous Salad and some of my favorite mixed greens with a Dijon Vinaigrette.

Here's a blurry picture of the ingredients pre-couscous - I'm adding this b/c my recipe doesn't have exact measurements so I'm hoping this helps?

And with the couscous and balsamic onions all mixed in:

Warm Israeli Couscous Salad
1 c Israeli couscous
1 c water or chicken broth
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 onion, thinly sliced
1 tsp balsamic vinegar
1 roasted red pepper, julienned
handful of basil, chopped
4 artichoke hearts, quartered
handful of kalamata olives, coarsly chopped
1/4 c sundried tomatoes in olive oil, julienned
2 tbsp parrano cheese, grated
freshly ground black pepper

Heat olive oil in a saucepan and saute onions until translucent. Add balsamic vinegar and cook for another 3 minutes. Add couscous, stir and cook for 1 minute. Add water or broth and bring to a boil. Lower heat, cover and cook for 12 minutes.

Combine remaining ingredients in a large bowl. Once couscous and onion mixture is done cooking, immediately add to the bowl of vegetables and stir. Serve immediately.

For the salad, I pulled a bag of my favorite bagged salad at the Giant:
And mixed up my safety dressing (I like to dump everything into these mini tupperwares so I can shake and go):

Dijon Vinaigrette
juice of 1/2 lemon
1 tsp dijon mustard
1 tsp maple syrup
1 tsp olive oil
pinch salt
pinch pepper
pinch tarragon

Again, I don't really measure for stuff like this so I did my best at guessing!

I'm usually not a skin person, but the skin looked SO crispy and delicious on this bird that I just HAD to sample a piece. Jamie's plate was a better representation of the golden stuff since he prefers the dark meat.

I also made myself one of these:
Nooo, it's not booze :p It's my favorite bubbly drink! Raspberry Lime Sparkling Water with Light Cranberry Raspberry Juice. Actually, it doesn't have to always be those flavors...I really just love sparkling water period. I used to think it tasted funny, but in recent years it's become one of my favorite things to drink!

Not to toot my own horn, but I think I made a pretty awesome Sunday dinner! Ok, I'm off to watch some more Spain: On the Road Again!


Janice Soriano said...

The chicken and couscous looks delicious!

Karena said...

Thanks! I think it might be my best chicken roasting attempt to date (mostly b/c I've never gotten such an awesome color on the skin)!

Anonymous said...

I'm going to have to try that couscous recipe. My boyfriend made some out of a box yesterday and it was horrific. Yours looks healthier. Also, that drink looks delicious!

Karena said...

Oh no to the bad couscous! My favorite boxed couscous is the Marrakesh Express Mango Salsa (which I just found out as I googled, is made by the folks at Hormel...who knew?)
It's fast and goes well with a lot of summery grilled dishes - it's a little sweet and spicy!

I might be a little obsessed with Israeli couscous...I think it's a fun alternative to pasta and a nice change in texture from regular couscous. It totally holds it's own with chunky veggies :)