August 20, 2010

Roast Chicken, Carrots and Potatoes With Rosemary 香草燒雞及甘筍薯仔

Yesterday, something got me worried at work.

A.K., a colleague of mine whom I’ve barely known for about 5 months, has sworn me with her professionalism, mature thinking, independent personality, and life experiences. I always bring my lunch to work, while she often has take-outs and spends her lunch break with me. We enjoy exchanging views about so many things, be it work-related, family and friends, or sometimes, cultures and foods. (Ah, still can’t run away from food! *LOL*) I guess what first tied us together was our experience as a college student abroad. Of course, she’s a few years more senior than I am. I’ve got so much to learn from her.

Orchid & Kumquat

We started out from the same college locally before getting transferred to another university overseas. A.K. ended up in England, where she met her husband and that changed her life forever. I wound up in the U.S., where my life was changed forever. From her, I got to know that in England, trying fish and chips, as well as eating Yorkshire pudding together with beef roast and gravy are a must. I remember when I was putting up an article on pancakes, I kept bugging her with my questions on Yorkshire pudding simply because I haven’t tried that myself. Haha!

I didn’t get to see A.K. at the start of the week, which got me wondering how she’d been. Yesterday morning, she came back – but with a pale and slightly bloated face, and a frail body. I immediately had a shiver when she told me that she’s lost 20 percent of control over the right side of her face. A viral infection is suspected, but that’s yet to confirm. I feel so awful about what she’s going through. What’s making me worried even more is that she’s expecting a baby, and I know that’s not going to be easy on her. These days, she seems tired and vulnerable. Definitely not the A.K. I saw when we first knew each other. Life is SO unpredictable! *Sigh*

After a brief conversation, we parted for our own desks and started working again. I suppose A.K. felt even worse after that. I watched her left work not too long thereafter. I thought I could talk to her during lunch break yesterday. Alas, that never happened. How I wish I could chat with her to cheer her up, like how she’s done to me occasionally when I’m down and tired. Looking on the bright side, the zombie me was elated to see her back with a smile on her face today. Glad to hear that she’s feeling better physically and emotionally. I hope better things are coming her way. Entering motherhood does sound exciting and yet challenging!

Compared to her days abroad, A.K. doesn’t really cook now. She’d told me once her greatest feat in the kitchen – back then – was making a successful roast for a Christmas dinner. Feeling very curious and motivated, I too made my first roast because of her.

I asked myself, “Why haven’t you tried making roast!?” Because I almost always got pampered by my dearest American family back in the States. There was always roast chicken, roast goat’s meat or roast ham, with oodles of potatoes and carrots ladled with warm gravy atop. What a comfort food that I miss dearly.


On one Saturday afternoon last month, after gathering all the ingredients, I began preparing for dinner. (Well, I contributed only two dishes, namely, the roast chicken and cream of mushrooms. I’ll blog about the latter sometime soon.) See, I love cutting and chopping up stuff except onions. Luckily, no one is around me when I shed tears. Tsk, tsk!

As I learn to cook and bake along, I’ve come to realize I can sometimes be crazy unpredictable. Carrots and potatoes weren’t in my plan until I saw a few of them lying on the counter. Recalling what my American mom and sisters would do to their roast, I only came to knew later on that I should have covered the whole pan of chicken and veggies with aluminum foil for the first hour of baking! (The bird was humongous for my 8x8-inch pan to be covered with a lid. Plus, my oven is pretty small compared to the one I had in the States.) The juice of the chicken at the bottom of the pan didn’t help with moistening the veggies either. *Sob* You know, the veggies turned out a tad dry and crisp! At least that was what my baby brother said. *Slap myself*

Roast Chicken With Carrots and Potatoes

The lazy Pei-Lin also relinquished the idea of thickening the "meat juice" with cornstarch, which is what my American family would do to theirs. With my American family, a big portion of the roast potatoes are sometimes churned into mashed potatoes, to which the gravy is then ladled over to serve. Yummy!

Besides devouring the fruits of your labor, I suppose for any home cooks and bakers, the best part is to see your loved ones enjoying what you’ve made for them. I have a conservative Chinese dad and younger brothers whose taste buds just aren’t that adventurous. Oftentimes, what I’ve made doesn’t really agree with their palates. But on that Saturday evening, these words of theirs are forever etched in my brain, “哇,妳整d雞仲唔錯喔…唔會老又幾入味!” (In spoken Cantonese: “Wow, the chicken you made isn’t too shabby … not rubbery in texture but flavorful!”)

*Grinning*

Roast Chicken With Carrots and Potatoes

Roast Chicken, Carrots and Potatoes With Rosemary 香草燒雞及甘筍薯仔
Adapted from "I Love Baking," by Emily Wong   改自《香噴噴烤焗料理》。Emily Wong 著

* When it comes to cooking (though this particular one requires roasting in the oven), I almost always execute my cooking escapades by eyeballing everything. *

1 whole large chicken -- rinsed to wash thoroughly, then pat dry really well OR simply invert the bird so that its cavity faced down and let it drain away in a large colander, which was what I did
* Dang, I forgot to jot down how much it weighed! I was too excited! *

(A)
4~5 long sprigs of fresh rosemary -- remove the leaves and reserve, discard the stems
2 medium-sized onions / 5 shallots -- minced
* I used red onions. No wonder they made me cry so bad. *
4 whole garlic -- peeled and minced
* WHOLE -- NOT cloves of garlic. *
4~6 Tbsp olive oil
2.5~4 tsp salt, or to taste
Freshly ground black pepper -- to taste
Ground paprika -- to taste but optional

1 lemon -- washed, pat dry and cut into halves

(B)
Enough carrots -- have them peeled, washed and cut into large chunks prior to baking
* Forgot how many carrots I used there. Honestly, this doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out. *
Enough potatoes -- have them peeled, washed and cut into large chunks prior to baking
* Forgot how many potatoes I used there. Honestly, this doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out. *

(C)
Salt -- to taste
Freshly ground black pepper -- to taste
Enough sprig(s) of fresh rosemary -- to taste; remove the leaves and reserve, discard the stem(s); optional, though

(D)
Enough honey
A little bit of light soy sauce 生抽 -- to taste
* Optional if you like a sweet glaze. But, my fussy family doesn't. *
  1. Combine (A) together for marinade. Then, rub the inside and outside of the bird really well with the marinade. Place the lemon halves into the bird's cavity; place the marinade-smeared chicken in the baking/roasting pan that you're planning on using later for baking. Next, cover with a sheet of cling wrap and let it marinate for at least 4 hours or overnight in the fridge.
    * I marinated mine for 4 hours in room temperature. *
    * I don't know why I always chuckle whenever I do the above. It's awkward I suppose. Haha! *
  2. If you did marinate the chicken in the fridge, remove it from the fridge and let it sit at room temperature for 10 minutes or so just to warm it up slightly. Brush off any solids from the marinade, e.g. rosemary and minced onions, from the surface of the bird to avoid burning.
  3. Season (B) with (C), then arrange the seasoned veggies in the roasting pan. (Just stuff them in any corner available. Of course, don't crowd the whole pan!) Now, cover the whole pan with a large sheet of aluminum foil -- making sure that the foil clings onto the pan pretty well.
  4. Bake the whole deal at 180°C for 1 hour or till the chicken and both the veggies are done. To know when they are done, remove the foil:

    • For the bird, just stick a knife or skewer in any part of the chicken that comes with the most flesh, and when juices run clear, the bird is fully cooked!
    • For the potatoes and carrots, just stick a knife or skewer in them, and they're done when they can be poked through easily.
  5. Now, for the glaze, combine (D) together and glaze the chicken with it. Return the bird to the oven, without the foil on, and bake it at 180°C for another 10 minutes or till the skin has crisped up and to give it that sheen.
  6. Remove the bird from the oven and set it aside for 5~10 minutes to let the juice of the meat permeate evenly before carving/chopping to serve.
Roast Chicken With Carrots and Potatoes
The remnants of the bird, after dinner. For five small eaters, this ain't bad!

40 comments:

jess @ j3ss kitch3n said...

nice chicken pei-lin, i always wanted to roast one on my own but always shrug it away due to my laziness haha must have been delicious!

Swee San said...

Oh dear, I hope your colleague gets better and doesn't affect her baby. Catch up soon k, miss busy!

wendyywy @ Table for 2..... or more said...

Gosh.. I really hope AK gets well soon.
Hey, I thought roasts are done breast side up??? I roasted 2 whole legs with some fresh fennel and butternut squash, but there was so much gravy at the base, it was more than enough to be served with rice. Wonder why yours is dry.

But mine was only marinated for 1 hour...but I look at angmoh roast chicken on TV, they don't let the skin dry out leh. Could that be the reason?

Angie's Recipes said...

The chicken looks so flavourful and tender!
I hope your friend recovers soon.
Angie

Su-yin said...

Eeeep, sounds like Bell's palsy. Hope she recovers soon!

I love roast chicken, it's one of my favourite things to cook. I suspect it's because I get lots of leftovers and get to pick at the carcass. I've never roasted chicken with rosemary, funnily enough. Will have to try it next time.

Cooking Gallery said...

I never made any roasted poultry until a few years back when I came to Germany to 'settle down'. My favourite German roast is duck with red cabbade and potato dumplings - I learned to make it from my MIL and she also told me to use some kind of flour to thicken the roast drippings (she normally uses normal flour though). Your roast chicken looks great!

Jess @ Bakericious said...

Pei Lin, so sad to hear wat is AK going thru, really pray for her to get better soon.

I am drooling over your chicken and thanks for reminding me how long I didnt roast a chicken for my family, dunno whether they miss it or not :P.

ICook4Fun said...

What a coincidence. We too had roast chicken last night for dinner. We actually will have this type of dinner once every 2 weeks. I just love the color of your roast. So nicely brown and pretty.

Jessie Hearty Bakes said...

Hi peilin, hope your friend is on her way to recovery. I feels the same sentiment of life. Had an encounter days ago which i probably share in my upcoming post.
On a cheery note, i love your bake chicken. I dislike the mess to grill chicken in oven. This method works so much better! Will try out when i grab some rose mary too.
The meat looks tender and juicy.

Kitchen Corner said...

Very nice oven baked chicken. It must have full of flavor and delicious! II think it would be nice without gravy too!

faithy, the baker said...

Looks delicious!! I love roast chicken..it's always the most yummy when it's hot fresh from oven. The only thing i don't like to roast anything meat in my oven is i need to clean it thoroughly after use..very oily..arggh.. i'm very particular about clean oven and stove..lol!

youfei said...

I wish that your friend AK recovers soon enough!

The skin must be the best part eh? The skin's all gone! Now you're making me drool, early in the morning -_-'''

Anncoo said...

Hi Pei Lin, Thanks for sharing this yummy roast chicken. Bookmarked!

Sonia (Nasi Lemak Lover) said...

I like to roast chicken with rosemary too, like the refreshing aroma.

Shirley @ Kokken69 said...

I do hope she will get well soon. I agree with you that life is unpredictable and vulnerable - always live life to the fullest. I have never cooked a whole chicken before - yours look very nicely browned...

noobcook said...

this is one of the best roast chicken I have seen. Love the glistening skin :p and wow 4 whole bulbs of garlic? that's a lot but I love garlic and to me, the more the merrier ^^

Marty said...

Hi Pei-Lin. Oh, the chicken looks really good! And the carcass will make a wonderful stock. Really appreciate your kind words at my blog.

Honey Bee Sweets said...

Goodness, I have not roast a bird for a good 4 years now. Looking at yours just brings back fond memories. Mine is usually quite dark in the skin colour.... I like mine extra crispy skin, heehee. Your left overs can be used for a good chicken pot pie, yum! By the way, hope you (and her baby) gets better soon! Miss u my friend!

Passionate About Baking said...

Gee, I really hope A.K. is feeling better and get to overcome her illness. You must encourage her and ask her to be more positive in life.
Woah! Your roast chicken looked so beautifully done! And that rosemary! I love everything and anything with rosemary! Hope I'll get an opportunity to try your cooking next time!

Pei-Lin@Dodol and Mochi said...

Thank you so much for dropping by and for the kind words! Have a splendid weekend!

@jess: I'm sure you'll have a roast chicken made, too, one day to feed your folks with ... Haha! You have such loving family and bf!

@Swee San: A.K. seemed to look cheerier at work yesterday. Too bad, I myself have TOO caught up with the ever-growing workload and deadlines ... =S ... We didn't get to talk at all yesterday ... Yea, going to spring clean my parents' new abode in a few min ... Take care! Will text/call/email you when I'm settled down ... Pinky promise!

@Wendy: I know, you'd been thru pregnancy before so you should be better able to comprehend her feelings than I do ... Life is so unpredictable ... 我心酸 when I saw her ended up like this with the other day. She even cried before going to work. On to the roast, got such rule meh? No, mine wasn't dry ... It was my fault that I totally didn't think of covering the veggies during the first hour of baking. So, the veggies got dried out. In fact, we had lots of "meat juice" with that roast shown here. If only my lazy bone didn't take over me, I'd have turned the "juice" into gravy. Oh, the recipe author actually recommended overnight marination. I only marinated mine for 4 hours ... This particular recipe is supposed to make a roast chicken with crisp skin. My American mom and sis don't crisp up the bird's skin for their roast. Aiya, want to crisp up the skin only is it ... Just glaze it with honey and bake it uncovered again for a lil' longer 唔係搞定囖! Will reply your email when I'm done with my chores this weekend ... Pardon me when I'm becoming as slow as a nenek lately ... Can't wait for the Tahitian babies coming!!!

Pei-Lin@Dodol and Mochi said...

Thank you so much for dropping by and for the kind words! Have a splendid weekend!

@Angie: You're always so sweet! Thank you! I'll let A.K. know of your kind concerns! =)

@Su-yin: Bell's palsy!? I'll look into that, never encountered such term before. I'm not a medical student/practitioner to start with. Haha! Will raise this to A.K. too. Thank you, gal! Yea, we can get so creative with the leftovers ... You have to try rosemary in roasting chicken! It makes a whole lotta difference!

@Cooking Gallery: Yea, I suppose roast is omnipresent in the West. Haha! Never heard of German way of making a roast. Thank you! I almost always got fed with roast in the States. LOL! Regarding thickening stuff, my American mom and sis would sometimes thicken their gravy with plain flour too. Cornstarch is used most of the time though. I guess this is a matter of habit ... When I made my cream of mushrooms, I thickened mine with all-purpose flour only.

Pei-Lin@Dodol and Mochi said...

Thank you so much for dropping by and for the kind words! Have a splendid weekend!

@Jess: OK! Will relay your kind concerns to A.K. on Monday. Hope she's getting better ... Aiya, don't let your hubby and daughter see ar ... Otherwise, you're gonna be pestered into making a roast for them liao ... HAHAHA!

@Gert: Great minds think, cook and bake alike!! Roast is nice, isn't it! Simple comfort food!

@Jessie: I know, life is so unpredictable. Actually, I've been feeling a bit depressed lately ... Insomnia at times. *Sigh* I'll drop by yours to visit you whenever I have a moment here. No worries! We both stay strong! Oh, tell you what, mostly likely you're not gonna end up with extra fresh rosemary when you roast a huge chicken. So, don't worry too much about leftover. Blog about your roast whenever you've gotten down to make one yourself!

Pei-Lin@Dodol and Mochi said...

Thank you so much for dropping by and for the kind words! Have a splendid weekend!

@Grace F.: Bingo! The meat went well alone even without the "juice"/gravy as it was so flavorful!

@Faithy: YESH!!! I love the crisp skin the most! Haha! I think we have some commonality here: I have a little obsessive-compulsive behavior in some aspects ... Not everything in life though. Haha! I mess up my oven, but I clean it up afterward. Haha!

@Youfei: Thank you for the kind concerns! You're such a sweetheart leh ... =) ... Will let A.K. know of your words. Wakaka! Yup, skin is all gone ... Anyway, that was a backlog from July. Haha! We always give surprises to each other! Haha! Great minds think alike! You just threw me a stun bomb you know!

Pei-Lin@Dodol and Mochi said...

Thank you so much for dropping by and for the kind words! Have a splendid weekend!

@Anncoo: Hey, there! Yea, a roast is enough to feed a horde of hungry folks. For my family of five and a helper, more than enough. Lemme know how yours turns out! =D

@Sonia: YESH! Won't go wrong with rosemary in your roast. Lemon + rosemary = Better!

@Shirley: Yes, life is very unpredictable. Sometimes, on the good side while sometimes on the bad side. Agree, gotta live life to the fullest. Won't have regret later in life. I suppose you aren't gonna even roast a whole bird, you can't finish it!! LOL!

Pei-Lin@Dodol and Mochi said...

Thank you so much for dropping by and for the kind words! Have a splendid weekend!

@Wiffy: Thank you! HAHAHA! The more garlic, the merrier! YESH, but I don't like the bad breath thereafter. Haha!

@Marty: Thank you so much! Well, you're an experienced writer! With good culinary skills, too! Keep up with your column in The Star!

@Bee Bee: WHAT!!?? Four years!? @@ I love crisp skin too ... Hehehe ... Hope better things are coming our way instead. No, no. You should phrase it this way instead: Hope me and my friend's baby are feeling better ... I almost thought you meant my baby!! Goodness! LOL!

@Jane: Thank you for being so encouraging to me and my friend and her baby! Will do so, no worries. I can click with her pretty well. Actually, she was also one of the people who encourage positive thinking in me. When I first interviewed her for my write-up at work, she already told me she's a positive person (an optimist). She always tells me to think positively.

pigpigscorner said...

Hope she gets well soon! Dry and crisp? I like my veg like that =P

Allie said...

Delicious! I always wanted to roast a chicken on my own but backed out cos of all the preparation work. I'm a lazy cook :P.

Yours look extremely delicious though and I hope your colleague gets well soon :).

Jo said...

This looks like a really delicious roast chicken, great for Sunday lunch or dinner. Bet the rosemary make it so fragrant as well. Heh red onions are best too as they tend to be sweeter than the yellow ones. I read somewhere (not sure if true) that if you put the onion into cold water, leave it for a while before slicing, you won't end up tearing.

homeladychef said...

Halo! nice try there! seldom see you cooking chicken, just like seldom see me making cakes or biscuts. Lol. Ya, i agree with Jo, put the onions in an ice bath for a less touching tear-shedding episode. You used 2 red onions, i normally use 3 as i like it sweet. for the fresh rosemary, i just throw the whole damn thing in, don't care!

Did you use the honey that i bought you in this recipe? i hope it's nice!

Got the Bah Ku Teh post up. See whether this zombie pei lin will spring up for life or not...

Aimei said...

Wish your friend, AK well. I'm sure she is glad to have you be there for her.

I have this question which I hope doesn't sound too stupid. hee... Is roast and bake the same, except that roast is the term used for meat? I do heard about "bake the fish or chicken in the oven", but not the whole chicken. How about grilling in the oven? I do know conventional oven have this grilled function as well.

Ellie (Almost Bourdain) said...

What a great dish!!! I love roast dinner. Can't never get bored with it.

Pei-Lin@Dodol and Mochi said...

Sorry for the late reply, folks! Have a splendid week ahead!

@Anne & Jeff: Thank you, will let A.K. know! Haha! Yea, never would one think of veggies to turn out crisp upon cooking! Crisp baked potatoes and carrots! HAHA!

@Allie: Thank you for the kind words for A.K. She will be elated to hear of these. You should consider making a roast. Well, doesn't any kind of bake or dish require some form of prep work? It's just a matter you want to do it or not ... and whether you're motivated enough to try it. No worries! Just do what pleases you. Hobbies are meant to be enjoyed.

@Jo: Thank you so much for the tips! I actually know that onions are less "torturous" when they're cold. I used to store my onions in the fridge when in the States. Not now due to the lack of space in my parents' fridge. So, have to adapt to the situation by "crying" more often. HAHA!

Pei-Lin@Dodol and Mochi said...

@Pei Pei: HAHA! Yeap, saw your BKT liao! Looks good! You used pig's intestines and whatnot, didn't you? I love mine with all these delicacies ... HAHA! Wei, I do cook lor ... You look at my backlogs on Flickr, you'll know ... LOL! Aiya, I remember your apple turnover lar ... You do make desserts once in a while. OK, I'll have another savory dish posted up soon. No dessert at the moment. HAHA! When I was in the States, when I still had the full control over the fridge and freezer, I refrigerated my onions too. Now, no more 'coz I'm renting my parents'. Plus, there's always no space. Have to make do with whatever that's there. It's OK to shed tears every so often. HAHA!

edith said...

I can't even remember when was the last time I grilled a chicken. Yours look delicious.

HungryC said...

My heart goes out to your colleague. Nothing makes me feel more vulnerable, helpless and scared than being sick. I hope that AK recovers quickly, and that she be well and healthy when she holds her baby. I am sure you support will mean a lot to her, and she'll definitely love your delicious roast chicken. There is no better way to celebrate life than eating well, and sharing food with people we care about.

babe_kl said...

i always like roast chicken cos it's so easy, just dump everything into the oven :p your chicken really browned evenly, mine hardly ever :(

tigerfish said...

I see the chicken wings still there. If nobody is eating it, I will have it :)

Hope your co-worker gets better.

Pei-Lin@Dodol and Mochi said...

Sorry for the super-late reply! Been busy. BTW, A.K. is doing very good now! Active and going out for lunch with colleagues. So, not to worry!

@Aimei: Sorry, that day meant to reply you ... But had to stop because lunch break was over. HAHA! No lar, silly girl! No such thing as stupid! According to Fairlex Dictionary, roast means "to cook with dry heat, as in an oven or near hot coals." I suppose we only use "roast" for meat in general, though, whole ones are more often the case as in whole chicken/turkey and whatnot. Even veggies, too ... roast veggies. Grilled can be a bit tricky, as in you can say "grilled pizza" as the pizza is grilled rather than baked. I doubt I've ever heard people saying "roast cake." HAHA! Yea, conventional and convection oven both have grilling/broiling function.

@Ellie & Edith: Thank you! Roast definitely won't go wrong!

The remaining replies: to be continued later ... Lunch break over ... LOL!

petite nyonya said...

Hi hi..this is a beautiful roast, with perfect golden brown skin! My rosemary plant is growing really well and I have an over stock of this herb. if we're nearby, I'll give you some :). Thanks for the info on Merdeka Open Hse, I shall try to participate before I leave KL for Merdeka break this wkend. ;). It's nice to have a colleague you could talk to and hope she gets better.

Pei-Lin@Dodol and Mochi said...

@Ivy: Yes, being sick is not something everyone likes. Good news is she looks cheery now! Seems like things are looking bright on her side! Yea, she was the one who got into roasting a bird. LOL! Yeap, food is something that ties people together. I love everything home-made as there's lots of TLC! Thank you so much for the encouraging words! You've really made my day! =) ... You take care, too!

@babe_kl: Hey, don't worry lar ... I'm sure yours is just as good!!! You're just being modest ...

@tigerfish: Haha! I wish you could have some! Thanks for the kind words to A.K.! She's looking better now! =D

@Joslynn: Awww ... Thank you!! I wish I can be your neighbor too! We can exchange dishes and bakes and whatnot all the time! Alright, I'll read yours once it's up and running. Take care! Have a great holiday! Happy Merdeka!

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