Thursday, March 1, 2007

3 Roast Chickens, 3 Bottles of Wine, Squash, Potatoes...

My friend Adam was in town from Florida this last weekend (he works for Tropicana, seriously, where is my free O.J.?) and we decided to throw a dinner party in honor of our friend Deepak's birthday. With the ice-storm typical of friendly Chicago weather, going into the city really wasn't an option. Over afternoon tea and guacamole, admittedly an odd combination for our snack, we pondered how to wine and dine 8-10 people, half of which are still hungry college students. Roast chicken was the perfect solution because it's not as involved as other crowd-friendly meals like Lasagna. And as a single female, I had never tried to roast an entire chicken on my own, and the prospect sounded delicious. Dinner parties are really an excuse for people to overeat and to cook things they never get around to making otherwise.

I stared with this recipe for Roast Chicken, but then Adam and I went a little overboard. The chickens were purchased from Trader Joe's (oh how I love thee grocery store). Not only did we stuff each of the 3 roast chickens with a lemon, we also threw in a peeled yellow onion and a sprig of rosemary. The rest of the rosemary was chopped fine to sprinkle over each roast chicken coated with butter before roasting. Alongside the chicken, we threw in two acorn squash, a bunch of beets, quartered red potatoes, chopped carrots, and yellow onion. As you can see, our overflow of vegetables resulted in an extra, separate pan.

Yes, we roasted three chickens and an extra pan of vegetables all in my oven at the same time. My apartment smelled AMAZING! While we waited, we munched on Spinach and Artichoke Dip with crackers. It took about 2 hours at around 400 F (a meat thermometer should read 180 for the chicken when done). The Roast Chicken turned out perfect. I am salivating right now thinking about it. The chicken was moist to the point of falling off the bone, the rosemary added the perfect zing to the lemon, and people felt better about being gluttons with all those healthy vegetables around. The dinner party guests finished off the better part of the three chickens, a couple bottles of wine, and promptly passed out on pillows in my living room.