Saturday, November 04, 2006

Saturday night dinner

Just finished feeding my face with roasted chicken, jerusalem artichokes, and red potatoes.

I am so happy to be cooking again. Once upon a time, I made real meals like this every night. Then I started traveling for work and cooking during the work week went right out the window. When I decided to go GF as a test, I HAD to cook unless I wanted to spend a truckload of money on not-so-great packaged food. Don't get me wrong - packaged food has its place and I often take advantage. However, it's worth an hour or two racing crazily around my kitchen to eat good, wholesome, healthy food.

The jerusalem artichokes - eh, I can do without the breading and if I can get my hands on some again, I will make them the same way but without breading. Maybe it was the flour I used (Bob's Red Mill GF all-purpose flour).

Here's the breakdown on how I put together tonight's dinner.

Roasted Chicken, Roasted Jerusalem Artichokes & Red Potatoes

1 organic whole chicken
1 pound Jerusalem artichokes
2-3 good handfuls of small red potatoes
2 lemons
Salt and pepper
1 head of garlic
GF all purpose flour
Roasted garlic olive oil
Lotsa butter

Wash the chicken inside and out; don't forget to stick your hand up the bird's butt to get the giblets out (I left one bag in once at Thanksgiving and didn't hear the end of it for months. How the hell was I supposed to know there would be 2 bags, one at each end?). Anyway, salt and pepper the inside of the bird.

While you are washing and removing parts, melt 1/4 cup of butter. Cut a lemon into quarters and the head of garlic in half (through the middle of the cloves). Stuff them in the bird's butt. Put the bird onto the rack of your roasting pan (I use a Nesco roaster for this). Brush melted butter over all of the visible parts of the chicken. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast at 350 degrees.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees if you aren't roasting the chicken in a Nesco.

After you get the chicken going, prepare a bowl of water with the other lemon squeezed into it. Painstakingly peel the jerusalem artichokes. I found that if I cut the little nobby-things off first, the peeling went a little easier. Chop them into bite-sized pieces and put them into the bowl of water.

Put 1/4 cup of unsalted butter into an oven-safe dish and get it into the oven until the butter melts. Take the dish out of the oven and set aside.

Start a pot of salted water on the stove; get it boiling and then put the artichoke pieces in for no more than 5 minutes (cook until tender only or they will turn to mush according to Irish Food and Cooking). While the artichokes are in the boiling water, mix together a half cup or so of GF flour and fresh-ground pepper. When the artichokes are done, drain them on a paper towel.

Roll the artichokes in the flour mixture, then put them into the ovenproof dish with the melted butter. Roll them around in the butter to get them coated and then put the dish back into the oven for 25 to 30 minutes.

Wash and cut the red potatoes in half. Put them into a pot with water and salt and boil until fork-tender. Drain and douse with roasted garlic olive oil.

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