Written with love, by Sarah-Elizabeth Labelle
Don’t laugh, but one of my biggest fears has always been sticking my hand inside of a chicken! I’m not squeamish when it comes to animals as I have the very glamourous job of a veterinary assistant by day, and I grew up in the country where my mom made a whole chicken at least once a week. So by all rights I should be comfortable around a whole, uncooked chicken. But, somehow, I’m not!
As it’s a new year, and I’m determined to face my fear, I bravely walked into the grocery store with my fiancé in tow (perhaps more to make me go through with buying the bird, if for nothing else) and spent half an hour mulling over the best one. My ever so patient fiancé trucked me back home with all of my culinary goodies, and I then proceeded to sit on the phone with my mother while she talked me through the process. What followed not only tasted wonderful, but it was much more simple then I ever imagined!
A new year, a new challenge met – remember ladies, if you can stick your hand up a chicken then you can certainly walk down the aisle. Or vice versa. No fear!
· 1 tbsp of rosemary
· 2-3 tbsp of olive oil
· 4-6 cloves of garlic
· ½ cup of celery
· ½ onion (in quarters)
· 1 whole chicken (preferably cleaned out, if not you’re a whole other level of brave)
· Pinch of salt and pepper
· ¼ cup of water
1) Preheat the oven to 400F
2) Chop up celery, onions and shell garlic
3) Clean out chicken – even if the store has done it, make sure to inspect yourself for anything left behind
4) Mix celery and rosemary together in a dish, and stuff into chicken, along with two onion halves
5) Cut small slits on the top and side of the chicken and put garlic cloves under the skin
6) Line a casserole dish with tinfoil and set aside
7) Using your hands, smother the chicken in olive oil and sprinkle some rosemary, salt and pepper on top
8) Place chicken in the lined casserole dish, and add ¼ cup of water to keep things moist
9) Cook in oven for roughly 45 minutes but check at the half hour mark, as smaller chickens tend to cook faster
Tip: to create a gravy use the drippings from the chicken, mixed with potato water (if you’re boiling them) and gradually add flour until thickened
Serve with a light, fresh white wine such as; Fontana di Papa (Italian, Colli Albani)