Sunday, December 2, 2012

Grandma's Roast

My grandmother made the best stuffing and the most delicious roast chicken. All those years ago she magically spun out some of my most favorite childhood meals in her poorly equipped kitchen. Her oven was only a little bigger than a toaster oven and sometimes there would be a power failure right in the middle of cooking but I never tasted an undercooked meal nor did I see a collapsed cake. Everything was perfect and executed with lightning speed. A sparse tiny woman- she sped around her kitchen like she was ice skating. Not only did I learn to cook from her but she taught me the discipline of the kitchen - she was like a Drill Sargent! Hair had to be tied back, hands washed and cutting boards secured. My grandpa was smart- he made himself scarce. You didn't mess with grandma and yet I have so much love and respect for her. Grandma's been gone for many years now but her handwritten recipes and sweet memories are here to stay.

Recipe for Stuffed Roast Chicken:
2 Roaster Chickens - remove the innards and rinse. Pat dry.
6 cloves of garlic, sliced roughly
Herbs- Rosemary, Thyme and Sage
4-6 tbsp butter melted
salt and pepper

For the stuffing:
2 cups bread crumbs
2 tsp mixed chopped herbs
3-4  tbsp butter
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup green apple cubed
salt and pepper
1/2 cup dried cranberry
kitchen twine and large needle

1. Combine the stuffing ingredients in a bowl and set aside.
2. Cut slits in the fleshy parts of the chicken and slide in the garlic slivers.
3. Brush the melted butter over the entire chicken and season well.
4. Separate the stuffing into two parts and place each half into the cavity of each chicken.
5. Stitch the cavity to seal in the stuffing. Tie the legs of the chicken together. Tuck in the wing tips.
Place them on a rack in a large roasting pan, place the herbs over them and cover with the aluminium foil.
6. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and roast the chickens for 1 1/2 hours approximately. At this time the chicken should be cooked. Remove the foil and continue roasting till the chickens turn golden brown and crisp.
7. Strain the pan juices and use to make a gravy.