Went to the library last week to find another magazine, this one for the letter D and came across Dessert Professional. A quick flip through revealed glossy pics of yummy desserts. I decided to check it out. Walking through the aisles, I thought I should pick up a recipe book so that I would have a complete meal, went to the aisle holding all of those yet-to-be-discovered-by-me recipes and grabbed a book at random. Turned out to be Weight Watchers Simply the Best Italian. Which turned out be a very good idea because once I really started leafing through Dessert Professional, although very delicious looking, the quantities were in grams and ingredients like Plugra butter and Callebaut chocolate were needed. Yikes! I don’t have a food scale nor do I know what Plugra butter is (can you get that at Safeway?). Sooo…decided I should attempt a two layer cake first with regular butter before I take one of these masterpieces and anyway I think we have Mud Pie ice cream in the freezer…

On to the main course. I picked out this fairly easy, but oh so mouth-watering looking ( I only pick out a recipe if it has a picture with it, don’t know why), chicken recipe called Roasted Basil Chicken. I happened to show C (mon mari) and he asked if he could cook it.  “Sure”, I said willingly. Hey someone else to cook while I sat back and watched, sounds good but as they say hindsight is 20/20.

Ingredients:

3-4 garlic cloves (already had from last week)
1/3 cup basil – $1.99 (and had to go buy more for $2.50!)
1/2 tsp lemon zest
1 tbsp lemon juice (picked from the backyard)
olive oil (already had)
1 chicken – $6.54
1 cup white wine – $4.43 (i know..big spender..ha!)
TOTAL = $15.46 and feed 5 people with some chicken left over.

So, combine the peeled garlic, basil, lemon zest and juice in a blender.

While the machine is running drizzle in the olive oil until you end up with a kind of paste.

Now granted it doesn’t look very appetizing but a little finger dip revealed some tasty flavors with the garlic and basil. I was reminded of a kind of avocado dip, in fact you probably could spread this “paste” on other things.

With this paste you stuff it under the chicken skin. On the breast side! I say that because as C was stuffing neither one of us noticed that the chicken was upside down until he went to put in on the baking dish and realized (whoops) that he had had to flip it over! We hurriedly mixed up another batch of the paste and stuffed it right side up this time. C also rubbed some on the outside too although the recipe doesn’t call for it.

 After that you pop into a 400 degree oven for 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

Looking good!

All done!

After it’s cooked take the chicken out and let it rest while you whip up the sauce that goes on the side. (Here’s where my extra basil came in as it is needed for the sauce and we had just used it all on the chicken. Had to run up to the nearest grocery store and there the basil was .60 cents more! Looking around I came across some live basil for the same price as the packaged. Really?! I scooped it up, took it home and now have an actual plant in my house!)

You take the chicken fat and combine that with wine, more garlic and basil, salt and pepper.  You’re supposed to cook that until the sauce is reduced by half.  Our sauce didn’t really reduce and, to be honest, I really didn’t like it. I have come to the conclusion that I don’t like alcohol cooked with food. (Have had beer battered pork chops (yuck), C made some kind of beer chicken (yuck) and now this (yuck).) C actually didn’t like it either and he has a very broad palate. (also, my bad, I seem to have had deleted the pic I took of the disaster. ha!)

C served it with roasted potatoes and a green bean with bacon dish that you cook in the crock pot. Although have to say that C, for some strange reason, added some wine to the crock pot which totally changed the taste of the bacon and the green beans. I wasn’t too fond of that result either but put on a brave face for him.

Overall, the chicken was a hit! With all ages 3-40! It was juicy and flavorful. We have decided to keep this one in our repertoire.

But, please, just remember…breast side up!!

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