Sunday, July 22, 2007

WHB: Squeaking in with Rosemary!

Oops! Where did this weekend go? My mind and body have been somewhat separated as of late, apparently!! Ah well, no matter. I am quickly sneaking in my entry for WHB with an entry for Rosemary. This week this event is kindly being hosted by The Chocolate Lady from In Mol Araan!

Anyways, Rosemary. Another of the base herbs in the kitchen, another one that I grow in my own little garden plot, and one of the unmistakeable smells in my Grandma's roasted chicken dinners that I adored as a kid. Unfortunately, my camera was not very forgiving when I shot this image, and now I only have this representation of what my garden offers. Wonderfully aromatic, delicate and peppery, it is usually added to poultry-based dishes and roasts. It also plays well with rice, potatoes and fish, as well as lamb. Like I said, a base herb. It's also one of the best "garden" herbs to grow, as it helps to deter cabbage moths, bean beetles and carrot flies from ruining your crops! Not to mention, it pairs well with those veggies too! Things that grow together, go together, as they say.

Rosemary, like most other herbs, is also a wonderful medicinal tool. Scientists at the University of Cincinnati say that the scent of rosemary is an effective memory stimulant (according to GardenGuides.com). It can also help prevent cancers, relax sore muscles and soothe digestion when used in small amounts, such as a tea.

As far as a recipe goes I'm pretty sure everyone knows the basics of making roasted chicken with herbs, but I'll stick out my neck and put in what I can remember of my Grandma's recipe. Since she never measures, everything is approximate but go with the flow and let your nose tell you what to do!

Rosemary-Garlic Roast Chicken and Carrots
good glug olive oil (to coat bottom of saute pan)
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 sprig fresh rosemary
5 large carrots, chunked
3 pound whole chicken, room temperature, rinsed well and patted dry
1 small onion, quartered
1/4 cup chopped fresh rosemary
salt and pepper
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Saute crushed garlic and sprig of rosemary in hot olive oil just until the garlic starts to brown. Remove from heat, allow to cool. Discard the cooked garlic and rosemary.
  3. Place the carrots in the bottom of a roasting dish.
  4. Stuff the chicken with the onion and chopped rosemary.
  5. Rub the skin of the chicken with the herb and garlic infused oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  6. Place on top of carrots in the roasting dish.
  7. Roast in the preheated oven for 2 to 2 1/2 hours, or until chicken is cooked through and carrots are tender. You may need to cover the roasting pan part-way through cooking to prevent over-browning.