I grew up watching Julia Child on television. Specifically on the PBS channel WGBH out of Boston – the same station that her show originated from. I loved her and I sometimes wonder if my desire to cook and to collect recipes can find its roots in her television shows and her inspiring personality.
PBS has invited cooks who love Julia to join in her birthday celebration August 5 – August 15. I thought I would try to make one of her recipes each day during this time frame. Drum roll please!
| August 5 |
Casserole Roasted Chicken with Garlic, Lemon, and Watercress Salad
(adapted from Julia Child – Cooking with Master Chefs courtesy of PBS.org)
Julia used a 5½ to a 6 pound roasting chicken – too much chicken for us!
- 3½ – 4-pound whole chicken
- salt and freshly ground pepper
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 2-2½ heads of garlic, separated into unpeeled cloves (I used about 22 cloves)
- 2-3 sprigs fresh rosemary
- 3 lemons cut in half
- scant ¼ cup walnut oil
- 2-3 bunches of fresh watercress or other greens
- Preheat the oven to 375°F. Wash the chicken, sprinkle the cavity with salt and pepper, pour in a spoonful of olive oil, and add some of the garlic cloves and 1 sprig rosemary. Squeeze in the juice of one lemon, and then stuff both halves in the cavity as well. Rub the chicken with oil and season with additional salt and pepper, truss, and set breast side up in a roasting pan or casserole that has a cover and is just big enough to hold the chicken.
- Smash the remaining cloves of garlic with the side of a chef’s knife to crush them; add to the roasting pan along with the reaming sprig(s) of rosemary.
- With the remaining lemon halves, squeeze juice liberally over the chicken and the squeezed halves to the roasting pan as well.
- Cover the casserole or roasting pan and place in the lower third of the oven and roast for 50 minutes.
- After 50 minutes, uncover the roasting pan, baste the chicken with the accumulated juices, and cook uncovered for about an additional 25-30 minutes to brown and complete cooking depending on the size of the chicken. Juices should run clear.
- Remove the chicken to a serving dish and keep warm. Drain the juices from the roasting pan through a fine sieve into a bowl, pressing down on the garlic cloves with a heavy spoon to release their juices. Skim the fat off the top, whisk in the walnut oil and season with salt and pepper.
- Toss the watercress or other greens with the sauce until just lightly coated. Arrange the greens around the chicken and drizzle chicken with additional sauce and serve.