It has been years since I roasted a whole chicken. I guess I thought that the meal
would be too much for one person, but as I was preparing this week’s menus I
reminded myself that any leftovers could be put to good use in a variety of
ways. I encourage you to shop for a free-range chicken that has been raised in
a cage-free environment and allowed to forage in the yard with only organic feed
supplemented by the farmer—you WILL witness a distinct difference in taste.

The method I use for roasting a whole chicken is similar to a classic rotisserie but a bit simpler. You won’t need any fancy equipment—just a roasting pan or dish that accommodates the chicken closely and a couple of metal skewers. After stuffing the cavity of the chicken with herbs and garlic cloves, stick two long metal skewers through the cavity of the bird and rest the skewers over the sides of the roasting pan so that the bird is elevated above, but not touching the bottom of the pan. In a 400 degree F. oven, roast the bird for 20 minutes breast-side up, then using oven mitts,
lift the bird by the skewers and rotate until it is back-side up. Roast another 20 minutes. Repeat the turning process, and allow the chicken to roast for an additional 15 minutes (or until the thigh is easily separated from the carcass). Allow the bird to rest for at least 15 minutes out of the oven so that the juices infiltrate the meat. De-fat the drippings and serve the simple remaining au jus with slices of the chicken.

The ravioli accompaniment is simple if you plan ahead. I made the pasta early in the morning and also boiled the potatoes. This is NOT a typical mashed potato filling—instead the potatoes are peeled and “smashed” with a bit of salt and pepper. No butter, milk, or cream is needed for the filling before stuffing heaping teaspoon dollops onto the fresh pasta and creating the ravioli. (After cooking, I do add a drizzle of melted butter.)

And finally, I know that a lot of people may not find Brussels sprouts to be appealing, but please give this a try: after halving the sprouts and boiling in salted water until tender, drain, return to the pot with a small knob of butter, a drizzle of maple syrup, and a teaspoon or two of Dijon mustard—makes all the difference in the world!

Roasted organically-raised chicken stuffed with herbs and garlic and served with defatted jus
House-made ravioli stuffed with smashed potatoes and drizzled with melted
Brussels sprouts braised with butter, maple syrup, and Dijon mustard

Cream cheese-walnut cookies