Butter, Butter, and More Butter!

Happy Wednesday! I have a confession for you. I believe, with all my heart, butter is a food group.

My daughter in law thought she never saw butter in the kitchen as her husband. My son Rob. Then she spent some time watching me cook. “Well,” she said. “I guess I know where he gets it.” Indeed.

All you have to do to stop using margarine and other imitations is to compare the ingredient lists. The imitations are full of chemicals and weirdness. Butter has cream, milk, salt. If that doesn’t convince you, compare the taste. Whether cooking, baking, or buttering your toast, butter is the clear winner. It is also dependable and consistent. It will cook just like it is supposed to in everything, every time. Cookies made with margarine? Ick. Rice Krispies Treats? Revolting. Butter?? Yum.

However, even I have my limits. I saw a recipe that called for smearing an entire cup of butter over a chicken to roast it. The concept was good, but the amount? I just couldn’t do it. The recipe called for the chicken to be cooked with vegetables. An idea was born, and it turned out fabulously!

Let 2 sticks of butter come to room temperature. Put it in a bowl with 2T olive oil, 1t kosher salt, 1t black pepper, 1/2t garlic powder, 1/2t onion powder, and 1/4t cayenne pepper. Beat it well with an electric mixer until thoroughly combined. Wash peel, and cut into chunks 4 large or 6 medium carrots. Wash 6 medium red potatoes and cut in quarters. Peel and quarter 1 medium onion. Put all the veggies in a large bowl. Rinse and pat dry a large roasting chicken, (giblets removed) about 6 pounds. Set it on a rack in a large foil lined roasting pan. Slice in half one medium lemon and 1 small peeled onion. Stuff those in the chicken cavity. Smear half of the butter mixture all over your chicken. This can be done with a small rubber spatula so you don’t get your hands all greasy and chicken-y. Melt the remaining butter mixture in the microwave. Stir well, and pour over the vegetables to coat. Put the chicken on a rack in the pan. Arrange the vegetables around the chicken. Preheat oven to 375 F. When it reaches temp, put the chicken in the oven. After one hour, give the vegetables a good stir, and the chicken a good basting. If it is getting too brown put a tent of foil loosely over the chicken. At 2 hours, stir and baste again. Check for doneness… a meat thermometer in the thickest part of the thigh, not touching bone, should read 165. The legs should move easily and the juices run clear. If not done, return to oven and recheck at 10 minute increments. When done, lift chicken and allow liquid inside to run into pan. Remove the lemon and onion from the cavity. Set on a platter. Remove rack, stir vegetables, and move them to a bowl with a slotted spoon. Remove any skin or detritus from the cooking juices and pour the liquid into a saucepan. Scoop about 1/4C of liquid into a small bowl and whisk in 2T flour. (Wondra flour is the best for making sauces and gravy… it is specifically for that purpose. No lumps, and smooth, delicious gravy.) Bring pan juices to a boil on medium heat. When boiling, whisk in flour mixture. Whisk continuously until thickens into the best chicken gravy on the planet. Serve chicken and vegetables with the gravy. Oh. My. Goodness.

Butter is the happiness ingredient to this wonderful chicken dinner. I serve it with homemade yeast rolls brushed with…. you guessed it, butter. This meal will bring much happiness to you and your family! Enjoy it!

Love, Grammy

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