Just like mom used to make

Just like mom used to make

My mom is currently in Laos with her husband and his father and stepmother, staying in a 5-star resort and soaking up the tropical wonderment that is that country. I, on the other hand, am still here in Chicagoland in the unseasonably warm (read: 70+ degree temps) weather. It is November 3, and I swear, the MOMENT it turns officially to Fall, all I want is roasted food. Veggies, chicken, meat, whatever, as long as its slow-cooked with lots of spices!

Yesterday at the grocery store, Adam and I bought a whole chicken for me to roast. It was taunting me in the fridge. “Mara…cook me now! I don’t care that its too warm out! COOK ME!”

All day, all I could think about was how the house was going to smell with that chicken in the oven. The savory, garlicky smell of a roasted chicken immediately throws me back to being very, very young… it never ceases to amaze me how smells can do this. My mom would make a roasted chicken with garlic potatoes as a Friday night Shabbat dinner, and the smell always signified a family dinner and the start of the weekend. I’d pad into the kitchen in my PJs and socks and my mom would hand me bits of chicken as she carved it, and as soon as I could appreciate it, that which she called “The potato chip of the poultry world”… crispy chicken skin. I could not WAIT to get home and cook today.

Mom’s Roast Chicken

1, 3-4 lb. roasting chicken

2 tbsp. olive oil

1 lemon, halved

1 onion, quartered

1 tsp. garlic powder

1/2 tsp. seasoned salt

pinch of thyme (dried)


Pre-heat the oven to 400*F. Wash the chicken inside and out. Place onion and lemon inside the cavity, and loosely tie the legs of the chicken together with cotton string. Drizzle the olive oil, garlic powder, seasoned salt, and thyme on the outside of the chicken. (Usually, there would be Kitchen Bouquet in this mix too, but I was out). Place the chicken in a roasting pan (on a rack if you want) and cook on 400* for about 20 minutes. Lower the temp to 350* and cook until done, about 40 minutes. Allow to sit at least 10 minutes before carving

In addition to this lovely chicken, I made a side dish of garlic roasted potatoes and cauliflower. I’d never roasted cauliflower before, but everyone always raves about it, so I figured, what the heck! I simply drizzled the chunks of potato and cauliflower with olive oil, sprinkled with garlic powder and oregano, and roasted them along with the chicken.

What a dinner! I’m beyond satisfied… my body had just enough food, but my emotional satisfaction is off the charts! I have such a sense of accomplishment that I cooked such a great meal. Melissa over at and Beadie at whatiateyesterday have talked about emotional satisfaction being as important as stomach and mouth satiation. I am definitely satisfied, in all senses of the word.


11 thoughts on “Insta-childhood

  1. definitely sounds like a satisfying meal – roasting a whole chicken is something i’ve never done before and shy away from, so i’m in awe!

  2. Thanks for the roasting tips. I’ve only roasted a whole chicken once, with a Cooking Light recipe that involved stuffing a whole sliced orange into the middle for flavor. It turned out ok, but I haven’t really attempted another one since. I’ve been waiting to find a simple recipe that would be more good ol’ home cookin’, you know? Now you’ve inspired me to try your family recipe. Thanks Mara!

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