Thursday, November 10, 2011

The Star of the Show...

     Thanksgiving is just two weeks away!!  Up until now, I've shared an entirely vegetarian menu, so all you folks out there who say, "What do I feed my vegetarian guests?" Now you know.  But today?  Today is all about meat.  My very first post on this blog, nearly a year ago was this very dish.  I didn't even include a picture.  Today?  Today there's a picture...

Com'on now!  I don't even eat meat and this looks good.

     I got the recipe from Country Living Magazine many years ago, and have made it every Thanksgiving since.  Because it's just me, the hubs and two small boys most years, an entire turkey just doesn't make any sense.  When we have a ton of people over, I have made two, but I have never made another turkey.  When we've got two teenagers in the house, I may have to revisit this... o.O  This is also my "showing off for the fancy people" dinner.  Mr. Crackers loves it when we have fancy people over for dinner... 

     I haven't modified the recipe much since I posted this, but the times have never worked for me, so this post will include some time changes.  OK all you meaties, this one's for you:

Apple and Sage Roast Chicken with Pan Juices
First things first, Prepare the bird:
Thaw it out if it's frozen.  Empty out all the stuff in the cavity if there's anything in there.  Rinse inside and out, and dry well (this step is really important for the rub to stick properly).  Next assemble the ingredients:

1 roasting chicken
3/4 t salt
3 medium apples, cored and quartered
3 small onions, quartered
2 celery stalks, quartered
2 cloves garlic
2 T fresh sage, chopped
1/4 C butter, softened
1 T whole-grain mustard
1/8 t cracked white pepper
1 t fresh thyme
1/4 C fruity white wine, such as Riesling
3/4 C fresh apple cider


   1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Rub the inside of the chicken with 1/2 teaspoon salt. Chop 1 apple, 1 onion, and the celery into 2-inch pieces. Toss the apple mixture with the garlic and 1 tablespoon sage, and place it all in the chicken cavity.
   2. Tie the legs together with kitchen twine, and tuck the wings securely under. Mix the butter and mustard to a smooth paste and rub over the chicken skin and sprinkle with the remaining salt and white pepper. Place the bird in a medium roasting pan. Roast in the lower third of the oven for 30 minutes. Brush any remaining mustard-butter over the bird and continue to roast for 30-45 more minutes.
   3. Baste the chicken with the pan drippings, and sprinkle with remaining sage and the thyme. Scatter the remaining apples and onions around the bird, tossing lightly to coat with the drippings. Add the white wine, and roast the chicken 15 minutes. Baste the bird, and toss the apples and onions again for even browning. Continue to roast until bird juices run clear and the meat between the leg and thigh reaches 160°F. Remove from the oven and transfer the chicken to a serving platter. Arrange the apples and onions around the chicken.
   4. Prepare the jus: Tip the roasting pan so the liquid pools to one end, and use a large spoon to remove any excess fat from the pan juices. Add apple cider and place the pan over medium-high heat. Use a wooden spoon to scrape the bottom of the pan, and then pour the jus over the chicken, apples, and onions. Serve warm.

  • For instructions on trussing a chicken:
  • I use Inglehoffer Original Stone Ground mustard on this chicken and sprinkle a half teaspoon or so of whole mustard seed for good measure, too.  I just like how it looks in the end.
  • I never make the jus.  Mostly because I don't have a stove top safe roasting pan.  That, and it gets a little Christmas Story up in here when I make this chicken so to keep the hounds at bay, I get it to the table as soon as possible...
I reviewed this last time and the review remains the same.  Everyone I've ever served this to has loved it.  The end!


  1. All I have to say is: These pipes, are CLEEEEAAANNNNNNNNNNNN!

  2. And How! You+Cabin Boy = My love. (Cabin Boy the movie, that is... I don't want to get all mixed up in anything between you and Babs...)


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