Let me talk about The Silver Palate Good Times Cookbook and its predecessor, The Silver Palate Cookbook, for a moment. I love these books. I love this kind of cooking – yes, yes, yes it’s from the 80’s – what of it? The cookbooks themselves are classic Workman – interesting to peruse with fun tidbits of information and quotes tucked around the recipes and fanciful drawings. Some things I will never make (Sweet Bread Ragout, Chicken Liver Pate with Green Peppercorns), others are absolute staples in my repertoire of go-to delights – Chicken Dijonnaise, Lime Mousse, Decadent Chocolate Cake, Que Sera Silk Salad, Sausage Stuffed French Loaves, and Gougères, to name a few. While most of my cooking tends to be somewhat practical for every day (and I try to cook healthy meals for the most part), I’m thinking about heading back into the past occasionally and exploring some of the recipes I’ve never attempted – Brie Soufflé might be first on that last (What with National Cheese Day looming and all…). Stay tuned.
And now – on with the chicken – I love love love this dish! It requires some time and patience and prep and nurturing and you will be richly rewarded for your efforts. Something near magical happens when the lemon, ginger and mustard all come together. You just have to experience it for yourself. This is the actual recipe as it appears in the cookbook, my tweaks are noted below.1 roasting chicken (about 4½ lbs) with giblets 1 lemon, cut in half 2 Tablespoons dry mustard 2 Tablespoon ground ginger Salt & freshly ground pepper, to taste 6 medium-size onions, quartered 2 packages George Washington Golden Bouillon powder or 2 chicken bouillon cubes 2¾ cup water
Preheat the oven to 425F
Rinse the chicken and pat dry. Squeeze the juice of the lemon all over the chicken and in the cavity.
Rub the chicken all over with the mustard, ginger, salt and pepper. Place in a roasting pan and scatter 4 of the quartered onions in the pan. Roast, undisturbed, for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, simmer the giblets, the remaining two onions, the bouillon powder, and 2 cups of the water in a small saucepan over medium heat for 20 – 30 minutes. Set aside.
Reduce the heat to 375F and pour the remaining ¾ cup water into the roasting pan. Roast the chicken another 30 minutes, basting occasionally with the pan juices.
Strain the giblet stock and pour ¾ cup of the stock in the roasting pan. Roast, basting occasionally for 30 minutes more.
Remove the chicken from the oven and cut into serving pieces with a knife and fork (the chicken should be falling off the bone). Mix the chicken with the onion and juices in the pan and pour in the remaining giblet stock. Cover the pan with aluminum foil and bake for 15 minutes. Serve on a large platter surrounded by the juices.
OK – My notes (because there’s always some tweaking Chez Maeve):
I used two Knorr Chicken Cubes because that’s what I had. Also, I put the lemon halves in the cavity of the chicken – very tasty. Finally – this was a really time-consuming dish because I basted the bird every 10 minutes after the initial undisturbed 30 minute roast. You definitely want to serve this with rice or orzo or something similar to soak up the incredible pan juices – and there were copious amounts of them.