Adventures in Eating: Leslie’s Roast Chicken

Louis L’Amour, the late writer of westerns, was a family friend. He had a library of books that would knock your socks off. One day as I was admiring his enor­mous “room of books”, he pointed to a section of about 20 paperbacks and said, “If you read every one of those books, you would have the basis for a complete education.”

I have a library of books I am quite proud of, too, though cer­tainly not as vast as Louis L’Amour’s. My personal library consists of approximately 150 cookbooks (my first cookbook was the “Betty Crocker Children’s Cookbook”. I still have it, and I still love it!). Books on American, Mexican, French, Italian, Indian, Armenian and California cuisine. Books with titles like, “The Thrill of the Grill” to “Great Peasant Dishes of the World”. Cookbooks devoted ‘solely to pizza, muffins, brownies and to brewing the per­fect cup of coffee. In fact, I think I can actually go so far as to say, “If you read every one of my cook­books, you would certainly have the basis for being an accom­plished chef.” But don’t forget, of course, the endless hours of trial and error in the kitchen. Fallen soufflés, finicky pie crusts and overcooked pasta. Yeast that just doesn’t seem to make the bread dough rise. In other words, read­ing 150 cookbooks won’t make you a good cook. Only countless hours of practice in the kitchen can make you a good cook!

The simplest recipes are still my favorites. I hope you enjoy one of the best recipes I know for roast chicken, the ultimate comfort food!

Leslie’s Roast Chicken

1 3 1/2 to 5 lb. roaster

4-5 cloves garlic, minced

1 orange, large

1 14 1/2 oz. can chicken broth

Fresh rosemary leaves

Salt and pepper

Wash chicken well and pat dry. Place in roasting pan. Carefully loosen skin around chicken and rub a generous portion of rose­mary and garlic under skin. Cut orange in half and squeeze over chicken. Put orange in cavity of chicken. Sprinkle roast with salt and pepper. Pour chicken broth into bottom of pan and place in 350° F oven. Cook chicken for 20­-25 minutes per pound, basting chicken every 30 minutes (this is essential, it makes the roast tender and juicy). When chicken is done, let sit for 10 minutes before carv­ing. This is wonderful with rice pi­laf and asparagus with hollandaise!

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