I realized something the other day: what I miss about fall and winter cooking.
I always knew I had a mad love affair with my red dutch oven or roasting tray but I suppose, until recently, I couldn’t pinpoint why. Perhaps I’m getting wiser in my older years. They say that happens – you realize why you are the way you are or why you like the things you like, and this one hit me hard. Hello 33.
It was a football night. I had run the boys to town (which should take 10 minutes but somehow always takes 25), chased B on the playground until M showed up from the train, and then headed back north to home with B while L finished up practice. Once home, on went Curious George (love that little monkey) and into the kitchen I went to get together a little surprise for the oven.
About a half hour later M and L tumbled into the family room followed by a laptop bag, smelly cleats, and sweaty hair. Sitting on the floor amidst legos and B, I took a quick scan of M’s face.
And that’s when I figured it out. For that brief moment it was crystal clear why I’m partial to those fall/winter dishes.
M’s look told it all: comfort, relief, happiness, contentment, and most importantly – appreciation. The smell of the surprise roasting away in the oven evoked all those feelings. And for me, that goes way deep.
See, being at home full time you can get lost in the never ending cycle of laundry, bills, running errands, changing diapers, getting to practices on time, time outs, making lunches, fixing boo boos, going to the park, and pediatrician appointments. Yes, M just arrived home from a 12+ hour day in the city, but my day was just as long. And that brief look he gives when he walks in the door – that brief look that just means… home… that makes it all worth it. For me, at least.
Fall and winter cooking means kickass dishes like this chimichurri roasted chicken roasting away in the oven. It was insane. M gave me the look. I felt appreciated. All is in balance at the Glantz household. For now.
- 4-5 lbs whole chicken
- 1 & 1/2 sticks butter, room temperature
- 1/2 bunch of parsley, leaves only
- 1/2 bunch cilantro, leaves only
- 5-6 sprigs of fresh oregano, leaves only
- A handful of fresh basil leaves
- 6-8 garlic cloves, crushed
- 4-5 green onions or scallion stalks
- 1-2 teaspoons of chili pepper flakes or 1 small red hot pepper, seeded and deveined, diced
- 3-4 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Onions, potatoes or your choice of veggies to throw under the chicken
- Place all the ingredients expect for the butter in a small food processor and pulse until the herbs are finely chopped.
- Add the butter and continue pulsing until you have smooth creamy mix. Can be made ahead of time, but should be brought back to room temperature before using to prepare the roasted chicken.
- Rub about half of the butter chimichurri all over chicken, including under the skin. Save the rest of the chimichurri butter for basting and for serving.
- Pre-heat oven to 425F. Place the vegetables (onions, potatoes, etc) under chicken in baking or roasting pan.
- Bake the chicken (uncovered) at 425F for 30 minutes
- Lower heat to 400F, baste chicken and bake for another 50-60 minutes, basting every 15-20 minutes.
- During the last 5-10 minutes, add additional chimichurri butter or chimichurri sauce on top.