Sunday, October 31, 2010

Halloween Dinner! Roasted Chicken and Pumpkin Rolls

Delicious Halloween Dinner!

Roasted Chicken with Lemongrass and Kaffir Lime Leaves from Food2 and Pumpkin Rolls from Me!


1 (3 1/2- to 4-pound) whole roasting chicken
Salt and fresh ground pepper
1 lemon, quartered, plus 1 for juice
2 onions, peeled and quartered
2 stalks lemongrass, bruised, plus 1 tablespoon, minced
5 cloves garlic, plus 1 tablespoon, minced
3 kaffir lime leaves
1 3-inch piece ginger, peeled and chopped, plus 1 tablespoon minced
3 fresh rosemary sprigs, plus 1 tablespoon finely chopped
3 fresh thyme sprigs, plus 1 tablespoon finely chopped
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, as needed
3 Yukon gold potatoes, quartered


Set an oven rack on the lower middle level and preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Rinse the chicken thoroughly, inside and out, under cold water, then dry it with paper towels. (Casey actually had to pat the inside of the chicken dry because I'm too squeamish about putting my hand up a chicken's butt. Yuck!)

Season the cavity with salt and pepper. Stuff the cavity with 4 lemon quarters, 4 onion quarters, lemongrass stalks, garlic cloves, kaffir lime leaves, and half each of the chopped ginger, rosemary and thyme sprigs.

In a mortar and pestle combine minced lemongrass, chopped rosemary, chopped thyme, minced ginger and minced garlic.

Add 1/4 cup olive oil and a pinch of salt and mash together with pestle. Rub the mixture under the skin on top of the breast and all over the outside of the bird. Tie the legs together with a piece of butcher's twine.

Place the quartered potatoes, remaining onion, and chopped ginger in a baking dish or roasting pan. Season with salt and pepper and place the chicken on top of the vegetables to form a makeshift rake. Slice remaining lemon in half and squeeze juice over chicken. Place the rinds in the pan with the vegetables. Drizzle the chicken with a bit more olive oil.

Roast the chicken for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until the thickest portion of the breast registers 165 degrees F.

Tip the chicken so that the juice from the cavity runs into the roasting pan. Transfer the chicken to a cutting board and let rest, uncovered, for 10 minutes before carving. Serve with roasted onions and potatoes.

Delicious! Not only was this chicken flavorful, but the white meat was just as juicy as the dark meat and the potatoes and onions were a natural, flavorful compliment!

We give this recipe: 4.5 stars

Pumpkin Rolls

First of all, a little baking tip! When baking, always use room temperature ingredients because it will make your products lighter and fluffier! Now, I'm doubling this recipe, so if you make it and your quantities don't look as big as mine, that's why. :)

2/3 c. packed pumpkin

3 eggs (room temperature!)

1 c. sugar

¾ c. flour

1 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. cinnamon

½ tsp. salt

Cream cheese filling:

8 oz. cream cheese

1 c. powdered sugar

2 T. melted butter or margarine

1 tsp. vanilla

Preheat oven to 350ᵒ.

Put pumpkin, eggs and sugar into a large bowl. In a separate small bowl, combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt.

Beat pumpkin, egg and sugar mixture for 5 minutes until light and frothy.

Doesn't it look nice and frothy?

Add flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt mixture and mix in with a spatula. When you are making quick breads, you don't want to over mix your batter because it can make your end product tough.

Line jelly roll pan with wax paper. Now, I used a Pampered Chef Stoneware pan. I love it, love it love it! It is a pain to use wax paper and you lose more roll than you keep. I greased my stoneware with copious amounts of canola oil and the end product slides out like butter! SO MUCH BETTER!

Pour pumpkin batter in pan and shake to even out.

Pop it into the oven and bake for 15 minutes if you are using a jelly roll pan. Using the stone ware it took me about 20 minutes. While that's cookin', combine all the cream cheese filling ingredients into a medium sized bowl.

Combine until smooth and creamy.

Remove pumpkin roll from the oven when the bread is golden brown and feels firm and springy to the touch.

If you are using a jelly pan with wax paper, flip pumpkin sheet onto a dish towel and gently peel off wax paper. If you are using Stoneware, loosen pumpkin sheet with a spatula on edges and as much of the underside as you can get without breaking it. I used Pampered Chef's fabulous mini spatula which you can see my handsome husband modeling here:

It worked like a charm and got the whole thing up so that when I flipped my pan over, the pumpkin sheet came right out.

Next, starting on the short side, fold towel over the edge of the pumpkin sheet and roll into a log like so:

Let rest 15 minutes. Unroll and spread cream cheese filling onto pumpkin roll.

Starting at the short end, roll into a log.

Cut in half or thirds.

Once I cut it in half I started to wrap it in tin foil like I usually do when I thought, "The pumpkin roll always sticks to the foil and rips it when I open it. Maybe if I sprinkled a little powdered sugar on the top it would give it a decorative flair and it might also help it not stick so badly!"

Then the thought naturally struck me, "Well, if the powdered sugar will help it not stick to the tin foil, maybe it will help it stick to the towel less too! I should powder the towel before I roll up the pumpkin roll!"

So I did.

It was a disaster.

So, the conclusion of this experiment is, powder your pumpkin rolls before you wrap them with foil if you so desire, but FOR GOODNESS SAKE, leave it OFF of your dish towel of you will end up with, as Tim Gunn from Project Runway says, a hot mess.

There you have it! Wonderfully delicious goodies that make great holiday gifts!

We give this recipe: 4 stars

Enjoy! :)

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