Posted by / 22 February 2017 /

Roasted Chicken in a Paper Bag #CooktheBooks

Our February/March book selection for Cook the Books club was sensational.  Let me introduce you to Dinner with Edward by Isabel Vincent.  This month’s book selection was chosen by Claudia from Honey From Rock.  You can read Claudia's invitation: here.


From the Publisher's summary:  "Isabel has no idea that the man in the kitchen baking the sublime roast chicken and light-as-air apricot soufflĂ© will end up changing her life. As Edward and Isabel meet weekly for the glorious dinners that Edward prepares, he shares so much more than his recipes for apple galette or the perfect martini, or even his tips for deboning poultry. Edward is teaching Isabel the luxury of slowing down and taking the time to think through everything she does, to deconstruct her own life, cutting it back to the bone and examining the guts, no matter how messy that proves to be."

Even though the book was a memoir of the author and the strife she was going through when she met Edward, it was truly about the remarkable Edward, with whom I fell in love.  He's a gentleman, a foodie, a purveyor of all that is lovely and wonderful in life, including a good bourbon and roast chicken.  He can shop and enjoys picking out his food from specialized markets.  Things I dream about.  His undying love for his deceased wife is the stuff romance movies are made of. I even started wearing my red lipstick again. 

Although each chapter started with the menu that Edward cooked, the book contained no recipes. There was a lot of good description of cooking methods and one of those was paper bag chicken, which I coaxed my husband into trying. Here's what we did:

We started with a good chicken.  A free range, 3 pound bird, never frozen.  Preheat the oven to 400.  Rinse the chicken, pull off any visible fat, pat dry (important for a crispy skin) and salt and pepper inside and out.  We also seasoned with Trader Joe's 21 Spice seasoning on the outside.  Bob stuffed the cavity with a peeled onion and sprigs of rosemary.  He put the brown paper bag we got from the store on its side, on top of a cookie sheet.  The chicken went inside the bag, then the bag was tied with kitchen string.  Bob had put the upper rack on the next to lowest setting inside the oven, giving the bag a lot of room on top.  The chicken cooked an hour and a half.  The bag was removed and the chicken put back into the oven to crisp up the skin and to bring to 165 degrees.  The chicken was then removed and let rest for about ten minutes.

Out of the oven and opened.

See the chicken in the bag?

A resting chicken.
Dinner
This is an incredible chicken.  We love roast chicken and like to try different recipes, but this one has our attention.  So incredibly moist and the flavors are throughout the meat.  We will be doing this again, as our go-to way of doing roast chicken.  It's too incredible not to do it this way.

If you are a food blogger or a food Instagrammer, you can join us by clicking the link above, finding our current book, reading the book and cooking from it.  Write a post and follow the directions about submitting it to the hostess for the round up. We'd love to have you!





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