Bacon, garlic team up for ultimate roast chicken


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Posted Online: March 12, 2013, 12:13 pm
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By Elizabeth Karmel
There is just something about roasted chicken that comforts, nourishes and satisfies like nothing else, especially when the wind is howling and it is cold outside.

Not too long ago, I went to visit a friend and when I walked into her house I had to take a deep breath to savor the aromas coming from the kitchen. I couldn't keep my stomach from growling; her house smelled divine. Naturally, I had to follow my nose and take a peek in the oven.

Her British-born mother was roasting a chicken for Sunday supper. Not such an unusual occurrence, in and of itself. But when I looked at the chicken, I saw the breast was blanketed in bacon, adding to the intoxicating roasting smells, not to mention a good deal of flavor to both the meat and the drippings.

I knew I had to take this English farmhouse tip home. My friend's mother brushed off my questions with a roll of the eyes, suggesting this really was the only way to roast a chicken.

Of course, I wrap many things in bacon and it has saved many an average meal for me. But I have never wrapped a whole chicken. The thing that I loved the most about her technique was that the chicken was decidedly not wrapped; the bacon almost was haphazardly placed on top of the chicken like a blanket. It was there to aid in the cooking process, not necessarily be part of the finished dish.

I decided to add this technique to my recipe for chicken with 40 cloves of garlic and shallots. I already had added shallots to the traditional 40 cloves recipe to make the chicken even more fragrant and delicious. The beauty of this recipe is that the garlic and the shallots cook in the fat that is rendered out as the chicken — and now bacon — roasts.

This recipe is one of my winter comfort foods and I always serve it with lots of fresh crusty bread and sweet butter to spread with the roasted garlic, as well as a green vegetable — usually a quick saute of baby spinach.

Roasted chicken with 40 cloves of garlic and a bacon blanket
Start to finish: 2 hours
Servings: 8
2 heads garlic, separated into cloves, but not peeled
8 medium shallots, not peeled
2 tablespoons olive oil
Kosher salt
1/2 cup white wine
5-pound whole chicken
8 ounces thick-cut bacon
Ground black pepper

Heat the oven to 500 F.
In a large Dutch oven, toss the garlic cloves and shallots with the olive oil. Add the wine, then sprinkle with salt. Set aside.
Use paper towels to pat dry the chicken, then season it with salt, including inside the cavity. Set the chicken, breast side up, on top of the garlic and shallots. Drape the strips of bacon over the chicken. Set the pan in the oven and cook for 1 to 1 1/2 hours (time will vary depending on how evenly your oven heats), or until the bacon is crisped and brown and the thighs read 170 F.
Remove the chicken from the pan and set it on a platter. Season the chicken with black pepper, then cover it with foil and let it rest 10 to 15 minutes before carving. Meanwhile, slip the garlic cloves and shallots from their skins and serve with the chicken (they also are good spread on toasted bread).
Nutrition information per serving: 630 calories; 400 calories from fat (63 percent of total calories); 44 g fat (13 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 160 mg cholesterol; 14 g carbohydrate; 0 g fiber; 2 g sugar; 41 g protein; 850 mg sodium.

















 



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  Today is Wednesday, April 23, the 113th day of 2014. There are 252 days left in the year.

1864 — 150 years ago: Some persons are negotiating for 80 feet of ground on Illinois Street with a view of erecting four stores thereon. It would serve a better purpose if the money was invested in neat tenement houses.
1889 — 125 years ago: The Central station, car house and stables of the Moline-Rock Island Horse Railway line of the Holmes syndicate, together with 15 cars and 42 head of horses, were destroyed by fire. The loss was at $15,000.
1914 — 100 years ago: Vera Cruz, Mexico, after a day and night of resistance to American forces, gradually ceased opposition. The American forces took complete control of the city.
1939 — 75 years ago: Dr. R. Bruce Collins was reelected for a second term as president of the Lower Rock Island County Tuberculosis Association.
1964 — 50 years ago: Work is scheduled to begin this summer on construction of a new men's residence complex and an addition to the dining facilities at Westerlin Hall at Augustana College.
1989 — 25 years ago: Special Olympics competitors were triple winners at Rock Island High School Saturday. The participants vanquished the rain that fell during the competition, and some won their events; but most important, they triumphed over their own disabilities.




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