There are often extremely difficult moments in life—days during which you feel as though you will not be okay. In the end, time will heal almost everything, but waiting seems impossible.
In those moments, food plays an important role for many. Personally, I gravitate towards homecooked meals that warm and ease my soul.
Two weeks ago I made the difficult decision to let go of my dog and best friend of 13 years. Although I know it was the correct decision to ease her suffering, it was the most difficult decision I have ever had to make. My friends and family really stepped up to be there for my husband and I. The showering of food (and booze if I am being honest) kept my home full while my heart was empty.
I cannot think of a more soul warming meal than roasted meat and a couple of sides. A meat and two or three (or four) is a staple southern meal. Growing up, dinner most nights included meatloaf, country fried steak, pot roast, salmon patties, or pork chops.
So when you go through something difficult you often lean towards bits of nostalgia—the good moments. A full plate of love-filled food is a plate full of nostalgia for me. A lot of my childhood consisted of sitting in the kitchen with my mother as she cooked me dishes from the heart.
Although she never roasted chicken like this, I think this recipe is easily one that you can add to your repertoire of food to cook and share with others. The preparation calls for an arrangement of vegetables at the bottom of your roast pan and a slathering of sweet sticky apricot preserves. The result is a juicy home roasted chicken with a slight Asian flare.
I am going to leave this recipe here because it is my hope that you share a homecooked, heart-filling meal with friends or family. Even if you are not going through your own battle, and just want a good meal, this dish will serve you well. Now get in the kitchen and make memories.
- 1 Whole Chicken
- 1 Bunch of Fresh Thyme
- 1 Jar of Apricot Jam
- 2 Yellow Onions, peeled and thinly sliced
- 1 Lemon, halved
- 6 Cloves of Garlic, peeled
- 2 Cups of Chicken Broth, and more as needed
- 1/3 Cup of Red Wine Vinegar
- 1 Cup of Dried Apricots, sliced in half
- 5 Tablespoons of Butter
- Salt & Pepper
- Olive Oil
- Preheat your oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Prepare the chicken by patting it dry with paper towels.
- Sprinkle salt and pepper into the cavity of the chicken then stuff the chicken. Add in one half of the lemon, half of the whole fresh thyme sprigs, two cloves of garlic, one half of one onion, and approximately six dried apricots.
- Coat the chicken in juice from the remaining lemon and in olive oil, rubbing them into the skin. Generously sprinkle the chicken with salt and pepper then tie the legs together with cooking twine.
- In the bottom of the roasting pan place the remaining onion, apricots, and thyme. Pour the chicken broth over the vegetables.
- Finely chop the remaining garlic, and sprinkle approximately 3 cloves worth over the chicken broth.
- Place the chicken on top of the vegetables in the roasting pan.
- Place the roasting pan on the middle rack in the oven to roast.
- You will initially roast the chicken for 15 minutes at 450 degrees before turning the temperature down.
- While the chicken initially roasts, prepare the glaze.
- In a small saucepan combine the jar of apricot preserves, butter, red wine vinegar, and remaining chopped garlic. Mix until everything is combined and season with salt and pepper to taste. Remove the glaze from the heat.
- After the initial fifteen minutes has passed, reduce the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit and baste your chicken with its first coating of apricot glaze.
- If the pan ever becomes dry, add in more chicken stock.
- Glaze the chicken every 15 minutes, cooking the chicken until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees.
- Once the chicken reaches the desired temperature, remove it from the oven and allow it to rest before serving it.
- While the chicken rests, create a sauce to serve with it.
- Combine any drippings from the pan with the remaining glaze and heat in a saucepan over medium-high heat.
- Reduce the sauce until it reaches the desired thickness or is reduced to approximately half. Season the sauce with salt and pepper to taste