Monday, March 12, 2012

Roast Chicken

I love Roasted Chicken, I think it is one of the simplest meals and yet one of the most fulfilling; from making it, to the carving it and of course to eating it.  It fills the soul with a sense of home, comfort, and even a bit of security.
Roast Chicken plays with our emotions also.  Mom or grandma in the kitchen, placing a big fat bird in the oven covered with spices and surrounded with onions, carrots, celery and in our case sliced lemons.  The aroma of the chicken as it cooks, filling the house with a warm heady scent.  Since it takes a good hour or more to roast the chicken, the house fills with the aroma, getting your appetite ready for some really food.
My favorite part is when I plate the whole chicken, it's all golden brown and juicy; placing the veggies all around and setting it on the table.  We all sit, bow our heads and say Grace.  That is the moment of accomplishment for me.  Then I slice pieces of it and place it on the plates for my mom and dad in law, knowing that I have brought a little sense of their childhood forward to them.  Mom and Dad are in their mid eighty's, and smells bring back the most vivid of memories.  I take joy in being able to give them both a gift of food and memories.

On Sat. night I made a home cooked meal for 12 teenagers.  We had my own pasta sauce, spaghetti, salad with home made dressing, crusty bread and two simple but different cakes.  The kids were so surprised that I did this, they are so use to getting pizza and eating that, I think the home made meal threw them a bit, in a good way.  Here is the recipe for the sauce:

Hearty Pasta Sauce

2 lbs of ground beef
1 onions, diced
4 cloves of garlic, minced
2 28 ounce cans of pureed tomatoes
2 14 ounce cans of diced tomatoes with garlic and basil
2 T. of Italian seasoning
2-3 bay leaves
2 t. sugar
1 t. of kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper

In a large skillet brown the meat till no pink remains,  Drain and rinse with hot water, return back to the skillet.
Add the onions and continue to cook for 5-8 minutes.  Add the garlic and continue for another 4 minutes stirring well.

Add the tomatoes, all of them.  Add the remaining ingredients and bring to a gentle bubble. Partially cover with a lid and let this simmer on low for about 30 minutes.  The sauce will thicken and the flavors will learn to get along.

This sauce is now ready for pasta.....

Variations; you can use any type of ground meat from turkey and chicken to pork.  I will use a couple of links of sweet Italian sausage or plain ground pork.  Do use quality ground beef, ground round is my personal favorite.

Stay tuned for tomorrow, we are making our home made lasagna for lunch at school.  I will be adding pictures of the process.  Making lasagna for 250 is very interesting......

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