I just love Chanukah. I love lighting the candles with my family and singing the songs. It's such a wonderful feeling. I also love Chanukah because I get to make latkes. Now, I know I could make latkes more often if I didn't fry them in oil. But they're just so good that way I can't imagine baking them in the oven. So every year I wait until Chanukah comes around and I grate potatoes and onions for almost 8 straight days.
I also wanted to make a really special meal to go along with the latkes. I decided to roast a whole chicken. This is about the 3rd or 4th time I've done this and I love it more and more every time. It's such a wonderful, comforting meal and it went really well with the latkes.
We also had parsnips for the first time last night. I roasted them in the pan with the chicken and they were really yummy! For those of you who maybe haven't had them before, they taste kind of like a combination of a carrot and a sweet potato. I really liked them and I think I will be adding them to the menu more often (despite the fact that Rob and Maura did not like them very much.)
Herb Roasted Chicken
1 3-4lb chicken
1/2 a lemon
3-4 sprigs fresh thyme, chopped and divided
4 or 5 leaves of fresh sage
salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 450. Rinse chicken inside and out and pat dry. Place in roasting pan with a rack, breast side up. Rub with olive oil, salt and pepper and half of the herbs. Fill cavity with lemon, salt and pepper and the remaining herbs. Cover with foil. Roast for 20 minutes at 450. Decrease oven temp to 350 and remove foil. Roast for another 50-60 minutes, or until a meat thermometer reads 180 at the thickest part of the thigh. Let rest for 15 minutes before carving.
I used the drippings in the pan to make a pan gravy. I simply put my roasting pan across 2 of my stovetop burners and heated it. Then, I deglazed with some homemade chicken stock (you could also use part white wine here, but I didn't have any) Add about a tbsp or so of flour and whisk until thickened.