I only called my mother twice five times during this process. Reaching inside a chicken for the first time has its disadvantages, but the end product turned out delicious enough that I’ll gladly to it again. Last night’s dinner was a beautiful segway into fall. Many of the Phoenicians reading this are most likely shaking their heads…why roast a chicken when it’s still 97 out? I can’t help it. My internal clock thinks fall is here, and I’m craving the warm flavors and colors that come with turning leaves, cooler weather, and comforter requiring nights.
Wheat berry salad as a side helped keep dinner light. My first time cooking and potentially eating wheat berries…crunchy, nutty, and oaty all in the same bite. Here I combine red wheat berries with cool English cucumber, crisp red bell pepper, a yellow chile pepper (much to my dismay, this little beauty packed enough eat to leave my hands tingling), parsley, and a lemon vinaigrette.
Preheat oven to 425
5.5 lbs whole chicken, free range organic will taste better and potentially not be as large.
3 tablespoons yellow curry powder
3 tablespoons dried sage
2 tablespoons ground black pepper
1 large lemon
Handfull of fresh rosemary
6 garlic cloves
I rinsed and patted the chicken dry. After cutting the lemon in half, I rubbed the halves on the chicken. With the sage, curry, pepper mixture, pat the chicken well. Don’t forget to pat inside the cavity. Put the lemons, rosemary, and garlic inside the cavity.
*You can use a little butter on the chicken, if you like. I used maybe….a teaspoon for the whole chicken and mixed it in with the dry spices.
The chicken goes into a 9×13 roasting pan and into the oven. For the 5.5lbs chicken made during this recipe, it took roughly 75 minutes. Depending on the size of your chicken, test out at 45 minutes by sticking a meat thermometer in the thickest part of the leg. At 160 degrees, the chicken is cooked. Remove chicken from oven, let cool for roughly 15 minutes, then carve.
*Mine was so divine that the three people at dinner nearly devoured the entire bird.
Wheat Berry Salad with Lemon vinaigrette
adapted from Tiny Urban Kitchen
1 cup read wheat berries
1 red bell pepper
1 yellow chile pepper
1 large handfull of parsley
1/2 a large English Cucumber.
Toast the wheat berries on about medium heat first. The kitchen and potentially whole house, if you live in a small space, will smell wonderful. Then soak the wheat berries for 1 hour in cool water. Bring the wheat berries and 2 cups of water to a boil, cover and reducea simmer. Simmer for roughly 45 minutes, until wheat berries are plump and most of the water as cooked off.
While waiting for the wheat berries to cook, chop all the veggies and toss together into a bowl. Prepare the vinaigrette, recipe below. When the wheat berries are completed, add them to the veggies and toss together. Sprinkle with vinaigrette. Toss and serve.
Juice of 1 large lemon
2 teaspoons olive oil, extra virgin preferred
Mix together until the ingredients are well combined. Toss over Wheat Berry Salad. Recipe above.