An Ode to Rosemary
Rose·mar·y [rohz-mair-ee, -muh-ree] noun, plural -mar·ies.
An evergreen shrub, Rosmarinus officinalis, of the mint family,
native to the Mediterranean region, having leathery, narrow leaves
and pale-blue, bell-shaped flowers, used as a seasoning
and in perfumery and medicine: a traditional symbol of remembrance.
Ahh, doesn't that sound heavenly?
And a day of remembrance we had preparing for this!
Memory Number Uno - we have recently returned from
what our family deems, the most beautiful place in America -
the beautiful beaches along Scenic Highway 30A
in the Florida panhandle (between Destin and Panama City).
WHERE, I might add, we visited one of our favorite spots,
Memory Number Dos - as we were shopping for ingredients
for this recipe, we were reminded of the fragrance
that was on our hands and that was filling our car.
We had just returned from the home of some
dear friends gathering a bucketful of said ROSEMARY!
and Memory Number Tres - a rather strange memory,
our check out girl's NAME was ROSEMARY!
How freaky is that?!?
Okay, so, enough rambling and reminiscing...
we've got some cookin' to do.
Today's recipe may not even count as a 'recipe'
but more of an 'idea' - so, use it up!
I recently had the privilege of cooking this Rosemary Chicken
for the Singing Men of East Texas led by
my amazing boss and my awesome husband
gets to be a part of!!! What a treat!
(So do not be alarmed by the mass quantities of
chicken shown in these photos - over 200 pieces).
This is sooo easy, you could do it with your eyes closed!
THINGS YOU WILL NEED
Chicken Pieces - raw, thawed
Roasting Pan/Casserole Dish
First off, you must find a friend that has loads of rosemary
and wouldn't mind you snipping a handful of.
With me so far?
Now it's time to season the thawed, raw chicken.
First off, I understand that there are some people out there
that are on a very limited sodium diet, but if you are not,
please, please, please do not be afraid of
salt and pepper in your food!
I believe the reason some foods don't taste as good as they should
is rarely because someone is a bad cook,
but simply because it lacks enough of this simple ingredient - salt.
I'm not saying be a salt hog, but you would be surprised
how much better your food would be if you added salt
DURING the cooking process, NOT after.
There's just something about adding salt WHILE
you are cooking chili, spaghetti sauce, soups, and meats
that you just cannot reach the same level of goodness
if you add salt after cooking. In fact, I believe
it takes MORE salt afterwards and the flavor is still
never quite there.
SO, spray a nice baking dish
(preferably some type of metal roasting pan -
however, glass would work as well)
with cooking spray liberally OR
if you are using chicken breasts,
drizzle your pan with olive oil and
a few tablespoons of butter.
Those boneless, skinless chicken breasts
will need a little fat in the pan!
NOW, apply salt and pepper on ALL sides of your raw chicken.
Don't be scared.
Place seasoned chicken pieces in the baking dish
Now, liberally sprinkle, dab, drop or spread
diced/chopped garlic all over the chicken.
Again, do not be afraid.
Do you know how good garlic is for you???
NOW, your kitchen is a bout to go over the top
with some amazing smells. As if the garlic wasn't amazing enough!
Take your gently washed/rinsed rosemary stems/branches
and either cut them into 2-3 inch pieces or hold the
rosemary over your baking dish and snip, snip, snip
the rosemary randomly all over the chicken.
If you would rather not have little flecks of rosemary
all in your chicken, I would suggest tucking
a 2-3 inch piece of cut rosemary underneath
each piece of chicken. So far so good right?!
Now, pause for a minute and just breathe in the yumminess! Ahh!
Okay, back to reality.
Place chicken in your preheated 375 degree oven
for about 40 minutes - if they are nicely spread apart.
We usually have to cook ours an hour or so (for our family)
because we usually cook 15-20 thighs.
You will know they are done when the skin-on chicken
is nice and golden and crispy! Mmm.
Please note that if you are baking this using chicken breasts,
you must flip them several times during the cooking process
to keep them from drying out. It's not a bad idea
to keep an eye on the thighs as well and you may
want to flip those once or twice...
stirring the rosemary around as well so that it will not dry out.
And there you have it!
Although we were not responsible for any side dishes for our chicken,
it goes great with most any side dish
because the flavor is not at all overpowering.
Now, go ye therefore....and EAT!