1. of the first or highest quality, class or rank
2. serving as a standard, model or guide
What does a classic recipe mean to you? I think, like the definition above, that "classic recipes" for me suggest two things.
The first is, of course, the recipes that my family has made since I was little. The ones that, when I'm sick, I call my mum and beg her to send to me. The ones that are often sitting in my freezer for that day I come home from work and just do not feel like cooking. Think: Freddi's meatballs, pot roast and mac and cheese; my dad's meatloaf and pasta salad (even though the second comes out of a box); my grandmother's fried chicken and veal. Those classic, comfort foods that remind you of your childhood no matter how fancy someone makes them (lobster and truffle mac and cheese anyone?)
But I also think of the classics, the standard meals that exist in every culture...especially those that my family never really got in to. The first of which, when I think about it, is a perfect roasted chicken. My fam never really made roast chicken; the closest we got was picking up a rotisserie chicken when we were running late, and half of that went to our dog!
So when I got really in to cooking, one of the recipes I wanted to master was a classic roast chicken, something that, in a family of excellent chefs, I could really corner the market in. This recipe is simple and straightforward yet mouth-wateringly delicious--I literally start drooling from the delicious smells.
Classic Roast Chicken
1 whole roasting chicken, about 4 lbs.
6 yukon gold potatoes, cut into chunks
1 onion, cut into chunks
4 carrots, peeled and cut
1 lemon, pricked numerous times with a knife
1 small bunch of fresh thyme
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp butter, melted
1. Preheat oven to 425F.
2. Arrange the potatoes, onion and carrots in a baking or roasting dish. Toss with the olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place in the preheated oven and roast for 15 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, rinse the inside and outside of the raw chicken under cool water; pat dry. Stuff the cavity with the pricked lemon and thyme and tie the legs together using kitchen twine (DO NOT use other twine, as it can be treated and make you super sick.)
4. After the vegetables have roasted for 15 minutes, place the chicken, breast side up (the tied together legs should be up) on top of the veggies. Brush the chicken skin with the butter and season with salt and pepper. Roast the chicken until golden brown and juices run clear--about 18 minutes a pound. Remove from oven, carve and serve.