A cozy chicken dinner

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Plated chicken dinner
A cozy chicken dinner   I love the simplicity of roast chicken, especially when I don’t have to cook it. On Wednesday, my friend Cluny (he’s actually the brother of Isla, my traveling buddy; her entire family loves to cook) made me this delicious meal. The menu: Roast chicken with stuffing and gravy Mashed potatoes Brussels sprouts with red peppers Take a look:

The chicken was perfectly seasoned — it’s important to be heavy handed with salt and herbs if you want maximum flavour. The stuffing was equally delicious, I’ve snagged Cluny’s recipe (inspired by a Joy of cooking recipe). Here it is: 1/2 a loaf white sandwich bread, cubed and lightly toasted 1 tablespoon (15 mL) or more fresh thyme leaves 1 cup (250 mL) minced onion  1 cup (250 mL) chopped celery 1/4 cup (50 mL) butter 1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt 1/4 tsp (1 mL) freshly ground black pepper Melt the butter, in a large frying pan, set over medium heat. Add the veggies and sauté until soft and clear but not carmelized. Remove from heat. Add thyme leaves, salt and pepper. Add bread and toss to mix. You may want to moisten the mixture, albeit slightly, with chicken stock. Stuff the bird just before roasting. Anything that doesn’t fit can be baked in a small casserole dish alongside the chicken until hot, about 30 min.  If you’re looking for a roast chicken recipe go to en.chatelaine.com/english/video/food/article.jsp?content=20080304_210543_6776 for Chatelaine’s Perfect Roast chicken and a video on how to make it. Instead of stuffing with lemon and garlic try the stuffing recipe listed above.  The Brussels sprouts were simple – just sautéed with butter and chunks of peppers – and delicious enough to convert the most stubborn sprouts hater. Sprout tips: Rinse really well. And don’t overcook them, unless you want a flashback to the mushy sprouts you’ve likely encountered in the past. The potatoes were equally simple: boiled and mashed with hot milk and butter (so you don’t cool down the temperature of the potatoes) then seasoned with salt and pepper. I volunteered to mash the potatoes and I didn’t put enough elbow grease into it, so they weren’t totally smooth. (I’m always afraid to mash too much in fear that they’ll become a gluey texture). Luckily, Cluny’s delicious gravy masked the lumps.