The presents are wrapped, the tree is decorated, the cards have been sent out. It’s nearly Christmas but you still have lots of cooking to do. We sometimes forget to pause and sit for a while during the holidays. Perhaps try to take the time to just to sit and marvel at the flickering lights of the décor as you listen to carols streaming through your devices. The holidays are meant to be enjoyed and cherished. And you can only do that if you get out of the kitchen and live in the moment of the season. How do you solve getting out of the kitchen? By cooking easy holiday recipes that don’t need too much fussing.
This Roast Chicken with Scallions and Mushrooms was one of the easiest party dishes I have ever cooked. All it takes is seasoning a whole roasting chicken. All roast chickens are beautiful and can be the elegant centerpiece of the holiday table. I flavored this entrée with Asian flavors like rice wine, scallions and straw mushrooms. It was so simple to put together.
Rice wine is an amber-colored, versatile wine ingredient which I use for Asian dishes. It can be obtained from major supermarkets or Asian groceries. Its whole, yet delicate fine wine flavor brings out the best in any dish. Flavors come alive. Aromas become unforgettable.
Simply rub the seasonings all over the chicken and roast it, marinating every now and then. Once the chicken came out of the oven, the sweet aroma of rice wine merged with the scent of savory scallions. It was so irresistible to everyone as they gathered around the table.
This Christmas, make the memories and relish them by spending less time cooking and more time with family and friends. Savor the season by recognizing the joys that come your way. Hold every fragile memory with an open hand, appreciating it and preserving it for always.
Merry Christmas to all from our home to yours!
Roast Chicken with Scallions and Mushrooms
- Large roasting pan
- 5 pounds whole chicken, bone-in for roasting
- 2 Tablespoons salt
- 2 cups straw mushrooms canned or fresh (or use button mushrooms)
- 1 knob fresh ginger sliced in thin strips, about 1 Tablespoon
- 4 to 5 stalks scallions chopped
- 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 Tablespoon granulated sugar
- 2 Tablespoons soy sauce
- 1/4 cup Shaoxing rice wine
- 1 cup chicken broth for gravy
- 1 Tablespoon cornstarch for gravy
- 1/4 cup water for gravy
- for serving: boiled rice
- Make sure whole chicken is thawed and no part is frozen. Wash and wipe the chicken with a damp cloth or paper towels. Dry well. Then rub with salt all over, inside and out. Preheat the oven to 375 F degrees.
- Meanwhile, slice the mushrooms, ginger. Cut the scallions, stalk and leaf in 2-inch sections. Set these all aside.
- Heat the vegetable oil in a medium skillet, over medium heat. Add the ginger and stir fry for 1 to 2 minutes. Add the scallions and mushrooms. Stir fry till soft, but not brown. This should only take 5 minutes. Remove from pan and let cool.
- Stuff the chicken cavity with the scallion-mushroom mixture. Sew up securely or skewer, then truss. Tuck the tip of the chicken wings under the bird. Place the stuffed chicken in a roasting pan.
- Combine the sugar, soy sauce, rice wine and stock and pour over the chicken. Roast, uncovered, basting every 30 minutes with the drippings on the side of the chicken, until done. This size of chicken will take about 1 hour and 50 minutes or up to 2 hours to cook completely.
- Average cooking time for a roast chicken with bone is 30 minutes per pound of meat at an oven temperature of 375 F degrees.
- If using a meat thermometer: insert the thermometer at the thickest part of the chicken thigh without touching the bone. The roast chicken is done if it reads 180 F (83 C).
- To serve: Carve the chicken and arrange with the stuffing on a serving platter and the gravy on the side. Keep warm. Serve with rice.
- To make the gravy:
- In a small saucepan, slowly reheat ½ cup of the chicken drippings.
- Separately, blend the cornstarch and cold water to a paste and till smooth.
- Then stir the cornstarch blend into the drippings. Let it boil till thick.
- Pour the gravy in a serving bowl and serve on the side of the roast chicken.
- Cook's Comments: Shaoxing rice wine is an Asian ingredient which is an aromatic wine made from fermented glutinous rice. It is the standard Chinese cooking flavoring and used in most stir-fried or braised dishes. This should not be confused with Chinese rice wine vinegar. One should avoid Shaoxing cooking wine or Shaoxing cooking sherry which are heavily salted. If you need to substitute, use a pale, dry sherry and never sake (Japanese wine) or white wine. Chinese Shaoxing rice wine is available at Asian markets or online sources. *[Source: The Asian Grandmothers Cookbook by Patricia Tanumihardja].
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Notes on Nutrition: The nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and specific brands of ingredients used.
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