Sunday, February 20, 2011

Chicken a la Nora Walker

If you're a fan of Brothers & Sisters, you may know where I'm going with that title. If you aren' will all make sense soon. I, for one, am a big fan of the show. Not only will I be watching it tonight, I also made Nora Walker's signature meal for dinner...Roasted Chicken. If you've never made one, or if it's been a while, do yourself a favor. Go buy a chicken and roast it today.

I'm not exactly sure how Nora does it, but here's my version. You will need...

  • A whole chicken - for 2 people, I buy a 4-5 lb bird.
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 cup white wine (I use the cheap stuff)
  • 4-6 whole garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 1 lemon, quartered
  • 1/2 stick butter, melted
  • Salt & Pepper
Preheat your oven to 425. Cut your onion in half. Slice half of the onion thinly and quarter the other half. Line the bottom of a baking dish with the sliced onion. This will create a nice little bed for your birdie. Now, remove the innards from your chicken and lightly rinse it inside and out. Pat the skin dry with paper towels. Now it's time to season and stuff the bird. The trick (Nora swears by it, too) is to separate the skin from the meat on top of the bird. You can do that easily by just running your finger between the two. Once you've done that, pour half of the melted butter down under the skin and toss some salt & pepper down there, too. Next, season the cavity of the chicken with salt & pepper and stuff the quartered onion, half of the lemon, and garlic in. Now, you want to tuck the wings under the bird so they don't burn. (Although, I forgot to do that this time around, and they didn't burn. So...not a big deal). Next, tie the legs together using kitchen twine. I was out of twine, so I used a couple of kabob skewers to keep the legs together. Then you want to pour the remaining butter on top of the chicken and season with salt & pepper. Squeeze the other two lemon quarters on top of the bird, toss the lemons in the dish and pour the broth and wine in the dish, too.

Put the chicken in the oven and roast for about an hour, until the skin is brown and crispy. You want to baste it about every 15-20 minutes. At the 30 minute mark, I tossed some fresh green beans in the pan to cook. crispy and juicy and good! I'll take chicken like this over a grilled chicken breast any day. Sure, it takes a little longer, but it really is so much tastier. If you want a thicker sauce to serve with the chicken, simmer the juices from the roasting pan on the stove over medium heat until it reduces into a nice sauce.

I also made these whipped potatoes, to go with the chicken. I basically boiled two potatoes, mashed them down a bit and added some light sour cream, green onion & chive flavored cream cheese, a little bit of butter, salt, and pepper...and then beat them with a hand mixer. Pretty tasty!

And there you have it...a favorite Sunday meal for the Janisse crew. And for Nora Walker and her crew. Oh yeah, be sure to enjoy with a nice glass of Ojai white :) Don't get it? Watch the show!


  1. Hi! I have a question: My Perdue oven stuffer roaster says to cook at 350, but you say 450? What should I do?

    Thanks so much!

    Peter K.

  2. I used Martha Stewart's recipe as a guide - she recommends 425. I'm sure 350 would be fine, too. You would just need to cook it longer - like maybe an hour and a half? When in doubt, use a meat thermometer to test that it's cooked to the right temp. Hope that helps!

  3. I watched the series over again and roast chicken is mentioned often. Was so glad to find this recipe. But I have to say, I've never seen a chicken roasted upside down. I've always roasted it breast side up. Where have I been ;o)