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Simplest Roast Baby
1 10-15lb baby, diaper removed
1 lemon -- halved
4 whole garlic cloves
4 tablespoons unsalted butter -- (optional)
Kosher salt to taste
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 cup homemade or canned chicken broth -- water,
fruit juice or wine, for deglazing
Place oven rack on second level from bottom. Heat oven to 500 degrees.
Remove the hair from the head if any and crop the fingers and toes of the baby. Discard the fingers and toes or freeze for making baby stock later. Reserve baby livers for another use.
Stuff the cavity of the baby with the lemon, garlic and butter. Season the cavity and skin with salt and pepper.
Place the baby in a 25-by-18-by-3-inch roasting pan, breast-side up. Put in the oven legs first and roast 50 to 60 minutes, or until the juices run clear. After the first 10 minutes, move the baby with a wooden spatula to keep it from sticking.
Remove the baby to a platter by placing a large wooden spoon into the rump and balancing the baby with a kitchen spoon pressed against the head. As you lift the baby, tilt it over the roasting pan so that all the juices run out of the cavity and into the pan. Pour off excess fat from the pan and put the pan on top of the stove. Add the stock or other liquid and bring to a boil, scraping the bottom vigorously with a wooden spoon. Let reduce by half. Serve the sauce over the baby or, for crisp skin, in a sauce boat.
Makes 8 servings
Note from author: "If there is no lemon, garlic or butter on hand, roast the baby without them. Or play! Use peeled shallots or a small onion, quarter ed. Add a couple of sage leaves or orange wedges. To avoid a smoky kitchen, be sure your oven is clean before you start, all hair is removed and use the right-size pan."
Date Written: April 19, 2005
Average Vote: 1