The Aldi Gourmet: French Chicken for $5

At , whole is just $.79 per pound. I picked up an entire 5+ pound bird for just $4.08 yesterday. Searching for ways to prepare it, I grabbed my Williams Sonoma Paris cookbook for inspiration. Could the Aldi chicken stand the test of cooking? I wanted to find out.

First, I don’t recommend thawing an entire chicken in the microwave. The best way to thaw it is to leave it in your refrigerator for a day or two. It’s better for the bird and also helps save a little money on energy since your fridge doesn’t have to work as hard when a big lump of frozen poultry is cooling everything else off.  Unfortunately I don’t always plan ahead like that. So, do what you must.

The recipe I based this one on is POULET ROTI AUX ENDIVES ET AUX POMMES DE TERRE. However, I strayed quite a bit from the original recipe because I didn’t have endive. The main seasonings remained the same, and were simply delicious. Here’s the rundown:

Remove giblets from inside thawed bird. Rub entire bird (outside and under skin) with a paste made from:

2 cloves garlic, mashed
1 Tbsp. lemon juice concentrate
2 Tbsp. dried thyme leaves
3 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Inside the cavity of the bird, rub with a mixture of:

3 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
1 Tbsp. rosemary leaves
1 Tbsp. lemon juice concentrate

Tie the legs together and place on its side in a roasting pan. Put in preheated 375 degree oven and roast for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, remove from oven and turn on other side. Roast for an additional 20 minutes. Meanwhile, cube and boil one pound of potatoes for 10 minutes or until tender but not soft. Drain potatoes and toss with 1 Tbsp. olive oil. Place in pan with chicken, tossing in the pan juices. Return to oven and roast bird breast-side-up for an additional 30 minutes or until the internal temperature registers 170 degrees. Remove chicken and potatoes to serving platter and cover with aluminum foil to stay warm.

In roasting pan, de-glaze pan with ½ C. white wine for about 5 minutes or until reduced to about ¼ C. (I love cooking with wine, so I keep a box of Chardonnay in the fridge. You can also make wine cubes with leftover bottled wine and store them in your freezer). After wine has reduced, add 1 C. chicken stock and reduce again. If you have fresh stock, that’s great. I don’t always have it on hand so I rely on chicken base granules. After this has reduced about 5-10 minutes or until thickened, pour sauce over chicken and potatoes. YUM!

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