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Saturday, October 25, 2014

Weekend Cooking: Roast Chicken

You know how I love to cook and you know how I love the Presidents and First Ladies? How about combining those passions with a cookbook about John and Abigail Adams?! Review of the cookbook, The Culinary Lives of John and Abigail Adams: A Cookbook, is upcoming, but today I wanted to take a look at one of the recipes that we tried from it. We started with something simple – Roasted Chicken.

Chickens were among many types of fowl prepared in New England during the colonial and early American period – many of which are still made today. Among these types of fowl are: quail, duck, chicken, turkey, pigeons, and partridge. New England preparations are known for being simple to prepare and quite frankly, a little bland.

the culinary lives of john and abigail adams

Roast Chicken
Serves 4-5

3 lb roasting chicken
2 tsp. fresh ground pepper, divided
3 tsp. table salt, divided
5 Tbsp. unsalted butter, divided
1 Tbsp. all purpose flour, plus one pinch
Pinch of salt
2 tsp. parsley flakes, for garnish
Slices of lemon for garnish

1) Preheat oven to 425°. Sprinkle the chicken’s interior with 1 teaspoon pepper and 2 teaspoons of the salt. Truss the chicken. Grease the baking pan with a tablespoon butter.
2) Mix 3 tablespoons butter and 1 tablespoon flour in a small bowl. Rub the mixture on the chicken. Sprinkle a pinch of salt and pinch of flour on the bird. Place the bird in the roasting pan.
3) Cook the chicken for about 15 minutes, until the skins starts to turn a light brown. Remove the pan from the oven, flip the chicken over, spread with remaining tablespoon butter, another pinch of salt and pinch of flour. Return to the oven.
4) Every 10-15 minutes remove the chicken from the oven and sprinkle with a pinch of salt and pinch of flour. Cook until chicken reaches a temperature of 180° - about an hour and a half total cooking time. Remove skewers and serve with lemon and parsley garnish.


From the method the chicken is cooked it made me think that this was rather bland and I couldn’t figure out the sprinkled flour aspect. So, I changed it up just slightly. We stuck some fresh herbs inside the cavity with the salt and pepper – however these herbs still fit into the historical aspect because they would have been available in New England in the Adams’ time, we used rosemary and marjoram. We also only sprinkled with flour about 2 times instead of every 10 minutes. It did absorb some of the oils and made the skin a little crispy. Overall, not a bad tasting chicken.  Paired it with rice and some maple carrots.


Weekend Cooking is hosted by Beth Fish Reads. Any post remotely related to cooking can participate.


Copyright © 2014 by The Maiden’s Court


  1. An unusual cookbook. Cheers from Carole's Chatter

  2. Interesting. I've never heard of sprinkling flour on a bird while roasting it. Don't you just love find cookbook gems like this?

  3. I love Presidential recipes. Will add this cookbook to my wish list. Looking forward to your review. :)

    1. It will hopefully be coming up next weekend.

  4. Sprinkling flour on the chicken seems to be a way of crisping up the skin.Also, as the flour browns and leaves crumbs in the pan, I bet it is used to thicken the juices, that are in the pan, to make a gravy.I am also looking forward to the review.

    1. It definitely helped to crisp up the skin without leaving it too greasy.

  5. Sprinkling the chicken with flour while it's roasting is new to me. I love historical cookbooks -- this sound like something I need to track down.

    1. It looks like it is being published in two days - October 28th.

  6. I love roast chicken! I live not far from the Adams homestead in Massachusetts. I think there was just a big anniversary celebration there.

  7. I love a good roast chicken too and the sprinkled flour thing is new to me too.

  8. I love a simple roasted chicken -- mostly because the leftovers make such great sandwiches!

    Joy's Book Blog


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