Tupelo Honey Cafe’s Herb Roasted Chicken

Tupelo Honey Cafe's Herb Roasted Chicken

We recently traveled to Asheville, North Carolina for a weekend brewery crawl. The craft beer there is abundant and fantastic. What I also found was the famous Tupelo Honey Cafe, a Southern foodies dream. Well worth the 3 hour wait ( don’t worry they text you when you’re getting close on the list so you are free to explore downtown while you wait) this restaurant creates new southern comfort food by adding creative twists and fresh local and seasonal ingredients to their dishes. I was such a fan I bought the cook book and have not been disappointed with anything I have tried yet. This is the best roast chicken I have ever made. The herb stuffing seeps its flavor into all of the meat while it roasts, making each bite as comforting as a bowl of chicken soup. This is a great way  to use up extras from the herb garden as well.  I might even try to use this recipe with my Thanksgiving turkey. I highly recommend the cookbook and their website says that there will be a new one available this Spring, I am pre-ordering mine now.

Tupelo Honey Cafe’s Herb Roasted Chicken

1 3 lb chicken

2 c peeled and diced carrots

2 c diced celery

2 c diced sweet yellow onion ( Vidalias are best)

2 T chopped fresh Thyme

2 T chopped fresh sage

2 T chopped fresh Basil

2 T chopped fresh rosemary

2 t salt

1 t pepper

1/2 c olive oil

Pre heat oven to 350. Combine all ingredients together in a large bowl to make the stuffing.

Remove giblets from chicken cavity and place on roasting pan. Stuff the cavity with the mixture until full.  Add  left over stuffing with the giblets on the roasting pan and place the chicken on top, use the left over oil in the stuffing bowl to rub over the skin of the chicken. Place in the oven for 1 hr 40 min or until the juices run clear. Let the chicken rest for at least 15 minutes before carving. Use the stuffing and giblets from the roasting pan to make a pan gravy if desired.

Tupelo Honey Cafe's Herb Roasted Chicken

Tupelo Honey Cafe's Herb Roasted Chicken

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Easiest Dessert: Chocolate Mousse with Lemon Cream

 

I am not a baker, desserts and breads are hard for me. That’s why I love this easy dessert you make in a blender. This is a recipe favorite from Bon Appetit’s Fast Easy Fresh cookbook by Barbra Fairchild. The lemon cream goes perfectly with the dark chocolate mousse but if you prefer use milk chocolate chips instead of dark and vanilla extract (1 t) instead of the lemon juice in the cream. This recipe is doubled from the original recipe in the cookbook and made 6 servings.

Blender Chocolate Mousse with Lemon Cream

2 c chocolate chips ( I used 1 cup good dark chocolate chips and 1 c milk chocolate)

1 1/2 c water

6 T sugar divided

1/2 t instant espresso powder (or instant coffee)

6 large egg whites

2/3 c chilled heavy whipping cream

1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

1 teaspoon lemon zest

 

Place chocolate chips into a blender. Bring water,  4 T sugar and espresso powder to a simmer in a sauce pan, stir to dissolve coffee and sugar. Pour over chocolate chips in blender. Cover tightly and blend for 5-10 seconds. Add egg whites and cover and blend on high for 1 minute. Pour into glasses or bowls and chill until mousse is set. Mine took about 2 hours.

 

For Lemon Cream:

whisk cream, lemon juice, 2 Tablespoons of sugar and lemon zest in a small bowl until small peaks form, add dollop to top of the mousse.