In Italy, a Sunday doesn’t pass without the entire family gathering together to do nothing more than cook and eat. It sounds like the perfect Sunday to me. Combine that with football season and life doesn’t get any better. Sharing food with those you love is a cherished tradition and we should all be keeping the tradition alive.
Sunday dinners aren’t about ordering pizza or popping a casserole in the oven. It’s a long, all day process of prep and slow cooking on the stove and filling the home with the wonderful aromas of tradition and love and bliss.
A favorite Sunday meal for me is Rosemary Lemon Roasted Chicken with various side dishes. The chicken is one of my “go to meals” when I want to impress my guests. Not that my Sunday dinner guests need to be impressed…after all, I’m sharing these meals with family and our closest friends. If I served them a frozen casserole, they’d still come and they’d still eat. But where’s the heart in that? So impressing them may not be what I mean but the love and laughter and memories being made are sure to make an impression on us all. The amazing meal we are all going to indulge in is just icing on the cake.
Take the time to get together with those you love. Spend a Sunday cooking and laughing and loving and sharing stories.
This past Sunday we had our best friends over for Sunday family dinner. I made the Rosemary Lemon Chicken and Pan Fried Asparagus in a Lemon Butter Sauce and homemade Stuffing. The house was filled with laughter and love but come dinner time, everyone was quiet and when it comes to cooking, that’s always a good sign!
Start your tradition next Sunday with these recipes:
Rosemary Lemon Roasted Chicken
3-4 Fresh Rosemary Sprigs
1 Whole Lemon (zest and then cut into wedges)
2 Tablespoons Extra Virgin, High Quality Olive Oil
2 teaspoons Kosher Salt
1 teaspoon Freshly Ground Black Pepper
6 Gloves Garlic (4 minced, 2 whole)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Clean chicken and seperate skin on breasts so you can insert your seasoning under the skin
In a small bowl, zest one lemon (do not discard). Add olive oil, minced garlic, salt and pepper and whisk to combine. Rub all over chicken and underneath breast skin.
Insert Rosemary sprigs, whole garlic cloves and lemon wedges inside chicken cavity.
Place chicken on rack in a roasting pan and cook according to the table below.
Chicken cooking table:
2.5 to 3 lbs. = 1 hr 15 mins
3 to 3.5 lbs. = 1 hr 25 mins
3.5 to 4 lbs. = 1 hr 35 mins
4 to 4.5 lbs. = 1 hr 45 mins
4.5 to 5 lbs. = 1 hr 55 mins
5 to 5.5 lbs. = 2 hr 05 mins
5.5 to 6 lbs. = 2 hr 15 mins
6 to 6.5 lbs. = 2 hr 25 mins
6.5 to 7 lbs. = 2 hr 35 mins
7 to 7.5 lbs. = 2 hr 45 mins
Let chicken rest for about 15 minutes before cutting to retain moisture.
Pan Fried Asparagus in Lemon Butter Sauce
Two or Three bunches of Asparagus, preferably thick
1/2 Stick of Butter
1 Lemon (juiced)
Salt and Pepper
Steam asparagus until slightly tender but not mushy
In a sauce pan, melt butter and add lemon juice and salt and pepper
Add asparagus and sauté until well coated and slightly browned
Day old French or Sourdough Bread, cut into cubes
4 Celery Stalks, Finely Chopped
1 Onion, diced
1 Stick of Butter
4 Cups Chicken Stock
Preheat oven to 375. Grease a 9×12 baking dish
In a sauce pan, melt the butter and add celery and onion. Cook until soft and translucent.
Add cubes of bread to a big bowl. Pour onions, celery and butter over the bread and toss to coat the cubes of bread.
Add the chicken stock and toss to ensure all cubes of bread are moist.
Transfer to baking dish and cover with foil. Bake for about 30 minutes. If you prefer a crispy crust, remove foil and continue to cook for about 10 more minutes.
Serve and enjoy.
Sunday Night Dinner