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Video: Forget turkey! Make rustic chicken for Thanksgiving

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    >>> it's time to take you into today's kitchen for a meal made by the young and wonderful, and we love him, reed alexander.

    >> if you are not the turkey type or you don't have time to cook one, reed's here with an easier alternative right out of his cookbook called "cool bites" and we love it.

    >> happy thanksgiving early.

    >> you are growing up.

    >> i love you guys.

    >> so nostalgic.

    >> first time in the kitchen.

    >> i remember when i changed your diapers.

    >> today we're going to stuff a chicken .

    >> we have a family friendly super easy thanksgiving version dinner. sometimes a turkey can be intimidating if you're a younger set coming into the kitchen.

    >> okay.

    >> the mini bird. the big bird is flying the coop. we're going to grab a chicken . super simple. kathie lee , do you want to make a rub?

    >> i've got it, baby.

    >> little drop of olive oil . we're not using any butter.

    >> that much?

    >> a little bit more. you can go ahead.

    >> perfect, perfect, perfect. then we have our mustard going in here for a kick of flavor. dijon.

    >> i love that, yeah. right?

    >> now what have we got here?

    >> some thyme and parsley. garlic salt . we just made these. do you want to stir?

    >> yes.

    >> perfect. hoda, let's chat. we're going to coat the top portion of the chicken . first we're going to stuff inside the bird.

    >> half a lemon?

    >> yeah, absolutely. we'll use for flavor.

    >> i love it.

    >> it permeates the meat. we have parsley going in. you can do this rustically. a little bit of thyme.

    >> and garlic?

    >> garlic, too, yeah, yeah, yeah.

    >> shoving it in there.

    >> you've got it, all the way.

    >> on the way on top here --

    >> totally.

    >> right? we're going to go ahead and coat our chicken and then we'll transfer that to our baking sheet .

    >> you used pure rel. do you pure rel often.

    >> i am a self-confessed germaphobe.

    >> it's important when you're cooking. not only do you want to cook it through, but you want to make sure --

    >> do you just slather it on the one side?

    >> yes. on the bottom, we'll have one stop shopping gravy. low sodium chicken broth .

    >> that's it?

    >> that's it. this would be great on a turkey if you are doing a thanksgiving turkey.

    >> i can't believe that's all we did.

    >> that's ready to go.

    >> into the oven, right?

    >> seconds away.

    >> 350 for --

    >> 80 minutes, 350 degrees.

    >> 1:20.

    >> covered or uncovered?

    >> covered. great question.

    >> good. now butter nut squash, the ultimate side dish . speaking from experience, i'm an nyu college student . what college student doesn't love fries. if you're not going home , you can make these. that's your side contribution. instead of sweet potatoes , we're using -- do you want to do this?

    >> yes.

    >> dunk it and then we've got our corn flakes waiting here. we'll add all of these amazing spices. marjorum, pepper, super simple, right?

    >> absolutely, onto the baking sheet . 425.

    >> i did it.

    >> i'm amazed.

    >> 425 for --

    >> 425 for 40 to 45 minutes.

    >> i'm dying to try this.

    >> you have a sweet tooth , right?

    >> hoda does.

    >> i want to go for the chicken .

    >> we've got the roasted chicken , which is so delicious. dig in. i'm so excited for you to tase.

    >> who needs the plate.

    >> going straight for the chicken .

    >> rev up your engines. we have the fries.

    >> delicious.

    >> what do you think? do you like it?

    >> oh, my god.

    >> moist, right?

    >> absolutely delicious. then caramel pumpkin pie . instead of doing a traditional pumpkin pie , these are dairy free.

    >> you can have those hod.

    >> i can't get over this chicken .

    >> i'm going for a fry.

    >> absolutely delicious.

    >> love it?

    >> we love everything do you.

    >> i love you guys. this was really fun.

    >> the recipe on our website

TODAY recipes
updated 11/25/2013 2:43:08 PM ET 2013-11-25T19:43:08

Recipe: Rustic roasted chicken

Ingredients
  • For the wet rub:
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh thyme
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • For the chicken:
  • 1 fresh organic whole chicken, about 4 pounds
  • 1 lemon, halved
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and halved
  • 15 sprigs fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 15 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • To make the rub, combine all the ingredients in a bowl and mix well.
Preparation

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Rinse the chicken inside and out and pat dry. Season inside the body cavity with salt and pepper. Place the lemon halves, garlic cloves, and parsley and thyme sprigs in the cavity. Place the chicken in a roasting pan or baking dish. Spread the rub evenly over the chicken, covering all exposed skin and meat.

Pour the broth around the chicken in the pan. Roast for 80 minutes, or until the internal temperature of the chicken, where legs meet breasts, is 165 degrees and the chicken juices run clear when the meat is pierced by a fork. Let rest 5 minutes before carving.

Serving Size

Makes 4 to 6 servings

Recipe: Butternut squash fries

Ingredients
  • 2 large egg whites, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup unsweetened cornflakes cereal, crushed
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried marjoram
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried savory
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 3/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 small butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and sliced into matchsticks
Preparation

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and lightly coat with olive oil.

Place the egg whites in a bowl. In a wide baking dish, combine the crushed cornflakes, garlic powder, marjoram, oregano, savory, thyme, salt, and pepper.

Using tongs, dip the squash fries into the egg whites until coated. Transfer to the corn-flakes mixture and coat on all sides. Place on the baking sheet in a single, even layer.

Bake 40 to 45 minutes, until the inside is fork-tender and the outside is crispy. Serve immediately.

Serving Size

Makes 4 to 6 servings

Recipe: Mini caramel pumpkin pies

Ingredients
  • 2/3 cup raw sugar
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1/4 cup pure Grade A maple syrup
  • 1 1/2 cups unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 (15-ounce) can solid pack pumpkin puree
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 5 large egg whites, at room temperature (4 for pie filling, 1 for pie crust)
  • 2 (9-inch) round pie crusts, store-bought or homemade
  • Nonstick baking spray
Preparation

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Lightly spray the interior of four miniature, round pie dishes (approximately 5 to 6 inches in diameter) with nonstick baking spray. Divide each pie crust evenly among two pie dishes to cover interior, crimp edges with the tines of a fork, prick crust all over with fork to create steam vents, and brush crust with one egg white. Blind bake 30 minutes, until crust is golden brown.

Combine sugar, water, and maple syrup in a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium high heat, swirling pan (but not stirring) occasionally until sugar has dissolved. Brush interior of pan frequently with water to prevent syrup from building up a coating. Cook approximately 7 to 10 minutes until mixture has reduced and thickened, and then carefully pour in ½ cup almond milk, whisking vigorously to combine. Add remaining 1 cup almond milk, mix until evenly distributed, and set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, combine pumpkin, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, and vanilla. Stir in caramel mixture followed by egg whites. Pour filling evenly into pre-baked piecrusts, until about three-quarters full, and bake 1 hour, until center is just set. Cover crust with aluminum foil as necessary, if crust is browning too heavily.

Serving Size

Makes 4 miniature pies

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