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Fabulous Holiday Inspired Roasted Chicken

December 14, 2010
By Wendy Monro

The presents my kids want for Christmas are so expensive.

I remember one year when we bought them each a Disney towel. We were so broke. With all of the other gifts they received from their grandparents, they didn't even realize. Then again, they were one and two at the time.

Now, they are 11 and 12 years old. I threw the Disney towel idea at them and they weren't going for it this year. Oh well, I'll think of something we can afford. I have plenty of time. There are 11 shopping days left. I'm hoping to come into some huge windfall of money by then. It could happen.

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The finished dish of Fabulous Holiday Inspired Roasted Chicken.

As a matter of fact, my sister just received a phone call from This is an organization which facilitates giving to people who you want to help without letting the recipient know who is doing the giving. What an amazing idea!

So, she is to expect a check in the mail from who knows who. It's killing her not to know who its from; but, so much fun.

Sometimes I think about what it would be like to have lots of extra money to give. Sure, the kids and I still volunteer at the shelter a few times each month; but, what would it be like to really give big? How fun would it be to change peoples lives through a generous donation of money, especially right now when times are tough for so many families?

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Fabulous Holiday Inspired Roasted Chicken Recipe

1 whole chicken, taken off the bone (watch my video, "taking chicken off of the bone" on

5 strips of thick cut bacon

2 onions sliced (for gravy)

Two cups of fresh spinach leaves

2 cloves of garlic, chopped

1 cup sharp cheddar, shredded

1 cup bread crumbs

2 tablespoons honey

3 tablespoons butter, melted

sprinkle salt and pepper

Fingerling potatoes or red potatoes

2 tablespoons butter

1 tablespoon flour

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Take the chicken off the bone. Set aside. Cook the bacon until it is crispy. If you want to make a gravy for this dish, slice an onion and saute it in the bacon grease. This will be the start of your gravy. In a food processor, combine bacon, spinach, garlic, cheese, and bread crumbs. Gently lift the skin apart from the chicken and place this spinach mixture in between the skin and meat of the chicken. Place the onions on the bottom of an oven safe dish. Place the chicken on the onions. In a small bowl, whisk the butter and honey together. Pour this over the top of the chicken. Spread the potatoes around the chicken in the dish. Place into the oven for one hour. Check every 20 minutes to baste the chicken and to make sure the skin isn't burning. If the skin gets too black or crispy, just cover with foil until the chicken cooks through. Remove chicken from dish. Place it to rest on a cutting board. Pour the juices from the dish and the onions into a skillet. Whisk in two tablespoons of melted butter combined with a tablespoon of flour and it will thicken up. This can be your gravy for the dish. Slice the chicken.

Serve with potatoes and gravy.

I think that would be a wonderful thing to do during the holiday season. Imagine sending out a check to cover all of the household expenses for the month of December so a family can have a Christmas celebration without worrying about the expense.

If we aren't in a position to do something like this during this holiday season, let's just give in other ways.

Keep your spirits up with everyone you come into contact with. Even that annoying uncle who will be there for the Christmas dinner, or the cousin who always drinks too much and causes problems.

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Keep your patience in the long lines while you shop.

Don't fret over the guy who cuts you off on the street. He didn't really mean it.

Tell everyone you love that you still love them. People like to hear this and be reminded.

Call old friends. Hug new friends.

Enjoy your children. Really enjoy them and look at them and realize how fast they grow.

If you can't afford to get the gifts you wish you could give to everyone you love (I'm a member of this group), give what you can and make up for it in love.

In the long run, this will be what sticks. They will remember the time spent watching Christmas movies, buying a Charlie Brown style Christmas tree, stringing popcorn garland, smelling the turkey baking, and making mulled cider more than receiving a laptop or Nintendo DSI XL...I hope.

This week's recipe is inspired by making something inexpensive and turning it into something special for the holidays. It's just a roasted chicken.

However, by adding bacon, spinach, garlic and cheese, you can turn it into something fabulous.

I whisked together melted butter and honey and coated the top of the chicken with this mixture so the skin would come out super crispy and so tasty. The result was one of the best chicken dishes I have ever cooked.

Claud was so impressed. If Claud loves it, I know I did something great.

I created this dish after reading an article where the cook was stuffing bacon under the skin of a chicken. I had never heard of such a thing; but, I thought, how can you go wrong with bacon?

I have wrapped bacon around poultry and it always turns out fabulous.

I just added a few extra things to this idea: spinach, cheddar, garlic, etc...and made it my own.

Plus the green of the spinach looks festive when you slice it up.



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