Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Dinner the Other Night...Roast Chicken Stuffed w/Ketchup Fried Rice :o)

Simple Roast Chicken

Who doesn't like Roast Chicken, right?  It's one of my Hubby's favorite meals.  He says that he could eat it everyday! I don't do anything fancy to it, I don't even truss the legs and stuff and I usually don't stuff it ;o)  My mother rarely made it for us when I was growing up, but when she did, it was such a treat!  She turned it a little Japanese by stuffing it with Ketchup Fried Rice...lol  I know that sounds a little odd and gross, but it is very tasty!  It seems that most of my favorite meals are comfort foods from my childhood.

I got this chicken from the Butcherettes that I've been raving about, Lindy & Grundy.  They are seriously the nicest ladies that you can ever meet!  This was only my second time at their store and they remembered me!  They even said they'd give me a tour of the meat locker next time I come in.  I know it doesn't sound that exciting, but I love getting tours of the kitchens at restaurants and I've never been in a butcher's meat locker and there,  I may get to see half of a steer!  The closest I've come was going inside the dry aging chamber of a steak place near us called Wolfgang's:o) Oh, I've also been in the meat locker at Lawry's restaurant too!  It's customer service like that that will keep me coming back!  It just makes you feel special when store owners and restaurant people remember that you've been there before.  It's sad, but such a rarity nowadays.

The chicken was only about 2 1/2 lbs, what chickens are supposed to be!!  Why is it that at the grocery store you can't find a chicken that is under 4 lbs??  Some are even 5 lbs, and they are frying chickens not roasters.  The taste of this was much nicer than a normal chicken too.  

Chicken w/Feet & Neck...

I was so happy to see that the feet were still attached when I got it home! I would have been ecstatic if the head was still attached too...lol  But I was happy with just the neck.  I love adding feet and neck when I make stock, it adds extra unctuousness to it!  The stock is even better when I use all the roasted bones too. I'm going to have a separate bag of bones in the freezer from L&G chickens...  I chopped up the other chicken and froze it.

Feet & Necks...

There's a place in Chinatown where they have live chickens and they slaughter them right there at their store.  Those chickens have both their feet & head!  When you take the chicken home, it's still body temperature warm;o)  It's just a little bit of a pain to drive down there for me, so I'm glad that L&G is only 15 mins away from me!


I don't usually brine my chickens in salt water anymore, it's much easier to "dry brine" it.  There's a restaurant called the Hitching Post II about an hour away from Santa Barbara that was featured in the movie SIDEWAYS, I actually talked about it in my very first food post on my blog.  I love their seasoning called "Magic Dust" and always have some on hand.  I buy their product, but add some more of my own seasonings  to it and use it on just about everything I make.  I gave some to my sister-in-law in Japan and now she can't live without it too...lol...it's that good;o)  

The chicken has the "Magic Dust", salt, fresh ground pepper, ajishio, & olive oil.  I try to season it at least a few hours ahead of time.

Ketchup Fried Rice

I know that this sounds very odd, but it's so good!  It's something that kids in Japan grow up with.  It's usually in a dish called "Omu Raisu"...Omelette Rice.  It's the fried rice that's covered in a thin egg omelette and served with ketchup on top.  The ketchup is "cooked", so the rice doesn't taste ketchupy. If you ever saw the Japanese movie TAMPOPO, they had the OmuRice in that.  It was the scene where the homeless man sneaks into a restaurant kitchen with a little boy to make him something to eat.

I'm not sure why they started using ketchup like that in Japan, but they also have another dish called Spaghetti Napolitan.  The simple version is spaghetti sauted w/ham or even sliced hot dogs with ketchup...lol  It's really a child's dish, but I still crave it sometimes;o)  It's just not the same if you use real spaghetti sauce!

To make the fried rice I sauted onions & garlic w/salt, pepper, dashi powder, & ajishio.  After the onions softened, I added the rice and mixed that up then added just a little ketchup and stir-fried that then finished it off with soy sauce. I let this all cool down to room temp before stuffing it in the chicken.  I didn't want us to get salmonella poisoning or something;o)

Peeled Celery

I like to peel celery to get the stringy fibers off of it.

Tip for Celery...

I read this tip in Cook's Illustrated years ago to make celery last.  I wash and trim the celery (I don't peel until I'm going to use it) then place a paper towel on top of foil then wrap all the celery up in that and then put it into a large baggie and refrigerate it.  The celery can last up to two weeks this way!


I roasted celery, zucchini & carrots with the chicken.  It's seasoned with the same stuff as the chicken including the olive oil.  Since the chicken was so small it took less than 1 hour to make it.  I go by the color of the skin to see if it's done, but I do also use a temp probe;o)  

Roasted Veggies...

I added the veggies the last 30 mins of cooking, so it wouldn't be mushy.

Roast Chicken!

After the rice is cooked inside the chicken it gets the nice flavor of the chicken juices and doesn't look so orange;o) After stuffing it, I did use a prong to seal it up, so the rice wouldn't fall out while it was cooking.  I'll confess to my most favorite part of the chicken..the tail, it's called Bonbochi in Japanese and I think that American's sometimes call it the Pope's Nose;o)  What's your fav part??


  1. That chicken looks fantastic. I've never heard of ketchup fried rice, but if it ends up that gorgeous, I'm willing to give it a go.

    Your chicken stories remind me of the time we spent in Lebanon. We'd go to the "souk" and choose a chicken, watch them kill it, then bring it home. As kids we'd chase each other around the house pulling on the leg tendons and making the "toes" curl. Ah, the memories.

    Thanks for the great recipes!

  2. LOOKS DELICIOUS! I need to learn how to roast the whole chicken. I've roasted once, but I should cook this way so I can do other things while dinner is being cooked... Yeah it reminds me of my childhood too, with omurice and napolitan! I can't believe you "enjoy" cutting chicken... I never seen the whole chicken until I came to the US. I get goose bump (chicken bump?) looking at the neck and feet. LOL. You are so brave! I guess I'm so used to "packaged" meat in Japanese supermarket. Thanks for the celery tip. I'm going to use this method. :-)

  3. Thanks, Mom Chef! And thank you especially for setting me straight on Foodbuzz postings;o) I love your story with growing up near a "souk"! Actually watching them kill the chicken would be a little hard for me, but it's so funny chasing each other with the chicken feet!!

    Nami, thank you :o) What childhood memories with the food, right? You should try getting whole chickens...it's cheaper and you can make great stock out of the bones! It's gets easier cutting them up the more you do it;o) You too will love seeing chicken feet too, soon...lol

  4. This looks so delicious! I've never made ketchup fried rice, but it looks really good. Does it have a slight sweet-sour flavour to it?

  5. Hi Kay! You're so good at roasting! The chicken has got a very nice golden brown and I can eat up the whole chicken! LOL :O
    I love the idea of stuffing fried rice in the chicken and it must be so tasty! (I love all kinda flavored rice)
    Stewed/braised chicken feets?? BEST! :P
    Seeing your roasted chicken makes me feel like it's Xmas now! :D

  6. This chicken reminds me of my childhood... my parents and I would drive hours into the countryside to this little butcher's shop who had the best meat I have ever eaten, including chickens and rabbits. And they always came with legs and necks (rabbits had heads too). You are so right... they make the best stock! :-) I have always enjoyed cutting meat... it probably comes to this childhood experience.

  7. Winner Winner Chicken Dinner!
    I used to have a phase when I hate Chicken because it's so bland, BUT! roast chicken, just as is, seems to be one of the tastiest thing on the planet.
    I'm not that Japanese to be crazy about ketchup on rice tho, never liked it even when I was a kid.
    Ouuuuu Gooollden Chickennnn

  8. That's one beautiful chicken, Kay. You can just imagine the crunch from the perfectly roasted skin.

  9. Zee, yes, I guess it does have a little bit of sweet/sour flavor, but it is very slight. It does have a little bit of a tang to it;o) Thanks for visiting my site!

    Lyn, not as good as Hainan Chick Rice, but it was still pretty tasty:o) I've never had it, but I think Chinese stuff their birds with glutinous rice, now that sounds delish! I may have to try that next time. Ummm, chicken feet is something I can't eat, I just don't get it since there's hardly any meat on it, I could chomp on a neck though..lol. Yakitori places skewer neck meat and grill it.

  10. Manu, I bet you miss that butcher out in the countryside from your childhood! Can you still get fresh stuff like that around you now? Interesting that they'd leave the rabbit head on, but not the chicken. What do you do with the head of the rabbit? I ate a guinea pig in Ecuador and the cheeks of that was pretty good;o)

    PF, you make me laugh! Simple roast chicken really can be the best! How could you not like the ketchup rice as a kid...lol Stuffing it in the chicken does change the flavor a bit, you wouldn't even know that it had ketchup in it;o)

    Thanks, CookinginSens, btw, my friends are really enjoying your blog :o)

  11. That looks really really good! I love the fried rice...delicious, indeed.

  12. Thanks, Kate! I think everybody loves fried rice;o)

  13. What a beautiful meal! Looks delicious!

  14. Love chicken. Great recipe.


  15. What a great recipe! I love the roast chicken - yours came out absolutely perfect! The ketchup fried rice sounds interesting. I wonder if I could get my 6 year old to try rice that way!

  16. I love love love roasted chicken..you are right who doesn't:)) You did fantastic job..it is 11pm here and I am craving chicken now looking at your amazing pictures!!! :)) Fantastic post!

  17. I love Omuraisu! Are you in love with that butcher shop? It seems like you get stuff from there all the time! Making me jealous, I need to find time to make it up to that area to check it out. =)

  18. Yummy! We eat roast chicken almost every Friday night for Shabbat dinner. It's so comforting, don't you think? :)

  19. It looks delicious!! I have to taste it!!
    Thanks for the recipe ;)

  20. Thanks, Christine!

    Thanks, Erin! Try making it for your 6 year old, they may end of loving it especially if they like spaghetti :o)

    Thanks again, Sandra :o)

    Lindsey, did you grow up with Omuraisu too...lol I love L&G, but they are a little expensive. Also, they aren't like a regular butcher where they have everything in stock. If you have something in mind, you can order it in advance or just call and find out what is in stock. Hope you do try it some day, they are so nice :o)

    Tori, yes, chicken is such great comfort food! Your family must love having chicken every Fri night :o)

    La enredadera, thanks, I hope that you do try making it, thanks for visiting my site:o)

  21. Kay, this looks absolutely amazing! My mouth is watering looking at the pictures!! Perhaps I ought to go eat something... Lol

    I also wanted to let you know that I've passed a blog award along to you! Feel free to stop by my blog and check out my latest post for the award... :-)

  22. What a plate of comfort! My mom used to stuff chicken with sticky (glutinous rice) - this reminds me of what she made. So funny, that you use ketchup in fried rice - I actually make something I call ketchup fried rice, with onions, fish sauce and ketchup.

  23. Sandie, thank you so much for your kind words and for the blog award :o)

    Jeanette, I saw a friends post where he mixed sticky rice and regular rice to stuff his chicken, I think I want to try that next time. I LOVE sticky rice!! Ketchup sounds so weird in fried rice, but it's so good ;o)