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  Dear Insured,

Happy Fourth of July!

It's the middle of summer, and that makes this holiday the perfect time for a long, relaxing day of fun and frolic, topped off by a night of fireworks to commemorate the rocket's red glare back when our forefathers were fighting for their independence.

And if, like me, you associate this holiday with good times and good food as much as the celebration of our national freedom, you might appreciate this hearty recipe for roasted chicken shown below. It's a tasty dish that's sure to be a hit at any Fourth of July festivities!

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Jim Barricks
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  Roast Chicken with Carrots and Potatoes

1 whole chicken, roughly 4 pounds
2 tablespoons butter or margarine
2 cloves garlic, mashed
Salt and pepper
2 tablespoons dried rosemary leaves
1 tablespoon thyme
2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, medium sized, washed and scrubbed
2 pounds carrots, washed and peeled, cut into thirds
6 medium red onions, peeled, cut into halves

Wash the chicken and pat dry, inside and out. Salt the inside of the chicken (unless you plan to add stuffing).

If you plan to add stuffing, stuff front and back of bird, just before roasting. Do not over stuff (stuffing expands during roasting). Secure front and back with small skewers.

Make sure chicken is breast side up, and tie or skewer drumsticks to tail. Rub outside of chicken with butter or margarine. Rub on garlic, evenly spread.

Salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle on rosemary and thyme. Place bird in shallow roasting pan. Add potatoes, carrots, and onions.

Cover with tin foil tent. Place in oven, 375F. Remove foil after 1 hour.

Total cooking time for a 4 pound chicken is approximately 2 hours. Chicken is done when meat thermometer shows 165 in the thickest part of the thigh (not the leg). Juices should run clear.

Allow to stand for 10-15 minutes before carving.

Cheat: Instead of making the stuffing from scratch, use a package of Stovetop Chicken Stuffing and just follow directions, less 1/4 cup water (the chicken will add the extra juiciness).

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