Recipes Inspired by Musicals - Annie

Sunday, November 3, 2013

When I was a kid, my dad attended annual insurance meetings in Toronto. Once in a while, those meetings coincided with March Break, and my mom, my sister and I got to tag along.

Visiting Toronto was always exciting. I remember driving into the city, breathlessly seeing Lake Ontario to the south and the huge bank buildings to the north. Shopping in Toronto was fun, and we loved visiting the Science Centre and Royal Ontario Museum. We always stayed in the downtown Sheraton, from whose room window we could watch skaters on the outdoor rink at Nathan Phillips Square.

But by far the most memorable thing we ever did was see the musical Annie.

Annie had opened on Broadway in 1977. The story of a young orphan who was adopted by Daddy Warbucks during the Great Depression was enormously popular. The first touring production had just begun. And in March of 1978, when my parents were checking what was on that night in Toronto, they noticed that Annie had just opened at the O’Keefe Centre.

“We’ll never get tickets,” my mom said.

“They’re probably sold out for the run,” my dad said.

But they called anyhow, and thank goodness they did. Although Annie was indeed nearly sold out for its Toronto run, it was still in previews, and seats were available.

Thus it was, that very evening, the four of us headed down to watch this energetic show.  The musical highlights were “It’s A Hard-Knock Life”, “Tomorrow”, and the wonderful “Easy Street”, but it was the enthusiasm of the young actors that turned it into a thoroughly charming evening.

You might think it’s tough to find a recipe inspired by a musical set in the Depression, but don’t underestimate me. The song “We’d Like to Thank You,” acknowledges Herbert Hoover’s promise to put a chicken in every pot. Substitute a roasting pan for a pot, and you have this delicious chicken recipe. With just a handful of ingredients, it takes longer to heat the oven than it does to prepare the meal. Easy Street never came any easier.


Perfect Roast Chicken
(adapted from Martha Stewart Living)

1 six-pound roasting chicken
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 medium onions, peeled and sliced crosswise 1/2” thick
1 lemon
3 large garlic cloves, peeled
4 – 6 sprigs fresh thyme
1 Tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Remove giblets if necessary, and rinse chicken inside and out. Dry thoroughly with paper towels.

In the centre of a roasting pan, place onion slices in two rows, touching. Pierce the entire surface of the lemon with a fork. Using the side of a large knife, gently press on garlic cloves to open slightly. Insert garlic cloves, thyme sprigs and lemon into cavity. Place chicken in pan, on onion slices.

Spread the softened butter over entire surface of chicken, and sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper. Place in the oven, and roast until skin is deep golden brown and crisp, and the juices run clear when pierced, about 1 1/2 hours.

Remove chicken from oven and let stand 10 to 15 minutes so the juices settle. Remove and discard onions, garlic, thyme and lemon. Carve and serve.


22 comments:

Gloria Baker said...

I love roast chicken, and this look absolutely delicious!!

Bonnie said...

Beth, I remember the first time I saw Annie. I could not go to sleep that night because of the energy of the show. The music looped through my head all night.

Roasted chicken is a favorite of mine. I thick it is probably the perfect and most satisfying dish. I usually use rosemary in place of the thyme. Love these posts.

Julie said...

Roast chicken is one of my favorite meals. We can always get at least a couple of meals out of one delicious chicken!

bakewithjill.com said...

I can smell it now! A perfect thing to make during the cold months.

Jemi Fraser said...

Annie is such a delightful show! Tomorrow gets to me every single time!

I Wilkerson said...

Wow, this brought memories of the first time I saw Annie--and how amazed I was. I think a good roast chicken is one of the most under-appreciated foods around and was so happy when I realized that chicken doesn't need to come in 4 or 8 pieces!

Valerie Gamine said...

This roast chicken looks delicious! Sometimes I have unbearable cravings for chicken and fish but I never know how to prepare either, unless they come in a box that slips into the oven or microwave. :P

Fabulous musical inspiration, as usual!

Kitchen Riffs said...

This is such a great recipe for Annie! Good job on that. And great job on the chicken. Perfectly roasted chicken is one of the best meals going, and this looks terrific. Thanks so much.

Natalie Aguirre said...

My husband would like this. Thanks so much for sharing your recipe.

Dan from Platter Talk said...

Beautifully done!

Belinda said...

Toronto is such a fantastic place - as is this simple classic chicken!

Pamela @ Brooklyn Farm Girl said...

I just happen to be defrosting a chicken, this recipe would be perfect!

Angie Schneider said...

A perfectly roasted chicken!

vanillasugarblog said...

Oh Beth!
That's exactly how I felt when I first saw "Cats" on Broadway!
I was awestruck!
Wonderful post!!

Claire Davis said...

I love Annie! I have never seen it live but we always watched one of the movie versions. Your roast chicken looks delicious.

Liz Berg said...

I love roasting chicken at a high temp, too...yours looks picture perfect. We took the whole family to Annie, too :)
PS...Bill has a whole list of food he does not like such as nuts and mushrooms. When we're with friends, he'll joke that he's allergic to politely decline. I'm glad we don't have to deal with any real allergies.

Kathy said...

Love your tie in with “A chicken in every pot”…perfect! As is your beautiful chicken! Have a great week, Beth!

Katerina said...

I love, love the roasted crust of chicken's skin! I can eat the whole thing! Looks absolutely mouthwatering Beth!

Joanne said...

I saw Annie on Broadway when I was younger and it was definitely my favorite musical for a long spell!!

Denise Browning said...

What a great idea to have recipes inspired by musicals, Beth! I love how goldenlicious this chicken looks...

grace said...

i'd like that specific chicken in my pot, thank you very much. :)

Paula Montenegro said...

Good choice Beth! A roasted chicken is always welcome. My first musical was Evita, in San Francisco in the early 80's.

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