Mom's Roast Chicken

My mother's recipe for roast chicken with all the trimmings (stuffing! chicken gravy!), first published in Kitchen Parade in 1965 - in print, naturally. It belongs to a special collection of her recipes, Kitchen Parade by Shirley, published online in 2009 in celebration of Kitchen Parade's 50th anniversary.

Just stuffed and ready for trussing and roasting

“A roast chicken with all the trimmings rates high on the list of everybody’s favorite meals. So many of the younger homemakers are afraid to roast a chicken. It sounds so complicated and so much fuss. It really isn’t.

The secret is to have a stuffing recipe that everyone likes so that preparation time is cut to the minimum. This may not be so easy. Some times two adults have completely different ideas of good poultry stuffing. It took me seven years to achieve one that my husband and I like. Maybe you’ll like it too.”

~ Kitchen Parade, circa 1965

In my mother’s childhood, Sunday dinner was often roast chicken with all the trimmings. Family lore says that her English-born father carved a chicken with great skill and flourish. There was no fancy carving in my own childhood home but I sure do remember looking forward to the special occasions when Mom would roast a chicken, complete with stuffing and chicken gravy.

I’ve made my mother’s roast chicken several times this spring. Her recipe may date back 45 years but it’s a classic and works beautifully every time. Plus, call me surprised that making stuffing first adds only about 10 minutes of preparation time.

ALANNA's TIPS Does anyone really end up with ‘day-old’ bread anymore? With preservatives, commercial bread stays fresh for days. Such a treat, homemade bread is long gone before the second day! For bread, choose a hearty bread with good structure. Bakers might consider my go-to recipe for whole-grain bread, especially rolls, Light 'n' Fluffy Homemade Whole-Grain Bread. I’ve even used leftover muffins with dried fruit. If the bread tastes good, the stuffing will too! If there’s more stuffing than will fit inside the cavity, just tuck it alongside the chicken in the roasting pan. It pays to learn how to truss a chicken with kitchen string. It takes just a minute or two and helps the chicken roast evenly. Plus, it just looks so good coming out of the oven! To avoid undercooking or overcooking the roast chicken, I insert a programmable meat thermometer, one of my favorite kitchen tools, into the breast meat. I set the thermometer’s alarm for 150F and remove the chicken from the oven then. While it rests and while I make the gravy, the internal temperature will rise to the perfect temperature of 160F. Do you roast a chicken breast-side up or breast-side down? For color, I am quite happy with breast-side up, especially since the meat probe ensures perfect cooking.


Hands-on time: 25 minutes up front, 15 minutes to finish
Time to table: 2-3/4 hours
Serves 4 with plenty of leftover cooked chicken
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 cup chopped celery
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 – 3 slices day-old bread, torn into pieces
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon poultry seasoning
  • Pepper to taste
  • 1 egg yolk whisked with about 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 whole chicken, rinsed and dried inside and out
  • Kitchen string, about 3 feet
  • 2 tablespoons butter, optional
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons chicken drippings (reserve the rest for gravy another time)
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 cup liquid (milk or vegetable water)
  • Salt & pepper

Preheat oven to 325F.

STUFFING Saute the onion and celery in the butter over low heat until they are tender and yellow. Crumble the bread into the pan and add the remaining ingredients. Stir to combine, adding more milk if needed.

ROAST CHICKEN Spoon the stuffing gently into the body cavity. Don’t pack it in as the stuffing swells during cooking. 'Truss' the chicken. Grease the breast and legs with butter. If the chicken is very fat this isn’t necessary but it keeps the meat of a young chicken moist and tender. Sprinkle with salt. Bake in a covered roasting pan for about 1 hour. Remove the cover and bake one more hour uncovered so that the chicken will brown.

CHICKEN GRAVY Fifteen minutes before serving time, remove the chicken from the oven. Transfer to a carving board, cover with foil. You should have about two tablespoons of drippings. Slowly add flour and blend well. Slowly add the liquid. Cook and stir over medium heat until thick. Add seasonings to taste and you may want to add some commercial gravy coloring.

SERVE Scoop the stuffing out into a serving dish. Carve the chicken onto a platter. Serve with mashed potatoes, a vegetable and a crisp green salad. Save the chicken carcass to make Homemade Chicken Stock.

NUTRITION ESTIMATE Assumes a serving is 1/4 pound chicken, 1/4 of the stuffing and 1/4 of the chicken gravy: 302Cal; 18g Tot Fat; 9g Sat Fat; 103mg Cholesterol; 508mg Sodium; 18g Carb; 1g Fiber; 6g Sugar; 13g Protein; Weight Watchers 7 points

How to Truss a Chicken

I've seen such complicated instructions for trussing a chicken, all which seem to be most concerned about saving kitchen string. With my technique, you may end up snipping off extra string, but it's extra easy. Do it once, you'll do it again without thinking.

Place the chicken on flat surface, breast-side up. Cut about three feet of kitchen string. Working from the string's midpoint, wrap the string around the tips of the chicken legs a couple of times, tying them together to close the cavity, also so they'll rest close to the body. Now, wrap the string around the whole chicken twice. Catch the wing's 'elbows' the first time around, the wing tips the second. Now tie a bow, as fancy as you like.

Kitchen Parade is written by second-generation food columnist Alanna Kellogg and features fresh, seasonal dishes for every-day healthful eating and occasional indulgences.
Do you have a favorite recipe that other Kitchen Parade readers might like? Just send me a quick e-mail via
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© Copyright 2009 Kitchen Parade

Win an HP Photosmart All-in-One Wireless Printer

Just a few more days left in the special giveaway offer for the readers of Kitchen Parade and A Veggie Venture. This isn't one of those contests where the odds of winning something worth $10 is 1:million. Entering is easy!

Win an HP Photosmart All-in-One Printer
A Special Offer Just for Readers of
Kitchen Parade & A Veggie Venture

Win an HP Photosmart All-in-One Printer

Between now and April 27, 2009, BlogHer and HP are sponsoring a contest where an HP printer will be given away, ONLY to the readers of Kitchen Parade and A Veggie Venture.

Okay, well, anyone can enter the contest but I'm only telling my own readers about it. But what this means is, the odds of winning are very very high!

All it takes is leaving a comment that finishes this sentence, "A wireless color all-in-one photo printer will make my life better by ... ".

I've been so touched by the many poignant reasons people say that a wireless printer would improve their lives. What's yours?

© Copyright 2009 Kitchen Parade

Old-Fashioned Black Walnut Chocolate Cake

A classic chocolate cake, moist and earthy, studded with black walnuts. An old family recipe now 'reunited' with its story.

Old-Fashioned Black Walnut Chocolate Cake with Maple Ice Cream

Careful Kitchen Parade readers just might recognize this column's story about the Missouri woman and her black walnut tree. You see, the story was published back in February along with the recipe for Black Walnut Bread. Then, just a week ago, the woman's daughter told me, "I've got the chocolate cake recipe that matches that story."
Thank you, Vera, for sharing the recipe for your mother's 'Lady Betty Cake'. I like to think that she is beaming from heaven, pleased to know that her legacy for all her children and grandchildren and even great-grandchildren now also includes the family's long-time favorite walnut chocolate cake.

It was a hard-scrabble place, that farm, but to a Missouri widow and her four children in the 1940s and 50s, it was home.Out front was a black walnut tree with a trunk larger than a grown man’s arms' outstretched, with upper boughs furnishing welcome shade.

Come fall, as the walnuts ripened and dropped, the green-colored husks were mounded in the sun to dry. Then all four kids settled onto the house’s rock steps for the real work, cracking the husks with hammers, hands turning sticky-black; breaking the shells; and finally, with great precision, extracting the walnut nutmeat with nutpicks. It required real effort, harvesting black walnuts, but to the widow and her four children, it was just the way it was, the reward a chocolate cake studded with smoky-strong, slightly musty black walnuts.

In later years, the widow worried that the aged tree would fall onto the farmhouse. She consulted her then-grown children about taking it down. “No, no,” they said. “That tree is our childhood, our heritage. We love that tree.”

One day, the tree was gone. The widow explained, “The nicest man stopped by and offered to take it down, said he wouldn’t charge me, either.”

There was no resurrecting the walnut tree, nor was there telling the widow that that nice man had harvested black walnut wood worth about $15,000. It was just the way it was.

ALANNA's TIPS Not everyone has access to black walnuts. Not to worry, English walnuts are easy to find and would work just as well in this loaf cake, so would pecans, so would almonds. I do recommend first toasting English walnuts (but not black walnuts), pecans and almonds, to draw out their nutty flavor. The original recipe calls for 3 ounces of chocolate, but once I accidentally used 4 ounces but loved the added chocolate richness. Four ounces it is! One cake, I substituted coconut milk for milk, it worked fine though the coconut flavor didn't really come through. The next time I make this, I'll add up to a tablespoon of cinnamon. I have 'no idea' if this cake keeps or not, there are 'zero' leftovers!
Kitchen Parade is written by second-generation food columnist Alanna Kellogg and features fresh, seasonal dishes for every-day healthful eating and occasional indulgences. Do you have a favorite recipe that other Kitchen Parade readers might like? Just send me a quick e-mail via How to print a Kitchen Parade recipe. Never miss a recipe! If you like this recipe, sign up for a free e-mail subscription. If you like Kitchen Parade, you're sure to like my food blog about vegetable recipes, too, A Veggie Venture. Follow Kitchen Parade on Facebook!


Hands-on time: 30 minutes
Time to table: 3 hours
Serves 12 with generous pieces, more for slimmer ones
  • 4 ounces (113g) bittersweet or unsweetened chocolate
  • 4 large egg whites
  • 1/2 teaspoon table salt
  • 1-2/3 cups flour, fluffed to aerate before measuring or 220g
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon table salt
  • 1 - 3 teaspoons cinnamon, optional (see TIPS)
  • 2 cups (236g/8ounces) chopped black walnuts (see TIPS)
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • Powdered sugar for dusting, optional

Set the oven to 325F. Generously grease a Bundt pan. (I recommend Baker's Joy for best results with Bundt pans.)

MELT CHOCOLATE Gently melt the chocolate, either in a small saucepan over low heat or in a bowl in the microwave, 10 seconds at a time.

WHIP EGG WHITES While the beaters are clean, in a medium bowl, beat the egg whites and salt with an electric mixer until stiff peaks form. Set aside.

CREAM BUTTER, SUGAR & EGGS In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg yolks until light and fluffy.

MEASURE DRY INGREDIENTS In a separate bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and walnuts.

COMBINE Mixing just until combined, mix into the butter mixture:

– 1/3 flour mixture
– half milk
– 1/3 flour mixture
– remaining milk
– melted chocolate
– remaining flour mixture

FOLD IN EGG WHITES With a spatula, gently fold in the beaten egg whites. Transfer to the Bundt pan.

BAKE & COOL Bake for 60 - 75 minutes or until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove from oven and let cool for 10 minutes. Turn cake onto a cooling rack to finish cooling, then transfer to a cake plate. If you like, sprinkle with powdered sugar.

SERVE Slice and serve with scoops of maple ice cream made without (or with, either way) walnuts. Savor and remember!

NUTRITION ESTIMATE Assumes 16 Slices, per Slice: 305 Calories; 18g Tot Fat; 7g Sat Fat; 75mg Cholesterol; 175mg Sodium; 27g Carb; 1g Fiber; 23g Sugar; 5g Protein; Weight Watchers Old Points 7, PointsPlus 8

First, It Was Lady Betty Cake

The original recipe was called Lady Betty Cake

Old-Fashioned Black Walnut Chocolate Cake

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© Copyright 2009 Kitchen Parade

Mango Chicken Salad

Did you know that mangoes are the world's favorite fruit? Here, just in time for warmer weather, fresh mango is paired with cooked chicken and a touch of curry for a delicious -- but still light -- chicken salad.

Mango Chicken Salad

"... this was delicious! ... Soo delicious and satisfying!" ~ Lynessa

Last fall, a shopper was woman-handling the peaches at a nearby grocery, squeezing one then another for ripeness. "The produce here is terrible," she complained loudly to no one in particular. I attempted to explain, “It's past-season for peaches." She stared my way as if I were daft and answered with ferocity. "Not anymore. You can get them all year."

So we can. But that doesn’t mean we should, not when the peach orchards of Missouri and southern Illinois bear juicy-sweet fruit all July and August, plenty time for gorging.

But what about fruit that doesn’t grow nearby? How much should ‘season’ matter when fruit is imported from California or Mexico?

I asked these questions while peeling and cutting mangoes these past few weeks, breathing deeply to capture the unfamiliar scent, licking my fingers to capture the stickiness. If Missourians were strict locavores, we’d forego artichokes, bananas, lemons, oranges, figs, blueberries, cherries and … and … and …

The locavore movement is all well and good but who wants to give up tropical fruit? Mangoes remind me to be grateful for global food distribution. Surely, surely, there’s room in our world for swapping mangoes and peaches.


Hands-on time: 20 minutes
Time to table: 1 hour
Serves 4
  • 1/4 cup low-fat yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon mango chutney
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1/2 tablespoon good mustard
  • Zest & juice of a lime
  • 1/4 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • 1 pound cooked chicken breast, cubed (no cooked chicken on hand? here's how to poach chicken breasts)
  • 1 mango, peeled and cubed quite small
  • 2 green onions, white and green parts, chopped
  • Lettuce leaves

Combine sauce ingredients in a large bowl. Stir in the chicken, mango and green onions. Refrigerate for about 30 minutes to let flavors meld. Arrange atop lettuce leaves and serve with fruit or feta slices.

ALANNA’s TIPS If you can’t find fresh mangoes, look for jars of mango slices in the produce section of larger supermarkets. Trader Joe’s some times has bags of frozen mango pieces, they’re great.

NUTRITION ESTIMATE Per Serving: 254 Calories; 4g Tot Fat; 1g Sat Fat; 97mg Cholesterol; 142mg Sodium; 16g Carb; 1g Fiber; 13g Sugar; 37g Protein; Weight Watchers Old Points 5, PointsPlus 6
Kitchen Parade is written by second-generation food columnist Alanna Kellogg and features fresh, seasonal dishes for every-day healthful eating and occasional indulgences. In 2009, Kitchen Parade celebrates its 50th anniversary with a special collection of my mother's recipes. Do you have a favorite recipe that other Kitchen Parade readers might like? Just send me a quick e-mail via Quick Suppers are Kitchen Parade favorites and feature recipes easy on the budget, the clock, the waistline and the dishwasher. How to print a Kitchen Parade recipe. If you like Kitchen Parade, you're sure to like my food blog about vegetable recipes, too, A Veggie Venture. "Like" Kitchen Parade on Facebook!

More Chicken Salad Recipes

(hover for a description, click a photo for a recipe)
Asian Chicken Salad Lemon Chive Chicken Salad Chicken Greek Salad

~ more cold suppers ~

Shop Your Pantry First

(helping home cooks save money on groceries)

This Recipe Has Moved

The recipe for Mango Lassi has moved,
please see
Mango Lassi with Fresh Mint

© Copyright 2009 Kitchen Parade