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Recipe: Rich in flavor

This is the time of year that most of us start craving foods rich in flavor, as if our bodies are trying to tell us we need to start preparing for hibernation and I am more than happy to oblige.

Roasted Chicken

5-pound chicken

½ cup chicken stock or broth

2 teaspoon garlic powder

4 teaspoons onion powder

2 teaspoon dried thyme

2 teaspoon kosher salt

6 tablespoons butter, softened

Salt and pepper, to taste

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.

In a small bowl combine the butter, garlic powder, onion powder, thyme and salt until they are well blended.

Place the chicken breast side up in a large roasting pan or a dutch oven. Using your hands spread the herb butter mixture between the skin of the chicken and the meat then pour the chicken stock into the roasting pan. Sprinkle the chicken with salt and pepper.

Tightly cover the roaster with a layer of aluminum foil before placing the lid on top. This step will help to lock in moisture and prevent the chicken from drying out while it is in the oven.

Roast the chicken in the oven for approximately 3 hours. After 2½ hours, remove the aluminum foil and baste the chicken with the butter in the roaster. Return the chicken to the oven without covering it; this will help the skin become crispy.

Roast the chicken an additional 30 minutes or until it reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees for 15 seconds. Allow it to cool before cutting it.

Note: I don't like to let that delicious melted butter go to waste, so I make a thin gravy to drizzle over the top of the chicken. After removing the chicken, place the roasting pan on the oven and heat it over medium-high heat until it begins to boil. In a small cup, combine ½ cup of water with 1 tablespoon of flour and whisk it until there are no flour lumps left. Gradually add the flour/water mixture into the boiling butter while whisking. Slightly reduce the heat to keep the gravy at a simmer. Continue to simmer the gravy until it reaches the desired thickness.

Roasted Root Vegetables

2 large red potatoes, chopped

1 rutabaga, peeled and chopped

3 carrots, peeled and chopped

1 yam or sweet potato, peeled and chopped

2 tablespoons olive oil

fresh rosemary sprigs

Emeril's Essence

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Wash the vegetables thoroughly and pat them dry. Chop them into hunks similar in size so that they bake evenly.

Arrange the chopped vegetables evenly on a baking sheet with a lip. Drizzle olive oil over the vegetables and then sprinkle them generously with Emeril's Essence; add as much rosemary as desired and toss the vegetables until they are well coated.

Bake the vegetables for 30 minutes, then turn them over and place them back in the oven for another 30 minutes and continue to roast them until they are soft.

Bacon Peach Ice Cream

1 cup water

⅓ cup water

1 cup fresh peaches, sliced

½ pound bacon

¼ cup brown sugar, lightly packed

vanilla ice cream

Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Lay the bacon on the sheet in a single layer and sprinkle the bacon with the brown sugar. Bake the bacon for 10 minutes at 400 degrees then flip and drag the bacon through the brown sugar and grease on the baking sheet. Continue to bake the bacon for an additional 10 minutes until it is crispy and sticky; transfer the bacon to a plate lined with paper towels.

As the bacon cools, combine the water and sugar in a small pot over medium heat and allow the sugar to dissolve, cooking it until it boils then remove it from the heat.

Allow the syrup to cool before adding it to a food processor or a blender with the peaches. Blend the mixture until it is smooth.

Dish up the ice cream and drizzle it with the cooled peach syrup and top it off by crumbling the bacon over the top.