Serve with a green salad
- 1 whole roaster chicken or capon, about 6 - 7 pounds
- 1½ teaspoons dried sage
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 12 shallots, peeled (or 3 Spanish onions, quartered)
- 2 ripe pears (any kind will do), peeled, if desired, cored and diced
- 1 butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 1" cubes, reserve seeds if desired
- ½ - 1 cup vermouth or dry white wine
- Remove giblets and neck from chicken cavity; set aside and refrigerate neck if you are going to make stock later or add it to roasting pan if you are going to make gravy; if neither, discard it.
- Rinse chicken in several changes of cold water and pat dry.
- Combine sage and salt and set aside. Place chicken on roasting rack in pan and surround with vegetables. Rub sage mixture into flesh, skin and cavity and sprinkle over vegetables.
- Cook approximately 70 minutes (10 minutes per pound) or until internal temperature reaches 160 degrees. If you are using a thermometer, place it deep in the inner thigh: the chicken is done when the internal temperature reaches 160 degrees. If you do not have a thermometer, you can tell when the chicken is done when the juices run clear from the breast and the leg moves easily.
- When the chicken has finished cooking, remove pan drippings, giblets and neck and place in sauce pan. Remove garlic and rosemary from cavity and add to pan. Add 1 - 2 cups water or chicken broth and bring to a boil. Strain gravy, remove fat and add vermouth or wine and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and let cook for about 20 minutes. Serve on the side with chicken.
For the Butternut squash seeds:
Clean the seeds and discard the membranes and let dry out, either in the air or in a 200 degree oven.
Heat 2 teaspoons olive oil or butter in a large non stick skillet. Add seeds and cook over medium heat until they start to turn golden. Season with salt and serve on the side with the chicken.
The best way to peel a butternut squash is to cut it first in thick slices and then, using a heavy chefs knife, cut off the peel.