Fall in Door County

Yes, folks it is here… fall that is.  The weather has been a bit rainy of late but once this passes we’ll be good to go.  We have the Egg Harbor Lodge decorated for Autumn but still have to put our scarecrow display together this week before Egg Harbor’s Pumpkin Patch Festival this weekend.  The colors have started and the trees are really starting to turn.  The weekend is going to be crazy but don’t forget their are vacancies during the week with the “crowd free”  bonus factor.

All this cool weather makes me want to cook and last night I made my famous “big chicken”.  We get theses huge chickens from our friends Patti and Billy Bley who raise them.  They are around 8 lbs. each which is enough to feed even my whole family.  I usually make mashed potatoes and pan gravy out of the drippings but last night I decided on just scattering the potatoes, onions and carrots around the chicken which makes for an easy supper.  Here is the result…

The "Big Chicken" before...

The "Big Chicken" before...

The "Big Chicken" after

This recipe is fool proof… I also make it on a charcoal grill but it takes a lot longer to cook but the smokey taste is worth it.


1 Large whole chicken

1 head of garlic

1 lemon

1 thyme bundle

Salt & Pepper

1 Large Spanish or sweet onion

1 Cup Chicken stock or broth

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees

Liberally season the inside of the chicken with salt and pepper or any seasoning of your choice… I use Rotisserie Chicken seasoning  that I picked up at Fleet Farm.  Oil the outside the chicken with vegetable oil and/or butter and liberally season the outside as well.

Cut the lemon and garlic in half and stuff the cavity with the 1/2 lemon, the 1/2 garlic, the thyme bundle, and then the other halves of the garlic and lemon.   Tie the legs and tuck the wings.

Cut up small Yukon Gold potatoes in half, cut up the peeled carrots, and slice the onions into rounds and spread all around the chicken and season with salt and pepper. Add about a cup of chicken stock (so the vegetables don’t burn before the chicken gives off its juices) and cook for and hour and a half or so or until a meat thermometer is at 165 degrees.  During cooking, cover with foil when it gets nice and brown and periodically stir the veggies and baste the bird.  Let sit for at least 15 minutes before carving.  If I make mashed potatoes, I will substitute rutabaga for the Yukon Golds and make a pan gravy (there is no equal to roast chicken pan gravy).  Place the vegetables in a serving dish, carve the bird and serve.  This recipe is easy and once you do all the prep work (particularly if you don’t make the mashed potatoes) once it is in the oven you’re done.  Perfect for guests… everyone loves chicken!

Anyway, watch for my video of Downtown Egg Harbor all dressed up for fall this week.  My granddaughter Adi and I are taking a walk this week to film the decorations and fall colors.  We aren’t near peak yet, so there is a lot of time to see the fall colors in Door County.

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