Recipe of the Month
Classic Roast Chicken
Move Over, Rudolph!
The 4 Most Underrated Holiday Specials
INGREDIENTS • 1 chicken, approx. 5–6 lbs • Kosher salt • Freshly ground pepper • 1 large bunch fresh thyme, 20 sprigs removed • 1 lemon, halved
When the weather outside is frightful — or your family is on your last nerve — there’s nothing like settling in to watch a classic holiday special.“A Charlie Brown Christmas” and “It’s aWonderful Life” hold top spots on the TV guide, but there are plenty of overlooked specials that are sure to delight. Here are a few seasonal suggestions that might become your new family favorites. ‘A MUPPET FAMILY CHRISTMAS’ In this musical masterpiece, Kermit and friends prepare to celebrate the holiday season.What makes this special truly unique are the appearances by characters from“Sesame Street,”“Fraggle Rock,” and “Muppet Babies.” There’s even a cameo from the Muppet creator, Jim Henson, himself. If you can find this holiday special, consider yourself lucky. Complicated copyright laws can make it hard to track the movie down. ‘THE LIFE ANDADVENTURES OF SANTA CLAUS’ The stop-motion film “The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus” is one of Rankin/Bass Production’s lesser-known works. Based on a story by L. Frank Baum, the author of “TheWonderful Wizard of Oz,” this fantasy epic introduces a new Santa Claus story, one with light elves, wood nymphs, and benevolent immortals. It’s an unusual tale, but the strange elements are what make the story worthwhile. ‘A RUGRATS CHANUKAH’ Praised by critics and audiences alike,“A Rugrats Chanukah” covers the story of Chanukah through the eyes of Nickelodeon’s beloved animated babies. In addition to putting a “Rugrats” spin on the Chanukah story, this special episode also features themes of family and forgiveness.“A Rugrats Chanukah” is a delightful experience for audiences who celebrate Chanukah and those who would like to learn more about the holiday. ‘DOCTORWHO:A CHRISTMAS CAROL’ Here’s one for your nerdy family members. In this episode of the British sci-fi classic, the titular Doctor, an alien who travels through time and space, must save his friends by teaching a bitter old man the true meaning of Christmas.Time travel shenanigans ensue as the Doctor reminds us of the importance of kindness, the value of loss, and the magic of spending the holidays with those we love.This special puts a unique spin on the Christmas Carol formula and is even accessible to audiences who have never seen “Doctor Who” before.
• 1 head garlic, cut in half crosswise
• 2 tbsp unsalted butter, melted • 1 large yellow onion, thickly sliced • 4 carrots, peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces • Olive oil
1. Heat oven to 425 F. 2. Rinse chicken inside and out, removing giblets if included. Move to a work surface, pat dry, and liberally season with salt and pepper. Stuff cavity with thyme bunch, lemon halves, and garlic head. Brush outside with butter, and then season again.Tie chicken legs together with kitchen string. 3. Meanwhile, in a roasting pan, toss onions and carrots in olive oil and season with salt, pepper, and 20 sprigs of thyme. 4. Place the chicken on the vegetables and roast for 1 1/2 hours. 5. Remove from oven, and let stand for 20 minutes covered with foil. 6. Slice and serve with the vegetables. Inspired by Ina Garten
May these specials bring you some much-needed cheer and a moment of relaxation this holiday season.
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