Roast Chicken

There are times that I have a couple of meals planned out, so I start to buy the ingredients and think about how I can use them for a couple of meals. I did this yesterday and made a pretty good roast chicken.

INGREDIENTS

1 whole chicken – 5-6 pounds

1/2 onion, cut into rings

2 carrots, coarsely chopped

3 red potatoes, coarsely chopped

1 Tablespoon Poultry Seasoning

1 teaspoon black pepper

1 teaspoon Pink Himalayan sea salt

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon onion powder

1/4 cup orange juice

I preheated the oven to 300 degrees. I wanted this to cook at a lower temperature for a longer period of time.

I started off by chopping the vegetables. I then placed them in a roasting pan that was lined with aluminum foil. I positioned the vegetables so that the chicken could rest on top of the onions, while the potatoes and carrots would be in the surrounding area.

The seasonings and orange juice are all rough estimates. After removing the bag of giblets, I made sure to rinse and pat the chicken dry before placing on top of the onions. I then poured over the orange juice, making sure it got on the back and front of the bird. I put the seasonings into a small bowl and mixed them up. I then put rubbed them into the back, the front, the inside cavity and a little under the skin.

I baked the chicken for about three and a half hours. The meat was fall off the bones tender, juicy, and full of flavor. The skin was nice and crispy, with a robust flavor from all the seasonings. The potatoes and carrots were soft and pleasant tasting. The onions were really sweet and rounded out the meal very well.

I made two different broths from this chicken. The first broth was made using the giblets from the bag. I boiled those on medium-high heat in about 3 cups of water, with some diced fresh ginger, diced fresh garlic and diced fresh turmeric added. Once this got to a boil, I let it boil for 20 minutes and then turned the temperature down to medium-low heat. I let this continue for another 30 minutes and then it was ready to save.

The second broth was made after the meal was over. I removed the meat from the bones and set aside for a separate dish. I used a pasta pot, since it has a strainer. I put the bones in the strainer and then added water until it was covering all the bones. I boiled this on medium-high heat. Once this got to a boil, I let it boil for 30 minutes and then turned the temperature down to medium-low heat. I let this continue for another hour and then it was ready to save. Since this had flavor from the chicken bones (with some skin and seasoning still in tact), I did not feel the need to add anything else to the broth. I saved some of the broth in the refrigerator, and put the rest in storage bags in the freezer. These will provide me with some quick broth for a future meal.

The flavor of the chicken was much better than I was expecting, and I was very happy with how tender the meat was. It was an easy way to keep me staying positive!

Visiting ZooAmerica in Hershey, PA

During my visit to Hershey Park, I also visited ZooAmerica. You can go to ZooAmerica separately from Hershey Park, but there is also an entrance to ZooAmerica while you are inside Hershey Park, so you can break up your day and visit the Zoo in the middle of your Park visit.

This American Elk Statue is inside Hershey Park, close to the entrance for ZooAmerica.

Right before I entered into the main part of the Zoo, this sign provided an overview of what was to come. Once you are inside, you have the ability to walk around wherever you prefer, but they also have signs for a “Suggested Route”, which are the signs I decided to follow. I was able to see a lot of animals, but not able to capture all of them on camera. Some of the pictures are a bit fuzzy since the animals were far away, some were in a dark enclosure, some were moving around, etc.

Roseate Spoonbill

American Alligators.

Burrowing Owl

Desert Tortoises

Roadrunner – I was fortunate to get this while it was still. Once it started moving, it would go running all over the place.

Ocelot – This was in a dark enclosure and took me quite a few takes to be able to get a picture (no flash).

Snowy Owl – I wish I could have gotten a better close up.

Bald Eagles – I love seeing Bald Eagles and was fortunate that they were hanging out pretty close to where I was standing.

Canada Lynx – This was tough to capture since it was just sitting up on a hill and far away. This was as zoomed in as I could get.

There were a lot more animals that I saw, including mountain lion, wolf, black bear, elk, ringtail, coati, to name a few.

This last picture was a surprise to me. These two were hanging out at the top of a tree about 10 feet off the ground. These are porcupines! I had no idea they were tree dwellers.

I enjoyed my time in the Zoo. I made my way around in just about an hour, so it was a nice middle of the day break from the park. I would visit again and would hope to get some better pictures and have some more close up experiences with some of the bigger animals.

Visiting Hershey Park

This past Saturday, I visited Hershey Park. I have been there before, but never during the Holiday Season. It was a cold day (lower 30s), which meant that some of the rides were not operating. I did still manage to go on a couple of rides that I hadn’t been on before, which was fun. Since the parks didn’t open until 12PM, I had lunch before heading in, which was not a great idea when going on spinning rides. But I was able to manage.

This is the who and why behind Hershey, so I thought it would be nice to show this, even if the print is really hard to read.

The decorations actually started before getting into the park. On the walkway over to the park from the parking lot, they had the Candy Canes along the lane, which was a nice touch.

My pictures will not do the park justice, but they had some fun decorations all over the place. There were a lot of little kids, and they were loving it. There are characters walking around. When the Kit Kat came around, the kids got really excited. There was one little girl who was very shy, and the Kit Kat went to hold her hand. She then gave it a big hug. That was a very sweet moment to see.

When I was taking the picture by Reese’s Cupfusion, a kid was excitedly talking about Mint the Merciless. I must confess that I was not familiar with these characters, but it was really cute to hear the excitement. It made the experience better for me.

The last time I visited the park, the park opened at 10AM and the weather was in the 60s, so all of the rides were open. I was able to go on quite a few rides: Hershey Triple Tower, Sidewinder, Scrambler, sooper dooper Looper, and more. Those are definitely more for the teenager and above crowd. On this visit, I started by going on the Wild Mouse. This ride reminded me of Goofy’s Sky School/Mulholland Madness in Disneyland. When I was younger, the twists and turns were a lot of fun. Now that I’m older, and after having a big lunch, not as much fun. It is a fun ride, but just a very different experience than if I had started my day with rides and had lunch later. The other ride that I went on was The Claw. This ride spins around and swings like a pendulum, so there are moments when you feel like you are floating upside down. The cold air hitting my face was really relaxing. The spinning wasn’t too bad, so I ended up really enjoying this ride. I could have gone on a couple more rides, but I decided to go to ZooAmerica and take more pictures.

Probably the most fun I had was seeing the Twelve Days of Christmas. I saw the Five Rings, and the Seven Swans, but it didn’t click until I saw the Maids a Milking. It was at that point that I want to start at the Twelfth Day and work my way down to One. Some of these pictures couldn’t capture everything so I apologize. I was there during the day, but I think it must look spectacular when it’s dark out and these are lit up.

ba dum bum bum

I really did have a fun time seeing those and did have that song going in my head most of the time, or at least when I got to each of the “Days”.

I think my favorite was the French Hens. The Beret made me chuckle.

I had a really nice time in the park and was very happy to have been able to experience it during the Holidays. If I was going to be staying up in Hershey, I would want to see everything once it is dark outside. There are plenty of food options inside the park. There is a milk shake place that looks really good and filling. There is a place where you can make your own Whoopee Pies. There is also a place called BBLz, but it isn’t open during Winter. They have unique flavor combinations, so I hope they will be open the next time I’m in town for a visit.

This park has plenty to offer for children of all ages. The park itself is not too big, so you will be able to walk through and visit without feeling like you’ve missed out on any areas. And visiting during the Holiday Season seems like it is something that should be on a to-do list if you enjoy Hershey Park. I had a lot of fun here!

Visiting Hershey, Pennsylvania

This past Saturday, I made a trip up to Hershey, Pennsylvania. It takes me a couple of hours to drive there, so my goal was to get in before 10AM, do a couple of things in town, eat some lunch, and then go to both ZooAmerica and Hershey Park (it didn’t open until 12PM). I was successful in getting there before 10AM. It was not quite 30 degrees, so there was a nice amount of cold when walking around, especially when the wind was hitting me just right. I parked in the parking garage for The Hershey Story and Museum (free parking).

The street lights have Kisses on top, which I think is really cute.

They alternate between wrapped and unwrapped. I think it makes it fun to see.

It must be a tough decision when you have to decide if you would prefer Chocolate Avenue or Cocoa Avenue. 🙂

You can get to the Hershey Company building in about a five minute walk from the Hershey Story building. I took a picture of myself standing in front of it, but forgot to take one of just the building. They do have some energy efficient cars with their brands on it, which I enjoyed seeing.

This is the outside of the The Hershey Story.

I went to The Pantry Cafe and got myself a Peppermint Mocha frozen coffee drink. They had some nice looking treats, but my pictures didn’t turn out. The coffee drink was very good. Nice consistency, not icy at all, the peppermint was not overbearing and went well with the mocha flavor. Definitely a good place for Frappuccino type drinks. There are quite a few things you can do other than just eating at The Pantry Cafe. There is a Museum Experience, a Chocolate Lab, a Tastings Bar, Hershey Gardens and more. You have to pay for these experiences, but they get some good reviews, so I have a feeling they are worth it.

There are other things to do in the town. It’s not just Hershey Park and the hotels, but it’s also a town with residents and shops. I was focused with what I planned on doing, but you can plan a day and do things outside of the park and have fun.

I made my way over to Hershey’s Chocolate World. Since I was going to be in Hershey Park, I paid for Theme Park parking. If you just want to visit Hershey’s Chocolate World, you can park for free for up to 3 hours. Once you step inside, there are plenty of options. There are paid attractions such as 4D Chocolate Movie, Create Your Own Candy Bar, Hershey’s Unwrapped: A Chocolate Tasting Journey, and Hershey Trolley Works. But there is a food court and a huge candy store and a large store that sells Hershey Company related items (shirts, cups, ornaments, etc.).

Right now, they have their Holiday theme going, including this Holiday Chocolate House, which is a nice size.

There are a couple of places where you can buy baked goods. I didn’t purchase any, but did get some pictures just so you can see what types of goodies are available.

I thought these looked very cute. I was tempted, but was able to resist.

Since I was there before the park opened, I decided to order the Hershey’s Cocoa Pulled Pork. It comes with two sides, so I got macaroni and cheese and Cole slaw. They were both good choices. I also got the side sauces. One is Hershey’s chocolate barbecue sauce, which was VERY good. There was also a Heath Honey Mustard, which was also good. I ate more than I should have, especially since I was going to be heading into the park, but it was worth it.

After my day inside the park was done, I came back into Hershey’s Chocolate World to buy more candy than I should have. Some of the items are really good deals, and they also have some items that you can’t get in most stores. I decided to treat myself with dessert. There is a S’Mores station which looked really good, but I was focused on getting their new specialty milk shake. It’s a Kit Kat Duo shake. They’ve recently introduced the Kit Kat Mint and Dark Chocolate Duo, and they have put it into milk shake form. I haven’t had the Kit Kat bars before, and since the milk shake came with two bars, this was my first time trying them. The milk shake and the bars were delicious!

I’ll write more about Hershey Park and ZooAmerica in a separate post, but I wanted to share these things since there are other things that you can do if you don’t want to go inside a theme park and don’t feel like going on any rides. It could be a fun day just hanging out at Hershey’s Story or at Hershey’s Chocolate World.