Tear off the tops from the stem ends of the carrots. With a paring knife, cut off both the root ends and the stem ends of the carrots. Use a swivel-bladed paring knife to scrape the carrots. Take care not to scrape more than necessary. Arrange the carrots in a saucepan and cover with water or chicken stock. If water is used, add salt to taste. Bring the carrots to a simmer. Partially cover the saucepan with a lid and cook carrots until tender, from 10 to 15 minutes, depending on size. Take caution not to overcook the carrots. They should be crisp-tender. Drain the carrots and pour the melted butter over them. Serve sprinkled, if desired, with a little chopped parsley or dill.
If the carrots you buy are large and look somewhat old, it may be best to prepare them in either of the two following ways, as carrots Vichy or whipped carrots. Both these recipes go well with roasts or fried dishes.
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