Friday, November 7, 2008

Roast Chicken

I love roasted chicken and I think I make a pretty damn good roasted chicken. The boy has been hearing me say thing for over a year, so I decided it finally time that I make it for him. Plus it goes so well the Vegetable Tian. And the best way to get me to embrace cooler weather is to spend time baking and roasting in the kitchen. Basically all signs pointed to the fact that it was time for me to make a chicken. I cobbled this recipe together from various sources and at this point consider it my own concoction.

Roast Chicken

1 4-6 lb whole chicken (usually called a roaster or fryer)
1 lemon - quartered
1/2 small onion - quartered
3 sprigs rosemary
3 sprigs thyme
3 cloves garlic - smashed
4-6 tbsp butter - cut into cubes
1/4 cup chopped fresh sage
1 cup white wine or chicken stock
olive oil
salt & pepper

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
2. Remove giblets and rinse and pat dry the chicken, inside and out. Stuff the bird's cavity with the lemons, onions, garlic, rosemary & thyme. I like to squeeze some lemon juice inside the bird too. All the lemon and onion pieces may not fit, just fill it with as much as you can.
3. In a small bowl mash together the butter and sage. I like to use my hands as it mixes everything together best. Once the butter and sage are combined, carefully stuff the butter under the skin of the bird, over the breast, being careful not to tear the skin.
4. Place the chicken in a lightly oiled roasting pan. Pour the wine or stock over the chicken. Rub the skin with olive oil. Liberally salt & pepper the entire chicken.
5. Place the roasting pan in the heated oven. Cook for 20 mins per pound plus and additional 20-30 minutes. Baste the chicken every 15-20 minutes. For the last 15 minutes of cooking boost the oven temperature up to 450 degrees, this will give the skin that gorgeous golden color. The chicken is done when a thermometer inserted in the thigh registers 170 degrees
6. Remove from oven and let rest for approx 15 minutes.

For most people roast chicken is intimidating, but in reality it is quite easy and something everyone should try. Not to mention it's so much tastier than the already cooked roasted chickens you by at the store or "bubble chicken" as the boy calls them (because they come in those bubble-like containers). Don't get me wrong those are an easy and tasty quick fix, but it's worth it once in awhile to take the time to roast your own, especially on a brisk fall day.

Note: If you only have one oven and want to make the Vegetable Tian and Roast Chicken for the same meal, which I highly recommend doing. Here's what I did: Put both dishes in the 350 degree oven side by side, make sure to rotate the dishes about halfway through cooking so they cook evenly. Since the directions for the tian call for it to be baked at 375 degrees, I just added 10 minutes onto the covered cooking time, but that all depends how your oven runs. The vegetable will be done first, especially since you don't want they to be in the oven when you boost the heat, but just cover them with foil to help them retain their heat once out of the oven.

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