Tastes of the Old Country Here

Roasted Chicken: Back to Basics

There are lots of ways to roast a chicken. Everyone has a tip. Some like the crock pot, some like to wrap in cheese cloth.  While seemingly daunting, roasting chicken is super easy.  Figured it was something I should know how to do and so began practicing.  First time = FAIL. It was in the crock pot with potatoes and carrots, basically poached it.  Not terrible, not awesome.

This time in the oven. 450 degrees and crispy.

Foolproof Roast Chicken

1 chicken, a roaster or a fryer (about 4 lbs.)
2 tablespoons Softened butter or oil (canola or olive)
1/2 onion chopped
1 1/2 tablespoons of ground thyme
2 tablespoons of dried sage
2 tablespoons of rosemary
Salt and ground pepper
Sea salt and half cracked pepper for sprinkling
Optional: half a lemon, a few cloves of garlic (peeled or unpeeled), and a handful of fresh herbs

1. Preheat oven to 450°.

2. Rinse and pat chicken dry throughly with paper towels (to ensure crispy skin).

3. If you like, tuck the lemon, garlic, and herbs inside the chicken’s cavity. Sprinkle chopped onions inside chicken and around the outside

(Note: Trussing is an unnecessary step, and, in fact, the insides of the wings and drumsticks don’t brown as well. But you can tie the legs together with some kitchen string for aesthetic purposes.)

4. Mix dried herbs together, then fold into soften butter.  Put the chicken in a roasting pan, baking dish, or cast iron skillet. Rub it all over with herbed butter or oil — the fat helps produce a golden, crispy crust — and sprinkle it with sea salt and cracked pepper.

5. Roast at 450 degrees for 20 minutes. Then lower heat to 375°. Basting optional.

6. Roast for another 30-40 minutes until it’s deep golden. (The drumsticks wiggle in their sockets, and the juices run clear when the chicken is pierced. Highly recommend an oven thermometer, it should read 170° when poked into the thickest part of the thigh.)

7. If it needs to be cooked longer, leave it in and check it every 10 minutes until done.

8. Tent the chicken with foil and let it stand for 10 minutes before carving. While it’s resting, pour the pan juice into a bowl and spoon off the fat. Use the juice to make gravy or just serve as is, drizzled over the chicken.

Pairs nicely with roasted brussel sprouts and stuffing with caper berries.

Next time: Roasted Chicken with Caramelized Onions and Red Grapes

And Ina’s way

Giada’s Roast Chicken with Balsamic Vinaigrette

And my new favorite: Seamus Mullen 

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