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Roasted Chicken

September 25, 2009

PhotobucketToday I made an American staple. Roasted Chicken with vegetables. This is a dish that every person in the world should be comfortable making. It is easy and it can feed any number of people depending on the size of the bird.  The prep only takes about fifteen minutes, but the roasting time takes a little over an hour.

For this recipe you will need:

– One whole Chicken
– 1 tablespoon of cooking oil
– a few tablespoons of room temperature butter
– One whole onion, chopped
– About 2 cups of chopped potatoes
– About a cup of chopped carrots
– A few sprigs of thyme
– Salt
– A roasting dish big enough to fit your whole bird

*Very important for this recipe! As with most of my recipes, the measurements are just meant as guidelines. How much vegetable, butter, oil or salt you use will depend on how big your bird is and which vegetables you like most (I prefer extra potatoes). Use what looks or feels right to you.

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To start, preheat your oven to 400 degrees. While oven is heating, prep your vegetables. Add oil, onion, potatoes and carrots to a large roasting pan or baking dish and set aside.

For the bird, first remove any innards that may be in your chicken. I love chicken liver sautéed with a little salt and pepper, but that recipe will be for another day (or you can ask me if you really don’t know but would like to). Save any bones for stock. Next, give the bird a rinse under the sink. Once rinsed pat the skin thoroughly dry with paper towels. Turn the chicken breast side down on your cutting board and use a sharp knife or a pair of kitchen shears to split the bird down the spine. Once split, turn it breast side up and press down firmly on the breast to make it lay relatively flat. If you don’t feel comfortable cutting your birds spine in half you can skip this step, it just give the bird a more even brown/crispy skin.

Once the bird is set, use another paper towel to make sure the skin is nice and dry. PhotobucketNow, rub the skin generously with 2 to 4 tablespoons of butter depending on preference and size of bird. BUTTER IS GOOD FOR YOU. There is no alternative for this recipe. Do not under any circumstance substitute margarine for butter in this recipe. If you are worried about butter, just say to the butter “I love you butter, but I don’t want you to make me fat.” If you say this to the butter I give you a 100% guarantee that you will not gain one single ounce of weight from the butter in this recipe. This trick does not work for butter used in desserts.
Once the bird is buttered. Sprinkle the skin with a dusting of salt. You should have a very light layer of salt across the whole bird. Remember that the salt and butter will run off with juice from the chicken and add the flavor to you vegetables. If you are worried about over salting, remember you can always add more later, but if it is too salty you can’t really un salt it. It is better to err on the side of caution when portioning salt.
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Now set the thyme in the middle of your vegetables and set your buttered salted bird breast up over the thyme. Now you are ready. Put the bird in the hot oven. Remove the bird every twenty minutes or so and baste with the juice in the bottom of the pan. You can use a ladel or spoon if you do not have a baster. It should take about 1hr to 1hr 20min depending on the size of the bird and how accurate your oven is. I recommend drinking a bottle of wine with friends, family, roommates or all of the above while your chicken is cooking.

Once the chicken is golden brown all the way across and there is clear juice running under the skin where the thigh meats the breast, it is done. You can poke the thigh with a knife if you aren’t sure. Remove it from the oven and let it rest for 10 minutes. It is important to always let meat rest after you remove it from heat. It continues to cook from the juice and heat stored in the meat and bones.

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When ready, remove the bird to a large cutting board and carve it up. Start by removing the legs at the thigh then cut the breast meat off and slice it up. Serve with the pan vegetables and a simple salad. Enjoy!

 

 

 

 


* NOTES:

  • do not throw away the bones. Save all the bones in a plastic sack in the freezer for stock.
  • You can use any hearty vegetables in this dish along with or in substitution to the ones I have listed. Some good alternatives include Fennel, Yams, Whole garlic cloves, Celery and parsnips.
  • For the thyme you can substitute any hearty herb such as sage, bay or rosemary.
  • Most recipes I see call for sliding butter, salt and chopped herbs under the chicken skin. I think the simplicity of salt and pepper makes the bird plenty delicious without the extra work.

The bird I cooked in these photos weighed about 3 pounds, cooked for about 1 hr. and served four.

VEGGIES
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RINSE

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PAT DRY
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SPLIT BIRD (optional)
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BUTTER
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SALT = DELICIOUS
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BASTE!
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DONE!
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e-mail learninglifefromscratch@gmail.com

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