Monday, October 10, 2011

Perfect Roast Chicken

I have been wanting to try this one for quite some time, but have been a little nervous about cooking a whole bird. I have cooked one in the crock pot before (check it out here), which turned out fine, just a little bit more dry then I had hoped. Which is strange considering it was basting in its own juices all day. Anyways, it was time to be a big girl and attempt another whole chicken recipe. One of my close friends, Amanda (hiiiiii Amanda!) talks about making a roasted chicken all the time and how awesome it turns out. She said it's super easy and tastes great, so I figured this is a must make! I do love me some chicken and am always looking for new ways to make it. Sometimes chicken can get boring, which I'm sure you can agree with.

Last time I made a whole chicken, I was very squeamish of all the gizzards inside. Even though this was a fresh fosters farms chicken, I decided to go on a hunt for one at Trader Joes. Not only did they have organic and free-range chickens, they were on sale! I ended up picking up two and putting one in the freezer for another time (this one is that good, so I am glad I bought two). You'll want to try to find a bird that is about 5-6 pounds. If you find one a little smaller or bigger that day, that is fine too. You'll just have to adjust the cooking time a hair. No biggie deal. 

If you get freaked out about pulling out the innards, just use some tongs. That's what I do. Pull them out, and then rinse the chicken with cool water. Once rinsed, pat dry and salt and pepper like there is no tomorrow. Trust me, do not go light on this part. It really makes a difference. Then stuff the bird with a quartered lemon, bulb of garlic and a bunch of thyme stems. The recipe I used said to tie the legs together, but I couldn't find kitchen twine anywhere and it didn't seem to matter. I cooked the bird in a 9x13 glass baking dish and it was just the right size. If you have a larger pan, go ahead and use it, but I would say, use at least a 9x13. I cut up a hand full of carrots, sliced an onion and some red potatoes to place the bird on. After cooking for about an hour and 20 minutes, the bird came out golden brown and the vegetables were roasted and full of deliciousness. The veggies do absorb all the chicken juices and were a little fatty for me, but I did try a few of them and THEY WERE DELICIOUS. If you like richer roasted veggies, then definitely serve these with the chicken. If you don't, steam or roast some other veggies while this is big bird is roasting away. 

If I haven't convinced you to try this one yet, you are crazy. Well, if you don't eat meat, then I understand, but if you do, try this. You won't regret it. It is a great dish for anytime, but especially for a cold night when you want something warm and homey. You can even save the drippings and juice and make a fabulous gravy out of it. Just make sure to skim off the fat. This is was on my fall cooking list and I am sure glad I attempted it. One down, 19 more to go. Let's do this!

bock, bock

veggies for the chicken to sit on

lots of salt and pepper!

stuffed bird ready to bake

when the bird is done, cover with foil and let rest.

look at that bird. YUM.

Perfect Roast Chicken (Ina Garten's Back to Basics Cookbook)

1 (5 to 6 pound) roasting chicken
Sea or Kosher Salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 large bunch fresh thyme, plus a few extra sprigs
1 lemon, halved
1 head garlic, cut in half crosswise
1/4 stick butter, melted
1 large yellow onion, thickly sliced
4 carrots cut into 2-inch chunks
5-6 medium red potatoes, cut into wedges
Olive oil

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Remove the chicken giblets, rinse the chicken inside and out and pat the outside dry. Liberally salt and pepper the inside of the chicken. Stuff the cavity with the bunch of thyme, both halves of lemon, and all the garlic. Brush the outside of the chicken with the butter and sprinkle again with salt and pepper. Tuck the wing tips under the body of the chicken. Place the onions, carrots, and potatoes in a roasting pan. Toss with salt, pepper, the extra sprigs of thyme (to your taste), and olive oil (enough to coat, but do not drown them). Spread around the bottom of the roasting pan and place the chicken on top.

Roast the chicken for 1 1/2 hours, or until the juices run clear when you cut between a leg and thigh. Remove the chicken and vegetables and cover with aluminum foil for about 20 minutes. Slice the chicken onto a platter and serve it with the vegetables.

Not only is this easy and tasty, it makes your house smell heavenly delicious. It kind of reminded me of thanksgiving the way it was roasting and the smell of thyme in the air. Yummy. That and if you are like me and cooking for one or just two, the extra chicken can be shredded and frozen for another meal. I had extra chicken from mine and we used it in one of Ryan's moms totally delicious mexican casserole dishes. I am not sure what the official name of it is, but I am going to call it Kris' casserole. So good and so comforting. Stay tuned for Ryan and I's version of this later in the week!

No comments:

Post a Comment