Sunday, September 4, 2011

Roast Chicken

There's nothing like cooking a whole chicken and letting that aroma fill your house. It's also substantially cheaper than buying breasts or thighs, or even a rotisserie chicken. I brought out my Julia Child cookbook today and went to town on my own 4.5 lb chicken. Tender, juicy, golden, gorgeous with the most delectable pan sauce I've ever had (or made) - it is a complete winner, winner, chicken dinner.

Roast Chicken
1 whole chicken (3-5 lbs)
1/2 onion, cut into wedges
1 celery rib, cut into chunks
1 large carrot, cut into chunks
6 tbs butter, divided
1 tbs olive oil
1 cup chicken stock

1. Clean your chicken thoroughly, inside and out. Pat dry. Sprinkle the inside of the chicken with salt and rub 1 tbs of butter inside. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees and set the rack in the middle of the oven.

2. Truss your chicken. I only tied the legs together and tucked the wings back behind the bird. (There are tons of videos out there on how to do this...just type it into google.) Rub 1 tbs butter all over the outside of the chicken. Place in a shallow roasting pan, breast side up. Cut up the veggies and scatter around the chicken.

3. Put the chicken in the oven for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, melt 2 tbs butter and 1 tbs olive oil and get a basting brush out and prepared. After the first 5 minutes, open the oven, turn the chicken on one side and baste with butter and olive oil mixture (just a little). Close the oven and cook for 5 more minutes. Open the oven, turn the chicken to the other side and baste. Cook for 5 more minutes. Turn oven down to 350 degrees. Leave the chicken on its side. Baste every 10 minutes. A 4.5 lb bird should take about 1.5 hours to cook (though mine took a bit less - about 1 hour 15) - you are trying to get to 165 degrees internal cooking temperature. About 1/2 way through, salt the bird, and flip over onto the other side. Continue basting every 10 minutes. About 15 minutes before it is done, flip the bird onto its back, breast side up, salt and baste one last time.

4. When the chicken is done, remove from the oven and remove the bird to a platter to rest. DO NOT CUT the chicken. Let it rest for at least 10 minutes. Meanwhile, remove all but 2 tbs of the remaining fat in the pan and set over medium high heat on your stove. Add 1 cup chicken broth and with a wooden spoon, stir and bring to a boil. Reduce until it is 1/2 of what it was originally. Remove the veggies from the liquid and discard. Remove the liquid from the heat. Add 1-2 tbs of butter, a little at a time, until it is all melted, stirring all the while. Serve a little of the sauce over the chicken, and put the rest in a gravy bowl to serve with the chicken.

DON'T skip the pan sauce -'s the BEST sauce I've ever tasted. REALLY!

1 comment:

  1. LOVE the aroma of a chicken roasting. I plan on doing whole chickens more often this year - starting in the Fall when my house cools off a bit more! Smells so good!