Sunday, October 13, 2013

Roasted Chicken

I should probably make a list of all the "adult" things I haven't done because I'm too intimidated to try, just so I can start crossing them off the list. At one point, cleaning a toilet was on that list. There are so very many things that I didn't "have" to do growing up, and many things that for some reason or other strike me as too complicated to even attempt. Roasting a whole chicken was one of those things until the other day.

Ever since I started paying attention to food prices, I started to notice that the more "effort" something was going to cause me, the less expensive it was to purchase. Case in point, a whole chicken was 1.29 lb, vs 4.99 lb for chicken breast. And what did I do with it except throw it in a crock pot anyway? So finally, armed with Ina Garten's recipe, I bought a whole fresh chicken, and set forth in my quest to conquer a chicken.

First things first - here is a link to Ina Garten's Perfect Roast Chicken.

As always when using an oven, pre-heat that bad boy. The recipe called for 425, though some reviews complained this left them with dry Chicken. In my experience, the chicken was still moist, so I guess you need to know your own oven.

Then you prep your bird. I have to admit, it was odd handling the naked little carcass. Mine weighed as much as a small newborn, and with the wings and legs still on, it somewhat resembled a little person. But anyway, take your baby bird and rinse out the cavity and outside (after you have removed the giblets) and then pat her dry. 

Then, you liberally apply salt and pepper to the inside of the bird. I just sprinkled it in, but I did use a LOT of salt. Apparently this is where most people go wrong - USE ENOUGH SALT!

I then quartered my lemon, halfed my head of garlic, and took a silly amount of dry Thyme (I would have used fresh if I had it) and stuffed the cavity of my bird. After that I tied the legs up with floss (because I didn't have kitchen twine) so the legs wouldn't be spread wide while cooking (this can cause the chicken to dry out as well). 

Then I melted butter, and spread butter all over the outside of the chicken. After that, all I had to do was sprinkle (liberally) salt, pepper and more thyme to the outside of the bird.

Meanwhile, I threw a heap of carrots and half an enormous onion cut in strips into a "roasting pan" - or a casserole dish, whatever - an drizzled the vegetables with a little olive oil, and tossed them with salt, pepper, and yet again more thyme. Finally, I threw my baby bird onto the vegetables, and stuck her in the oven for 1.5 hours. That was it - I didn't check her out, push her around, stick her with a meat thermometer. I just waited, and when an hour and a half had passed, I had perfection:

Since Papa was our guest of honor (and I didn't know what I was doing) I let him carve our bird up. It was delicious AND easy, which means I will definitely be repeating this recipe again!