Tuesday, March 17, 2009
Recipe - Steph's Roast Chicken
Many lazy Sunday afternoons find a chicken in my oven for dinner with friends and family. Roast chicken is one of those foods that nearly everyone loves. Whole chickens are cheap, adapt to lots of different flavors, and look mighty impressive when brought to the table, all golden brown and delicious. Luckily, a roast chicken is one of the easiest things for anyone with an oven to master.
My method is more about technique than recipe in the case of roast chicken. Adapt at will. No wine? Substitute beer or chicken broth instead. Don't like lemon? (And if this is the case, what is WRONG with you?) Try orange, or more garlic, or some onion and carrot. Use whatever herbs are handy. Throw some potatoes, parsnip or onion in the pan under the chicken. It is very very hard to screw up a roast chicken.
Flipping the bird multiple times does border on tediousness. Technically, you CAN cheat and flip once halfway through cooking. However, if you choose this path, only one side of the chicken will have glorious crispy skin. The side cooked down for the second half will be permeated with chicken juice, still tasty, but kinda slimy.
I never measure the ingredients when I roast a chicken. However, I measured last night to give some frame of reference. :)
1 whole chicken, any size
1/2 lemon, squeezed of juice and fruit reserved
1/2 cup white wine
4 garlic cloves, smashed, skins removed
2 teaspoons garlic salt
1 teaspoon fresh black pepper
1 teaspoon dried parsley
1 teaspoon dried thyme
Preheat oven to 375, move rack to middle of oven.
Combine white wine and lemon juice in a small bowl. Combine salt, pepper, and herbs in another small bowl.
Rinse and pat dry the chicken. There may or may not be giblets in the cavity, check and remove if any are present. (If you have a dog or cat you are fond of, boil these and mix with their food. They will love you even more.) Place the chicken in a roasting pan, preferably on a rack.
Place the reserved lemon half and garlic in the cavity of the chicken. The chicken can be trussed now, but I never bother with that. Brush the chicken with the wine and lemon juice mixture on all sides, then sprinkle evenly with salt/herb mixture.
Place chicken in hot oven. Roast 20 minutes per pound, flipping every 20 minutes.
If there are any leftovers (which hardly happens in my house) they make the best chicken salad mixed with a little lemon juice and mayonnaise. Or, just eat them cold with some spinach like I did!