My brain skipped straight to Thanksgiving between Halloween prep & early Christmas decorations. Granted, this isn’t about turkey, but still. How else does one decide they need to roast a full bird?
As a first timer, roasting a chicken seems daunting. It’s so big! What if it doesn’t stay moist? Will it be edible? Luckily, it turns out to be really easy. My directions came from this simple Ina Garten recipe along with a few tips from coworkers. Here are the basics:
- Oven at 425 degrees
- 1 Roasting Chicken
- 1 Lemon
- 1 Head of Garlic
- 1/2 Onion
- 1 Fennel bulb
- Fresh Thyme
- My Favorite Spice Mix: garlic powder, paprika, salt, & pepper
- Olive Oil – coworker recommended over butter
Delicious, juicy chicken.
Per Ina’s instructions, the cavity is stuffed with a cross-cut head of garlic, a big handful of fresh thyme & half of a lemon. She really asked for the whole lemon, but I don’t see how that would all fit. I cut the lemon in lengthwise quarters to help the slices fit inside. The skin is coated in my usual combination of spices & the juice from the other lemon half. All of this is on top of a bed of rough cut onion & fennel bulb. Again, Ina wanted the full onion, but it didn’t all fit in my pan. I topped it off by sprinkling thyme & a large helping of olive oil over everything.
According to my coworker, & probably other credible sources, cooking poultry breast side down for the first half helps keep the white meat moist. I used silicone oven mitts when it came time to turn the chicken over. It was still heavy, slipped a little bit, & my forearm connected with hot pan. Yes, I burned myself flipping the bird.
After running my arm under cold water, I basted the chicken with the juices at the bottom of the pan & put it back in the oven. This roast takes three to four episodes of Cheers or the sitcom of your choice. For you drama watchers, this means 1 hour to 90 minutes, or until the juices run clear. I went for the full 90 because I was concerned about under cooking. Once the chicken was out of the oven we let it rest under tented foil while we whipped up a side dish.
All in all, roasting a chicken was as easy as using a slow cooker, except you want to stay home because the oven is on. The chicken came out delicious with very minimal effort. This should feed dinner to our house of three people for two to three nights, & the bones will help make chicken stock. Definitely worth doing regularly!