04 January 2008

Simple and Juicy Roast Chicken

I'm a relatively firm believer in going into the New Year in the way that you hope to spend the New Year, in so much as you can control. So this year, I am making a real effort to be the best possible person I can be for the month of January, hoping that maybe it'll stick. It may be futile, but I don't make resolutions, so I think it's a good compromise. So, in a storm of domesticity that I hope will be one of the new-and-improved elements of life that will catch on, I decided to roast a chicken. Why roast a chicken? Well, I'll tell you all about that in my next post. I do admit that I had an ulterior motive.

This was my first time roasting a chicken that did not come with one of those pop-out thermometers, which I always listened to (blasphemy, I know). So I had to break out my meat thermometer - my meat thermometer and I are actually quite good friends and it was delighted to be put to a new use - and think about how much I should cook the chicken. The result was a chicken so juicy that we could barely carve it.

Simply Roasted Chicken

1 whole chicken
1 stick of butter
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and Pepper

1. Melt the stick of butter and rinse the chicken. Remove the giblets. Preheat the oven to 450F.
2. Drizzle the chicken with the olive oil. Using a pastry brush or a basting brush, brush the chicken with about 2/3 of the butter. Sprinkle liberally with the salt and pepper.
3. Stick a meat thermometer into the thickest part of the chicken breast, being careful not to hit the bone. Place in a deep baking dish or roasting pan. Cook for about 20 minutes at 450F.
4. Remove from the oven and decrease the temperature to 350F. Brush with the remaining butter. Fill the pan with 1-2 inches of water. Cover the pan with aluminum foil and return to the oven. Cook for about an hour, until the internal temperature of the chicken is 165F.

- You could leave the chicken in at 450F for up to 30 minutes for a crispier skin.
- Essentially any spices or herbs can be used to season the chicken, and onions, garlic, herbs and citrus give fantastic flavor if you stuff them in the cavity. Because of my ulterior motive, I wanted to keep this chicken simple.
- You can cut down on or eliminate the butter for a healthier chicken.
- To make a gravy, judge the amount of liquid in the bottom of the pan, and make a roux using the same amount in tablespoons of butter and flour as you have cups of liquid. For example, if you think you have about 2 cups of liquid, melt two tablespoons of butter, then stir in two tablespoons of flour. Cook for about a minute to remove the raw taste from the flour. Very carefully pour the liquid from the chicken into the roux, whisking constantly. Bring up to a simmer and season to taste.

I just finished reading... The Mother Tongue, by Bill Bryson.


Lisa said...

Hey, we tried this chicken tonight and it was delicious! Best roasted chicken I've ever tasted. We stuffed it with onion and seasoned with spices.

I found this post by googling "juicy roasted chicken". Thanks!

Lisa C.
Rochester, NY

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