Roasted chicken seems like the ultimate in easy, yet elegant, home cooking. I've oohed and ahhed over a roast chicken at the Henry's and somehow it's always seemed like it would be difficult.
Can I really roast a chicken that tastes that good at home? Even without a countertop rotisserie?
Quite simply: Yes.
I found several different recipes and found that there didn't seem to be many differences, so I made some simple alterations to suit our tastes and stormed forward.
When I finished cooking, I was amazed. I even ate the skin off of my chicken (which is usually NOT my favorite part). And I bought my Foster's Farms chicken for about $3.05. What a deal!
Simple Roast Chicken
Make any alterations you'd like, but here are the basics:
Preheat your oven to 450 degrees F.
I started with a 3-4 lb. chicken, but recipes also call for 4-5 lb. birds, too. Femove the giblets and other organs from the cavity. Rinse the bird and pat dry using a paper towel. Cut any excess fat off the bird (mine had a couple of huge, thick pads of fat hanging by the cavity opening).
Starting at the neck, loosen the skin from the breast and tops of drumsticks by slipping your fingers gently between the skin and the meat. Move gently, it will come loose. Combine about 7-8 cloves of garlic, finely minced, and one generous tablespoon of chopped thyme, along with about 1/2 teaspoon of olive oil. Spread the garlic mix under the skin, all the way towards the legs.
Use a small amount of olive oil and rub on the skin of the bird. Sprinkle salt and pepper all over the bird. Lift the wings up and behind the neck, they will stay tucked there. Insert a meat thermometer in the meaty part of the thigh, making sure not to touch the bone.
Bake the chicken at 450 degrees for 30 minutes. Then, turn down heat to 350 degrees until the thermometer reads 180 degrees (about an hour and fifteen minutes). Remove the chicken from the oven and let stand for 10 minutes prior to cutting.
I served mine with fresh mashed potatoes, turkey gravy and glazed carrots.
If you haven't tried this yet, I really think you should give it a go. Next time, I want to try mine with rosemary.