Thursday, March 14, 2013

Cooking class: How to roast a chicken

The thought of a roast chicken dinner can bring to mind a Norman Rockwell lickity split. It is a bit old fashioned in today's cooking that tends to focus on boneless skinless chicken breasts, and it is a meal that intimidates many, but it doesn't need to!

Roasted chicken is delicious and is the beginning of several meals: a roasted chicken dinner with roasted vegetables, chicken stock and lemon chicken soup. By eating the entire chicken and using the bones to make broth, we waste less food and lower our "food-print".

Roasted chicken
  • 1 whole roasting chicken
  • flavoring - onion, garlic, lemon, herbs 
  • 2-3 tablespoons olive oil or melted butter
  • Salt and pepper
  • Twine or skewers to truss the chicken
  1. Preheat oven to 425 and grease the dish you're going to bake the chicken in - I used a 16-inch cast iron skillet, but a glass baking dish or large casserole diss will also work beautifully. 
  2. Rinse your chicken and remove any odd globules of fat and any remaining pin feathers. Pat dry and place in prepared pan. 
  3. Stuff cavity of chicken with something flavorful - I used a quartered lemon, but onion wedges, fresh or dried herbs and whole garlic cloves are other good options. 
  4. Rub the outside with more flavor - I drizzled the chicken with olive oil and a seasoning blend that included rosemary and oregano. I also sprinkled on some salt and pepper. 
  5. Truss the chicken. The idea here is to tuck in the legs and wings so that the chicken is pulled together tightly. If the chicken isn't trussed, it may cook unevenly - parts will be dry and other parts under cooked. Most folks use string, but you can also try reusable skewers. 
  6. Place in the oven and bake for about an hour or until done. The chicken is done when juices from a slice into the bird run clear, the skin in crispy and well browned and a thermometer reads 165. 
  7. Remove the chicken from the oven and let rest for 10 minutes or so before slicing.
Note: I served my roasted chicken with roasted vegetables. About half way through cooking, I put a casserole dish with chopped sweet potato, potato, carrots and onions and roasted them right next to the chicken. 


 


Do you have left over chicken? Try cubing it and making it into my apple almond chicken salad and take it for lunch!

Save the chicken bones! We're going to use them to make chicken stock.


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