After such an ordeal, I was determined to prepare this chicken to perfection. Boy, was I rewarded! Every aching step through the Back Bay was worth the treat of Roast Chicken on a random weekday night.
Whole Roasted Chicken, size of your choosing.
Step One: Wash your chicken. Remove the giblets from the neck cavity and set aside. I personally set aside in my garbage, as these innards are just too advanced for me to make anything out of. Give the inside and outside of the chicken a good rinsing and pat dry.
Step Two: Chop up two carrots, 1/2 an onion, a few cloves of garlic*. You'll need some herbs to chop as well - I chose some fresh sage, some dried bay leaves, rosemary and thyme. Use what you have on hand and mix it up. Mix all together in a bowl and transfer into the cavity of the chicken. You can also half a lemon and stick the lemon halves in the cavity as well.** These are going to provide flavor to the chicken meat during the roasting process and fill your kitchen with mouth watering smells.
Seriously, the fragrance overwhelmed my 350 square feet home... it was amazing.
Step Three: Simple, simple. I covered the outside of the chicken with olive oil and salt and pepper. I went heavy on the fresh black pepper, but light on the salt. Too much salt will dehydrate the skin and dry it out during the roasting process. Try your chicken legs together with kitchen twine - or, use what you got. Which for me, just so happened to be two jerry rigged twistie ties.
Note to self, buy kitchen twine.
Step Four: Roast according to instructions on the chicken packaging. Each chicken is different due to weight, so in order to avoid blowing up your digestive system with food poisoning, cook as instructed. Baste with the pan juices three to four times throughout the roasting process so keep the skin moist.
My chicken took about two impatient hours. I thought I was going pass out from all the amazing smells, so I was definitely saved by the pop up timer on this one.
Step Five: Serve with your favorite sides. I chose steamed carrots/zucchini and Toasted Coconut Basmati Rice. Pour yourself a glass of wine and enjoy.
I carved this chicken straight clean of any meat. There was nothing left on the bones. I am typically a white meat kind of girl, but in my carving, I sampled some of the dark meat on the underside of the chicken and I couldn't believe how amazingly moist and flavorful this section of the chicken was. Yum. I also started cleaning up way too fast and didn't stop to realize that I could have used the carcass to create chicken stock for soups moving forward. I would have loved to do this, but I got ahead of myself. Next time.
I won't lie - the next day, the leftover meat was amazing. I could really, really taste the herbs from the cavity of the chicken - they had cleared infused the meat. Yum-O.
* cut the ends off the garlic cloves and smash with the flat side of your chopping knife. This opens the garlic up.
** if you use lemons in the cavity, before you half it, apply firm pressure and roll around on the countertop. This will loosen up the juice and release more flavor into the chicken.