Wednesday, April 9, 2008

The Great Chicken Roast.

You can't call yourself a grown-up and not know how to roast a chicken, right? So, I figured it was about time I figured out how to do it. I decided to learn from one of the best and got my instructions from Alice Waters' book, "The Art of Simple Food". It actually was very, very, simple and the results were spectacular. I've never before made something that took such little work and got so much praise from everyone in the family!

Here are the instructions:

Get yourself a 3 1/2 to 4 pound chicken (preferably organic - but ours was regular) and season with 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt mixed with a 1/4 teaspoon of freshly ground pepper both inside and outside the bird. You can also use fresh herbs and garlic at this point if you like (and we did). We stuffed fresh thyme and rosemary sprigs under the skin of the chicken on the breasts and the drumsticks along with slices of garlic. We also filled the whole cavity of the bird with the fresh herbs. We then just covered it and put it back in the fridge (ideally, you should put it back in the fridge like this for a day or two - we just let it sit for the day).

Take the bird out of the fridge an hour before cooking. It's important that it isn't cold when it goes into the oven. Cook in a preheated, 400 degree, oven for 20 minutes breast up. Then flip the bird and cook for 20 more minutes breast down. Then cook for about 20 more minutes breast up again (but check it after 10 mins. to see how it is doing). The chicken is done "when the legs and thighs are no longer pink and the breast is still juicy and tender. Don't be afraid to cut into it. The thighs are the last parts to finish cooking , so cut into the bird near the joint between the drumstick and the thigh. The meat should be hot and no longer red".

We also made use of our digital cooking thermometer and cooked the chicken until it was 180 degrees.

Let the chicken rest for a minimum of 10 -15 minutes after you take it out of the oven. This is so "the juices will settle, the internal temperature will stabilize, and the chicken will be much more succulent than if you carve it immediately".

I served the chicken with corn and some white and red baby potatoes that I roasted in the oven, whole, at the same time as the chicken. I just tossed them in a bit of evoo and seasoned them with salt and pepper and I threw some whole garlic gloves and a bunch of fresh herbs on top of them, too.

The verdict? This was the best meal ever according to everyone! The herbs just filled the chicken up with flavour and it was so moist and yummy! Dave said it was "way better than the chicken you get at the grocery store" and he was in a really, really, good mood for the rest of the night. Maddie gave it two thumbs way up and when I asked her what the best part of the dinner was she said, "Everything!" She ate every last bit of food on her plate and asked for more of the potatoes. She even wants us to send some leftovers in her lunch with her tomorrow.

Wow. A HUGE hit.

I'll be roasting chickens all the time now. I thought it was going to be hard to do, but it's actually really easy and there was so little work involved.

"Luuved it!" (you have to say that with a Simon Cowell accent).
And...that's What's Cooking Wednesday (around here)!!!


Karen said...

Mmmm, makes me want to make one tonight!

Shan said...

Oh that looks so very yummy. And much better than the omelette's Mike and I had.

darlene said...

looks fantastic!!!