^ that’s straight out of good housekeeping circa the 1950′s. i remember reading an article in cosmopolitan magazine (back when i had time to read trivial female magazines — and when magazines were relevant) titled something like “10 things every woman should know how to do”. nestled in between the more current examples of female *empowerment* (re: make your man squeal like a banshee in bed, how to pink-sugar-crust a martini glass) was HOW TO ROAST A CHICKEN. say what?!
i know it sounds terrible to say “every woman” should know how to do anything cooking-related, so let’s just say that every person in the entire world worth their kosher salt should know how to prepare a delicious roasted chicken. that should take care of the whole “that’s sexist!” thing, and ensure plenty of blog hits. yes?
this recipe serves 4. *unless dad feels entitled to BOTH big pieces of chicken, b/c he works all day and comes home hungry and by god should be able to eat whatever part of that bird he damn well wants to.
kiddo alert: none. but, you might not want to draw too much attention to the bird in it’s whole & natural state, if you’re raising sympathetic kids (yuck).
- one roasting chicken, 4-6 lbs
- 1 stick unsalted butter, softened (year-round in hawaii, i can set a stick on the counter and it’s ready in 30 seconds. :happysad )
- fresh rosemary (4-5 sprigs)
- fresh thyme (4-5 sprigs)
- 2 tsps italian seasoning (durkee is cheapest)
- 2 tsps poultry seasoning
- 1 lemon, quartered
- 1 head of garlic, 4-5 cloves chopped, remaining cloves left intact (no need to peel, either)
- kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper
- preheat oven to 350
- remove neck, gizzards, and livers from chicken. you can dredge them in flour and fry them up, if you’re into liver, which i am. :hannibal
- rinse and pat dry your chicken using paper towel
- finely chop a sprig of thyme and a sprig of rosemary. with the rosemary, you’ll want to “shed” the herb off the branch, as the branch is wood-like and tough.
- in small bowl, mix the fresh chopped herbs with the softened stick of butter. add the chopped garlic, the italian seasoning and poultry seasoning. add a tsp of salt and a tsp of pepper. mix well until you have a very herby-looking butter spread.
- get ALL UP UNDER and outside of that chicken skin with the butter spread (if you are squeamish, you can wear kitchen gloves. i’m a soldier, i don’t need all that.) gently pull back on the breast skin up near the top of the chicken, and work some butter spread under the skin. most importantly, make sure that the entire outside of the bird is coated in the spread.
- stuff the cavity of the bird with lemon quarters, remaining garlic cloves, and herb sprigs (don’t chop).
- ROAST IT. the general rule for chicken roasting is 20 minutes per pound at 350 degrees, uncovered. so, if you have a 4lb bird, it should roast for about an hour and 20 minutes. i HIGHLY recommend getting a good roasting pan for chicken roasting, as it lifts the bird up off the surface of the pan, allowing it to crisp all over. if you are familiar with how to do beer can chicken, MAKE THIS CHICKEN ON A BEER CAN HOLDER. truthfully, the beer can method is the only way i will roast a whole chicken now. every scrap of chicken skin gets crisped, and the meat is at it’s moistest. don’t drink? you don’t have to use beer. soda will work, too. we don’t buy beer in cans *pinky finger out*, so sometimes i crack a soda, pour it into a glass, and then pour beer from a bottle into the soda can. whatever works.
- check the bird’s internal temp w/ a meat thermometer when the timer dings (you should set an old-school timer for this recipe, ixnay on the oven timer or the timer on your iphone). most meat thermometers have meat & poultry markers that will show you whether it’s “safe”, but the temp should be 170-180 when inserted into the deepest part of the thigh.
- remove the bird from the oven and let it rest for at least 10 minutes before carving. this step is important — if you get eager and cut into tweety too soon, all of your delicious juices will spill out, and your meat will be dry.
- serve barefoot, wearing only a maid’s apron and a smile. men may substitute their attire accordingly by wearing a stoic expression with the apron.