One of the ways I use my blog is as my own personal recipe book--these recipes are all things that I actually make my family. And, one of the meals we really enjoy is very easy, that is, a simple roasted chicken. Over the years, I have found that this particular recipe really is the most delicious and simple.
It is adapted from Ina Garten's Perfect Roast Chicken, which you can find here. I do make slight changes to the recipe every time, based on what I have in the house, but the gist of it is presented below and I think you will enjoy it as well.
1 5- to 6- lb roasting chicken
Sea salt & pepper
Butter, a little softened
1 large bunch of fresh thyme
1 lemon halved (I have used orange in a pinch)
1 whole head of garlic, cut in half
1 large onion
Vegetables -- 4 carrots, one bulb of fennel, fingerling potatoes cut in thirds, celery, etc.
1. Prepare vegetables: Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Peel and/ or chop vegetables as needed and place in a roasting pan. Season with salt, pepper, and part of the herbs you are using.
2. Prepare chicken: Wash chicken inside and out (and remove "innards" if there and reserve for another recipe, such as gravy). Then, stuff the interior cavity with some of your thyme, garlic, lemon, a little onion. I have even stuffed an apple up there and other fresh herbs like sage and/ or parsley. Rub the outside of the chicken with the softened butter and then season the whole thing with salt and pepper. Tie the legs together and place the chicken on top of the vegetables. Then, tuck the wings under the body. Finally, pour about a cup or two of stock/ broth/ water in the bottom of the pan (just to cover the bottom about 1/8 to 1/4 of an inch up. Place the whole thing uncovered in the oven to roast.
3. Cook: Let the chicken roast for about 1 1/2 hours (or until the juices between the thigh and body run clear when cut and/ or until a thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the thigh reads just at 165 degrees.
4. Rest: Remove from oven to a platter with the vegetables and cover with foil. Let rest for 20 to 30 minutes, then carve.
The super-great-awesome-wonderful thing about making a roast chicken is that you can make a stock with the carcass. There is something truly wonderful about using every part of the animal and making a stock with the carcass allows for that. Ensure that you are using a quality local source for your chicken to result in the highest quality stock and read these tips from the Healthy Home Economist to ensure your stock gels. A supplementary benefit of making the stock is that you will wind up with additional meat that you were unable to cut off the bones initially. This meat is wonderful for use in soups, fajitas, or this pot pie recipe from Mrs. Scratch.Love and we usually get about one to two cups of additional meat in this way.