Sunday, January 18, 2009

Slow Roasted Sunday

Today I am trying something I have not done ever, roasting a whole chicken...yes I think this is a pretty basic thing that probably everyone else on the planet knows how to do but I've avoided it, why do it at home when for $7 you can get a great rotisserie chicken at most grocery stores? So middle of last week I decided maybe I should try this and see what happens....worst case I find out it's not so easy and I go back to buying the store made stuff, best case, well no more store bought for me!

I started off with a 5.14 lb fresh young roaster chicken and began hunting for a recipe. I looked through cookbooks I have, websites and blogs and finally after weighing both what sounded good to me and what the people who will be sharing the fruits of my labor like I decided on a permutation of a recipe from Martha Stewart's Cooking School (Roasted Chicken 101)and an Herb Roasted Chicken Recipe by Anne Burrell from Food Network.

Lauren's Roasted Chicken -- that's right, I'm naming after myself

5 sprigs rosemary, picked and finely chopped, about 2 tablespoons
10 sage leaves, picked and finely chopped, about 2 tablespoons
1 Tbsp Fresh Thyme Leaves
3 cloves garlic, smashed and finely chopped
Pinch red pepper flakes
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
1 whole chicken (5 lbs)
Kosher salt
Fresh Ground Black Pepper
1/2 a medium onions roughly chopped
1 bag baby carrots
6 ribs celery, chopped
3 large leeks, chopped
4 cups rich chicken stock
1 1/2 cups dry white wine
1 large lemon

To make the chicken:

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. To assure even cooking, remove chicken from the refrigerator, and let it stand at room temperature for 1 hour. After rinsing the chicken inside and out with cold running water, dry it with paper towels. Tuck the tips of the wings under the bottom to keep them from burning.

2. In a small bowl combine the chopped rosemary, sage, thyme, garlic, red pepper flakes and olive oil. Season generously with salt and pepper. Using your fingertips carefully work your way under the skin of the chickens to separate the skin from the breast to develop a pocket. Use all of the paste and try to distribute evenly. Rub outside of chicken with olive oil, add salt and pepper. Slice lemon into rounds, place in the cavity of the chicken.

3. Use a 9 by 13-inch roasting pan. Add 2 cups of chicken stock and season generously with salt. Arrange the chickens on top of the veggies in the roasting pan and place in the preheated oven.

4. Check the chickens about 15 minutes into the cooking process, the skin should be starting to turn a lovely brown. Lower the heat to 375 degrees F and continue roasting. After another 15 minutes, remove the chickens from the oven and turn over. At this point check the level of liquid in the roasting pan. If most of the liquid has evaporated, add another cup of stock and return the chickens to the oven. When the chicken has browned on the bottom, about 15 minutes, remove them from the oven and turn them back over. Return the chicken to the oven for the final 15 minutes of cooking. During this time the skin on the chicken should be very brown and crispy.

5. Remove the chicken from the oven and take the temperature in the crease between the thigh and the breast. (When doing this be sure not to have the thermometer probe touch a bone or you will get an inaccurate reading.) The thermometer should read between 160 and 170 degrees F. If the thermometer reads less than 160 degrees F return the chicken to the oven for an additional 10 minutes and then re-check the temperature.

To make the gravy:
1. After the chickens have been removed from the roasting pan, skim off the excess fat from the surface of the liquid. The easiest way to do this is to prop up 1 end of the pan and allow the fat to run to the other end of the pan.

2. Pour the liquid into a sauce pan, add the wine, bring to a medium heat and reduce by half. Add the remaining chicken stock and taste. Add salt if needed- you probably will need salt.

3. At this point I added a bit of corn starch to thicken the gravy, I like a thicker gravy, but the flavor is great so you don't really have to add much anything else if you don't want to. When the sauce has reached the desired consistency and flavor remove from the heat and pour into desired serving vessel.

Verdict was that the chicken was well worth it - moist, juicy and flavorful. I'll definitely do this again!!


gastroanthropologist said...

I know the store bought rotisserie is so tempting...but I'm sure your veggies were so delicious as they roasted along side. You've inspired me - I'll be roasting my own chicken for dinner tomorrow night!

praying postmodern said...

I just throw one on my own spit with a little salt, pepper, and other spices. It is awesome, but I have to say, "Yours looks really good too." -Andrew

Reeni♥ said...

Your roasted chicken turned out great!! I love how it makes the whole house smell so good, and the leftovers!! Usually there are a lot of leftovers to make other meals out of.

Anonymous said...

Dear Bytes!
Greetings from Shizuoka, Japan!
Tell you what: that chicken just sounds and looks like back home in France! I could not smell it through the Internet, but I'm sure it would be like the ones I used to eat. In japan it is a bit difficult to obtain whole chickens, but you convinced me I will have to cook it for the Missus!

Karen said...

Oh, they smell so good while they're roasting. And you can't get all those yummy roasted veggies when you buy a supermarket-roasted chicken!

evil and demented little cooker girl said...


Hornsfan said...

gastroanthropologist - glad I inspired you, you'll be happy you made it I'm sure!
Andrew - I'm jealous you have a spit to roast on, I'm coming to your house for dinner!
Reeni - I'm relly excited about the leftovers and you're 100% right about the smell, that alone made the process worth-while!
Robert - Best of luck finding a whole chicken - I'm sure the Missus will be thrilled to have one roasted at home!
Karen - you're right about the veggies, they do make the meal!
evil little cooker girl - thanks!

Dee said...

That does look truly wonderful. I now realize the martha cooking school we gave you for Christmas is going to get me into trouble in more than a few ways...twine for instance which I did haul to Mexico. Guess you will have to follow Martha's instructions to the letter. She won't steer you wrong, Sweetie!