Nothing is more delish than roast chicken – juicy and succulent with crispy, salty skin. YUM! Roast chicken is something that I was originally scared to try cooking. Not only can chicken be so easily overcooked, leaving you with a mouthful of cardboard, it is also so beautiful that it looks like it would be difficult to manage. This recipe is foolproof. The beauty of roast chicken lies in its simplicity. Never again will you be forced to eat dry chicken, and your taste buds will jump for joy with every bite.
- 1 whole chicken (5-6lbs)
- 1 lemon quartered
- 1 head of garlic, halved (leave the peel on-it doesn’t matter)
- 1 bunch of fresh thyme
- 5 tablespoons butter softened and separated
- 1.5 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 1 piece of kitchen twine cut about 18 inches long
Remove all gizzards from the cavity of the chicken. Brine your chicken (recipe found in the blog section – All About Brine) in the refrigerator for six hours. If you don’t have the time, this step can be skipped (but really, try the brine especially if you’ve never done it). Preheat the oven to 400°F.
Before you are ready to handle the bird, I like to make sure I have everything prepared so that I do not have to wash my hands a million times and risk contaminating my kitchen with salmonella. This includes cutting the butter into individual tablespoons, place salt and pepper in a small ramekin, cut the twine, etc.
Discard the brine, and rinse the chicken with cold water. Pat dry with paper towels, and arrange the chicken in a small roaster. Liberally season the inside of the bird with half of the salt and pepper. Place the lemon, garlic, and thyme inside the cavity.
With your fingers, gently loosen the skin of the chicken away from the breast meat. Put four tablespoons of butter under the skin, and rub it in. With the remaining tablespoon of butter, massage the top of the chicken skin all over. Season the skin with the remainder of the salt and pepper.
The next step is to truss your chicken. Trussing is the act of binding the chicken and all of its limbs to keep it compact. This allows the chicken to cook evenly and avoids having dry meat. BUT, if you research how to truss a chicken, there are many different (and difficult) ways to accomplish this. All I do is tuck the wings underneath the chicken, and tie the legs together with the twine. This works just fine.
Wash your hands thoroughly and place the roaster in the oven. Cook for 90 minutes or until the juice from the joint attaching the leg to the body runs clear or until a thermometer inserted at the same place reads 165°F.
Remove the chicken from the oven, and cover with tin foil. Allow the chicken to rest for 20 minutes, then carve, and ENJOY!