Sunday, February 28, 2010

We roasted a chicken!

Yayz! So we did this before about 2 years ago and it was a disaster and we decided that it totally wasn't worth it all. But then I went to a nutritionist this week (my blood pressure is a bit high) and she was all about roasting chickens. I think it was mostly because she herself has been roasting chickens a lot recently. But anyway, I look cooking on Sundays and so we decided to try it out again. Because it is a bit ridiculous that I can't roast a chicken. We based our chicken on Jamie Oliver's My Perfect Roast Chicken from The Naked Chef.

From "The Naked Chef" by Jamie Oliver
Jamie Oliver
Servings: 4 (We ate half of it tonight, so yeah I guess that is right)
One 2 1/2-3 lb. free-range chicken (we used a 3.5 lb chicken)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 small handfuls of fresh herbs (basil, parsley, marjoram), finely chopped (basil and parsley)
1/4 cup olive oil (didnt measure)
1 lemon, halved (I quartered it)
4 bay leaves, torn (I left them whole)
2 sprigs of fresh rosemary
1 bag of Teeny Tiny potatoes from Trader Joe's
1 onion, cut into eighths
cloves from 1 head of garlic

2 sprigs of fresh rosemary, chopped
1/4 c vegetable broth


Preheat the oven and a roasting tray (we used Jamie Oliver's [seemed appropriate] Baby Retro Roaster with rack) to 425 F. Wash the chicken inside and out, and pat it as dry as possible with paper towels. Some people remove the wishbone, but I like to leave it in and later make a wish. (We wouldn't know how to remove it) Rub the cavity with salt; then, being very careful, grab the skin at the tip of the chicken breasts, making sure that it doesn’t rip, and pull up gently. With your other hand, gently separate the skin from the meat of the breast. It’s normally connected by a little bit of tissuey-type stuff, and you can either leave this attached in the middle and make two little tunnels either side, or you can try to cut away the middle. (I cut it away down the middle) Sprinkle a little salt down the gaps that you have made (I missed that step) and push in the chopped herbs. (3/4 of them) Drizzle in a little olive oil. (I did this first) I don’t always stuff the chicken but when I do I generally go with lemon, bay and (2 sprigs) rosemary, which I push into the cavity at this point. Pull the skin of the chicken breast forward so that none of the actual flesh is exposed, tuck the little winglets under (under what?!) and tie up as firmly as possible with kitchen twine. (We didnt tie it up because I ran out of kitchen twine and forgot to pick some up today)

To me, the perfect roast chicken has tender moist breast meat, crisp skin and, dare I say it, overcooked thigh meat. So at this point, simply slash across each thigh about 3 or 4 times and rub in some of the leftover herbs (this didnt really work well so I stuffed the rest into the cavity), which allows the heat to penetrate directly into the thigh meat, enabling it to cook faster. With your hand, rub a little olive oil into the skin of the chicken and season very generously with salt and pepper. Remove the hot tray (roaster) from the oven and add a little oil. Put the chicken on one side, breast side down on the tray, and put back into the oven. Allow to cook for 5 minutes, then turn it over on to the other side, breast side down. Cook for another 5 minutes and then place the chicken on its back. Cook for 1 hour. (We cooked for 15 minutes, then added the potatoes, onions, garlic, olive oil, stock and rosemary to the bottom of the pan. Then we put it back in the oven for another 40 minutes. Then we started checking the temp every 10 minutes or so. It ended up taking about 1 hr 20 minutes after searing the breasts.)

There is nothing like potatoes and garlic cooked in chicken fat. Mmmm! We will totally be roasting more chickens.

We are following this all-American meal up with the world's most adorable apple pie (3" round!) that we bought from the Fitler Square Farmer's Market yesterday and a vegan mint chocolate chip cookie from One Shot Coffee today after our lunch at Tiffin (which you are going to have to wait to hear all about!)

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