Sunday, September 22, 2013

Perfectly Roasted Chicken

I love Sunday afternoons.  They are great for things like naps, long walks, or roasting a whole chicken.  I love it when I can smell the delicious aroma of chicken roasting in the oven mixed with the crisp fall air floating in through the windows.  It is a mouth watering experience, I promise you.  
 For those of you who have never attempted to make a whole chicken before, don't worry - if I can do this, so can you.  If you have made whole chickens before and you are a chicken making machine - then you should definitely try this recipe because it might just become your new favorite.  I know this is definitely my go-to roasted chicken recipe and I can't get enough of it.  
 Hope you enjoy!

Perfectly Roasted Chicken 
6 servings 

1 ½-2 cups chicken stock or broth (homemade or store-bought)
3.5-4 lb. whole organic chicken, rinsed and dried (gizzards, heart, neck, & liver removed)
¾ cup spicy brown mustard
3 tablespoons olive oil
Juice from 1 fresh lemon; keep lemon rind for stuffing chicken
1/3 cup light soy sauce
2 garlic cloves, crushed
Several sprigs fresh parsley, rosemary, & thyme (or about 1 tablespoon of each if using dried herbs)

Rinse the chicken well inside and out.  Pat dry with paper towel and place in a large Ziploc bag. 

To make the marinade, whisk together mustard, olive oil, lemon juice, and soy sauce.  Add the garlic and mix well.  If you have time, add the marinade to the chicken and refrigerate for at least a few hours or overnight.  Otherwise you can pour the marinade over the chicken and bake right away. 

Stuff the lemon rind into the chicken cavity along with half of the fresh parsley, rosemary, and thyme (if using fresh herbs).  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. 

Place the chicken in a heavy roasting pan, on a roasting rack preferably.  Wrap the tips of the drumsticks and the wings in small pieces of tin foil to protect them from burning.  Pour the marinade over the chicken and top with the remaining fresh herbs or sprinkle the dry herbs on the chicken.  Cover with heavy-duty aluminum foil and seal tightly.  Try to make sure the foil is not resting on top of the skin, or it will stick and come off when you remove the foil; leave an air pocket in the foil.  Roast covered for one hour.  

Then remove the foil and continue to roast for an addition 30 minutes.  Add about 1 ½ cups chicken stock to the roasting pan.  Using a wooden spoon, scrape the bottom of the roasting pan to loosen the bits that have collecting on the sides and bottom of the pan.  Baste the chicken well.  Continue roasting uncovered for 60 minutes, basting every 15 minutes.  Add more chicken stock if needed. 

When there is about 45 minutes left of baking time I like to add wedges of red potatoes that I mix with a little olive oil and herbs to the pan to cook along with the chicken.  Otherwise you could cook the potatoes separately by steaming them in a pan on the stove or serve the chicken with a different side such as rice.
Remove the chicken from the oven.  Remove the chicken from the roasting pan and place it on a caring board to rest for 10 minutes before carving.  Cover lightly with foil. 

Pour the juices from the pan through a strainer and set the juices aside.

Carve the chicken by flipping it over and slicing it down the middle, removing each breast, leg, wing section, and any other meat.  Serve with potatoes or rice and pour the pan juices over the meat. 

Recipe adapted from Big Bowl of Love

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