After almost two months of having the contents of the kitchen cabinets boxed and in the front room, saw dust everywhere, and paint speckled in my hair, hands, and God knows where else, our kitchen is 99% done!!! We are still waiting for our island from Ikea which we may not have until the turn of the next century, depending on the strike at the Port of Long Beach.
All I wanted to do was make a roast chicken and today I finally got to do that!! There are a gazillion ways to roast a chicken but this is the way I do it because it is easy and you end up with juicy meat and crispy skin that will make your eyeballs roll into the back of your head. Did I say it was easy? ‘Cause it is!!!
1. Remove the chicken from the refrigerator and let it come to room temperature for one hour. Use a 3-5 pound chicken. I store the chicken in it’s plastic wrap inside a plastic grocery bag. Remove the wrapping and keep the chicken in the grocery bag in the sink. Remove the innards and set them aside also in the grocery bag. I also use this bag to throw my paper towels so everything that’s raw chicken-ey is together and easy to throw out. Letting the bird come to room temperature helps it cook evenly.
2. While the chicken is doin’ it’s thing, get everything else ready that you will need. Get out your chicken board and roasting pan or skillet, tear some paper towels, cut your twine, bundle up your herbs, set aside some salt and pepper on a plate, and when an hour is almost up, start preheating your oven to 450 degrees. This will make you more efficient and less likely to cross contaminate and get raw chicken everywhere.
3. Add a few paper towels onto your cutting board and transfer the chicken. Pat it dry, both inside and out with paper towels. I do not rinse chicken or any poultry prior to cooking because it spreads bacteria from here to kingdom come….and because the CDC says so and they are the boss. Please wash your hands before touching anything else when you handle raw chicken or poultry to avoid cross contamination. You should have a cutting board dedicated only for raw poultry.
4. Sprinkle the inside with salt and pepper and add in the herb bundle. I used a combination of sage, rosemary, and thyme.
5. Breast side up, truss the bird with kitchen twine, basically tucking the wings under and tying the legs together. YouTube it if you have no idea what I’m talking about. Here’s a good video from Mario. Trussing also helps the chicken to cook evenly.
6. Place the bird in a roasting pan or cast iron skillet. Liberally sprinkle the chicken inside and out with salt and pepper. Your sprinkler hand should be about a foot above the bird for even distribution of the seasoning. Liberal does not mean that you add three times the daily requirement of salt and you wake up the next morning with your tongue stuck to the roof of your mouth and there is so much salt you can’t see the chicken anymore.
7. Insert a roasting thermometer in the thickest part of the the thigh where the thigh meets the breast making sure it’s not against the bone.
8. Place the bird on the bottom rack of the oven and roast it until the thermometer reads 165 degrees. Don’t you dare peek to “check on it’s progress”! This lets valuable heat out! Stop it. Cooking time will depend on the size of your chicken but plan on it taking at least an hour. Rely on your thermometer to tell you when it is done!
9. Remove it from the oven and let it rest for AT LEAST 15 minutes before carving. During this time, I usually either make a pan sauce or roast vegetables to go with the chicken.