Whole Chicken love

_DSC9533Making a whole chicken is pretty much the best thing to do on a Sunday before a busy week.  It’s super easy, versatile and makes great leftovers PLUS the bones can be made into a beautiful broth for this soup or this one.  It’s the best bang for your buck, so stop buying the pre-cut breasts and spending all that extra money!  Here we used a new technique of smearing butter all over the bird.  It made for a light golden crust, but I don’t really think it added much compared to our usual recipe done without the extra fat  Amazingly, we’ve never shared how we make our whole chicken, and this is crazy because we do it at least 2 times a month, sometimes more!  We use a basic Eating Well recipe for our outline, but it’s so easy to change what you throw in based on what you like and what you have on hand!  This is a nice recipe to make together, usually one of us has the clean hands to sprinkle the seasoning over the bird while the other rotates and rubs it in, clean hands also roughly chops the veggies/ herbs to hand to the bird stuffer.  It’s great team work and makes for a quicker prep time.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 teaspoon dried herbs, Italian mix, Thyme, Parsley etc.
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1 small onion, peeled and rough chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, sliced thin
  • 1 lemon, quartered
  • small handful parsley or thyme, stems are great too
  • 1 4- to 5-pound whole chicken, giblets removed

PREPARATION

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Line bottom of a large roasting pan with foil, place in roasting wire rack and then spray with cooking spray.
  2. Sprinkle herbs, salt and pepper all over the chicken, under the skin and over the breast and thigh meat. ( Slide finger between the skin on the breast to open the “pocket” and make sure to rub herbs, salt and pepper in there as well.)
  3. Stuff the onion, garlic, lemon and parsley in the cavity of the bird, tie the legs together with kitchen string. Place the chicken in the prepared pan, breast-side up on the wire rack.
  4. Roast the chicken for 45 minutes. Rotate the pan 180 degrees and continue roasting until a thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh, without touching the bone, registers 165°F, 45 minutes to 1 hour more. Transfer to a clean cutting board; let rest for 10 minutes before removing the string and carving (see Tips & Notes below).

TIPS & NOTES

  • How To Carve a Turkey or Chicken: After the bird is roasted, let it rest for up to 30 minutes before carving. Then, follow these easy step-by-step instructions. 1. Place the roasted bird on a cutting board. Hold it steady with a carving fork and cut through the skin between the leg and body using a large sharp carving knife. 2. Cut through the hip joint, removing the entire leg from the body. Repeat with the other leg. 3. Place a leg skin-side down and cut through the joint between the drumstick and thigh. Repeat with the other leg. (For turkey, slice the meat away from the bone of the thigh and slice the thigh meat thinly. Hold the drumstick and slice the meat off parallel to the bone.) 4. To remove the breast meat, make a horizontal cut near the base. 5. Then, hold near the breastbone with the carving fork. Use a boning knife to make a cut along one side of the breast down to the horizontal cut you made at the base of the body. Repeat with the second breast half on the other side of the breastbone. 6. Cut the breast meat into slices, if desired. 7. Bend a wing away from the body and use a knife to remove the wing piece. Repeat with the other wing. Cut off the wingtips, if desired. 8. Reserve carcass to make soup!
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