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Roast Chicken

One of my kids favorite suppers is roasted chicken. It’s also one of our easiest suppers. If you ever meet me, you’ll discover that I think all recipes are easy. I think you will find the same. I generally don’t stuff the birds, because that would be complicated and take more time. Life is complicated enough! This is the basic method for roasting a chicken.  

Step one: To roast a chicken I take it out of the freezer and leave it on the counter to thaw. Yep, not in the fridge, on the counter. Even in the summer. Thaws faster in the summer of course. If you are preparing a store bought chicken, you should probably thaw it in your fridge. Regardless of whether you thaw in the fridge or on the counter, put a plate under the chicken to catch condensation and juices. I leave the chicken in the plastic bag, unless I’m putting it in a brine.

Step two: Preheat your oven to about 350 degrees. If your oven is on the hot side, try 325. Take the thawed bird out of the bag, rinse it off well and put it into a roasting pan. You can shake some salt and pepper on it, or add a spice rub. I like to add one of our spice rubs, like Simon & Garfunkel, or Herbs de Provence.  

Step three: Put the bird into the hot oven without a lid. In about an hour or so, depending on the size of the bird, you will start to smell chicken. Now is a great time to baste. I hate those baster thingy’s with the bulb on the end, so I use a spoon, small ladle, or pour the juices into a measuring cup and then pour over the chicken. You can do this fairly often, but not so often that you loose all the heat from your oven.  

Step four: When the juices from the cavity (the empty spot where all the insides of the chicken used to be) run clear, and the wing and leg joints are loose, the chicken is done. The standard cookbook will say X minutes per pound, but we just roast it till we know it’s done. Works for us. I think we pay more attention to our nose than to the clock. You can also cut into the breast meat, or cut between where the leg and the breast join to see if the juices are running clear.  

Step five: Take the chicken out of the roasting pan (there is a good chance the wings or legs may fall off when you are moving it, and that is a good thing!). Put in onto a platter to catch any juices that may continue to come out. I will often place the chicken on our wooden cutting board that nests perfectly into one of our cookie sheets. The cookie sheet then catches all the juices instead of my counter. Those juices can be added to the roasting pan juices. Cover it with a bit of foil to keep the chicken warm if you are going to make gravy.

If you would like to know how to brine a chicken, or how to make gravy, let us know and we'll post a recipe! Wondering how to make stock with the carcass? Click here to learn how we prepare it with our stewing hens.




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