A nice and juicy oven roasted chicken recipe.
By Val Twerdahl
There has always been something incredibly daunting to me about roasting a whole chicken… until now. Perhaps my trepidation had something to do with the fact that my mom’s roast chicken is the best and cannot ever be trumped. Or maybe it’s just an irrational fear of limp, soggy chicken skin and dry, desiccated meat that prevented me from experimenting? Whatever my apprehensions, last weekend I finally plucked up the courage to overcome my phobia of cooking the quintessential comfort food.
After spending an hour pouring through recipes in cookbooks and on websites, a light bulb lit up in my head: the perfect roasted chicken can’t be that hard to make. I put away the cookbooks, switched off my iPad, and retreated to the kitchen with a massive craving and a smorgasbord of ideas in my head. Like magic, a few hours later, I removed a flawless roasted chicken from the oven. It was crispy on the outside, juicy on the inside, and complete with a satisfying, peppery kick that kept me warm and toasty for the rest of the evening.
- Whole chicken, 3-4 lbs.
- 5 large carrots, washed and peeled
- 2 large Spanish onions, peeled
- 6 large cloves of garlic, peeled
- 2 lemons, cut into quarters
- 1 ¼ cups extra virgin olive oil
- Coarse sea salt
- Cracked black pepper
- Ground cayenne pepper
- 2 sprigs of fresh thyme
- Pan drippings
- ¼ cup of all-purpose flour
- 1 cup white wine (anything you’ll enjoy drinking with dinner)
- 1 can of chicken broth
- Preheat the oven 425 degrees F.
- Remove and discard the chicken giblets, and rinse the chicken with cold water. Pat the chicken dry and let it rest on the counter while you prepare the other ingredients.
- Slice one onion into half inch thick slices and place them next to each other on the bottom of a roasting pan. Place the chicken in the middle of the roasting pan, on top of the onions.
- Cut the carrots into large pieces and toss them around the chicken. Also throw in four whole cloves of garlic, and four lemon wedges. Drizzle a tablespoon full of olive oil over the veggies.
- Chop two large cloves of garlic and both sprigs of thyme. Add the garlic and thyme to a small bowl with the remaining olive oil.
- Roll up your sleeves and remove any rings, watch, or bracelets you may be wearing…
- Hold up the bird with one of your hands, while dipping your other hand into the bowl of olive oil. Coat the inside of the bird with the oil mixture, then generously season the inside with sea salt, black pepper and cayenne. Cut an onion into quarters and stuff them into the chicken. Then, squeeze a lemon wedge over the onion before stuffing the rest of the lemon wedges into the chicken’s cavity. Lay the chicken back down on the roasting pan, breast side up.
- Now for the fun part. With your fingers, gently pull the skin away from the breast meat without tearing the skin. Gradually and generously cover the area between the breast and the skin with the olive oil mixture. When you’re done, liberally coat the skin of the entire chicken—breasts, drumsticks, and wings—with the rest of the olive oil. Don’t be afraid to give the chicken a good rub down! This will help crisp up the skin during roasting.
- Tie the drumsticks together with kitchen string. Generously season the chicken and the veggies with salt, pepper, and cayenne. Feel free to lift and shift the bird as your doing this to ensure that you coat its sides with ample seasoning.
- Tuck the wings under the body of the chicken and place the roasting pan in the oven.
- Roast for 1 hr. 20 minutes, or 1 hr. 30 minutes, depending on the size of the bird. The meat is cooked when you cut between the drumstick and thigh and the juices run clear.
- Once the meat is cooked, change the oven setting to broil for 1 minute to crisp up the skin. Watch it to make sure neither the chicken nor the vegetables burn.
- Remove the roasting pan from the oven and transfer the chicken to a carving board. Cover it with tin foil and let it rest for 15 minutes. This is ample time to make the gravy.
- Use a slotted spoon to remove the vegetables from the roasting pan. Place them in a serving bowl and cover with tin foil to keep them warm.
- Pour drippings from roasting pan into a small saucepan. Turn the burner on to medium heat, add flour and stir with a wooden spoon to combine.
- Stir in the white wine and let the mixture come to a boil.
- Add chicken broth (I prefer Swanson’s) and stir. Let the gravy come to a boil and reduce heat. Let simmer until it thickens, about 10 minutes.