Monday, December 3, 2012

How To Roast A Chicken

I miss Thanksgiving :(

Seriously.  I got spoiled with such wonderful food and family last week that it put a slight damper on the usual routine.  Unfortunately, being five hours away from my loved ones means I can't really fulfill the family portion of this little stupor; however, the food bit...that one I can do.

Here's what I did:  I roasted a chicken.  All by myself.  I'm pretty proud considering (1) meat is not really my forte so this was a bit out of my usual comfort zone and (2) it turned out fabulous.  And guess what else?  It was SO easy!  This does not have to be a complicated, day-long process saved for special events, my friends.  This is more of a pop-it-in-the-oven, do a little wine drinking, internet surfing, or nail painting and voila! Dinner's ready! event.

We chose to complete the meal with some traditional holiday fare-- stuffing, green beans, and cranberry sauce (see that pretty red stuff up there?  That's my mom's knock-your-socks-off chutney.  She makes a mean stuffing as well).  As for how we chose to eat the rest of that little chick,'ll just have to wait and see.

How To Roast A Chicken: A Step-by-Step Guide

1 (4 to 5 pound) whole chicken, defrosted if frozen
1 small white onion
1 tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil

1. Preheat the oven to 450°F.

2. Peel and slice your onions. Arrange them in an even layer on the bottom of the pan to make a bed for the chicken. Mix the salt and pepper together in a small bowl.

3. Over the sink, slit the plastic wrapping around your chicken (if it's still wrapped up) and drain out any juices or blood trapped in the plastic. Reach inside the chicken's body cavity and remove the bag of giblets. The giblets can be discarded, saved for stock, or used to make gravy later on.

4. Pat the chicken dry very thoroughly with paper towels or a kitchen rag. Make sure to absorb any liquid behind the wings or legs. Blot inside the body cavity too, getting the chicken as dry as you can, inside and out.

5. Rub the chicken with olive oil. Rub the oil all over the chicken, paying special attention to the breast and the drumsticks.

6. Sprinkle the outside of the chicken generously with salt and pepper, and rub a little salt and pepper inside the cavity as well.

7. Set the chicken breast-side-up on the bed of onion. The chicken should be lifted an inch or two above the pan by the onion.

8. Put the chicken in the oven and lower the oven temperature to 400°F.

9. Set a timer for 1 hour and go about your business.

10. After an hour, check if the chicken is done by inserting an instant-read thermometer in the meatiest part of its thigh. The internal temperature should be at least 165° for the chicken to be done. If you're under, put it back in to cook for another 5 to 10 minutes and check it again.

11. Let the chicken rest for about 15 minutes. During this time, you can prepare a salad or side dish or whisk some flour into the pan juices to make gravy.

12. Carve the chicken and serve.

Adapted from The Kitchn.

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