Happy New Year, all! I hope you’ve had a great holiday season, and start of 2015!
As some of you may know, we had a really tragic ending to 2014 with our house fire, so I’m looking forward to starting over in 2015, and hopefully getting back on track with everything, including this blog! If there’s one thing I learned from all of this, it’s how important it is to really focus and take care of yourself and your loved ones. In the end, things are just things. They get lost, broken, old, ruined, or in my case, burned; but the relationships you have and the things you do and accomplish will last the test of time. So, that’s my goal for the year. To focus more on taking care of myself inside and out, and spending as much time with loved ones as possible, making new memories.
Here’s to a happy, healthy, positive year for all!
Anyway, I have already started a tradition with my family for the new year: having a Sunday Roast every week. With all of the hustle and bustle of our daily lives, we hardly make time to just sit down and eat together anymore. I miss the conversation, laughs, being completely unplugged and undistracted (no T.V. or phones allowed!). So, now at least once a week, we have a plan to do just that, and eat amazing food in the process, of course!
I decided to start this tradition with the classic roast chicken. Very simple, extremely tasty, and multi functional. The day after a chicken roast, I take the remnants and make a glorious chicken stock. Especially in dreary winter months like these, there’s nothing like a hot, flavorful chicken soup! And trust me on this; if you’ve never made your own stock, you haven’t lived! I don’t care what box of stock you buy at the super market, nothing compares to a homemade pot of the good stuff!
But that’s another blog post. Back to the chicken.
Now, a roast chicken is a simple set it and forget it kind of dinner, and the result is just incredible. Here’s the step by step instructions of how I make my version of a perfect roast!
Firstly, and something I find very important: I always make a “rack” out of vegetables. Not only does it lend a hand in flavor, but it helps the chicken get crispy instead of soggy on the bottom from sitting in its own juices. Plus, I take these veggies and toss them in the stock pot the next day.
Remove the bits from the inside of the cavity, and rinse and pat the chicken dry. Place it on top of the rack of vegetables.
Next, is the aromatics for the cavity of the bird. The trick here is getting flavor from every angle during this cooking process. you’d be amazed at how much it really helps! So, all you have to do is stuff these things inside the bird, and voila.
Now, for one of the most essential parts of my roast chicken: the herb butter. This stuff not only adds incredible flavor under the skin, but all over the skin as well.
To make it, combine the butter with herbs, garlic, zest, salt and pepper. Mash up so it’s really combined.
Carefully pull the skin up from the meat, without tearing it. Spread and massage some of the butter mixture under the skin with your hands, around the breast and drumstick areas. Then, spread the rest all over the outside of the bird. This will help the skin get nice and crispy!
Now, place the chicken in a preheated oven at 425 degrees F, and roast until 160 degrees inside, about an hour depending on the size of the bird. If the skin starts getting too dark, tent the bird with aluminum foil.
Here’s the full recipe without photos.
The Perfect Roast Chicken
What You’ll Need:
+ roaster chicken, 5-6 pounds
+ 4 large carrots
+ 4 large celery sticks
For the Aromatics
+ 1 onion, quartered
+ sprigs of fresh rosemary, sage, and thyme
+ a whole lemon, halved
+ 2-3 garlic cloves
For the Herb Butter:
+ 1 stick butter
+ 2 garlic cloves, minced
+ fresh thyme, rosemary, and sage, minced, about 2 sprigs of each
+zest of 1 lemon
+ salt and pepper
Place the carrots and celery in the bottom of a roasting pan to create a “rack” for the bird to sit on. Empty the contents of the chicken cavity, and rinse and pat dry the bird. Stuff the aromatics inside the cavity. Mix the herb butter ingredients together in a small bowl. Carefully pull the skin away from the meat without tearing it, and spread half of the herb butter under the skin. Rub the remaining on the outside of the bird. Place the chicken in a 425 degree preheated oven, and roast until the temperature of the chicken is 160 degrees, about an hour. Remove and allow to sit for 15-20 minutes before carving.