February 28th, 2010

Roast Chicken for Dad

Any experienced home cook or professional cook will tell you that you need a good roast chicken recipe under your belt because it is easy, and it impresses everyone. There is something celebratory about pulling out a whole bird out of the oven and carving it up for your family and friends. It can be very versatile, tweaked to your tastes, and you can leave it alone in the oven while you tend to other things, like catching up on Archer or reading the new Bon Appetit.

I am especially proud of this recipe because my dad loves it. Now it could be because he was just startled that I know how to cook anything at all, or maybe all dads love whatever their kids make, but when he said, “this might be better than mom’s,” you could practically see me glow and float off the floor. My dad is not a picky eater per se. He’ll eat anything my mom puts in front of him but that also means that just about everything else is never really good enough. He’ll go out to restaurants for certain foods like sushi or a really good steak but not much else. So when he said my chicken was good, I patted myself on the back and had a stupid grin on my face all day. He complimented the bird out of mom’s earshot, by the way. He’s allowed to love it, but not too loudly.

I love this recipe because the initial high heat crisps up the skin, and because there is almost a whole stick of herbed butter in this sucker. If that doesn’t make you hungry, I’m not really sure what will.

  • Ingredients

  • 3-lb chicken, preferable organic and free range (it really does taste better, to me anyway)
  • Thyme (or you can use Rosemary too)
  • 1/2 stick butter, softened, plus 2 Tbsp melted
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 apple, quartered (or lemon, or orange… whatever’s on hand)
  • 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 1 onion, quartered
  • 2-3 Carrots, sliced lengthwise then crosswise
  • 2 Celery stalks, halved
  • 4-5 Red potatoes, quartered

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

2. Toss carrots, celery, 2 of the 4 onion quarters, and potatoes with olive oil, salt and pepper, and herbs. Please in a roasting pan.

3. Rinse the chicken inside and out then pat dry. Season the cavity with salt and pepper.

4. Stuff cavity with garlic, onion, thyme and quartered apple/orange/lemon.

5. Mash the softened butter with herbs until combined. Use that butter to rub under the skin of the chicken. This is probably the trickiest part of the recipe. Loosen the skin of the chicken; starting at the neck, push your fingers under the skin and loosen it from the flesh without tearing it. Squish some of the herbed butter in there and then massage it to spread it evenly. Do the same with the butt end of the bird. I use the back of a spoon to shove the butter under the skin then just work it with my fingers. This can get a little messy and frustrating but it is worth it. Believe me.

6. Mix the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter with more herbs and then brush over the chicken. I told you there was going to be butter in this recipe, right? Rub the outside with some salt and pepper.

7. Place chicken in roasting pan on top of the vegetables. Place in oven.

8. After 15 minutes, turn down heat to 400 degrees.

9. Cook for 45 minutes to an hour, depending on the size of the bird, until the thermometer reads 165 degress in the thickest part of the thigh. I tend to pull out the chicken at around 150 degrees because it will continue to cook. If you let it get beyond 165 degrees, the meat will be pretty dry. Let it rest for about 15 minutes before carving so that the tasty juices can recirculate.

Serve to adoring guests.

Posted under Poultry

3 Responses to “Roast Chicken for Dad”

  1. the chicken carrots were delicious.

  2. that WAS a super awesome chicky

  3. and by all means, you should make it again upon my visit 😀