Tips
from the Farm Kitchen

Roasting a Whole Chicken





How to Roast a Whole Chicken
from How to Sew a Button: And Other Nifty Things Your Grandmother Knew by Erin Bried

Step 1: Go to your local butcher, farm, or grocer and buy the whole bird. You'll need about  pound per person. Dig out your roasting pan, and crank up your oven to 375 degrees. Then, shush! Give a listen. Is your belly growling? If so, have a little snack. It takes a good hour to roast a 3- to 3-pound bird.  

Step 2: Get acquainted with your chicken. If you're temporarily grossed out, there's no kind way to say this: Get over yourself. You're about to eat this bird (and it's going to be delicious), so you might as well take responsibility for cooking it. Then, peek inside your chicken. If you see a bag of parts, pull it out. (It's the giblets, or heart, neck, and liver of a chicken, not necessarily your chicken. You can simmer them in water to make a broth or gravy, or you can just toss them.)  

Step 3: Give your bird a bath for good measure. Rinse it, inside and out, under cold water, and then pat it dry with a paper towel.  

Step 4: Prepare your seasonings. Mix softened butter (about  to  stick) with generous amounts of your favorite herbs and spices. Try chopped garlic (4 to 6 cloves), diced rosemary (about 5 full twigs' worth), and salt and pepper  (teaspoon or more).



Or, chopped garlic, lemon zest, thyme, and tarragon. How much of each? Enough. Basically, just throw it all together. It's hard to cluck it up.

Step 5: Using your fingers (or, if you're still grossed out, an upside-down spoon), separate the skin from the meat, being careful not to rip or puncture it, or your bird will lose its juices. Once you've got some wiggle room in there, smush your butter mixture between the skin and meat, making sure to get it into every nook and cranny. Then, rub butter all over the outside of the bird, too, so it'll brown nicely in the oven.  

Step 6: Season the inside of your chicken. Sprinkle in a good amount of salt and pepper, and then toss in a couple of whole garlic cloves, whatever leftover herbs you might have from your butter mixture (stems included), and a quartered lemon.  

Step 7: Place your bird, breast and legs up, in your roasting pan. Tuck the tip of the wings underneath the body and, if you'd like, tie the legs together with kitchen string. It's not necessary, but it adds a dose of fancy.  

Step 8: Pop your chicken in the oven, set your timer for an hour, go have a glass of wine or a gimlet, and wait.  

Step 9: When the timer goes off, check on your chicken. Tilt it until some juices run out. If they're pinkish, it's not done yet. If they're clear, stick a kitchen thermometer into the fattest part of the thigh. Only when it reads 165 degrees is it done.  
 




Step 10: Set your chicken on a platter on the countertop and let it rest for 10 minutes, so it gets good and juicy. (If you'd like to make gravy, now's the time. See page 8 for instructions.)  

Step 11: Present your chicken to your dinner guests, preferably using grand gestures. Enjoy their oos and aahs, and then enjoy the chicken.  

Source: How to Sew a Button: And Other Nifty Things Your Grandmother Knew by Erin Bried. Ballantine Books, 2009.

How to Sew a Button
How to Sew a Button
And Other Nifty Things Your Grandmother Knew

Roaster Oven
Electric Roaster Oven
Poultry
Poultry

The Complete Idiot's Guide to Cooking Substitutions
The Complete Idiot's Guide to Cooking Substitutions

Roaster Oven
Roaster Oven

Turkey
Turkey


Return to the Farm Kitchen

Farmer's Market Online.
Copyright © 2010 Outrider. All rights reserved.