Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Roasting a Chicken... for the first time.

I took the chicken out of the bag it came in. That was pretty gross and slimy. I'll spare you the pictures. Also, I avoided taking any at this point because my hands were... yup... covered in chicken juices. The second thing I noticed was it had a pop-up timer, which is cool for first timers. So I plopped this thing in a large glass casserole dish and removed the giblets. I lack a proper roasting pan, but this works. Now I know I have to dress up my chicken a little. Guided by several sources I decided on this:

Pretty little chicken!
Mix 2 tablespoons of softened salted butter with 4 tsp of rosemary (I used dried) and garlic (however much you'd like). Now comes the tricky part: putting the butter under the skin. After exploring the anatomy of a roasting chicken for longer than I would have liked, I found where I could slide my hands between the meat and skin. I managed to get some butter on the chicken breasts and thighs. I was pretty proud of myself there, and gave up on getting it under the skin on the drumsticks without tearing it. I then coated the breasts (facing up in the pan) with olive oil, then tented some aluminum foil over the chicken.Into the oven preheated to 450 degrees. I then turned it down to 350 (as it would sear/brown the chicken, apparently, when it's put in but then the temperature is lowered so it won't dry it out).

These things are vegetables.

Foil off, not done yet!

I cooked it for an hour, then tossed in a bunch of veggies: chunks of white potatoes, carrots, celery and onions. After about 15 minutes in the oven, I had enough juices to baste, so I did that. I then removed the foil so the skin would crisp up. After a little over another hour, it was all set!

Note: 20 min per pound at 350 is good for a roasting chicken. I waited for my pop-up timer though.

The finished product! The chicken was $8.78 (~7.5 lbs.) The veggies and butter ~$2. We'll be eating a bit of this tonight, but the rest will be incorporated into dishes for the rest of the week, or frozen. I will also be using the bones and drippings to make chicken stock. Very cost effective to get the whole chicken!

Results and Conclusions: The chicken was pretty tasty. Most of the rosemary was concentrated on the chicken breast, and overall I think I had too much of it in there. The skin was a perfect crispiness though, so I will keep the same amount of olive oil and butter next time. I will also put my veggies in just a little earlier next time since a couple of the carrots/potatoes weren't 100% soft/cooked through (though still very tasty). I also noticed I didn't salt the chicken at all. I usually don't add salt until I eat, if I do at all. I didn't think it needed it, but you are welcome to salt your chicken before hand, or even try out brining!

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