There are a lot of recipes out there for roasting chickens. Here is what I do. It’s exceptionally easy and delicious. I tend to make this a lot when we are feeling poor. It worked better before we had kids as Ruth only eats chicken in nugget form (although she recently discovered that I can make excellent chicken strips and therefore she’s going to let me stay in the family!).
- 1 whole chicken
- EVOO (Extra Virgin Olive Oil)
- Garlic (fresh or powder)
- Herbs (fresh if you’ve got ’em, Italian Seasonings if you don’t)
- Clean the chicken thoroughly. Wash it, remove all the innards. Sometimes I salt it inside, sometimes I don’t.
- Put it in the roasting pan.
- Cover it with a nice layer of EVOO. Just pour it on.
- If you used fresh garlic, mash it all over the chicken with your hands. Toss some in the cavity.
If you are using powder, then just coat the thing in garlic powder.
- Cover it with herbs. Personally, I usually use Italian Seasonings and I again coat it in them. If I’m using fresh herbs then I am more sparing as they have way more flavor. I do like to go cut fresh rosemary from my yard and stuff it inside the bird — nummy.
- Cook it at 350F for 1.5 hours.
- Let it set and then carve and serve. Utterly delish.
Variations on the recipe — substitute butter for the EVOO. Bernsteins Restaurant Style Italian Dressing also works great — skip all the herbs and spices then as it’s very flavorful.
But, your work is not done. After dinner, pick the carcass clean. Get all the good delish meat off and save them for other meals. I recommend Chicken Quesadillas. YUM!
Next, put the chicken carcass and all bones (yes, even the ones from the plates, believe me germs will NOT be a problem) back into the roasting pan with all the drippings and goodies and into a 400F oven for 1 hour. It will be brown and your house will smell even more amazing than before. Now, scrape the whole mess into a large pot — be careful and don’t pour hot fat onto the floor (thankfully I didn’t burn myself!). Cover with water. Add any vegies you have lying around — celery, onions, carrots, whatever. If I know I’m making soup, I’ll save peelings and skins from these things in a bag in the freezer. Put it on high until it boils and then down to low to simmer on your stovetop for 3 hours. Set a timer as you will forget it and finding it at 6 am burnt to a crisp is no treat. Trust me.
When it’s done cooking, let it cool. Then strain out all the bones, meat, vegies. Save any good meat you can for more of those nummy chicken quesadillas! If you are really being good, you can then strain it through cheese cloth. Refrigerate the results. In the morning, spoon all the fat off the top and you are left with a divine brown chicken broth. Delish broth that you can use to make all kinds of wonderful dishes with. For me, I plan to use it as broth to eat the amazing pilmeni that my grandmother makes. NUM! I also use it with Top Ramen noodes instead of the crappy packet of flavoring they offer. Wonderful! Toss some of those leftover chicken bits in there too.
I know it would be nice if I had a good picture of my roast chicken — sorry, too busy carving it so we could eat it — or my broth or something but really, I don’t take good pictures of food. So, just imagine how good it must look. I know that the smell alone of the roasting chicken reduced my 8 year old to a quivering, whining, mess of “BUT I’M HUNGRY!”-ness. And, Ruth even allowed as how she didn’t hate it. :)
**EDIT: I made pilmeni for lunch with my chicken broth — it’s a lovely, rich brown broth and utterly delicious. The pilmeni was so pretty in there that I had to take a picture! Pilmeni are the Russian version of wanton, ravioli, dumplings, etc. They are comfort food at it’s finest in a healthy broth. Delicious. (And, by the way, I have no idea of that recipe I linked to is any good — it was just easy to find! :) ) **
Oh, don’t miss the latest I and the Bird at Hawk Owl’s Nest . . . I don’t think there are any recipes but I’m sure there are plenty of great posts about birds! I plan to spend a big ol’ chunk of my day tomorrow reading every word.