A few months ago I had a friend who was hosting her first Thanksgiving dinner. Which meant cooking her very first turkey. She asked me if I would show her how.
You may be thinking, wait I thought this post was about roasting a chicken. Don’t worry, this post is about one of my favorite ways of roasting a chicken. Being that it was a mere two weeks before Thanksgiving I under no uncertain terms had any interest in demonstrating techniques on a turkey. We would have leftovers until, well, until Thanksgiving.
While they are not entirely the same, both have a similar vein of concept on the preparation. One just takes a lot longer to cook. So we spent the evening cooking dinner, the star being a beautifully roasted chicken.
Two garlic cloves
Start a few hours before serving:
- Make sure the chicken is completely defrosted. It make take a day or so.
- Prepare the brine. I use Fire & Flavor from Bed Bath & Beyond. Most brining kits are designed with a turkey in mind. I prepared only half of the mix in a large stockpot. Submerge the chicken into the stockpot and throw it into the fridge for a couple of hours.
So what does brining do? It ensures that the meat you are roasting locks in every bit of moisture. It also infuses the flavor that is in the brine. You can use a store kit or make your own
Cooking the chicken:
- Dump the brine down the sink and rinse out your chicken. Make sure to rinse under the wings and in the cavity or you could end up with a very salty bird. Pat the bird dry so when you pop it in the oven it will cook correctly.
- Preheat the oven to 400 F.
- Set the chicken breast side up on a roasting rack in a roasting pan.
- This is the fun part: Chunk the lemons into large pieces and alternate stuffing the lemons and herbs into the cavity of the chicken until it’s full.
- Tie the legs together.
- Rub the skin of the chicken with the softened butter.
- Place the chicken in the oven in the middle rack for about 75 minutes. The skin will crackle and turn a beautiful brown. A meat thermometer should be inserted into the thigh without touching the bone and read 165 F. A general guideline is about 15 minutes a pound. If it is not up to temperature leave it in for ten minutes and check again.
- Take the chicken out and let it rest another 15 minutes to allow the juices to settle. This gives you time to finish the rest of your meal.