Friday, May 11, 2007

Roasting and boasting

Earlier this week I tried roasting a chicken for the first time. I now own a roaster which is very exciting. This is the first large piece of meat I have ever prepared. I mean, really, who has time to roast meat? It takes way too long. Definitely a weekend evening activity.

My roasted chicken turned out pretty well for a first timer. I had to consult several sources to figure out how exactly to roast a chicken so I will share the process with you.

Buy a whole chicken - kosher, organic, whatever. For me the kind of chicken wasn't that important the first time. I bought a 3.5 pounder, free range chicken from the local butcher,
Drewes Bros Meats. I would probably buy a bigger bird next time though so I would get more meat. Rinse the chicken and pat dry. If you are like me, you'll pray that there aren't any innards in the cavity that you have to remove.

I sliced a lemon in half, peeled 3-4 cloves of garlic, and selected a few sprigs of rosemary and placed them in the cavity of the bird. Next I tied the legs together with kitchen string. I rubbed the whole bird with olive oil (you can also use butter) to make the skin nice and crispy.

I placed the bird on the v-rack in the roasting pan and placed the whole ensemble in the oven on the middle rack. Set the oven to 400 degrees and cook for 15 minutes. Then turn the oven down to 350 degrees and cook for an 1 1/2 hours (for a 3.5 lb bird) or 2 1/2 (for a 5 lb bird). Also, check (compulsively the first time) the status of cooking by sticking a meat thermometer deep into the thigh of the chicken and when the internal temperature is 170 degrees and the jucies run clear, that mad hen is ready to come out of the oven.

Like I have seen my mom do with turkey, I let the chicken rest on a cutting board for 5-10 minutes before cutting into the bird and serving.

Mike likes the white meat and I like the dark. We both thought the chicken was very flavorful and tender. Mike even said it was better than Boston Market and he holds Boston Market in high regard. I served roasted, rosemary new potatoes and fresh English peas with the chicken.

Next time I will try cooking a slightly a larger bird and maybe stuff the cavity with some other herbs.


Hunter said...

>> Mike likes the white meat and I like the dark

Ah the romantic notions of newlyweds. Just give it a few years and you'll both be fighting over the drumstick :-)

mjh said...

Boston Market's quarter chicken white was a staple in my diet...and only $6.99...and no roasting involved. :) Just kidding. BoMa is no match!