Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Roasted Chicken with Lemon, Garlic, and Thyme

(Winner Winner Chicken Dinner!!!)

Here it is. I've been wanting to learn how to roast a whole chicken for a while now, but I've been hesitant to invest in a roasting pan. Then, I found out that you don't need a roasting pan! All you need is a 9"x13" pan, and some long carrot strips and celery stalks to keep the chicken raised from off the bottom of the pan. (Thank you, Kelsey Nixon.)
(Here's the pretty baby in all it's roasted glory.)

So I went ahead, purchased the whole chicken, pulled out all the innerds (kind of disgusting for me, but I got over it) and followed this recipe for a delicious full roasted chicken dinner. It was delicious. I feel very official now. Maybe someday I'll be able to conquer a Thanksgiving Turkey.


INGREDIENTS:

1 6-pound roasting chicken
4 Tablespoons, unsalted butter, softened
3 Tablespoons minced fresh thyme, plus 1 handful for stuffing
4 cloves garlic, chopped
2 teaspoons fresh lemon zest
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 lemon, quartered
1 onion, coarsely chopped
3 celery stalks
3 carrots, unpeeled cut in half
1 cup chicken broth
2 teaspoons all-purpose flour

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Rinse the chicken and pat it dry. Be sure to get it really dry. 

In a small bowl, make a compound butter by combining the butter, 3 Tablespoons minced thyme, garlic, lemon zest, salt, and pepper. 

Season the cavity of the chicken generously with salt and pepper. Stuff the cavity with lemon quarters, a handful of fresh thyme leaves, and onion chunks. Place the carrot, celery, and additional onion chunks in the bottom of a roasting pan (or 9"x13" metal baking pan) and place the chicken on top of the vegetables. Cross the legs of the chicken and tie with kitchen twine, or a rubber band. 

Gently lift the skin away from the chicken and spread 2 Tablespoons of the softened butter mixture underneath the skin, distributing it evenly. Spread the remaining butter mixture over the entire surface of the chicken and season generously with salt and pepper. 

Place the chicken in the oven and roast for 20 minutes. Reduce the temperature to 375 degrees and and roast the chicken until a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the inner thigh, not touching the bone, registers 160-165 degrees F, about 45 minutes. 

Transfer the chicken and vegetable to a cutting board to rest for about 15 minutes. Tent the chicken with aluminum foil to keep warm.

Now for the best part, the GRAVY. Pour the pan juices into a large glass measuring cup. Spoon the fat off the top. Add the chicken broth to the roasting pan and place over high heat. Bring to a boil, scraping up any browned bits. Return the pan juices to the pan. Whisk the flour into the broth mixture and bring to a boil until slightly thickened, about 2 minutes. Season the sauce to taste with salt and pepper, pour into a gravy boat, and serve alongside the chicken. 

SERVING SUGGESTION:

Serve with delicious mashed red potatoes

COOKING VARIATIONS:

Honey-Glazed Chicken: Season the butter with 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg, and 2 Tablespoons honey.

Soy-Ginger Chicken: Season the butter with 1 Tablespoon minced garlic, 2 teaspoons fresh ginger, and 2 teaspoons soy sauce. 

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