The Dumpling Diary

Dis cooking so you cooking too.

The Humble Roasted Chicken September 19, 2010

Filed under: Main Dishes — Meg @ 10:04 pm
Tags: , ,

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“I want there to be no peasant in my kingdom so poor that he cannot have a chicken in his pot every Sunday.”  Henry IV, you knew what was up!

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Guess what! It’s Sunday, and I’m not going to argue with any king, dead or alive. I would also like to point out, (with hopes that you won’t think me a debauched housewife) that Sunday always proceeds Saturday night. Now, I ask you: If you had a hangover (hypothetically?!), would you not find a savoury, simple and home-cooked, juicy roasted chicken to be an extremely enticing hangover remedy? I have tested this, and I find it to be true. I guess I just threw all hypothesis out the window… Whoops!  Well, in any effort to save a few shreds of grace, I will recommend THIS, if you like good, inexpensive rosé wine.

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Oh, by the way! The Dumpling Diary is now on Facebook . Hit me up, Dumpling Devotees!  There’s pictures, recipe requests, a few other nifty things too!

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Back to the chicken! Sheesh! This is a pretty well guaranteed no-fail recipe. Personally, I can say that not too long ago, the prospect of roasting any meat, be it a roast or a chicken, terrified me to a level I cannot describe. I read recipe after recipe, online, Joy of Cooking, Julia Child, whatever other cookbooks I had on my pantry shelves. I couldn’t find a good, simple and delicious recipe. So, I decided to dive in head first and do it my own way. I did take a little help from the internet with temperature and timing, but, honestly, you don’t even necessarily need that either. It’s not hard to tell when a chicken is done (god forbid you actually bought a chicken with a pop-out doneness button, hghghgh, please).

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If you’re a home cook, I’m going to assume you have all of the ingredients to make this already in your fridge, it doesn’t take much time, effort, or money to get a damn tasty roast chickie on the table, if you play your cards right. I love it because it’s really a one-pot (pan?) recipe, the whole meal is there, protein, veggies, starch. Perfect. It’s practically a goddamn casserole. This is probably the simplest way I know how to do roast chicken, and it’s really the best. No messing around with halved lemons stuffed up inside, with 40 garlic cloves and fresh tarragon, rubbing butter under the skin, blah blah  blah. Nope. This is about as straightforward as it gets, unless your ambition is to make a tasteless chicken by chucking it in the oven naked. Okay! Let’s do this!

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Ingredients

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1.5 kg chicken (just a smallie, to start)

5 or 6 carrots, sliced diagonally, about 1/2- 3/4 ” thick

1 large yellow onion, quartered and petaled

2 large stalks celery sliced as per carrots

5 or 6 small potatoes, halved (try not to use any kind of baking potato)

1/2 head garlic cloves, unpeeled

1 bay leaf (this could be optional)

salt and pepper

2 tsp dried sage

Scant 2 Tbsp cooking oil (vegetable, olive, corn, canola, etc)

Optional: 3 sprigs fresh thyme, or 1 tsp dried

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Method

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First things first, get your sliced-up veggies and garlic in a roasting pan (hopefully with a lid, foil is okay though too). Add bay leaf and fresh thyme if you’re using those, now. Drizzle with cooking oil, and toss to coat. For the chickunnn, rinse inside cavity and out, and pat dry with a paper towel (you might want to rub a little oil over it to help spices and salt/pepper stick). Liberally (I’m very serious, LIBERALLY) sprinkle with salt and pepper inside the cavity, and then the outside as well. I’m not going to try and pull the wool over anyone’s eyes here… I use quiiiiite a bit of salt for this. A few really good pinches of salt, a little less with the pepper. Rub the outside of the chicken to make sure it’s good and stickin’. The salt, that is. Place in roasting pan on top of your veg-bed.  Then, sprinkle dried sage over the outside of the chicken. Place in a preheated 400 degree F oven, uncovered, for about 45 minutes. At this point, it should be crispy and quite golden brown. Baste with a little of the juice in the bottom of the pan (you could give the veggies a stir at this point too), and cover with lid or foil. Continue roasting for another 45 minutes or so, until the internal temperature is at 187 (meh, some people say 180 or 185, that’s just my food handler’s-taught temperature), or when the juices run clear and mostly colourless when poked with a knife. The best place to check for this is the thigh.

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So! Your chicken is done cooking! Cover that little rascal with the lid, or foil, and let it rest for 10-15 minutes, so the juices reabsorb as it cools slightly. Makes for a niiiiiiice, juicy bird.

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Now, here’s the best way (I think) to serve/carve a roasted chicken.

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Don’t bother with trying to slice off little pieces of the breast, blah blah, intimidation, blah blah blah. Here’s what you do. Cut off the whole thing. Then cut off the other one (use the breast bone as a guide for your knife down the middle, and the ribcage also). Then, cut into 3/4″ (ish) slices, right down along the length. Everyone gets a piece of skin! Everyone WINS! Put that on a large plate, or hell, just leave it in the roasting pan. Cut off the legs, wings, and toss onto the plate/platter or roasting pan. If you’re using a plate or platter, arrange the veggies around the chicken (haphazardly is best, but I was doing a promo shot today, heh). I like to peel the roasted garlic cloves and serve those too, sooo delectable. Pour the pan juices on top of EVERYTHING. This is the best part, I’m not even kidding. The pan juices are possibly one of the tastiest things I’ve ever consumed. It’s like self-making gravy/au jus. I could eat it like soup. Okay, painfully delicious pan juice lusting aside,  if you’re using the roasting pan, just get the chicken carcass outta there (but save it, even freeze it, so you can make stock or soup later), and toss everything around. A little bit of everything!

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Oh, and if you want to use other vegetables like turnips or parsnips (ooooh, parsnips), throw those in too, cup up like the carrots and potatoes. Same sizes for even cooking. Fennel might be good too. Good stuff all-around.

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Okay, that’s all for now, I suppose. To be honest, I’m going to go sneak back down to the kitchen (well, Jon’s not even home, but I’m going to sneak anyhow), and steal some more chicken. Then, we make cookies! Old-school haystack cookies, or as I know them, Aunt Marie’s Mud Pies. Or, as my former boss calls them, “My mom used to make those! So good! We called them ‘shitballs’ !”   I’ll leave it at that.

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Megohm, over and out!

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2 Responses to “The Humble Roasted Chicken”

  1. […] 2 cloves chopped garlic (optional: 1 cup dry white wine) 8 cups water 1 meaty chicken carcass (from The Humble Roasted Chicken , I hope. Cheesecloth (Mine’s from the dollar store, don’t get worried, young […]

  2. Thanks for your comment on my purple potato soup!

    Kudos to you — I can’t make myself touch raw meat. Seriously. I’ll eat it if someone else cooks it, but I am NOT touchin’ it! I admire you!


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