Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Perfect Roast Chicken

As I have been living in New York for a good half a year, I've sadly had to spend my holidays away from the family. This has been sooo hard, because I have very fond memories of being surrounded by great food, and even greater people during the big holidays.

So, in order to satisfy my own cravings for holiday meals, and the cravings of my New York friends (also far away from home) I decided to teach myself to roast. I know that the traditional Easter and Christmas meals include a huge roast turkey, complete with Grandma's giblet gravy (I don't know about you, but those little bags that come inside of birds scare the bejeesus out of me) but a turkey just seemed too I decided to roast a chicken.

My recipe combines lots of recipes I read, I just stole interesting ideas and tips from many great chefs. But I'd have to say, the majority of this recipe is Julia Child's.

1 (3 1/2 to 4 pound) chicken
1 small yellow onion, quartered
1 Lemon, thinly sliced
Fresh rosemary, thyme, sage

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
Wash the chicken in hot water and dry thoroughly. Season the cavity with salt and black pepper and stuff with the onion and lemon. Make a compound butter by letting the butter soften and then mixing in chopped herbs. Lift up the skin of the bird, and smear half of the butter under the skin (this will make the chicken really moist and tasty). Then, with the rest of the butter, rub the chicken on the outside and season all over with salt and pepper. Tie the drumsticks ends together and set the chicken, breast side up, in an oiled roasting pan in the oven.

Roast for 15 minutes at 425 degrees F, then reduce the heat to 350 degrees, baste the chicken, and roast for 15 minutes. Continue roasting the chicken until the juices run clear, for a total of 45 minutes plus an additional 7 minutes for each pound. (In other words, a 3 1/2 pound chicken would take a basic 45 minutes plus an additional 25 minutes, for a total 70 minutes or 1 hour and 10 minutes of cooking time.)

I have nooo idea how to make good sauces, but the stuff left over in the roasting pan tasted just fine to me! Also, I added a little chicken broth (low sodium) to the drippings, and a little white wine, and I suppose this was our "gravy."

This is totally not a summer recipe, but tastes darn good for any special occasion.

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