Roast Chicken

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1 2-3lb chicken
1 lemon
4 cloves garlic
a few tablespoons olive oil
2 sprigs rosemary
8 sprigs thyme (around 4x as much rosemary, that is)
some parsley
salt
pepper
Cayenne
1 onion

a couple of tablespoons of flour
bourbon

Trim up your bird: take out the innards, wash the bird in warm water (You don’t want to stick something icy in the oven, or it won’t cook right.), and cut off any extra fat, if you like. Crush the garlic and put it in a big bowl. Slice a lemon in half, and squeeze out most of the juice; save the lemon halves. Chop up the rosemary and thyme, and throw in some salt and lots of black pepper and Cayenne. Rub this delightful stuff all over the bird, then let it hang out, breast-side down, while you chop up the onion and make a bed at the bottom of the roasting pan. Salt and pepper the inside cavity of the chicken generously, then stuff in the lemon halves, garlic, and herbs. Place the chicken breast-side down in the oven, brush a little of the herb-y leftovers on the bird, and cook for about 20 minutes at 375. Flip the bird so the breast side is up, brush on the rest of the herbs, and cook for another 40-60 minutes, or until the juices run clear when you spear the breast or thigh*. Let the bird rest, and make a sauce from those drippings! Skim off as much fat as you can, and strain the drippings. Transfer a little bit to a saucepan and add the flour to make a kind-of roux. Add the rest of the drippings slowly (to avoid lumps), throw in a good splash of bourbon, and simmer. Season to taste, carve up the bird, and serve with lots of gravy and some of those onions, too, if you like. EDIT: Definitely with the onions. Soooo good!

*Cooking times are so dependent on your own oven, the size of the bird, how much stuff you put in the cavity, etc. There’s a meat thermometer temperature you should go for, too, but meat thermometers are for pansies. I thought I was good after an hour, but my oven is very inconsistent. I really miss my electric oven for that. I sliced in, all excited, and there was still a good inch of raw stuff in the breast. I cut the other side for even-ness and stuffed in some onion slices to keep it from getting too dry, then popped it back in for another 20 minutes. It *still* wasn’t done, so I stuffed the other checking slices with onions and did another 15, which worked perfectly. You probably won’t have to cook a 2-lb bird for an hour and 35 minutes . . . bringing the chicken to room temperature before cooking probably wouldn’t hurt either, though party with salmonella at your own risk.

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