9/16/13

Roasting a Whole Chicken (Hell Has Frozen Over)

If you know me, then you know that what I'm about to show you is not just kind of a big deal.  No.  This is the biggest deal to happen in my kitchen since, possibly, ever.
Yes, to know me is to know my sometimes irrational fear of many things chicken. 

Creepy chicken.  Chicken bones.  Chicken that hasn't been raised in a loving environment.  I could go on but I wont as it could get a little gross. 

I shocked myself recently when I decided that I should (at least try to) get (kind of) over this fear.  I decided that I would take the plunge and buy myself a whole chicken.  And then I would cook it.  And then I would eat it.  But not the whole thing as that would be a little too reminiscent of Girl Interrupted. You know....that Daisey hides those chickens under her bed?  Eeeeek.  Let's move on.

I researched several recipes and methods and eventually decided that simple and calm was going to be the way to go about this.  I also decided that a happy and healthy chicken was going to have to be involve...you know something free range and grain fed and all that shiz.  Turns out, this one was a level 5 on the Animal Welfare Standards scale, I got the old gal from Whole Foods in Memphis.  I understand this could all be malarkey but it sure did make me feel better.  Also it was less involved than hunting down my own chicken, wringing its neck and singing off it's feathers.  What???  Reason number 462 why I wouldn't have been the most popular gal in the village had I been around in ye days of old.

All in all, I give my first cooking a whole chicken experience two enthusiastic thumbs up.  The only time things got hairy was when upon taking note that there was a raw whole chicken hanging out in salty mixing bowl in the fridge, Brandon exclaimed that better not contaminate the Fat Tire.

Agreed, B.  That would rank pretty high on the list of things that are beyond uncool.   
Oven Roasted Chicken

1 tbl olive oil
1 whole chicken (Make it a nice one.  Nothing creepy.)
kosher salt and fresh ground pepper

The night before (or morning before) you plan to cook this bird, give it a good rinse off and pat down with a paper towel.  Season liberally with salt and place in the refrigerator.  This gives you crispy skin that is all kinds of excellent. 

When it's time to cook, remove your bird from the fridge and allow it to sit at room temp for about 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 450.

Rub the olive oil all over the bird.  Season it liberally with salt and pepper.  Place it in an oven proof skillet.  I used my Viking frying pan with excellent results.  Roast it in the oven for 15 minutes.  Reduce the heat to 375 and continue cooking for 50-60 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 165.  I didn't have a thermometer so I took it out at 55 minutes and just prayed that I didn't have salmonella.

I'm looking forward to experimenting in the future with lemons and rosemary and sage (oh my!) and look forward to hearing your cooking a whole chicken suggestions!      

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