For me, roasted chickens have always come in one form: ready made from my grocery store. Yet roasted meats have been served since ancient times but now we use an oven instead of an open pit fire (well those of us, who make them). This week I attempted the daunting task of roasting my own chicken with Martha Stewart's Cooking School. (Cue dramatic music)
Here are Martha's tips for roasting a chicken:
- Conundrum of heat: low heat doesn't give nice crispy outside, high heat dries out the moist inside
- Check the temperature ¾ of the time, then again every 5 to 10 minutes (there is no returning from a burnt chicken!)
- Meat will continue to cook once removed from the oven, for another 10 to 15 degrees. (don't worry, most recipes take this into account)
- You will have to stick your hand up the chicken's butt (Okay, that is actually my forewarning)
Roasting Rack or Veggies (I used onions, potatoes and carrots)
1 Whole Chicken
1 Lemon (cut into ¼ inch rounds)
4 sprigs of thyme
3 Garlic Cloves (crushed)
2 tablespoons of butter (softened at room temp)
- Heat oven to 450 degrees. Remove giblets and liver from cavity to discard (luckily mine weren't there). Let rest at room temperature for one hour then trim excess fat.
- Rinse chicken under cold water (inside and out) then dry THOROUGHLY (including the inside, yes that means sticking your hand up it. )
- Season the inside (Martha uses the word "cavity" but I am not that refined) with salt and pepper. Then stick the thyme, garlic cloves and lemon slices up the chicken cavity.
- Rub skin with the butter. (Honestly, it's better to mush up the butter in your fingers into little parts to help rub it on)
- Use twine to tie the legs together. (Martha refers to this as trussing) ((Also, I did not have twine, so I used two wooden skewers to attach the drumsticks)
- Season generously with salt and pepper.
- Place in roasting pan with rack or over vegetables and roast for 50 to 55 minutes with an instant read thermometer in the thickest part of the thigh (no bone!).
- Let it rest 10 minutes before you serve it.