Sunday, November 12, 2006

Roast Chicken, Traditional and Good

After trying a bunch of "butterflied" roast chicken recipes I've gone back to my simple roots. And I'm sorry I didn't take a picture of this pretty bird, but Juiceboy took the camera camping and I have no clue where it is in all his gear. But trust me, this was one good-looking, juicy chicken!

Roast Chicken
A 4-pound bird
Four carrots, scrubbed and cut into 1.5" wedges.
Two stalks of celery, cleaned and cut on a bias into 1" chunks
One yellow onion, chopped
One lemon
Kosher salt
Fresh Ground Pepper
Cumin, chile powder, thyme
Pre-heat the oven to 425. Clean and pat the chicken dry.

In a bowl, mix carrots, celery, onion, the juice from half the lemon, about one tablespoon cumin, one teaspoon chile powder, one teaspoon thyme, and fresh ground pepper. Toss to coat.

Generously rub the chicken with salt. Stuff the bird loosely with veggies and the
unused lemon half. Brush with olive oil.

Mound the remaining veggies in the center of the roasting pan, seating the chicken on top of the vegetables. Add approximately two cups of water to the pan to keep
veggies from burning.

Put in upper part of your oven at 425 for about 12 minutes. Then lower heat to 375. Cook, basting and turning at least every thirty minutes for approximately one hour and twenty minutes. Since ovens and beginning chicken temps vary (mine had just defrosted, so I cooked it for the full 80 minutes and it was PERFECT), check for your preferred doneness at 60 minutes.

Let it sit for at least ten minutes. I reserve the vegetables and serve with the chicken--they are roasted but not spent. I also make a lovely light pan gravy with the juices left in the pan (add water to the pan when cooking as needed).

I served this tonight with a two-bean salad, which I'll write up tomorrow.

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