I woke up this morning without a clue. I was completely out of food mode. I didn’t eat yesterday until late at night. I fixed one of our kids and myself a completely improvised pasta that was delicious but I will spare you the details as it was such an odd combination of what was left in the cupboard and fridge that would be and should be unrepeatable.
This morning, I was chatting with a friend in London, recommending restaurants. He said that he was tired of eating out and it reminded me of living in London and a 30 pound organic chicken that I once cooked. That was the price, not the weight. At the exchange rate at the time, that was roughly 65 dollars for one bird. Good, though.
A word about chicken. I don’t eat a whole lot of it these days. I find that most chicken in the U.S. has no taste. Most likely it’s the way it is raised, fed, etc. When I do buy a bird I go out of my way to find one that is truly free range, organic, had a sense or humor and didn’t eat it’s own …you know.
A roasted chicken should reflect the time of year. There are myriad of variations based on a few tricks and whatever ingredients are fresh and available. This is one I would make this weekend. I suggest you do to.
- 1 Roasting Chicken, organic, etc.
- 6-8 Red or New Potatoes
- 2 Lemons
- 2 Onions
- 2 Large Carrots
- 1 Turnip and/or Parsnip
- 1 Fennel Bulb
- 2 Cups Chicken Broth
- Sprigs of Fresh Rosemary and Thyme
- Olive Oil
- Salt and Pepper
- Roasting Pan
- Chef’s Knife
- Preheat the oven to 350. Make sure there is a rack in the center or one slot below and nothing above it. Good to do this before the oven is hot.
- Quarter the lemons and onion.
- Cut the vegetables and potatoes into bite-sized chunks.
- Remove any bits from inside the chicken and wash thoroughly and pat dry with towels. Make sure to wash everything that comes into contact with the raw chicken.
- Rub it in and out with a little olive oil and then salt and pepper (inside and out).
- Stuff the inside, alternating between lemon, onion and herbs.
- Tie the legs together with string and wrap a few turns around the body of the bird and tie tightly.
- Place the vegetables and any of the unused onion and lemon on the bottom of the roasting pan, creating a bed for the chicken to sit on. Lightly salt and pepper them.
- Place the chicken on the vegetables, breast side up.
- Pour about half of the broth around the chicken, reserving the rest to replenish.
- Place on the center rack and cook for about an hour and a half, or 18 minutes per pound. Generally, the chicken in done when you cut between the leg and the breast and the liquid comes out clear. The safe way to test is with an instant read thermometer. Rake a reading in the thickest part of the breast, making sure not to touch a bone. The chicken is done if after 15 seconds the temperature is between 175-180. If not, stick it back in for another 10 minutes, making sure there is still liquid in the bottom of the pan. (Note: I sometimes turn the chicken over in the last 20 minutes but this is not necessary.)
I serve the bird sitting on the vegetables on a big platter and carve at the table. If you are doing this for your boss or a new date, do a dry run first. Flying chicken parts is not too impressive.