Roasted Chicken

Happiness is a Roasted Chicken
Is there anything more comforting than a roasted chicken for Sunday dinner? When taking an informal poll among my friends of their favorite comfort foods, roasted chicken topped many lists. Maybe it is because you get that same home full of wonderful smells and gracious sit down for dinner appeal of a turkey for a fraction of the cost and the cooking time. No matter what the reason, roasted chicken is one of the foods that just make people feel cared for.

1 roasting chicken, organs removed, rinsed and patted dry
1 whole lemon, sliced in half width-wise
1 small onion, chopped
2 bulbs of garlic, all cloves peeled and separated
Several sprigs of fresh rosemary (or 3 tsp. dried)
2 pounds of red potatoes, unpeeled but scrubbed, chopped into bite sized
Olive oil

Preheat oven to 350. Oil a baking pan (9×13 or larger) and place chicken inside. Oil the skin, and loosen the skin from the body of the chicken. Squeeze half of the lemon over the chicken, and the other half inside the cavity. Place both lemon shells inside the cavity of the chicken. Place about three-quarters of the chopped onions inside the cavity and the rest in the dish surrounding the chicken. Stuff several of the garlic cloves under the skin of the chicken (as many as you can fit), several more inside the cavity, and the rest in the surrounding dish. Stick one sprig of rosemary (or one tsp. dried) inside the cavity of the chicken, and the rest of the rosemary leaves under the skin of the chicken and in the surrounding dish. Add potatoes to the surrounding dish, drizzle on more olive oil and mix gently to incorporate the onion, garlic cloves, and rosemary with the potatoes. Set your timer for an hour, depending on the size of the chicken you made need to cook it for 90 minutes or longer. The chicken is done when the juices run clear when you poke it with a fork in the thigh muscle (as opposed to a reddish pink) and the internal temperature reaches 180°F deep in the thigh.

Variations: You can roast any root veggies along with the potatoes (such as carrots or turnips) or eliminate the potatoes all together. You can exchange the onions, garlic, and other goodies inside the cavity for a traditional stuffing as well. You can also substitute in just about any herbs and spices you like; roast chicken is very forgiving and tastes great with about everything

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