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6.30.2011

Simple Roast Chicken

Roast Chicken is just one of those things... everyone can make it, but not many can make it WELL.  I do okay, as long as I don't over or under cook it (can someone please show me exactly HOW and WHERE to insert a meat thermometer in a chicken?).  I have a few go-to recipes, but this is the easiest and the most frugal.

The chicken I used is one of the chickens I raised myself.  I raise my meat chickens on pasture, although they also get feed which, sadly, is not organic.  I'm working on the feed issue, but for the time being there isn't an organic broiler feed available in my area.  In a perfect world I would feed them an organic and/or soy free feed (that didn't cost twice as much as conventional feed...), but I can only do what I can do, right? 

Simple Roast Chicken

Ingredients:
  • 1 Whole Chicken, fully thawed, rinsed, and patted dry
  • a large drizzle of olive oil (if I had to guess, I would say about 1/4 cup)
  • 1/2 tsp. onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp. dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp. rubbed or ground sage
  • 1 tsp. paprika
(I actually eye it on all the seasonings... so follow your gut if it tells you that is too much)

Place the whole chicken in a heavy duty roasting pan, preferably cast iron or stone, with the breast side up.  Drizzle some olive oil over the top, then sprinkle the seasonings over the oil.  Using your hands, rub the oil and seasonings all over the chicken, adding more oil if needed to make the seasonings into almost a paste.  Cover either with the lid of the pan or with foil and roast at 375 (remember, if you use a stoneware pan don't preheat the oven, place the pan into a cold oven then turn it on) for and hour and a half or until a meat thermometer inserted into the thigh reads 160.  Allow the bird to rest, covered, for at least ten minutes before carving.

Other options:
  • This could be done in the crock pot, but the skin doesn't get as crispy or caramelized.
  • In the summer I make this on the grill.  I put the bird in the pan, as directed, and cover well with foil.  I put the pan onto the cold grill and only light one burner and turn it to medium low, placing the pan over the UNLIT burner.  I then close the lid.  You have to check on it and get to know how your grill cooks- even with only one burner on the temp in my grill is around 400, so it cooked a lot faster than in an oven.  But the meat was still excellent.
  • Place the chicken on a bed of root vegetables or onions and peppers for added flavor AND a build in side dish.
  • Add lemon zest to the spice mixture.
Enjoy!  And make sure you check out the $5 Dinner Challenge for more frugal meals.

4 comments:

Kerrie said...

Check with the farmers around you, we always used the leftovers from what was cleaned from wheat harvest to feed our chickens. I don't even know if they farm wheat up there but we had tasty chickens to eat.

Brandislee said...

That's a great idea- but I hate to ask people for stuff, even if it's stuff they aren't going to use. I blame my father. But they don't farm much wheat up here, mostly corn and potatoes, although I should ask if I can go through the field after they're done harvesting potatoes... I've seen people doing it, but like I said, I hate to ask for stuff!

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