Nothing says Sunday’s like a good Chicken dish! Whether it be fried or roasted, chicken is the ultimate comfort food for a weekend meal! It’s perfect for a family or for 1 to 2 people. Once you enjoy it on the weekend you have options for the left overs if there is any. One, you can take the carcass/bones and roast them at high heat to brown and then make a nice stock. I reserve any of the fat trimmings to go into the stock along with the giblet package. I usually go through two to three quarts of stock a week for different dishes such as sides or main dishes so I always have some on hand. Always have stock on hand. I usually keep two chicken, one beef and one or two vegetable stocks in the pantry if I don’t have my own in the freezer.
I would say this dish like the Wine Braised Short Ribs I posted yesterday is one of my go to dishes on the weekend. It’s another one of those dishes that requires little prep (15 minutes for bird) and into the oven it goes while I enjoy a good glass of wine! Sunday Funday!
Here’s what you will need:
1-4lb whole chicken – I prefer a good organic with little to no saline solution, 2% or less. Better tasting with more flavor
1 – poultry herb pack (rosemary, sage and thyme)
2-3 carrots rough chopped
2 stalks of celery rough chopped
1 Med onion rough chopped
1-Cup good organic chicken broth low sodium
1 tsp granulated garlic mix
1/2 tsp Cajun seasoning
1/2 tsp Spanish paprika
1 TBS kosher salt (more for salting the inside of the bird
10 turns of a pepper mill
Mise en Place (everything in it’s place) Have all your veggies chopped and your herbs stripped and chopped
Lets start with the veg,
Rough chop all your veg like the pic below and placed into either a roasting pan or in a good cast iron skillet like I did.
Next, Let’s deal with the chicken. Take the chicken and remove it from the wrapper. Remove the giblet package inside the bird if there is one (reserve to put into your stock with the roasted carcass/bones). Pat completely dry inside and out and let sit on the counter for an hour. You can do this the night before and setting in a pan and place on the bottom shelf of your refrigerator uncovered. This will help with a crisp skin however, I find that the oven does just fine for a crispy skin. I will do this step in the morning then move to next step of the herbs and place in the refrigerator to marinate all day. Then I will salt the inside of the bird before roasting.
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees and place the rack to the bottom shelf.
Next, make the herb mixture. I do a nice rough to fine chop on my herbs then place in a bowl with about 1/4 Cup of good olive oil along with the salt and pepper, Cajun seasoning, paprika and garlic mix. Let sit a few minutes or do ahead of time by a couple hours.
Next, time for the bird. Run the handle of a wooden spoon under the skin of the breast to separate and put a spoon full under each breast and massage with your fingers to get the herbs to spread evenly under the skin
Important step: Heavily salt the inside of the cavity of the bird. This will give your bird a great flavor.
It will look like this
Next, rub the remainder of the herbs all over the bird and then its time to truss your bird. Now yes, there are many ways to truss a bird. However, instead of kitchen string I use the bird skin itself. Cut a small incision on each side of the skin of the cavity opening like so:
Then place the end of the leg through the opposite sides hole and tuck your wings under the bird and this is the finished result. No string or mess
Once the bird is completely rubbed with the herbs and trussed. Place on top of your veg. and then add the chicken stock to the pan.
I added some baby 1 inch potatoes that I tossed in olive oil and rosemary, salt and garlic, a few mushrooms too. This will roast with the chicken and make a great side dish. Obviously, if you are wanting a quick side buy a container of premade garlic and chive mash in the meat section of your grocery. (6 minutes in the microwave and boom you are done) Note: I prefer making my own to cut down on the preservatives and I can regulate the salt, cream and butter for a healthier side dish.
Place bird in the oven uncovered and roast until the internal temp reads at least 165 degrees when poked into the thigh. This was a 4lb bird and took 1 hour and 35 minutes. If the skin is looks nice and brown before chicken is up to temp I will place a small piece of foil over the breast only. I also will rotate the bird half way through the cooking process.
Once your bird reaches temp remove from oven and move to a meat cutting board (the kind with the moat around the board to catch the juices that may run out of the bird. Let bird rest for a good 30 minutes. This is extremely important to a juicy bird. This is the perfect time to start your side dishes. I served this with some roasted butternut squash, the baby potatoes and sautéed swiss chard and onion.
You bird should be beautifully browned like this one. Cut into pieces for the family to enjoy! You can strain the liquid from the pan and let rest for 10 minutes then ladle off the fat and place in a small sauce pan. Reduce by 3/4’s for a nice pan sauce.
To me there is nothing better on a Sunday evening than this dish! Your house will smell awesome Your prep time should take about 15-20 minutes then in the oven she goes! Please leave a comment when you try this, I will post some recipes for what to do with any left overs soon but here are a few suggestions for easy weeknight meals: chicken pot pie, chicken soups of all kind, chicken salad sandwiches, and the list goes on! Enjoy