Friday, December 30, 2011

Butter and Herb Roasted Whole Chicken

Even though we all eat chicken all the time, there is something special, but comforting, about a whole roasted chicken.  The way it fills your entire house with the most delicious smell, knowing you can make an awesome chicken stock afterwards, and most likely having plenty of leftovers make it such a fun dish. 

This time I bought a fresh, all-natural, organic chicken from WF and I don't think I have to tell you that the taste and texture was far superior to a frozen, hormone-filled chicken.  This particular birdy was a bit shy of 4lbs.  I let it sit out on the counter for probably an hour or two before cooking, so it could come to room temp.  I did not wash it.  People have differing opinions on washing your bird first.  I don't do it- do you?  I don't want to get raw chicken juice all over the place personally.

I also did not use a roasting rack- rather I tossed a bunch of sliced onions and baby carrots over a foil-lined baking sheet, and placed the chicken on top of the carrots to keep the bottom of the chicken off of the baking sheet so the hot air could circulate underneath it.  I didn't bother greasing the foil. 

The picture doesn't do this guy justice.  It may look burnt, but that's just the herbs.  It was not burnt at all.  In fact, it was the juiciest, moistest chicken I've ever had!

Butter and Herb Roasted Whole Chicken
1 whole chicken, giblets removed (mine was almost 4lbs) and totally DRY
One container poultry herbs (several sprigs of rosemary and thyme, plus a handful of sage leaves, FRESH)
4 tbsp all natural butter, like Kerrygold (I prefer to use unsalted) room temp
1 1/2 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
handful of baby carrots
half an onion, chopped

Place your baby carrots and sliced onions on your foil-lined baking sheet, then place chicken on top of the carrots.  Salt and pepper the inside of the bird generously, and if you have extra herbs or onions, throw them in too.  Tie the legs together with twine (I only had hemp, it worked fine!) and tuck the wings under the bird so they don't burn.  Finely chop all your herbs and then throw them in a small dish.  Add your room temp butter, garlic, and salt and pepper.  Mix it up well.  Then, with clean hands, take a glob of butter and smoosh it around under the chicken skin.  Try to get it as far down as you can.  Smear the remaining butter mixture all over the skin and don't skimp on the legs, thighs, wings, etc!  Roast in your preheated oven at 425 for about an hour and 20 minutes.  I used my convection feature and it only took one hour, so if you have a convection oven go for it!  You must must MUST let the bird rest for 20 minutes at least.  If you are unsure whether it's done or not- take a peek at the juices running out.  Are they clear?  If so, it's dunzo.  You can absolutely eat the carrots, they are ridiculously insanely good.  Best of all- keep the carcass and use it for the best stock ever!

I did a lot of googling before I decided to use butter.  I had never ever used butter before to roast anything.  EVOO all the way.  But the milk solids in the butter create a fabulous crispy and browned skin that EVOO just can't.  I've also seen a lot of recipes that call for Mayo- which I also think is a great idea, but was worried about trying it for the first time on company.  But I'm all for it next time.  On their Thanksgiving special, I noticed the Voltaggio (sp?) bros used mayo to roast something.  I also am not thrilled with the mayo I have on hand.  I need a really good quality organic mayo. 

Make this chicken.  It's awesome.  Super easy.  Pretty to look at.  Who doesn't love a roast chicken.  With butter.  Duh. 

1 comment:

  1. If you don't mind, I'll pass along a tip for roasting poultry that you might like to try. I always place a rack in the pan and then place the bird breast side down. This allows the juices from the back and sides of the bird to run down into the breast meat as it bakes, which creates the most moist roasted chicken breast you'll ever eat. Also, having it on a rack helps to retain more moisture because you're keeping the bird from coming in direct contact with the pan.