Tuesday, January 31, 2012

How to roast a chicken

How boring is that? How to roast a chicken. Is she kidding? Everyone knows how to roast a chicken. Who wants to roast a chicken? We want beef! Or veal- yeah, how about a nice veal recipe? Or some cookies. We’d rather have cookies, wouldn’t we?

Oh you think so, do you? Well, can your cookies do this?


Kapow! Blam! Whoosh!

Whoosh? Roast chicken doesn’t go “whoosh”. But it does go pretty fast and easily, and makes a wonderful meal, leftovers, broth, sauces, sandwiches, chicken parmesan and pot pie!

Did she say chicken parmesan? Yes, she did. But that’s a post for another day. Right now, let’s get to the recipe, shall we? Turn the oven on to 375 degrees, then go get washed up.

Step one- get a chicken and take out it’s gizzards. I like to rinse it off with icy cold water. Now place in a pan. I use a cookie sheet lined with foil, but anything big enough to set the bird in will do. Make sure it has raised sides- we don’t want those lovely juices getting away from us. Place the bird on its back with its wings folded underneath it.

Step two- squeeze a lemon over said bird, and place the two halves (you washed them first, right?) into the cavity of the bird. Now drizzle some olive oil all over the bird. I use about two tablespoons, maybe three if I’m feeling generous. Then sprinkle it with dried oregano, thyme and freshly cracked pepper. If you put the herbs on first, the liquids will just rinse them all off the bird.

Step three- put the bird in the oven and pour a cup of liquid into the roasting pan- that way you won’t spill it all over your floor when you put it into the oven. Yes, I speak from experience. I use water, but use whatever you like: wine, water, broth, etc.

Step four- Roast it! Ok, ok- baste it every half an hour with the juices from the pan, and make sure they don’t burn away. You can put another half cup or so of liquid in there if you didn’t get enough in it to make a nice juicy broth to baste it with in the beginning. (But you did remember to put some liquid in there in the beginning, right?) Wiggle the leg bone when you think it’s done, and look at the juices collecting in the cavity. Red juices= undone chicken, put it back in the oven to finish cooking. Otherwise, the leg should move freely in its socket and the skin should be really crisp and a golden burnished brown colour. It will take anywhere from an hour and a half to two hours- so plan the rest of your dinner accordingly. Those pan juices are perfect just the way they are, but skim the fat off the top of them before serving. I don’t make gravy, just serve them as is in a gravy boat, or poured over the chicken and potatoes in the kitchen while plating up dinner.

There you have it!. Yes, there are faster ways of cooking chicken and yes, there are more complicated recipes that take a lot more ingredients and steps. But, this is the chicken I have made for about 15 years, so I know it’s good. And it makes for a lip-smacking, finger-licking, husband-pleasing good meal.

That’s my roast chicken.


  1. I love roast chicken and do mine like you did with lemon and sometimes orange. Very good

  2. Ooo- I've never tried it with oranges before! Thanks for the tip- and the comments! I wonder if Cuties are too sweet for chicken. . .