Saying we love roasted chicken in this house is an understatement. We have it at least once every other week, if not every week. It may seem like a daunting task to make an entire chicken, but it's really very simple and the leftovers can be put to great use - shredded chicken for tacos, chicken soup, chicken salad...it's a bit like shrimp I suppose.
This roasted chicken recipe is simple, delicious, and juicy - perfect for when the babe is not in the greatest of moods. Everything can be prepped in advanced, which is also wonderful if you know your day is going to be hectic from the get go. Of course you'll have to come up with some sides to serve with it. My preference is roasted diced sweet potatoes and green beans. I scrub the sweet potato, diced it up, toss it with a little olive oil and kosher salt and roast it in our toaster oven while the chicken cooks up. You could also use the oven along with the chicken, but this recipe requires a higher temp so you'll have to keep a closer eye and stir more often. For the greens, I bought pre-cut fresh, green beans in a steamer bag - pierce the bag with a fork, steam in the microwave, voila! green beans. This recipe will be a hit with the whole family. Here's what you'll need:
- 1 whole chicken - I use a 5-6 lb chicken for the two of us. It leaves a little leftovers. If you're looking for enough leftovers for another meal for 2+, I'd recommend an 8 lb-er.
- 8-10 sprigs of rosemary
- 1 ½ heads garlic
- 4 tablespoons butter
- ¼ bunch Italian parsley
- Kosher salt
- Black pepper
For the gravy/sauce:
- 3 tablespoons pan juices
- 2 teaspoon corn starch
- ¾ cup white wine
- ¾ cup chicken stock
Preheat the oven to 425*F. Remove any 'fun stuff' from inside the chicken, depending on purveyor the giblets may be loose or in a bag. Rinse off the chicken, inside and out and pat dry. Season the inside of the chicken with kosher salt and pepper. Cut 1 head of garlic horizontally across the cloves, and add to the cavity of the chicken along with the rosemary. Tuck the wings in and tie the legs together. For a larger chicken, I would truss it up, but for a 5 pound chicken, just the legs are fine. Liberally season the outside with salt and pepper.
In your baking pan, make a bed for the chicken with the parsley. Add your chicken to the pan, brush with 2 T melted butter. Add the other half head of garlic around the pan (the remaining half not being used I would recommend simmering in olive oil to make some garlic infused olive oil!) Cook for 1 hour and then brush again with the remaining butter. Cook for 35 more minutes. Remove from the pan and let rest for 15 minutes.
In the meantime, you have the option to prepare a gravy. Personally, I am big on sauces, gravy, condiments. Heat 3 T of juices from the roasting pan - you can either drain the excess juice from the pan and fire it up, or pour the remaining 3 T into a saucepan. Add ¾ c white wine and ¾ c chicken stock. Before you move on to the next step of adding the corn starch to thicken, if you find the sauce is very oily/fatty, lightly place a piece of bread on top eventually flipping it so both sides soak up the fat. If the bread starts to take on the color of the sauce, you've soaked up as much fat as possible.
Remove about ¼ c of the liquid into a small bowl or mug, add 2 tsp of corn starch to the liquid and whisk vigorously so there are no clumps. Whisk this slurry back to the saucepan, bring to a simmer and reduce until sauce starts to thicken. The corn starch will help to thicken the sauce. The reason for the extra step (and dishes) of removing some juice and adding the corn starch is that I find it much easier to ensure there are no clumps in the slurry, whenever I add the corn starch directly to the pan I always end up with clumps that will not breakdown no matter how hard I whisk. If you prefer not to add the corn starch, reduce longer to evaporate additional liquid - it will end up more a 'sauce' than a 'gravy.'
Once my chicken is rested, my preference is to debone the whole thing while it's still hot. I find it much easier than once the chicken is cold or refrigerated. If you've never carved a chicken before, here's an illustrated guide. I would probably say carving is probably the trickiest part if you haven't done before, but make this recipe a few times and you will be a pro! I hope you enjoy thus recipe as much as we do! Bon appetite!