A New House Guest and How to Roast a Mean Chicken

We have a new house guest, Follow.

He is in the “cone of shame” while he recovers from his trip to the vet.

He also loves hugging people.

I wanted to make him something really special to make him feel welcome.  I looked in my All About Roasting cookbook for some ideas.  I like this book because it breaks down the science behind roasting everything and includes a million delicious recipes.  In regards to chicken, the writer, Molly Stevens, describes how you can prep chicken two different ways: in a wet brine or dry salted.  I used the brine method this time to create my tender and juicy chicken.  This recipe is a take on my Lemon-Tarragon Chicken recipe.

For the brine, I used:

  • 1 gallon cold water
  • 3/4 cup kosher salt
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 lemons and their juice, quartered
  • 1 bunch tarragon leaves (this is optional, but I love this flavor with chicken)
Bring all the ingredients to a boil and cool (or add ice cubes if you’re in a hurry).  Remove the giblets from the chicken, put the chicken in a large ziplock bag and add the brine.  Remove as much air as possible, seal and refrigerate for 8 to 24 hours.  This brine will leave your meat nice and moist while the skin crisps up in the hot oven.
For the chicken, we put our veggies (chopped in inch or so chunks) and red potatoes (quartered) in the pan first, then topped it with the dressed chicken.  This way the veggies simmer in the flavorful chicken drippings.  Yum!
I like to believe that Follow had the best meal of his life tonight.  Welcome to Colorado little guy!

Plump and Juicy Roasted Chicken

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 12 hours

Cook Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes

Yields: Serves 4

Plump and Juicy Roasted Chicken

Ingredients

    For the brine:
  • 1 gallon cold water
  • 3/4 cup kosher salt
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 lemons and their juice, quartered
  • 1 bunch tarragon leaves (this is optional, but I love this flavor with chicken)
  • For the chicken:
  • One 3-1/2 to 4-pound chicken
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil or unsalted butter, softened
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 lemon, reserved from brine
  • Vegetables, roughly chopped (optional - carrots, red potatoes, onion, etc.)

Directions

    For the brine:
  1. Bring all the ingredients to a boil and cool (or add ice cubes if you're in a hurry). Remove the giblets from the chicken, put the chicken in a large ziplock bag and add the brine. Remove as much air as possible, seal and refrigerate for 8 to 12 hours.
  2. For the chicken:
  3. Remove the chicken from the brine and pat dry. Reserve one lemon from the brine and discard the rest. Let the chicken stand at room temperature for at least an hour. Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat to 400 degrees F (375 degrees convection).
  4. Arrange vegetables in a single layer in the bottom of a large ovenproof skillet or roasting pan. Place the chicken on top of the vegetables, breast side up, and tuck the wing tips back so they are secure under the neck bone. Place the lemon quarters in the chicken cavity. Rub the olive oil or butter evenly over the breast and legs, season heavily with salt and pepper. With a sharp knife, cut slits into each leg to ensure the legs cook evenly with the breast. Tie the chicken legs together tightly if you have some butcher's twine (or stab them with a soaked skewer like we did). This will plump the breast up and not only make your chicken more attractive, but help the breast cook evenly as well.
  5. Roast the chicken with the legs facing the rear of the oven (the back of the oven is usually hotter, so this helps the legs cook more quickly than the breast). Continue roasting until the juices run clear with only a trace of pink when you prick the thigh and an instant thermometer insterted in the thickest part of the thigh (without touching bone) registers 170 degrees, 1 to 1-1/4 hours. If the chicken is not fully cooked, place it back in the oven. I've found that 15 minutes of cooking averages an increase of 10 degrees F internal temperature. Once the chicken is cooked, lift the chicken with a meat fork or sturdy tongs inserted in the cavity and carefully tilt to pour the juice from the cavity into the roasting pan.
  6. Transfer the chicken to a carving board with a trough and let it rest for 20 minutes before carving and serving.

Notes

Reserve the chicken drippings to make chicken gravy if desired. Reserve the chicken bones and boil with various vegetables (onion, carrot, celery) and spices to make a delicious homemade broth.

http://foodiemcbooty.com/a-new-house-guest-and-how-to-roast-a-mean-chicken/

 

Now that you’ve roasted an amazing chicken, learn how to properly carve a chicken.

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