Tuesday, June 30, 2009

TFF - Perfect Roast Chicken

I'm a big, fat, chicken. No, really. When it comes to chicken, especially chicken on the bone, I am always afraid. Give me pork, beef, or even seafood, and I'm not bothered by the fact that I might under-cook it. But a whole chicken? I rarely cook it (and never for guests!) because I find it so unpredictable whether or not I will get it cooked through in time for the meal. And even then, I am endlessly poking and prodding it to check for doneness.

Then, in a moment of inspiration, I asked for a remote probe thermometer for Christmas a year or so ago. That gadget is a godsend! You just set the temperature you want your dish to reach, and BEEP BEEP BEEP, the buzzer goes off when it reaches that temperature so that you know to take it out of the oven. How fabulous is that? Unfortunately my new friend seems to have met an untimely demise recently, as it won't allow me to use that function any more, but like a true friend, it gave me the confidence I needed to start trying my hand at roasting once more.

I have one word for this chicken. PHENOMENAL. As is typical for me, I made some changes to Tyler's recipe, but out of necessity. See, the mushrooms just aren't an option for me. Its a 25 minute drive to the closest hospital (and its not a hospital I would trust, to begin with!) so I didn't think it was worth testing the potency of my fungus allergy. I considered throwing in the beautiful little baby red potatoes I have in my pantry, but I am saving those for a meal later this week. So for me, this is pure unadulterated chicken. Also, I was out of rosemary, very limited on parsley, and the herb 'thyme' does not reside in my house, so I made a bundle of fresh oregano and sage from my garden instead, and since I had a few containers of homemade compound butter in my freezer, I used that to smear all over the chicken.

The lemon and garlic, combined with all the herbs made the drippings from this chicken a bit like ambrosia. My house just smelled like I'd been cooking all day and I was drawn to the kitchen with my nose in the air....from OUTside the house! Yes, it smelled so good in my first floor kitchen, that we caught the aroma wafting out to us on the deck outside my second story bedroom....

For once, I followed the time in Tyler's instructions exactly, and when I stuck the thermometer in the bird, the temperature was exactly 180! The meat was moist, tender, and flavorful. Simply infused with herbs. I highly recommend trying this recipe, and if anyone knows of a good substitute for mushrooms, please let me know! And don't forget to check out the roundup over at Tyler Florence Fridays this Friday! I'll be out on the east coast by then, but I'll be checking it out, too!
Perfect Roast Chicken
Serves 4
1 4-5 pound whole free-range chicken
kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper
1 lemon, halved
1 garlic bulb, halved through the equator
1 sprig fresh rosemary
4 sprigs fresh thyme
2 sprigs fresh sage
1/4 bunch fresh Italian flat-leaf parsley (about 4 sprigs)
2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 cups button mushrooms
Preheat the oven to 400.
Rinse your chicken inside and out and pat dry. Season inside the cavity with salt and pepper and stuff with the lemon, garlic, and rosemary, thyme, and sage. In a food processor, process the parsley and the butter until well combined and season with salt and pepper.Place the chicken breast side up in a roasting pan, tie the legs together, and rub the herb butter over the chicken.Place the mushrooms in the bottom of the pan. Roast the chicken and mushrooms for about 1 hour 45 minutes, or until the thickest part of the thigh reaches 180 degrees. Baste with the drippings and rotate the pan every 30 minute so that the chicken browns evenly. Remove the chicken from the oven, tent with foil and let it rest for 10 minutes.


Natashya said...

Yum, that does look good! Meats were the hardest for me to master too. Especially roasts.

ARLENE said...

There is nothing so good as a perfectly roasted chicken. Yours looks delicious. Just give me a side of mashed and some corn and I'm in heaven. Great job.

Kim said...

Your chicken looks great! Tyler's recipe for roast chicken was the first I've liked, even if it was an ungodly amount of butter!! I left out the mushrooms too. I just don't care for them. Looks delicious : )

Debinhawaii said...

It looks wonderful and I am sure it smelled incredible too! Roasting meats and poultry makes me slightly nervous too. ;-)

Jenny said...

Looks good - and smart of you not to tempt your allergies. :-)

Joanne said...

I'm afraid of whole chickens as well but mostly because when I told my dad I was going to make one once, he mentioned something about innards and about me having to reach inside the chicken. That scared me off. This looks great though, you obviously have no reason to be afraid.