Well, the perfectly roasted whole chicken is my egg.
I've been able to cutup a whole chicken and roast the parts of the whole successfully; yet the whole bird crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside alluded me time and time again. Hell, I've even made a giant 16lb turkey for Thanksgiving successfully (love those popup timers). I've tried glazes, marinades, simultaneously roasting with fresh vegetables, and none of my hackneyed methods yielded the roasted chicken of my dreams. To my utter joy, this period of failure came to an end over the weekend.
Of course, I get by with a little help from my friends. Them Apples, a UK cook and foodie blogger, recently released his tried and true method for roasting a chicken. Post reading his post I purchased a young 5lb chicken and dedicated my Saturday night to Lemon Herb Roasted Chicken, homemade jalapeno cornbread muffins (inspired by Seven Second Rhapsody), and steamed broccoli.
After thawing and washing my little bird, I compared the cooking notes on the package to the cooking notes from Them Apples to inform my preheating. My bird's package says 350 degrees and 20-23 minutes per pound. Them Apples recommends, "200c, twenty minutes per 500g and an extra thirty minutes on top of that. This is one of those times when you need to know your own oven." Using my hand iPhone unit converter app, I found out 200c = 396 f and 500g = 1.1lbs. While my two sources agree on timing per pound, the heat was 50 degrees off. What do you do in a situation when you want to learn the 'proper' technique? Split the difference. Finally, the summary of this whole paragraph ends with preheating the oven to 375 degrees.
Now my heat is ready, I turned back to Them Apples for simple steps of flavoring using my own cupboard's components:
- Brush the inside and out of the bird with olive oil.
- Rub the inside and out of the bird with salt and pepper.
- Line the inside with lemon slices; de-seeded.
- Roughly chop 4 large garlic cloves and fill the bottom inside of the bird with the pieces.
- Fill the rest of the cavity with fresh herbs; whatever you have on hand. I had flat parsley, mint, and basil.
- Let that puppy, I mean chicken, roast for 20-23 minutes per pound at 375. I roasted mine just about 10 minute less than the recommended time.
EUREKA! It worked. By Jobe, I've got it! Dreams do come true! And other such triumphant sayings. The skin was crispy and delish, the meat was tender and flavorful-and the smell! My god, the aroma filled the house and almost our stomachs because it was so heavy. Thanks to Them Apples and all my other foodie friends whom continue to educate, motivate, and inspire me and my food.