Friday, December 5, 2008

Simple roast chicken

I used to be so intimidated by roasting big chunks of meat or whole birds. I still think it's not the easiest thing to do, physically. Think of how heavy a turkey can be, and someone has to lift it out of the oven to baste it. Imagine dropping it on the floor!

That's usually what goes through my head when I roast a chicken. Dropping it on the floor, burning my hands trying to get the pan out of the oven, etc. It hasn't happened, though, and the more I make roast chicken, the better I get at it.

A simple roast chicken is one of the most delicious meals, and the possibilities for leftovers are endless. I like to put veggies around the bird in the pan, to catch the drippings and roast alongside the poultry. I just use whatever veggies I need to use up. Some people prefer to roast the chicken alone on a roasting rack in the pan, which makes the meal less greasy. My chickens are pretty greasy on the very bottom, but that part usually doesn't get eaten straight. I use it for soups -- and with today's chicken, for a chicken-broccoli casserole.

Simple roast chicken (serves 4, with leftovers)
a roughly 4-1/2-pound chicken

about 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided

salt and pepper, to taste

1 teaspoon garlic granules

4 teaspoons herbes de Provence, or your favorite mixture of dried herbs

a variety of vegetables of your choosing, such as small potatoes (leave the skins on), chopped carrots, whole garlic cloves, quartered onions, button mushrooms

1.) Rinse the chicken and pat dry. Rub about 2 tablespoons of olive oil onto it, then sprinkle garlic granules, salt, pepper,and herbs over it on both sides.

2.) Place breast-side up in a shallow roasting pan. I use a square corningware dish.

3.) Toss veggies with just enough olive oil to coat, and arrange vegetables around the chicken.

4.) Bake at 375 degrees for about 1-3/4 hours, basting every half-hour or so to keep the chicken moist.

5.) The chicken is done when the thickest part of the thigh registers 180-85 degrees on a meat thermometer, and the drumstick can be moved easily in its socket.

6.) Let the chicken rest for 10 minutes before cutting. Serve with a green salad with Dijon vinaigrette and warm French bread.

Today's question: What's your favorite kind of casserole? I had a sweet potato casserole one Thanksgiving at my friend Amanda's house that was amazing. I'll have to get that recipe from her.


Carly said...

If you aren't put off by it, a great way to make a whole bird is by taking the backbone out, and flattening it, and then putting the spices on AND under the skin. I've been meaning to have a roasted chicken for a while now, and now this post just makes me more hungry for one. *sigh* It looks delicious.
On the casserole side of the world, I love green bean casserole. There is also this rice "casserole" that some friends made, that I really enjoy. But when you actually look at the ingredients, it's basically salt-soaked rice. (Rice, a ton of soy sauce, and I think a can of beef broth or beef onion soup, and a can of sliced mushrooms) I try to forget about it so I don't get tempted to make it.

Nicole said...

Your way of making a chicken sounds really interesting. You'll have to send me the whole recipe, and I'll try it out and post it. Sounds like a good challenge for me.

Jen said...

i love casseroles. my two favorites are green bean casserole complete with french fried onions and tsimmes (mixture of roasted sweet potatoes, carrots, prunes, and OJ).