Posted by: meriambull | October 3, 2010

Culinary Adventures pt 2

Along with a craving for guacamole, I also had a hankering for roast chicken.  Now, I know that I frequently encourage purchasing a rotisserie chicken and using it for so many things, and I still do that.  But I love a good roasted chicken.  It just takes a really long time and is only worth the effort if it is cold outside since you are going to have your oven set at 400 degrees for almost two hours.  Today wasn’t quite cool enough, but it was close and I needed to get it done for the meals I had planned for the rest of the week.  It takes a while, but it is definitely worth it.

I do not recommend doing this in a crock pot.  While I don’t like roast beef any other way and roast pork is either or, roast chicken MUST be done in an oven.  That skin has to get crispy and it will not get there in a crock pot.  My favorite method is my Pampered Chef 9 x 13 baker with the lid/bowl.  Now don’t rush out and buy one.  A good roasting pan and sheet of heavy-duty foil will do the trick.  But I am a big fan of Pampered Chef stoneware.

In fact, this is actually started as a PC recipe.  I just changed it into my own because it called for ingredients that aren’t crucial and I don’t keep on a regular basis.  It is a continuation of the garlic theme from my previous post and this uses a lot of garlic.  But it is worth every single clove!

Garlic Roasted Chicken

1 roasting chicken*

2 whole heads of garlic, unpeeled

1/4 cup dried parsley

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp pepper

Assorted dry herbs (Your favorites)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Slice off the top quarter of the garlic head.  (This is the root end, or the part that looks like hair.  This is not easy, just do your best and make sure the top part of each clove is cut off.) Separate the cloves and discard the papery skin but do not peel.  Set aside.

Remove and discard giblets and neck from  chicken.  Rinse chicken and pat dry with paper towels. Place ten cloves inside the cavity of the chicken.  Place the rest of the cloves in the bottom of a roasting pan.  Place the chicken, breast side down, on top of the garlic cloves.  (Breast side down means the wings should be on top and the legs on the bottom.  Remember biology class and look inside it to find the spine.  That goes on top.)  Place about 2 tbsp of the dried parsley in the cavity with the garlic cloves.

In a small bowl combine the remaining parsley, salt, pepper, and 1 tsp of whichever herbs you like the most.  I used crushed rosemary, basil, thyme, dill, and some herbal mixes I had in my pantry.  Rub this mix all over the skin of your chicken, don’t forget the breast side, too.

Cover with roaster lid or loosely with heavy-duty foil.  Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes.  Carefully remove lid or foil, lifting away from you to avoid burns, and continue baking 15 or 30 minutes, or until a meat thermometer reads 180 degrees.  (Stick it into the thigh or deep into the breast.  Just make sure it is a thick part of the meat, otherwise you will not get an accurate temperature.)  Remove from the oven, tent with foil, and let set for ten minutes before carving.

If desired, squeeze the garlic out of the peel and add some of it to mashed potatoes.  In my house mashed potatoes is a required side dish with roasted chicken.

*If raw chicken grosses you out and you gag at the mere thought of pulling the neck and giblets out of the cavity of the whole chicken, buy Perdue brand chicken.  They sell it at Kroger and the extra parts are conveniently placed in plastic bags for easy, low contact, removal.

Just a few more tips:  Many roast chicken recipes will tell you to tie the legs together with kitchen string.  I have never done this and have never had any problems.  If your mama taught you to do it that way, don’t dis the mama and truss up that bird.  But if you are new to cooking adventures, just leave that step out.

We only ate half of our chicken, but I’ve got big plans for the other half.  Monday night we’re having Florentine chicken noodle soup.  I even squeezed some of the extra roasted garlic in with the chicken when I was cleaning it off the bone.  I’m pretty excited about it!  It’s going to be cold next week.  You might want to pick up a chicken.

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