Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Super Simple, Super Crispy Roast Chicken

So I am such a sucker for a good roast chicken. The juiciness of the meat, the way it makes the whole house smell like a home, and the best part- the crispy skin.  Yes I know it isn't the healthiest part of the bird and that you should peal it off the chicken before eating it, but I can't help it.  I love it way too much.  The thought of throwing away that wonderfully seasoned, crispy bit makes me cry a little inside.  If you feel guilty enjoying this wonderful part of the chicken, maybe you could skimp in other ways like have two vegetables instead of a potato or something.... it is worth it.  I promise.

So when my very talented sister, Bonnie raved about this Roasted Chicken recipe last week on facebook I knew I just had to give it a whirl.  The trick is to have no moisture in the pan, no moisture on the chicken, a very hot oven and heavily salted skin.  the result is an incredibly moist chicken with the crispest skin ever. Being that there are hardly any ingredients, this is a perfect dish to make after a busy day at work or after lots of playing outside on the weekend.

Now, as you know I hate to post recipes on here if I don't have a picture to back it up but alas I left my beloved camera at a friends house over the weekend.  Thankfully I will be picking it up today and the pictures will resume.  So instead I will post pictures of who inspired the dish instead.  You can all envision a beautiful roast chicken in your mind, right?!  This is more fun anyways :)  Love you B, and thanks for a great recipe!

Super Simple, Super Crispy Roast Chicken
recipe adapted slightly from
1 2-3 lb farm raised chicken, rinsed and patted completely dry
kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper
2 teaspoons fresh minced thyme
one lemon sliced and about 5 garlic cloves (more or less depending on personal taste)
butter (optional)

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.  Rinse and thoroughly pat dry, inside and out.  The less steam you have, the drier the heat will be in the oven resulting in a crispier crust.  Salt and pepper the inside cavity of the bird and stuff with the lemon slices and garlic cloves.  Truss the chicken (a fancy word for tying the drumsticks together to hold the bird in place while cooking).

Next you want to salt the chicken.  You want a very, very good amount of salt (about 1 tablespoon).  Salt and chicken go together wonderfully.  It helps keeps things moist and in this case will also make the skin beautifully browned and crisp.  The best way to do this is to "rain" the salt over the bird to evenly coat.  Season with pepper.

Place the chicken in a roasting pan and place it in the oven once it is fully up to temperature.  Now comes the easy part- leave it alone!  Do not bast it, do not add butter, do not pass go.  Normally I always rub butter on the skin before roasting so this was a very different technique for me.  In this case, the butter creates steam and we don't want that in recipe.  Bake it until done, about 50-60 minutes.  Remove from the oven and sprinkle with thyme.  Now you get to baste the chicken with the yummy juices. Remove to a cutting board to rest for 15 minutes.  After resting you can rub with a bit of butter if you so choose.

Remove the twine and carve the bird. As the recipe states, you will start off with a knife and fork but you will most definitely end up using your fingers!  This recipe was so easy and sooooo delicious!  A perfect idea for dinner tonight.

Neil (my brother-in-law) Bonnie, Me and Scott in the Outer Banks, NC

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