When I’m at the grocery store, I always look at the whole chickens and think about what I would do with them. Usually I refrain because a whole chicken is a little more than Dan and I can eat by ourselves. But last week when I was planning out our meals I found a way to make it economical and totally doable. I’ve been itching to show y’all how to make chicken stock, so this chicken served three purposes. Dan and I ate some with rosemary red potatoes and green beans for dinner, Dan used the remaining meat in his lunch sandwiches for the week instead of the herb turkey we get at the store, and I froze the bones to give you my chicken stock recipe in the next few weeks.
One thing I particularly like about making whole birds is that they’re insanely easy. You season them and then throw them in the oven, occasionally adjusting the temperature and moving around the turkey triangle (or I guess the chicken triangle in this case). Since they cook for a while, you can start it a few hours before you’re ready to eat and then spend the time reading, cleaning, napping, and, eventually, making your side dishes.
I know in November when I posted our Thanksgiving recipes I introduced the concept of a turkey triangle on b&s, but that was AGES ago, so I’ll refresh your memories. A turkey triangle is something I learned from Alton brown, and it allows the legs and wings to get cooked well enough without overcooking the breast meats. In addition, to give the chicken a nice, crispy skin, you cook it for a bit at a higher temperature and then drop it down to cook it under the triangle.
I seasoned this particular chicken with a homemade herb butter. I’ll admit that a part of my motivation was trying to prove that if we repotted our rosemary in a larger pot and let it get bigger, I’d use more. The rest of the motivation came from an opportunity to use my beautiful immersion blender. I combined fresh and dried herbs, butter, a little milk, and some olive oil. You can easily do it without an immersion blender (or, for that matter any electronics) in a food processor, with a beater, or with a plain old whisk. I like using a little electricity behind it because it breaks up the herbs a little to give it an extra punch.
Now, coating the chicken is not for the faint of heart. Generally speaking, working with whole birds is not for the faint of heart. When you unwrap your bird the first thing you want to do is remove the gizzards, which will be in a tidy bag in the cavity. If you’re not planning on eating them, you can throw them away. Next, you want to rub the butter into the chicken. I also try and get some under the skin so that the flavor can really soak into the meat and not just drip off. It’s kind of like massaging someone’s back, and if you imagine you’re massing someone particularly appealing (Clive Owen, perchance), it’ll go a little easier. You’re also going to want to tie the legs together so that the chicken can cook easily. You can do this with a little kitchen twine. Then, cook, relax, and enjoy!
an interesting article in glamour magazine about what meryl streep does to make a roasted chicken last a whole week
Herb Roasted Chicken
1 whole chicken
1 tbsp fresh rosemary
Dash of oregano
Dash of herbs de provence
Dash of coriander
Dash of celery salt
1/2 stick butter, room temperature
2 tbsp milk
1 tbsp olive oil
Heat your oven to 500 degrees.
Blend your butter, herbs, milk, and oil. Remove the gizzards from the chicken. Use your hands to massage the butter all over the chicken and under the skin. Tie the legs together with kitchen twine and place in a roasting pan.
Fold your foil into a triangle shape and fit to the shape of the chicken. This is so when you put it on later it’s a bit easier. Take it off and put it aside. Also, place a meat thermometer in the side of your chicken.
Put your chicken in the oven for 25 minutes. This will give your bird a good, crispy, skin. Drop the temperature to 375 and place the turkey triangle on the chicken. Cook for another hour or so, or until the thermometer reads 190 degrees.