Simple Roast Chicken

There are already Christmas ads on TV. It’s unbelievable how every year retail push up their advertisements so that we’ve finally gotten to the point of Christmas before Thanksgiving. I for one, am a little appalled seeing as that I am still in the throes of deciding what to make for the biggest eating day of the year! In anticipation for a the holiday I hosted dinner club with a Thanksgiving theme. I originally wasn’t going to make a bird, because I thought it would be too much work, not to mention for me the highlights of that meal are always the sides. But then I got to thinking that you can’t have mashed potatoes without homemade gravy, you can’t (well you can) have a meal with just carbs and starches, and finally that I shouldn’t turn down the excuse to roast in my dutch oven, which was the whole point of me getting the oval shape – so a bird would fit! In the end I caved and made one of the best roasted chickens I know how. It’s incredibly easy and looks so impressive, it’s always a crowd pleaser.

the mock Thanksgiving spread

My trick for getting flavor into the bird is butter. I know people say brine, and while we’ve done that for turkeys before, it yields an awfully salty gravy, but a chicken done right isn’t in as much risk to drying out. Here’s my easy bird that comes out moist and loaded with flavor:

  • Make a herb butter: room temp butter mixed with chopped sage, rosemary, thyme (or whatever you have on hand) salt & pepper
  • Run your fingers between the meat and the skin, separating both and making easier work of the next step
  • Put the butter between the skin and the meat – shove it in there and smooth it out. Even put it on the top of the legs
  • Place thinly sliced lemon, garlic and a whole sage leaf under the skin as well
  • Chop an onion and the rest of the lemon and place in the cavity of the bird
  • Tuck under the wings and tie the legs together
  • Roast at 350 for about 30 min/lb until the juices run clear from a cut above the thigh
  • Let it rest! 15 min or so until you carve, you want all the juices to soak back into the meat.

And that’s it, folks, easy peasy. I wish I’d taken some more photos for you, but my hands were a little involved with all this butter stuffing and chicken dealing. But I just can’t stress enough how tasty it came out. It’s also amazing how many people it will feed. We were a party of 6 and stuffed to the brim, and I ate it for the rest of the week: on toast, in sandwiches, mixed with mushrooms and broccoli in pasta. The possibilities are endless.

the post chicken day fare: toast + brie + chicken + hot gravy = AMAZING melted, savory & crisp


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