I love making a roasted chicken. It’s comforting, reminding me of good times from my childhood. The smells wafting through the house while anticipation of the chicken finally being done just grew. Carving it up, eating the lovely moist meat. And then using the carcass to make a broth. If I remember right, most often a roast chicken was made when we were having company or when we went to someone’s house. So it evokes good memories for me.
Now don’t get me wrong, I have made some dried out birds in my time. I’ve also undercooked it on an occasion or two! But like my grandmother taught me, never give up. Just keep at it till you get it right. Best cooking advice I ever got.
When we got married, the very first meal I made was a roasted chicken dinner. I spent hours preparing everything. Of course I was nervous and I wanted it to go perfectly, so I took extra time doing things just right. What didn’t help was I was using my mother-in-laws 20+ year old gas oven! I had grown up using electric stove & oven so I had no idea how to use this oven. I also had no idea how to light it!! And since I was a novice to everything, the bird took forever to cook. The oven wasn’t hot enough & because the stove was archaic I couldn’t read the worn out dials.
Finally I got the bird cooked, the rest of the meal was prepared, my new husband came home…………and we ate the meal in under 20 minutes! I was so mad!!! It took me hours to prepare this meal and it was done and over within minutes. The image of romance I had built in my head of our first dinner together never happened! It wasn’t a leisurely enjoyable dinner, followed by coffee and dessert. It felt like it was all about feeding ourselves and moving on.
Well, I recovered from that disappointment and over the years I’ve made it a point to vocalize when I’ve made a special meal & “slow down people”.
We’ve also entertained a lot over the years so that’s helped me to hone my cooking skills and diversify.
I still get a hankering to cook a roasted chicken about once a month. And I thought it was an appropriate meal to prepare “LIVE” on FB and Instagram for my premier “Monday Master Cook” event. I had a blast! I was super nervous and felt I would look foolish but I figured I had to give it a shot, learn from it and like Nanny said, “don’t give up, just keep at it till you get it right”
So here is my Roasted Chicken recipe. I’m sure you’ve tried all sorts of recipes and maybe you have your own ingredients and styles. Non-the-less I hope you like mine. Included is my gravy recipe. And if you want stuffing to go with your chicken dinner then check out my recipe!
- 1 Whole Chicken - 1/2 lb per person My bird was 2.9 lbs which gave me leftover meat
- 1/3 Cup Unsalted butter
- 2 Garlic cloves, minced Opt for locally grown garlic. If using imported you'll need more cloves
- 1 Tbsp Dried Thyme
- 1 Tbsp Dried Oregano
- 2 Tbsp Chopped Parsley
- 2 Tbsp Chopped chive
- 2 Tsp (aprox) salt
- 1 Large yellow cooking onion
- Freshly cracked black pepper
- 1 Tsp Oil
- FOR GRAVY
- Drippings from pan passed through a sieve
- 1/4 cup Dry white or Red wine
- 1 Tbsp Cold Water
- 1 Tbsp Arrowroot flour or Cornstarch
- Remove giblets, neck from bird cavity and wash bird inside and out with cold water. Pat dry. Trim off any access fat. I like to cut off wing nail if not already removed and I like to cut off tail end since this is quite fatty.
- In an 8x10 ceramic baking dish pour aprox 1 tsp of oil in centre of cooking pan and rub around so bird will sit on oil and won't stick to pan.
- Carefully remove skin from meat, beginning at opening of cavity and working back towards the neck and wings. Try hard not to pierce the skin since you're going to put the butter mix under the skin. Sprinkle top of bird with 1 tsp salt and some cracked pepper. Set chicken aside.
- In a bowl combine butter, garlic, herbs and 1 tsp salt. Mix well and set aside.
- Cut peeled onion in half, quarter if necessary, and insert into bird.
- Take butter mixture and gently place it under the skin, pushing it as far back to wings as you can. Once you've got the meat covered with butter mix take remaining butter and rub all over exterior of bird, including the underside. You may need to heat up butter slightly to allow smoothing it over the cold bird easier. Tuck wings under bird and with kitchen twine wrap legs together or use 2 toothpicks to pierce legs into place.
- Place chicken in oiled baking dish and cook uncovered in preheated 400 degree oven for 15 minutes then lower temp to 350 for 45 minutes. Using a baster, or spoon, baste chicken every 25 minutes. After 1 hour check with thermometer in underside of leg for internal temp of 165 degrees. Stuffing a bird requires more cook time, so you may need an additional 15 minutes. Juices will run clear and leg will rotate easily in socket when bird is done.
- Remove from oven and let rest 10 minutes before carving. Remove onions and serve along with bird.
- FOR GRAVY - In a small sauce pan sieve drippings from pan and add 1/4 dry wine, either red or white (red will darken gravy but is still equally delicious) Let alcohol cook off for 5 minutes.
- In a small bowl add 1 heaping tablespoon of arrowroot (or cornstarch) to 1 tablespoon of cold water. Mix well and fast.
- Slowly add to drippings while whisking quickly to prevent clumps.
- Whisk on medium heat for about 3 minutes till gravy is thick. Cook another 2 min on low, keeping an eye it doesn't clump or burn.