Guys, for the last five weeks I have been involved in a practicum experience as part of my degree; I have been working with a wonderful English teacher and her 8th graders every morning and Friday was my last day. I absolutely loved my experience and the conclusion was bittersweet. I was sad to say goodbye to the students I worked with, but I was happy to be able to get back in the kitchen and start blogging again.
As you all know, I love roast chicken. I posted about it a couple of years ago, but I wanted to revisit it. This time, I chose to keep it even simpler; no veggies, no herbs, no roasting pan, no nonsense. Just a chicken, some kosher salt and black pepper, and a skillet.
We’re in the midst of a lovely fall here in Omaha. The air is crisp, the leaves are slowly changing, and I’ve pulled out all my sweaters from storage. This is my favorite season, so it only seems fitting to pair my favorite season with one of my favorite dishes. And besides, I love to make my own chicken stock, so the more roast chickens, the merrier, right??
There are a few pieces of advice I want to pass along when planning to roast a chicken. The first would be to purchase the best quality chicken you can. Since we’re not dealing with a ton of herbs and spices here, we need to rely on the quality of the chicken. If you have a higher-end market in your area, go there. If they sell organic chickens, buy one. You’ll pay more than your average grocery store, but it’ll be worth it. And think of how wonderful that homemade stock is going to taste, as well!
Secondly, a hot oven is your friend. Crank that puppy up, but keep an eye on your bird! A hot oven will ensure a crispy skin and who doesn’t love that?
And finally, let your chicken rest at least 10 -15 minutes before you even think of carving into it. Resting allows for the juices to redistribute throughout the meat, which will result in a moist and flavorful bite!
Roast Chicken (adapted via Thomas Keller)
4- 4 1/2 pound organic chicken
freshly cracked black pepper
Pre heat oven to 475ºF.
Place the chicken on a cutting board or plate and, using paper towels, pat dry the inside and outside of the bird.
Make sure it is thoroughly dried, as this will help to ensure a crispy skin.
Salt and pepper the cavity, then truss the chicken. If you don’t know how to truss, simply tie the legs together with some kitchen twine. Make sure to tuck the wings behind the chicken.
This next step I like to do over the kitchen sink:
Heavily salt the outside of the chicken. Don’t be shy; make it rain on that bird. The salt will give the chicken a lovely flavor, color, and also allow for the skin to take on a crispy texture.
Grind some black pepper on the outside of the chicken and then place it in a 10-inch skillet.
Roast at 475ºF for 15 minutes, then reduce temperature to 450ºF and continue to roast until skin is golden brown and juices run clear, another 35-40 minutes. An instant-read thermometer placed in the thigh should register 160ºF.
Remove from oven and allow to rest, loosely tented with foil, for 10-15 minutes.
I like to serve this with roasted veggies, stovetop polenta, or a simple green salad.