Back to Basics: Roasted Chicken

Writing about Julia Child’s birthday the other day gave me a good laugh when I found her dancing chicken video. I’ve been wanting to roast a chicken for a while, but when it’s so hot, turning on the oven is the last thing I want to do. It was supposed to be cooler this weekend, so I picked up a 5 lb roasting chicken.

Today I put it all together. Roasting a chicken is a pretty quick and easy meal. Cooking time is about an hour and a half (17 minutes per pound is the general rule, at 375 degrees F).

First, wash and dry the bird. Gently use your fingers to pull the skin away from the breasts and down to the thighs. Careful not to tear it. I made a paste of  finely minced garlic, rosemary, sage, and olive oil. Spread the paste under the skin.

Next fill either a spice infuser, cheesecloth or I use an unbleached coffee filter, with a lot of garlic, rosemary and sage, and maybe a bit of thyme, and put it in the cavity. I also added 1/2 of an onion, quartered. Tie off the legs, place in the roaster and brush the bird with a mix of olive oil and bit of butter.  Don’t forget to tuck in the wing tips so they don’t burn.

I let it sit for 15-20 minutes to allow it to come to room temperature and allowing everything to meld together. I roasted it at 15 minutes at 450 degrees, lowered the heat to 375 degrees and roasted it until thermometer read 160 degrees. I brushed it a couple of times with the oil/butter mix.  Took it out and let it rest for 15 minutes before carving, at which point the internal temp was 165 degrees without drying it out. Remove and discard the spice infuser and onions. Slice and serve.


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