For being such a big fan of using roasted chickens, I don’t roast my own often. The ones from the grocery store are so darn convenient, you know? However, there are so many really great reasons to buck up and do it yourself. For instance, you can control the quality of chicken used, the seasonings, the spices, the size … Need I go on?
Yes, I really do like being in control – especially when it comes to food.
So, lately, I have been roasting chickens. A few months back, I tried Chicken with 40 Cloves for the first time and I was smitten. I think we had it three or four times within a couple of weeks. But as much as I loved the results, the results of my first one were better than any of the subsequent ones. I have no idea why. And the mass of garlic? I loved it for the flavor and hated the idea that I might actually eat all 40 cloves over a day or two …
So, when I went to roast a chicken yesterday, I first looked for recipes that were easy and simple. When I couldn’t find exactly what I wanted, I improvised using several tips from Fine Cooking to roast. I choose olive oil instead of butter (FC’s preferred fat for browning) because it was more accessible and didn’t require me to soften any butter.
Per Fine Cooking’s tips, I didn’t truss the chicken (frankly, I hate trussing anyway!). This allowed the chicken to cook evenly and I got a crisp, delicious skin all over it. Oh, the skin … it was fab. Also, I loved the flavoring that the lemon and rosemary sprigs in the cavity imparted on the meat. So delicious.
We’ll be having this again soon.
Do you roast your own chickens? What are your favorite seasonings for it?
- 3-4 lb roaster chicken
- olive oil
- garlic powder
- 1 lemon
- 3-4 sprigs rosemary
- Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
- Wash the chicken and cavity with cool water and pat dry. Set on a rack on top of a roasting pan. Drizzle the chicken with olive oil all over and then season with garlic powder, salt and pepper -- don't forget to season in the cavity too.
- Cut the lemon into four wedges and stuff into the cavity - peel and all. Stick the sprigs of rosemary in the cavity as well.
- Slide the chicken into the oven and bake for 20 minutes. Reduce the heat to 375 and roast for 45-55 minutes, until juices run clear.
Sarah Walker Caron is a cookbook author, freelance writer and founder of Sarah’s Cucina Bella. She is the author of four cookbooks including The Super Easy 5-Ingredient Cookbook and One-Pot Pasta, both from Rockridge Press. A single mother to a tween and a teen, Sarah loves nightly family dinners, juicy tomatoes plucked fresh from the vine and lazy days on the beach. She also adores reading and traveling.