The classic Sunday roast evokes a Rockwellian feeling in our hearts and by our hearts, I mean our appetites, but it doesn’t just have to be for special meals now that small roaster chickens make it equally suitable for a quiet dining duet. It feels like it must be a real challenge, but roast chicken isn’t as difficult as you may think. Though my mother often roasted a chicken or turkey for Sunday dinner, it was not until our first Thanksgiving as a married couple that my husband and I got to experience the process with her. In fact, it was my mother and my new husband who cooked our Thanksgiving dinner that first year. After I share all the basic tid bits about roasting a bird, I will share the flavoring my mother used so you too can have your kitchen smell like your mom’s visiting (or my mom for that matter). I’ve found this to be a very helpful guide for roasting chicken with step-by-step photos: Roast Chicken Made Better, Start to Finish from Fine Cooking. Here are some more mouth-watering ways to dress up your basic raw roast chicken for a flavorful cooked outcome:
Perfect Roasted Chicken recipe from Scary Reasoner
Roast Chicken with Caramelized Shallots from David Lebovitz
Herby Roast Chicken from The Good Mood Food Blog by Donal Skehan
Chili-Lime Chicken with Corn Wagon Wheels from Williams-Sonoma
Roasted Chicken with Apple Stuffing from Michigan Apple Committee
20 ways to roast a chicken from highbeam.com
Roasted Chicken Breasts with Cranberry Port Sauce from FastRecipes
A Roast Chicken Recipe for a Cold Autumn Day from The Best Food Blog Ever
roasted chicken with maple soy glaze from Batter-Splattered
Roast Chicken with Lemon and Tarragon Butter Recipe from Epicurious
Roast Chicken With Orange Mustard Glaze from About Southern Food
Roasting your chicken starts with preheating the oven to 375-400F or 170C. While the oven is warming, rinse the chicken inside and out, removing any parts from the cavity, then pat is dry with a paper towel. While handing raw chicken, be sure to mind where you drip, touch, and spill and properly wash up after. The next step is to adorn the chicken with its flavor. The two best ways to administer flavor are to stuff it under the skin and place things in the cavity. For things to be spread beneath the bird’s skin, I refer to it as ‘bird butter’ and items to be in the cavity are considered ‘aromatic stuffing’. Below, I have included my mother’s Thanksgiving recipe and below that a cheat-sheet of bird butter and aromatic stuffing partners to flavor up your roast.
Once you’ve taken care of the flavor, the bird needs to cook 30 minutes for every pound of chicken in a roast (unstuffed only). I always use a well-and-tree platter, but you probably have your preferred roasting pan. Once the time is up, check the temperature with a proper meat thermometer. Even though a meat may ‘look’ cooked, temperature can not be determined visually so always check for food safety. Once the necessary temperature is reached (165-175F or 75-80C for chicken/turkey), let the roast rest under a layer of foil out of the oven for ten minutes before carving.
Julia’s Orange-Sage Butter
Orange zest from two satsumas
1/2 teaspoon dried sage leaves
1/8 teaspoon “21 seasoning salute” pepper blend
4 tablespoons butter
1. Blend butter and orange zest completely. Stir in sage and pepper blend.
2. Once mixed, refrigerate in desired shape until ready to use. Can easily form a baton of butter by rolling in parchment or wax paper before chilling.
3. Remove from refrigerator and slice into butter pads for serving with fresh-baked rolls or to stuff under chicken skin before roasting. When using for bird butter, place a quartered orange and 1 teaspoon of dried sage leaves inside the cavity for aromatic stuffing.