Thursday, October 13, 2011

The Perfect Roast Chicken

ITS MY 200TH POST!!!!! Holy cow, I cant even believe it. I have been trying to decide which recipe should take the honor of being #200, and since this recipe was a major achievement, I figured it was fitting.
Have you ever seen the Movie, It's Complicated?
Its an amusing enough movie and in it, the most amazing caterer's most amazing meal is a roast chicken....HUH? How can that be? She can make homemade chocolate croissants, but her Roast Chicken is her claim to fame. I was intrigued, yeah I know I need a life.
But I set a challenge for myself to learn how to make a good roast chicken. This was attempt #4.....It's COMPLICATED...... and I have to say its just about as perfect as it gets.

Perfect Roast Chicken
borrowed from Ina Garten


1 (5 to 6 pound) roasting chicken

Kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

1 large bunch fresh thyme, plus 20 sprigs

1 lemon, halved

1 head garlic, cut in half crosswise

2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter, melted

1 large yellow onion, thickly sliced

4 carrots cut into 2-inch chunks--* next time I am adding even more

1 bulb of fennel, tops removed, and cut into wedges (blech, I omitted)

Olive oil


Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Remove the chicken giblets. Rinse the chicken inside and out. Remove any excess fat and leftover pin feathers and pat the outside dry. Liberally salt and pepper the inside of the chicken. Stuff the cavity with the bunch of thyme, both halves of lemon, and all the garlic. Brush the outside of the chicken with the butter and sprinkle again with salt and pepper. Tie the legs together with kitchen string and tuck the wing tips under the body of the chicken. Place the onions, carrots, and fennel in a roasting pan. Toss with salt, pepper, 20 sprigs of thyme, and olive oil. Spread around the bottom of the roasting pan and place the chicken on top.

Roast the chicken for 1 1/2 hours, or until the juices run clear when you cut between a leg and thigh. Remove the chicken and vegetables to a platter and cover with aluminum foil for about 20 minutes. Slice the chicken onto a platter and serve it with the vegetables.

FOR NEXT TIME--I am going to do a 1/2 hour roasting the regular way and then flip it. The juice was juicy but it still needs a little more moisture. Its either that or brining and I never remember to do that ahead of time. I will also add more yummy carrots and maybe some potatoes in place of the yucky fennel.


  1. This is something I would like to improve. I love roast chicken, but I am only so-so at making a good one. For a while now I've been convinced that it's one of those meals that you just have to have that "zing" to make. You know, like the perfect meatballs...

    P.S. My google account is being super wonky lately and is giving me tons of trouble signing in to comment. Not sure how to fix it!

  2. This sounds yummy, by the way. I was curious about the flipping vs not flipping.

    Also, I would definitely do potatoes! I like fennel, but only when it's roasted with a nice later of parmesan cheese on it. ;-)

  3. Katie---Well you know I havent gotten meatballs down yet either, that should be next on my list of food to finally conquer. ticking them off the list one at a time.
    When I make this one again I am going to do 1/2 hour regular and then an hour flipped over. The bottom is always so juicy I want that in the breast too