Cooking dinner every night is not a welcome chore, even for someone who cooks all the time. We all have other things we would rather do: read a book, watch a movie, go shopping, go back to bed, you name it. But, it’s a chore that I am responsible for and I cook dinner about 5 nights out of the week. The other two nights are usually left overs, a cheat meal (frozen pizza, canned soup, mac & cheese) or we go out.
Nothing is more economical or healthier than a home-cooked meal. And for this family of five, we don’t want to bust our budget on food. One of my favorite items to cook is roasted chicken. It really is versatile. In our family, a big bird can provide us with ample meat and leftovers to make a good soup or sandwich. And when they go on sale, you can easily pick up a 5-pounder for less than $4.
You can roast your chicken whole, cut it up into smaller pieces, or butterfly it. And a whole chicken keeps the peace at our dinner table.
The Professor wants the leg & thigh.
Middle-Child wants breast meat.
The Princess wants whatever the Middle-Child wants.
And Hubby wants the butt, leg & thigh.
If I had first choice, I would probably choose the thigh. But, of course, I’m usually stuck with the scraps of meat stuck on the carcass. But, if everyone eats, I am happy.
Last night I made this Mustard Roast Chicken. I used a stone ground mustard with champagne mustard and mixed it with shallots, olive oil, lemon juice and fresh herbs. To really optimize flavor, you want to put this slurry UNDER the skin, between the breast meat and skin, as well as slather it all over the chicken. It’s messy, but worth the effort. It wasn’t too spicy for the kids. The skin was crispy and the meat, juicy. Perfect, in my book.
You can easily come up with your favorite flavor combinations. You do need a little fat to spread around the chicken, I’ve used butter and olive oil in the past. Here are some the varieties I have made with the Amazing Roast Chicken, in one form or another:
Crispy Butterflied Chicken
Greek Roast Chicken
Indonesian Ginger Chicken
Persian Eggplant Stew (Khoreshteh Qiemeh Bademjoon)
Roast Chicken with Maple-Soy Glaze
Saffron Coated Stuffed Chicken
- 3 1/2 lb whole roasting chicken
- 2-3 TBS extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
- 1 lemon, quartered
- 1 onion, quartered
- 5 sprigs of parsley or assortment of herbs
- About 30 minutes before roasting, remove chicken from the refrigerator.
- If the giblets and neck are in the chicken cavity, remove them and reserve or discard.
- Preheat oven to 425ºF.
- Run hands under chicken skin to loosen and rub breast and thigh. Rub entire chicken and under the skin and in the cavity with olive oil.
- Season cavity and outside of chicken with salt and pepper.
- Place in small roasting pan with a rack and stuff cavity with lemon, onion and herbs.
- Using kitchen twine, tie legs together and tuck wing tips under the chicken.
- Roast chicken for 15 minutes, then reduce heat to 350ºF.
- Roast chicken until meat thermometer inserted into thickest part of thigh registers 170ºF, approximately 1 hour.
- Tilt chicken to allow juices from cavity to run into roasting pan.
- Transfer chicken to platter, cover with foil and let stand for 10 minutes, allowing internal temperature to rise.
- Spoon and discard fat from surface of pan juices.
- Serve chicken with pan juices on the side.
Cooking suggestions: You can also use other herbs like rosemary, thyme and oregano.
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Serving Size:4 oz meat
Amount Per Serving:Calories: 574 Total Fat: 37g Saturated Fat: 9g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 25g Cholesterol: 175mg Sodium: 311mg Carbohydrates: 2g Fiber: 1g Sugar: 1g Protein: 55g