I know everyone is prone to picking up one of those ready-made rotisserie chickens at the grocery store when you're in a pinch. I've done the same thing, once upon a time. Now I am a changed woman, and I find there is no substitute for a homemade, slow roasted chicken. This weekend I decided to test out my new roasting pan and roasting rack (a trial run before the big turkey gets a turn in a couple of weeks), and made my own, whole chicken. The meal is a bit time consuming, but has simple ingredients, and yields amazing results. This recipe will make you fall in love with chicken all over again. It's juicy, moist, savory, and just melts in your mouth! Impress your family with this centerpiece for a Sunday dinner:
- about a 5 lb whole chicken, giblets removed
- olive oil
- 3-4 tablespoons butter
- freshly ground black pepper
- 2 lemons,
- 1 orange
- 1 small onion, quartered w/ skin on
- 1 head of garlic, cut in half width-wise w/ skin still on
- 3 extra cloves garlic, minced
- 2 cans chicken broth
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Rinse and pat dry the chicken. Be sure to remove any giblets from the cavity and set aside. Cut orange in half, and quarter one side. Leave the remaining half or orange for basting sauce. Quarter one lemon, the onion and head of garlic. Season inside of cavity liberally with salt and pepper (I use a 50/50 mix, with about 3 healthy pinches of salt & pepper into the cavity. Sprinkle about 1 pinch of oregano inside the cavity. Fill cavity with quartered fruit, onion, and garlic (if it all doesn't fit, that's ok, just stuff with an even amount of ingredients). Season outside of bird with salt & pepper, and lightly sprinkle with oregano on outside. Drizzle the bird with olive oil, and massage all over the bird. Place chicken on a roasting pan with a rack, breast side up. Cook for one hour. Pour some chicken broth in the bottom of the pan so the drippings won't burn. During the first hour, baste chicken with a 50/50 mix of chicken broth with olive oil or melted butter. Juice the remaining orange half and remaining lemon in a medium bowl. Add 2 tablespoons olive oil, the 3 cloves of minced garlic, and pinch of oregano and whisk together. After first hour of roasting is complete, baste with half of the citrus mixture and make sure pan drippings are not burning by adding more chicken broth when necessary. Roast the chicken for another 45 minutes. Halfway through the remaining cooking time, baste with remaining half of citrus mixture. When chicken is done, it should have a temperature of 170 degrees. Remove from rack and allow to rest for about 15 minutes. add remaining chicken broth to roasting pan, and place entire roasting pan over a burner on medium high heat. Allow broth to simmer down into a sauce. You can add cornstarch if needed for extra thickening, but remember to dilute the cornstarch in a little bit of water first before pouring into sauce.
Cara's Tips: Place seasonings in a bowl before using on the chicken. You don't want your hands, covered in raw chicken juices, getting into your spice jars! Cross-contamination is a very sensitive subject with chicken, so please, exercise caution. This chicken is best served with mashed potatoes and a nice veggie, but the possibilities are endless. Feel free to modify this recipe with some of your favorite aromatics and herbs!