Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Simply Perfect Roast Chicken

There is nothing quite like a homemade, freshly roasted chicken. It is one of the treasures of American cuisine. Crispy, delicate skin with a salty bite that crackles while giving way to juicy, tender meat. In a word, divine. One of the great things about roasting a chicken is the two for one deal….the root vegetables that roast happily in the juices below the bird so that when you pull the masterpiece out of the oven, you’ve got a spectacular main course with a perfectly paired side dish. Caramelized carrots, onions, potatoes and garlic mingling in flecks of salt and pepper, sprinkled with herbs each with the gooey deep flavor of home. I am seriously having a foodgasm here folks.

Amazingly enough, this was my first time ever roasting a whole chicken on my own. I am highly embarrassed to admit that fact and completely astonished at how I made it nearly 30 years without roasting my own bird. I do tend to get carried away in the Italian food territory, but consider this fair warning to all….this Girl and Her Kitchen will be roasting many many chickens from now on. Not only is this a spectacularly easy meal, but it was so unbelievably gorgeous and breathtakingly delicious I am amazedI haven’t made one every single day since!

There are two basic tools that I found to be quite useful in my chicken roasting adventure. A good roasting pan with rack. I got one for a wedding present but you can find pretty good deals during Macy’s frequent sales or even on amazon.com. Second was a digital thermometer. This last items was rather clutch in helping me figure out when my chicken was done because while I understand the theory of “when the juices run clear the chicken is done,” in practice I find this method damn near impossible. The thermometer takes a lot of the guessing out of the process.

So grab yourself a whole chicken, some aromatics, a few root veggies and you can throw together a fantastic homemade meal that you will be dreaming about for weeks to come.