Any vegans in the room need to turn away from the page now. We’re talking chicken. And I love chickens. I am also a fan of Chickenman in West Vincent and am hoping he doesn’t get run over by the road master of West Vincent or the peace love and eminent domain lady and the lawyer of reinvention either.
But I digress. And besides, I bet Chickenman would love my home cooking as well as witty political repartee n’est–ce pas?
And yes, as per above photo I do know where chickens come from. No, I will not be doing my version of Little House on The Prairie and fetching a chicken and slaying it for dinner. Mine came from the market.
It’s summer I don’t want to stuff anything except maybe the occasional tomato or deviled egg. But today has been thunderstorm city and who knows if it will keep on not raining or not, so oven it is.
First I clean out my chicken and remove the gizzards (which I freeze for homemade stock another time.)
Then I June Cleaver it with my cleaver. Oh ok: translation: I place my raw chicken breast side down on a non-wooden cutting board and cleave her open (see photos). Then I place her breast side up and spread out on a little roasting rack in a pan I have lined with that half parchment half foil paper, foil side up (easier clean up – sorry – it is Friday and I don’t want to be slave to kitchen.)
Then I look for two little skin pockets that I help along with a little paring knife (see photo) and I stuff 4 cloves of garlic sliced under the skin (evenly on each side) along with the herbs I have handy and fresh outside – oregano, mint, thyme, rosemary, 2 bay leaves.
Then I channel my inner Julia Child but not to the point of Paula Deen and I rub the chicken with a pat of butter (ok so maybe it is like a tablespoon plus a smidgen.)
Then I rub on the skin salt, pepper, a little garlic powder, oregano, basil, smoked paprika, regular paprika, tarragon, cumin, and dried Valencia orange peel. Look, I don’t go THAT overboard, a dash or this and a dash of that until it smells good going in the oven. Omit what you don’t like.
Into a pre-heated 350 degree oven it goes. I have seen recipes that say different things with regard to the internal temperature and doneness, but I just let my meat thermometer do the thinking and when it says done for poultry I haul it out of the oven and rest the cluck for at least 15 minutes with foil on top. Tonight’s bird is 6.74 lbs. so it will cook about 2 to 2 1/2 hours at 350 degrees.
A note is halfway through I always sour a roast, whether it is chicken, turkey, pork, beef, etc. I sour it with whatever wine is open. I don’t drown it, just refresh it.
I will post a roasted completion photo later.