Roast Chicken and Potatoes

19 Jul

There is almost nothing better than a roasted chicken.  I love making it.  It is one of those dinners that everyone is happy to eat.  The house smells amazing while the chicken is cooking, the finished result is beautiful and the leftovers are incredibly versatile.

To start, set your oven at 400.  High heat renders the fat from the skin quickly, allowing it to crisp up nicely and baste the chicken as it cooks.  Season the whole bird with salt and pepper, inside, outside, front, back, everywhere.  If you are going to stuff the bird with anything, now is the time to do it.  Citrus is always a good bet, with lemons being the most classic option and what I happened to have on hand.  Tuck the tips of the wings under the bottom of the bird and tie the legs together with kitchen twine.  Place in an oven safe pan, I usually roast chickens in a large cast iron pan.  Is a great size, the cast iron hold and conducts heat well and it is very easy to clean up.

Next up are the vegetables.  You can throw anything that you happen to have in the fridge around the chicken.  Carrots, celery, onions, potatoes, cauliflower, eggplant, tomatoes, fennel … and the list goes on.  I had Yukon gold potatoes.  I quartered them, seasoned them with salt and pepper and arranged around the chicken.  The whole thing goes into the over for about an hour.  Insert a thermometer into the thigh, you should be at 160 or so. T

Take the chicken out and LET IT REST.  This is the single most important step when cooking most protein.  Put the chicken on the cutting board you are going to carve it on and let it hang out for 10 minutes or so.  The juices will redistribute, staying in the chicken, instead of spilling all over everything when you cut into it.  Learning how to carve a chicken is something that you can only learn by practice.  Look up video tutorials on line.

I always try to make stock with the carcass after picking most of the meat off.  The leftovers make wonderful chicken salad, roasted chicken sandwiches and chicken fried rice.  Enjoy!

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