Most families are so busy with work and activities that sitting down together over dinner has become a rarity. The weekend is a perfect time to get reacquainted with your family over a nice meal.
Our grandmothers were onto something with their Sunday roasts; a roast chicken (or roast beef or pork roast) looks impressive, but is not really a lot of work. Once in the oven, the chicken doesn’t need to be checked for an hour. A few minutes spent on preparation leads to filling the house with the delicious smell of dinner cooking. Roast chicken has a broad appeal and goes well with a wide variety of side dishes.
Choose the most natural product available for your chicken. Organic is best, and spending just a little more for chickens raised without antibiotics does make an impact on taste. At $2.49 per pound, a five pound chicken will cost around $12.50 and feed four or more people, bringing the cost per person to just over $3.00.
Crispy Skinned Roast Chicken
1 Chicken – Organic, if possible, around 5 pounds
3-4 cloves of garlic, skins removed
3-4 sprigs of thyme
2-3 Tablespoons olive oil
Salt & Pepper
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place a round metal rack (such as one used to cool a cake) in a cast-iron skillet, 12 inches or larger. The shallow sides of the cast iron skillet allow crispy skin to develop over most of the bird. Unwrap chicken and remove giblets, rinse and pat dry with paper towels, and place on rack in skillet. Cut lemon in half, squeeze juice over chicken and then stuff lemon halves inside chicken cavity with garlic and thyme. Rub chicken with olive oil and season chicken inside and out with salt and pepper.
Roast chicken for 1 – 1 ½ hours, until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees at the thigh or 180 degrees at the breast.
Tip: Roast two chickens at the same time on the weekend, have one for dinner and use the other for sandwiches, pasta dishes and salads throughout the week.
Red-skinned or Yukon Gold potatoes, simply scrubbed, quartered and tossed with olive oil and salt and pepper can be roasted alongside the chicken for an easy side dish.
This is a simple and effective method for roast chicken, but certainly not the only way to prepare it. I would love to hear how yours is different or what you make with leftover roast chicken.