Perfect Roast Chicken - What does that mean to you? To me, it means crispy savoury skin, tender juicy meat and a house that smells like coming home for the holidays. Its simple comfort food that never fails to satisfy. My wife asked me what I want for my Birthday dinner this coming Sunday, and the answer was simple; Roast Chicken. It makes for the perfect dinner on a first date, running home late trying to feed the kids, or reliving a better time. You see, when you can repeat a perfect meal, again and again, you time travel. With every bite, it brings back the past. Our sense of smell, followed by taste, is one of your first senses, and one of your last, so they tend to embed quite vividly in your memory. Its one of the reasons we salivate upon smelling something delicious, it brings us back, its give us pleasure, it brings us... peace.
Wow, enough of the food philosophy. Why is this the perfect Roast chicken? simple. A heady scent that fills the room, amazing flavour, crispy skin and juicy tantalizing meat. This is all attained by the high heat method of roasting. The fiery heat of a hot oven sears and seals the roast chicken creating the ideal environment for a juicy bird. The butter being a saturated fat, latches onto the skin, crisping it up and making the spices come alive. You can literally watch the skin dance as it cooks.
Drizzled with pan drippings its a meal unto itself. Pair it with a simple salad and some crispy bread and your dinner is set. Amp it up with some simple sides and fresh steamed vegetables for guests, and your are now, a super host. Or, just tear into it on the stove top, no one will notice, it will be our secret. Now, go preheat that oven to 450 and lets get cooking!
Step 1: Ingredients
- One whole fryer chicken
- 1/2 cup of salted butter, softened
- 1 teaspoon of thyme
- 1 teaspoon of paprika
- 1 teaspoon of sage or poultry seasoning
- 2 teaspoons of coarse salt
- 2 teaspoons of coarse pepper
- 1 onion peeled & cut in half
Plus a pan, just big enough to hold it.
- 1 tablespoon of flour
- 1 cup of chicken stock if you have it, or water.
Step 2: Dry Your Chicken
The first step other then preheating your oven to 450 is to dry your chicken, inside and out.
- Give your chicken a quick rinse, if it had any of the "bits" in a bag, you can remove these for stock for later.
- Next, simply take some paper towel and pat dry the chicken on the inside and the outside.
- Once dry, sprinkle one teaspoon of the salt and the pepper into the cavity of the chicken.
- Place your chicken in the pan
Step 3: Butter Up Your Chicken
If you thought giving your chicken a sponge bath was a little intimate, well things are gonna go south in a hurry from this point.
- Take your butter and massage it all over your chicken, you want a nice coating for the spices to bind to the skin.
- Next take your onions and stuff them into the chicken
Step 4: Season Your Chicken
Your almost ready for the oven, some people just use salt for the seasoning, and yes, this is very good. But, spice is life, and just little extra goes a long way. Thyme and sage provide those memory smells, paprika a touch of bitter sweet which melds oh-so-well with the coarse black pepper. Lastly the coarse salts texture survives, making the skin taste like crackling, so good.
- Sprinkle the remaining spices onto the chicken. Thats it!
Step 5: Roast
Your oven was preheated to 450 right? Good.
- Put it in the oven for 15 minutes
- Next drop the heat to 425 for an additional 30 minutes
- Somewhere in the middle you can baste it with the drippings, but this is really isn't necessary.
- After the total 45 minutes remove from the oven and place the chicken on a serving dish, Loosely tent it with some foil, I stress loosely, you want it to breathe but still stay warm.
Step 6: Pan Sauce
Your pan is now filled with a copious amount of melted butter, and chicken drippings that have been cartelizing for the last 45 minutes. This is gold, in poultry form.
- Heat up the pan on the stove top on medium heat.
- Whisk in about a tablespoon of flour.
- Pour in about 1 cup of water, or if you have it, chicken stock.
- Whisk until smooth.
Step 7: Winner Winner, Chicken Dinner!
Hmmm, so simple, so good!
Make sure to check out other Roast chicken recipes here on Instructables.
- Canida's is awesome and so simple with just salt and pepper and skip the butter. It os also a great roast chicken, but I like the additional spices, plus the extra butter equates to more gravy in the end.
- Jessyratfinks is tasty too with ginger, lemon and garlic. Plus with veggies roasting in the pan it completes the meal.
A brief note on the whole Winner Winner thing, it's just fun to say is all, thats it. But its started with this little bit of Vegas history - enter the copy/paste!
"The history of the quote “Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner” began on the Vegas strip, when, back in the day, every casino had a $1.79 three-piece chicken dinner, which included a potato and a veggie. Back in those days, a standard bet was $2. If you won a hand, you would have enough money to buy this dinner, hence the quote."