Sunday, February 10, 2008

Shannon's Baked Whole Chicken

Finally, here is my (actually my father's) recipe for baking a chicken. I personally find this method safer for the less experienced cook since there is less risk of the chicken drying out than in pure roasting. This is great surrounded by halved potatos and onions(or quartered depending on the size of your bird) with carrots, parsnips or other winter veggies.
I bought two whole chickens at brookview farms and prepared both this way. I'd like to say they both came out great, but sadly the first chicken was done cooking half way through a movie we were watching and we made the mistake of letting it sit atop the stove inside the roasting pan for a full hour after removing it from the oven. Do not do this. The bird was of course still cooking inside the hot pan and became rather chewy. After the effort and money that goes into the meal it's best to eat it when it's ready!

1-2 cups of white semi-dry to dry wine
1.5 cups chicken broth
Little water (1/2 cup)
1 Lemon (or an orange if that's what you've got)
2tblsp butter ( or olive oil)
Thyme, Marjoram, Kosher Salt, Fresh Ground Pepper

Those Liquid ratios can be tinkered around with. Last week I made it only using Home made stock because I had plenty of that and no open white wine. The amounts on those liquids are also assuming about a 4.5 pound bird. So you might need less...or maybe more since the bigger bird would actually raise the liquid level. Basically you only want 1.5-2 inches of liquid in the bottom of your pan.
Okay ....
1. Clean out the bird. Make sure nothing is being stored in the cavity, pull it and either freeze it for stock or toss it if you find anything wrapped in there. Rinse the whole bird inside and out really well under the tap. (and in the case of the chickens from Brookview farm you'll want to chop off the neck first as well)
2. Salt and pepper the inside of the cavity really well
3. Roll your citrus on the counter under the palm of your hand to loosen the juices and then Pierce the fruit all over with a fork. Put this up inside the cavity. This is the point when you will be putting the chicken in your roasting pan. Place it breast side DOWN to let all of the juices run down into the breast meat. If you have any twine tie the legs (that are now facing up) together just above the end bones. If no twine don't worry about it.
4. Squeeze lemon juice (the real deal or from a bottle) all over the chicken. Then pour your wine over the chicken and into the pan... ditto the broth.
5. I use butter... Take your fat and massage the chicken like you love it, working the butter all over the skin till it's nicely coated.
6. Toss a nice sprinkle of salt and pepper and your herbs all along the top of the chicken.
7. Peal and quarter (if you had a bigger bird I'd say halve) your potatoes, and onions. Chop your carrots and what have you. Place them all around the bird along the sides of the pan so that they are in some liquid ideally. Cook at 350 for about 20min per pound... some people say less but lets be safe and keep the lid on until the last minutes to brown the skin if you like. I never eat the skin anyway so when it's just for us I don't remove the lid just to keep it extra juicy.' Plus I cook it upside down.
8. Your chicken is done when the meat under the legg is nolonger red and 180 degrees on a meat thermometer is good and safe. I've also read 165 degrees, but my meat thermometer says 180 for chicken so I am sticking with that for now.
9. LET the chicken sit in the pan for a good 10 minutes before you start to carve into it. And remember to flip it over after you've fished out your veggies in order to carve off the breast meat. Happy Roasting. Shannon.

1 comment:

  1. I'm trying it tonight. It better be good! My husband is coming home from an out of town funeral and he usually cooks whole chickens. It's good comfort food. I want to impress and surprise him with my secret new talent, so I hope I don't burn it. I am substituting mashed potatoes and corn but I will do the carrots. I am also attempting stuffing. Am I crazy? Wish me luck!