Sunday, May 23, 2010

Easy Sunday Dinners: Perfect Roast Chicken

Oh Yeah...
I've enjoyed cooking for as long as I can remember.  When I was a little girl I used to sit on the counter next to the stove and toss random spices and ingredients into a pot on the stove.  I called it Witch's brew. It was in no way edible but just a fun outlet for my creativity.  I've progressed since then into making edible creations but between my grad program and work I really don't have as much time (or money) as I would like.

I should also mention I married a man who was spoiled ridiculously by the women in his family and expects a "Sunday Dinner" every Sunday.  Don't you worry, I've already stood up for women on this one.  Most of the time, though, I am happy to oblige.  Here is one of my favorite creations that is incredibly easy (so easy I'm pretty sure its fool proof and even my husband couldn't screw it up) and inexpensive.  The chicken only cost me .99/lb and the other ingredients were also cheap.  My total for a delicious, easy, and healthy dinner?  About seven dollars.  Also, if you like to feel like you're cooking with the greats - Jamie Oliver does a pretty similar version.

Here's what you'll need:

1 whole chicken (mine was about 4 1/2 lbs)
1 lemon
1 yellow onion
3 red potatoes (I actually used red golden potatoes in this recipe - hence the yellow fluffy insides)
1 clove of garlic
Baby Carrots - as many as your heart desires.  I always keep these in stock - in this recipe i probably used about a cup or so.  And if you're really concerned about needing a count - you're welcome to look at the picture below.
Olive Oil
Rosemary and Thyme (fresh is prettier and tastier but more expensive - unless you have a green thumb and grow it yourself.  I recommend for parties or impressing people.  Otherwise, dried will do)
Sea Salt and Black Pepper

Okay, you ready?  I'm telling you - this will take you all of 5 minutes which is why its so awesome.

Get out your ingredients.  Preheat the oven to 400 F.

Okay, you're oven is preheating.  Get out a glass roasting pan (or whatever you happen to have that you think will work.)  Take your whole chicken out of the fridge.  Remove the innards - you can keep them for gravy if you want - I tossed mine this time.  Rinse the chicken with cold water and set it in the pan.  Cut the lemon into eighths and stuff it into the empty cavity of the chicken.  Cut the potatoes into about 2 inch size pieces.  Cut the baby carrots in half.  And cut the onion (I'm assuming you're smart enough to know to peel it) also into eighths.  Slice the garlic into thin pieces.

See - you're done!  Well, pretty much.  And honestly, this is one of those amazing rustic dishes where you can freelance your cutting.  However large or small and uniform or uneven you want your cutting to be.  It really doesn't matter.

Your last real effort?  And by effort I mean dumping everything into the roasting pan around the chicken.  Now, drizzle the olive oil on the chicken and on the vegetables.  If you have fresh rosemary and thyme, place it inside the chicken with the lemon.  If you are using dried - just shake it on top - as much as you think looks pretty.  Finally, sprinkle some salt and pepper on top of that bad boy.

Now throw it in the oven - uncovered.  And let it cook.  It should cook for about 20 minutes per pound.  Just check it with a meat thermometer before you eat it or you can pierce it - if the juices run clear you are also in the clear!  Somewhere in the middle, get out a turkey baster or pastry brush and take the juices from the pan and baste it.  Your skin will come out super crispy and delicious.

Sit back and do nothing.  Five whole minutes of work?  And this is what you'll get.

Serve and enjoy!  (And don't worry - if you lack knife skills - roast chicken really shouldn't be served in neat little slices anyway.)

1 comment:

  1. THAT LOOKS SO GOOD. I'm freaking out right now. I'm really hungry now.