Sunday, January 27, 2013

Home Roasted Chicken

Who doesn't love those great rotissierie chickens that are so readily available now days at the grocery store?  They are moist and tender, taste great and are usually a good buy.  A lot of times when I need chicken meat for something or another, using a rotissierie chicken is a real timesaver. 
So why would anyone bother to make a roasted chicken at home these days?  Well, for one thing, it's actually quick and easy to put a chicken in the oven to cook.  Plus, a chicken that is particularly for roasting will be larger, like 5 lbs., so most families can use it for two meals at least, so that saves time and money!  But the biggest reason is they taste fantastic and your kitchen will smell even more fantastic!  I usually put all sorts of veggies and potatoes in with the chicken so that when the chicken is done, so are the side dishes! 
In a busy world, cooking times need to be really short or really long to leave time for everything else.  This type of roasted chicken takes a long time, so you can just pop it in the oven, then get on with your life for a good 3 hours or so.  When you return from yoga :), your home will smell like Martha Stewart is your "live-in help", and your family will marvel as you put this fragrant, delectible dinner on the table.  You're awesome!
Home Roasted Chicken
1, approx. 5lb. roasting chicken (be sure it's completely thawed)*
3 or 4 carrots, peeled and cut into large chunks or a bunch of small carrots, scrubbed
2 medium onions, cut into quarters
2 large celery stalks, each cut in half crosswise
6-8 small red potatoes, scrubbed
1 small lemon, cut into quarters
1 handful parsley
Olive oil
Salt, pepper, and any other seasonings you like (seasoning mixes are fun to try, poultry seasoning, thyme, sage or rosemary are all good)
Roasting pan big enough for everything (covered, but if you don't have a cover, foil will work)
*If you can't find a large roasting chicken, you can use a 3lb. one.  Cook time will be about 2 hr.
Spray the pan with PAM.  Place the celery stalks on the bottom to act as a rack for the chicken.  Dry the chicken with paper towels.  Put the lemon, parsley and 4 onion quarters in the cavity.  Stuff the parsley into the cavity also.  Tie the legs together using a strip of aluminum foil.
Rub the chicken all over with olive oil and then the seasonings.  I put the seasoning under the skin of the breasts and legs, but you don't need to if you don't feel up to it. 
Put the chicken on the celery stalks and put all the veggies around it.  Drizzle the veggies with a little olive oil and sprinkle them with salt and pepper.
Cover the roaster and put it in the oven.  Turn the heat to 300F (don't preheat it).  Go have fun for 3 hours.  Take the lid off and if necessary, roast it a little longer to brown it.  You can also put the broiler on to brown it quickly, but watch it closely.  The veggies will be very tender and delicious to serve alongside the chicken, which will be super tender and moist.  You can also spoon some of the pan juices over the meat for added yumminess!
Biscuits are a tasty addition, too!

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