What’s your take on roasted chicken? Is it a go-to in your house or is it a meal that has strong memory connections for you? Do you have a preferred method or recipe? My answer is – none of the above. I’m sure my mom made it as a kid, but I don’t have any powerful recollections. Both of my Grandmothers were terrible cooks and I don’t often make it, even though my mantra is simplicity on all fronts. Roast chicken is definitely simplicity. Of all the recipes I’ve ever looked at I have never come across one that could be classified as complicated. Even the greats use simple tactics and simple ingredients! I have a trick up my sleeve though – one that I don’t see very often in recipes but when I do see it I says to myself “Eh, they know what they’re doing!” The secret is butter. Ssshhhhh Don’t tell anyone! My mom gave me some large (5-7 pounds!) organic chickens and I haven’t used any because the time it takes to roast those suckers is far longer than I want to have my oven on during the summer months. But now, it’s cold, it’s raining and it’s looking a lot like winter. The best thing about roast chicken though is that it’s a double hitter. Take the meat off the chicken, throw the carcass in a crock pot with some veggies and water and you end up with some wicked (and natural!) chicken stock – which I then proceeded to use to make Garlic Parsley Risotto. It’s been in the oven for 10 minutes and already smells great. I only have two hours left …
1 whole Roasting Chicken – Gizzards removed
2 tbsp Olive Oil
2 tbsp Rosemary – Fresh, Chopped
1/4 cup Butter or Non-Dairy Alternative
2 stalks Celery – Roughly chopped
1 Onion – Quartered
2-3 Carrots – Roughly chopped
2 Red Peppers – Roughly chopped
– Preheat oven to 450 Fahrenheit.
– Remove gizzards from chicken and rinse thoroughly with cold water. Pat dry with paper towels.
– Baste outside of chicken with oil. Coat chicken in rosemary, salt and pepper, getting in under the skin on the breast.
– Stuff the chicken with the chopped celery and 2 tbsp of butter.
– Place chicken in a large roasting pan and surround with onion, carrots, peppers, leeks (white and light green parts – reserve tops if making chicken stock) and remaining butter. Depending on the type of chicken you’re using, you may need to add water to the pan. Check on it ten minutes into cooking and see if any water is being released from the meat. If not, add 1/4 cup of water. You don’t want it to dry out.
– Cook for 60-75 minutes or until temperature of the middle of the breast or thick part of the leg reaches 160 Fahrenheit. My huge chicken actually only took 45 minutes to cook thoroughly but I have a good oven. The speed of cooking will be determined by the size of your bird and the abilities of your oven so it’s important to watch the temperature of the meat.
– I chose to throw all of the roasted veggies from this dish into crockpot to make chicken stock. You can eat them if you want to but I didn’t want to spend more time cutting up more vegetables so I paired the chicken with a salad instead.
**Unfortunately, it’s a challenge to determine nutritional information and weight watchers points for this recipe because so much is dependent on if you’re eating white meat or dark meat. So my suggestion is to eat 4-6 oz of whichever meat you prefer, with no skin and then google it. The nutritional information should be relatively close across the board even with the butter because you’re really not eating the butter.