I recently read that the test of a good cook is if she/he could roast a chicken. I have tried multiple recipes and had many failures. However, this is the one recipe that produced a tender and juicy roasted chicken every time. I originally started with Julia Child’s recipe and improvised to make it easier. This is my take on a roasted chicken.
- One 3 1/2- to 4-pound chicken
- Freshly ground pepper
- Fresh herbs (dried as an alternative)
- 2 lemons
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 3/4 cup chicken stock or broth
- Preheat the oven to 425
- Wash the chicken rapidly inside and out with hot water and pat thoroughly dry. Salt and pepper the cavity and place vegetables and fresh herbs inside the cavity; whatever you have in the pantry work (carrots, celery, onion, and lemon). Massage the chicken all over with 1 tablespoon of the butter
- Choose a flameproof roasting pan that is about 1 inch larger than the chicken. Salt the chicken all over and set it breast up on a rack in the pan. (Thoroughly wash all surfaces and utensils that have been in contact with the raw chicken)
- Roast the chicken in the oven for about 1 hour and 15 minutes, as follows: At 15 minutes Brush the chicken with the remaining 1/2 tablespoon of butter. Scatter the onion and carrot all around the pan. Reduce the oven temperature to 350°. At 45 minutes Brush the lemon juice over the chicken. If necessary, add 1/2 cup of water to the vegetables to prevent burning. At 60 minutes Baste with the pan juices. Test to see if done: The drumsticks should move easily in their sockets; their flesh should feel somewhat soft. If not, continue roasting, basting and testing every 7 to 8 minutes, until an instant-read thermometer registers 165°
- Spear the chicken through the shoulders; lift to drain; if the last of the juices run clear yellow, the chicken is done. Let rest on a carving board for 15 minutes; discard the string
- Spoon all but 1 tablespoon of fat from the juices in the pan. Add the stock and boil until lightly syrupy, 5 minutes. Strain and serve with chicken.
- Alternatively; you can boil the giblets in water with salt, pepper and bay leaves and make a gravy out of the drippings