Roasted Chicken

Before I get started, I think it is vital that you know that I stuck my hand in this.

And I only freaked out a little bit.

Now that that is out of the way, I can tell you all about last night and my roast chicken adventure. Last week, while Eric and I were shopping for chicken burrito ingredients, I was standing at the poultry counter and for the first time, I noticed whole chickens sitting in the line up. The second I saw those birds sitting there, all plucked and ready to go, I got this urge deep in my heart to take a bunch of aromatic vegetables and stuff it into one of their butts. Poetic isn’t it?

Well, I had been dreaming of stuffing that bird’s butt for a solid week, and last night my dreams came true.

I took these little guys…

And stuffed them with some of my friends…

And when they were good and stuffed...

I gave them a little butter, salt and pepper rub down…

And I tied them up in a pretty little bow…

And I stuck them in my very make shift roaster and slid them in the oven.

And, if you are getting me something for Hanukah (happy first day of Hanukah Dad/all those celebrating) or Christmas (yes I am a half child and celebrate both) may I suggest a nice roasting pan? This one would be superb.

Every fifteen minutes, I would take a peek, pull out the birds and give them a nice coat of chicken broth. You are supposed to baste it with its own juices from the roasting pan, but I do not have a baster. Please add baster to the list of things you are getting me.

At about thirty minutes, I threw in some of these…

And these…

And some lovely onions.

And, when they came out, the birds were beautiful.

And after Eric masterfully carved them…

They were delicious.

It was everything I had hoped it would be. It was moist and flavorful and life changing. I can honestly say that stuffing that butt and shoving it in the oven and basting it at fifteen minute intervals for an hour and fifteen minutes has changed my food outlook.

The truth is, I never really thought much of chicken. I thought it was a poor substitute for seafood and steak. Why do they even put it on restaurant menus was something I frequently asked myself. But I was terribly mistaken.

I would like to formally apologize to chicken. Chicken, I am truly sorry. You are very delicious and a wonderful protein and I am sorry I have been belittling you all these years. I really hope we can be friends and that this is the beginning of a beautiful relationship.

Love and Beer Floats

1 (3 1/2 to 4 pound) chicken
1 small yellow onion, quartered
1 lemon, thinly sliced
1/2 cup celery leaves
Salt and black pepper
1 small onion, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
2 cups chicken broth

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
Wash the chicken in hot water and dry thoroughly. Season the cavity with salt and black pepper and stuff with the onion, lemon, and celery leaves. Rub the chicken lightly with softened butter and season all over with salt and pepper. Tie the drumsticks ends together and set the chicken, breast side up, in an oiled v-shaped rack or on an oiled roasting pan in the oven.
Roast for 15 minutes at 425 degrees F, then reduce the heat to 350 degrees, baste the chicken, and roast for 15 minutes. Add the chopped onion and carrot to the pan, basting them and the chicken. Continue roasting the chicken until the juices run clear, for a total of 45 minutes plus an additional 7 minutes for each pound. (In other words, a 3 1/2 pound chicken would take a basic 45 minutes plus an additional 25 minutes, for a total 70 minutes or 1 hour and 10 minutes of cooking time.)
Remove the chicken and spoon the fat out of the roasting pan. Into the pan, stir in the herbs and blend in the broth and, stirring constantly, boil for several minutes on the stovetop to concentrate the flavor. Correct the seasoning and strain the sauce into a warm sauceboat. Carve the chicken and serve with the warm sauce.