Monday, January 16, 2012

Whole Roasted Chicken

As I was reading the January issue of Southern Living, I came across an article titled Every Recipe has a Story. It made me feel a little nostalgic for all the recipes I have that have been handed down to me over the years. The article is about a woman, Kate, who uses these recipes to remember her mother. They bring back memories for her of them together in the kitchen. It is a great article! In it, she says her mother thought that everyone must learn to roast a chicken.  Also, that her mother agreed with Julia Child that you could judge the quality of a cook or restaurant by their roast chicken. This got me to thinking how I have never roasted a whole chicken. I have cooked a whole chicken in the crock pot, but that requires no true skill. Roasting a chicken requires a little more work. You need to season it well, know how to check the internal temperature and try not to burn the skin. The article got me motivated: I’m going to roast a whole chicken! The recipe that came along with the article looks delicious; however, my mother had the new Martha Stewart Living magazine. Inside, there is a recipe for Roasted Chicken with a Lemon, Garlic, and Parmesan Sauce.  Yum!!! Is your mouth watering yet? Let’s get started.

Here’s what you’ll need:
Chicken and potatoes:
  • 1 whole organic chicken (about 3 1/2 pounds)
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 lemon, halved
  • 1 pound fingerling potatoes, halved or cut into thirds if large (we added some carrots too)
Sauce :
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 lemon, zested (2 teaspoons) and juiced (1 1/2 tablespoons)
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
  • Pinch of red-pepper flakes

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Place chicken, breast side up, on a baking sheet. Rub with 2 tablespoons oil; season generously with salt and pepper. Place parsley and 1 lemon half in cavity. Tie legs together with kitchen twine.

Toss potatoes and carrots in 2 tablespoons oil. Drizzle with juice from remaining lemon half. Season with salt and pepper. Scatter potatoes and carrots along chicken.

Roast for 15 minutes. Reduce temperature to 375 degrees F; cook for 25 minutes. Rotate pan, toss potatoes, and cook until potatoes and chicken are golden brown and a thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the chicken’s thigh reaches 165 degrees F, about 25-30 minutes more.

Let chicken and potatoes stand for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the sauce: Combine ingredients. After 10 minutes, brush sauce on chicken and drizzle on potatoes.

The article shows the chicken whole with the sauce drizzled over the top. Because I’m not 100% confident in my carving skills, I wanted to have it all carved up before calling everyone to the table. Once the chicken was carved and plated, I drizzled the sauce over the chicken so it would be easier to serve. I also reserved some sauce for the vegetables.

The sauce is delicious, but it is loaded with garlic, so keep that in mind. You could always add more or not use as much. I love garlic, so I could eat it on just about anything. Martha Stewart Living suggests adding it to pasta or spreading over bread and toasting.

Probably the best garlic bread you'll ever eat!
The chicken was fall off the bone tender and juicy. The veggies were tender and yummy. I suggest adding the carrots for a little more complexity. I will absolutely use this method to roast next time. If you were looking to save a little chopping/prep time, make the chicken without the sauce. I think it would be excellent since it was seasoned so well before going into the oven. You can also play around with your seasonings. Lemon and rosemary would also be a tasty combination. Make it your own!

I can’t really say I was scared to try to roast a whole chicken, I just thought it was easier to buy a rotisserie chicken from the store. Well, this recipe is simple and will give you a sense of satisfaction once you finish. Try it!


  1. I do almost the same thing with a whole chicken but I use a crockpot and let it cook on low all day. Then I de-bone the chicken and put the bones back in the crock pot along with the inside gook. I add 1 cup of water and let it simmer all night. Next morning I skim out bones and other stuff. I put in containers in fridge and once layer on top has formed, I remove it and freeze the chicken stock. I use the layer that formed to put in casseroles, etc....

  2. What a great idea, Shelly! Thanks for sharing!