There are many ways to roast a chicken. What I’m about to show you will change your life forever! Just kidding. At least it will change the way you roast a chicken forever. I promise, this is the best roasted chicken and absolutely delicious!
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Based on Jan Karon’s ‘Mitford Cookbook & Kitchen Reader’, this recipe is a little different. There are a couple extra steps to take, but they are not difficult. Just extra, and well worth the effort.
For this roast chicken recipe, you’ll have to start thinking about it the day before. But we all have a little more time on our hands right now, anyway, don’t we? You want to start with a thawed chicken. One large roasting chicken, to be exact. 5-7 pounds will do. So, take it out of the freezer the day before you want to roast it, or buy it thawed. Either way, it needs to be thawed.
Now that you have a thawed chicken, what do you do?
Let’s talk about brining. A brine, of course, is a mixture of salt and water. Soaking your chicken in brine will ensure that the meat stays moist, and not dry out during the roasting process. Brining a chicken sounds intimidating, but it’s not. It’s super easy, and well worth the extra time and little bit of effort that you’ll put into this process.
So, after mixing 1 cup of salt into 5 quarts of water, you’ll gently place your chicken in for a 3 to 8 hour salty bath. I promise, you don’t want to skip this step. It’s going to taste wonderful when you are done!
After you’ve brined your chicken, take it out and rinse it well. We don’t want it too salty. 😉 Pat to dry, and place it in a cast iron pan, or any heavy roasting pan. Yum! I can taste it already. Stuff your chicken with a lemon or two cut in half, a sprig or two of fresh rosemary, and at least 5 cloves of squashed garlic.
Okay, now rub the chicken all over with olive oil and about 3 cloves of crushed garlic. Slide two sprigs of rosemary, and four squashed garlic cloves under the skin. Sprinkle with black pepper and salt.
Start with a 450 degree F oven. Once your oven comes to temperature, place the chicken in the oven for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, turn the oven down to 350 degrees F for at least another hour. A thermometer stuck into the breast should read 150 to 154 degrees F internally. Another way to tell if a chicken is done is if the juices run clear and the legs wiggle easily when you move them.
When cooked through, take the chicken out of the oven, and let rest for a few minutes before cutting into it. Serve with my rustic potato salad and a nice green salad. Enjoy!!
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