Holy Cow! or Should I Say Holy Chicken??

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The day before New Year’s Eve I “made” my husband watch Julie & Julia with me (which he LOVED) and it inspired me to conquer my fear of roasting a whole chicken.  You read it correctly, I am not talking about a lovely/pretty chicken breast or  thigh.  I am speaking of the WHOLE darned thing.  The scary, slimy, headless bird that, even though it doesn’t have eyes, stares me down every time I walk past the meat counter.  I have avoided this as long as I possibly could.  I refused to cook whole turkey’s at Thanksgiving and I make my husband cook whole chickens on the pig pit outside because that seems appropriate when it comes to cooking a giant bird.

Like I said before I AM CURED!!  With one day left before the new year I decided to roast my first ever chicken on New Year’s Eve.   I have had an Ina Garten rotisserie chicken recipe (found at Food Network) printed out for months, but like I said I was a wuss.  After speaking with the very nice meat man at Whole Foods, my manicurist, and my wildlife loving husband about my chicken phobia they all nicely reassured me that I could do it.  The vegetables were beautiful and the entire dish looked amazing.  I only had one mishap which was turning off the oven when I set the timer…. so after an hour I realized that I still had a completely raw chicken in my oven, but an hour after that it was cooked to perfection.  I will have a picture later, but I swear by this HEALTHY and BEAUTIFUL meal.  If I can be converted anyone can be.  This meal was extremely simple and elegant.  Your house will smell amazing and your guests will be overly impressed.  I now plan on making this a weekly staple and I hope all of you give it a try. (Click here for the video)

 

Perfect Roast Chicken

  • 1 (5 to 6 pound) roasting chicken
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 large bunch fresh thyme, plus 20 sprigs
  • 1 lemon, halved
  • 1 head garlic, cut in half crosswise
  • 2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter, melted
  • 1 large yellow onion, thickly sliced
  • 4 carrots cut into 2-inch chunks
  • 1 bulb of fennel, tops removed, and cut into wedges (I substituted a 1 lb bag of colorful baby potatoes (red, purple, and gold.  The potatoes are cheaper than fennel and add great color to the dish)
  • Olive oil
  • Twine (Kitchen String)
  • Meat Thermometer (Worth buying!!)

 

Preparation:

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

 

Remove the chicken giblets. Rinse the chicken inside and out. Remove any excess fat and leftover pin feathers and pat the outside dry. Liberally salt and pepper the inside of the chicken. Stuff the cavity with the bunch of thyme, both halves of lemon, and all the garlic. Brush the outside of the chicken with the butter and sprinkle again with salt and pepper. Tie the legs together with kitchen string and tuck the wing tips under the body of the chicken. Place the onions, carrots, and fennel in a roasting pan. Toss with salt, pepper, 20 sprigs of thyme, and olive oil. Spread around the bottom of the roasting pan and place the chicken on top.

Roast the chicken for 1 1/2 hours, or until the juices run clear when you cut between a leg and thigh. Remove the chicken and vegetables to a platter and cover with aluminum foil for about 20 minutes. Slice the chicken onto a platter and serve it with the vegetables.

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