Sunday, September 6, 2009

The Ultimate Roast Chicken

Just when I thought I made the best roast chicken, Julia had to remind me I was was wrong. PBS was running a few of her classic shows. This particular show started with all the chickens, capons, hens, etc. all lined up. This scene has been spoofed by SNL and The Muppets...remember? I was cracking up watching Julia since she was silent a few times, as if she had forgotten her lines, also, talk about cross contamination. Touch raw chicken, touch a knife, touch string, touch scissors, you get what I'm saying. Well, I think we are a little too cautious these days, Julia lived longer than I expect to live!!!

Well, sorry to say, I did not use Julia's method on the rotisserie. I don't have a rotisserie. However, now I was determined to make roast chicken for dinner. Tyler Florence to the rescue! Tyler's Ultimate Roast Chicken. The sides Tyler chose for the chicken were watercress, mashed potatoes, and gravy. Unfortunately, those were the sides for the Ultimate Chicken Pot Pie that I made the other day. Also, I am back on Phase I on the South Beach Diet, so no carbs AGAIN.

Here's the first difference between Tyler Florence's roast chicken and mine. Oranges, Parsley, Oregano, and Thyme. I always stuff chicken with Lemon and Rosemary.

Mix the herbs with butter & rub underneath the skin. I use olive oil, but butter is always good.

Stuff the chicken with orange, half the onion, and half the roasted garlic. Place the chicken, breast side up, in the pan with the remaining onion and garlic. Now, put 6 slices of bacon on top of the chicken. How bad can it be? Julia puts bacon on her chicken too! Into the oven for 25 minutes at 425 degrees.

Take the bacon off the chicken and put the chicken back in the oven for 25 more minutes. I added celery to the pan to cook.
So delicious!

The Ultimate Roast Chicken
adapted from Tyler Florence

1 (5 1/2 pound) free-range chicken
1/2 bunch each fresh oregano, thyme, and parsley
1/4 pound unsalted butter, softened
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 orange
I whole roasted bulb of garlic, halved
1 medium white onion, halved, plus 1 onion
6 strips smoked bacon

Suggested Sides: steamed cauliflower and roasted celery

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
Rinse the chicken with cool water, inside and out. Pat it dry with paper towels. Divide the herbs, keeping 1/2 of them whole. Finely chop the other half. In a small bowl,
mash the softened butter with the chopped herbs, until combined. Rub the herbed butter under the skin, as well as all over the outside of the chicken. Season the bird all
over with salt and pepper. Stuff the cavity with the orange, garlic, 1 onion, and the remaining herbs. Tie the legs together with kitchen twine to help hold its shape. Place
the chicken, breast-side up, in a roasting pan. Put the remaining onion into the pan, which will help color and flavor the sauce. Lay the strips of bacon across the breast of
the chicken and roast for 25 minutes.

Remove the bacon and baste the chicken with the drippings and cook for another 25 minutes to brown the skin. The chicken is done when an instant-read thermometer
reads 165 degrees F when inserted into the thickest part of the thigh (the legs of the chicken should wiggle easily from the sockets too.) Remove the chicken to a platter
and let stand for 10 minutes, so the juices settle back into the meat before carving.

Meanwhile, remove the softened onion from the roasting pan. You can make gravy at this point with the drippings, but I put my steamed cauliflower in the roasting pan with the other vegetables and put the vegetables back in the oven for 10 minutes while the chicken rests. Before serving, toss all the vegetables and serve with chicken.

To serve, carve the chicken tableside and squeeze the oranges from the cavity over the meat.

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