Saturday, October 30, 2010

Roast Chicken

My first roast chicken.  I know, hard to believe!  I have made a beer can chicken in the past, but never roasted one. 

You see I have never experienced one with much flavor.  So I have always preferred to grill them with lots of herbs and spices and a hint of olive oil.  But recently I found out that you can still do those tasty things in the oven, so I searched until I found several recipes to combine for one great bird. 

I know it isnt a beautiful brown but this first time I was more concerned about keeping it moist than I was in baking beauty.  So I did what comes natural to me, I took off the skin and then I left the lid on the whole time.  So my process, based on the recipe below:  I sliced a zucchini placed the them single file in an oiled dutch oven.  I rubbed the chicken with olive oil, salt and pepper then placed it on top. To blanket the bird I sprinkled sliced onion, garlic halves and wild mushrooms all around.  The mushrooms I used had to be hydrated in boiling water so I used their water plus some red wine for moisture.  Lastly I added a few lemon slices and some fresh rosemary.

Then I cooked it according to Tyler Florence's recipe below.  My changes for next time?  Rub a fun blend of spices under the skin then leave most of it intact, removing it after it is done.  I served it with the roasted veggies over brown rice.  And now, the original recipe:

Roast Chicken Times Two (Recipe courtesy Tyler Florence)

  • 2 (2 to 2 1/2 pound) organic free-range chickens
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 red onion, quartered
  • 1 lemon, halved
  • 1 head garlic, halved
  • 2 bunches fresh thyme
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 2 pounds mixed mushrooms such as button, cremini, shiitake, or oyster
Heat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Pat the chickens dry with paper towels. Season the cavities with salt and pepper. In a large bowl combine the onion, lemon, garlic, 1 bunch thyme, bay leaves, and 3 tablespoons olive oil; season it with salt and pepper and mix it well. Stuff each bird with half the mixture. Using 2 (3-foot) pieces of kitchen twine, tie up each chicken: Tuck the wing tips between the wings and the body. Put the mid point of the twine under the chicken, bring the ends up and around the wings, and pull them tight against the body. Bring the ends of the twine up underneath the legs, wrap the string around them, pull the legs together, and tie them tightly.

Place the chickens breast side up in a roasting pan, drizzle over some olive oil, and season them with salt and pepper. Toss the mushrooms around the chicken, scatter over the remaining thyme, drizzle over some more olive oil and season everything with salt and pepper. Roast the chickens for 1 to 1 1/2 hours; baste them with the pan juices every 20 minutes. The chicken is done when a thermometer reads 165 degrees F when inserted into the thickest part of the thigh (the legs should wiggle easily in their sockets.)

Remove the chickens from the pan, cover them with foil, and let them stand for 10 minutes to rest. Serve 1 chicken with the roasted mushrooms and pan juices. Refrigerate the other chicken for another meal.


  1. Tyler's recipe sounds perfect - at least it is the way I do it. Since you haven't made a roast chicken before- a word of caution. Regular fatty grocery store chickens will leave you with a smoky greasy oven at 400. Buy a top quality organic- less fatty and best taste by far. Toast chicken is sublime!

  2. Thanks for the tip - I have been doing more meat shopping at Whole Foods and since we eat a fair amount of chicken, I have been buying about 60% of it there - and this was one of them!