I’ve gotten into the habit of cooking unnecessarily large meals on Sundays so that the leftovers carry through the week. It saves me money, time, calories, hell it just flat out saves me as weeks get unintentionally crazy.
One Sunday a few months back, I went through one of my cookbooks and “flagged” (with pink heart-shaped post-its) the recipes I wanted to try. Manfriend comes over and kindly says, “that book has a heart on every single page!” WELL. It wasn’t just any cookbook. It was Food Network Favorites. The best recipes from the TV chefs that I’ve come to love–LOVE–and have inspired many of my daring culinary endeavors. One of which ended with frosting on the ceiling, but I digress.
So, this Sunday Manfriend and I batted around ideas for Sunday supper. Pizza? No. Lasagna? Maybe. Roasted Chicken? Sold. And I had just the recipe in mind.
Now, I want you all to bear in mind that this little chicky was prepped and prepared on an October Sunday Afternoon. Manfriend was happily enjoying a buffet of pigskins and testosterone when I decided to play Iron Chef. A great idea until it requires simultaneous manipulation of the bird and photographic documentation. There was an excessive amount of hand washing, an expletive of two, and a ton of confused squawking (from me, not the bird). Just…bear that all in mind. I hope you giggle as much as I did when I reviewed the shots today.
The Ultimate Roast Chicken
from Tyler Florence
- 1 5.5 lb free range chicken (mine was neither. 4.75 lbs and Perdue)
- 1/2 bunch each: fresh oregano, thyme, and parsley
- 1/4 lb. unsalted butter, softened (1/2 c.)
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 orange, halved
- 1/2 head garlic
- 1 small white onion, peeled and halved, plus 1 whole onion
- 6 strips smoked bacon
- 2 T all-purpose flour
- 1.5 c. chicken broth
- 1/4 c. dry sherry
- Preheat the oven to 425. Rinse the chicken with cool water, inside and out
- Pat it dry with paper towels (Helps the yummy stuff stick to the skin). Divide the herbs, keeping half 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. (First loosen the skin before you attempt to stuff under it.) Season the bird with salt and pepper.
- Stuff the cavity with the orange, garlic, onion halves, and the remaining herbs. Tie the legs together with kitchen twine (I did not do this. No twine.). Place the chicken, breast side up, in a roasting pan. Put the whole onion into the pan to help color and flavor the sauce (I cut him in half to fit better).
- Lay the strips of bacon across the breast of the chicken and roast for 25 minutes.
- Remove the bacon, 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 180 when inserted into th 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 or so the juices settle back into the meat before carving.
- Meanwhile, remove the softened onion from the roasting pan. Tilt the pan so the drippings collect in one corner and skim off as much fat as possible, leaving the drippings. Place the roasting pan on the stovetop over mdium heat and use a wooden spoon to scrape up the browned bits from the bottom of the pan.
- Stir the flour into the drippings to make a paste.
- Pour in the chicken broth in stages; continue to stir to prevent lumps. Stir in the sherry and bring to a boil. Cook for 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste (mine needed neither).
- To serve, carve the chicken tableside and squeeze the oranges from the cavity over the meat.
if you’ve gotten this far, you’re either related to me, or are enough of a foodie you were entertained–so put this on your to-make list already! It’s not a “wednesday night at 7pm what should I make” number, but if you enjoy the process as much as I do, this little ditty is well, well, worth it. The chicken is juicy and packed with flavor. The sauce is rich and robust–the sherry elevates it just enough that I’ll go ahead and call it sophisticated. The whole thing is simply, GOOD.
Manfriend wrapped up the remainders of the white meat (which I just enjoyed again) and picked the dark meat for later use….maybe a quick cassoulet? He also whipped up a fantastic tuna salad which was packed into lunch sandwiches.