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Simple Roast Chicken

March 29, 2012
Shannon Hepburn

Welcome to my kitchen. I’m delighted to be a new member of the Farmers To You crew. My intention is to connect with you each week to share recipes, cooking techniques, and ideas about how to use the food you’ve brought home.

This week I’ve been keeping the kitchen warm by roasting chicken. If you have never roasted a chicken before, and many people haven’t (and that’s ok!),  I’d like to encourage you to give it a try.  It’s pretty magical what happens to a plain chicken in a hot oven.  I do understand the concerns:  handling a whole bird, potential bacterial concerns, trussing, stuffing, basting, seasoning, etc…  It’s a lot to worry about.  The good news is there’s much less to do than you think.  The following recipe only calls for three ingredients and no bothersome rinsing, trussing, stuffing, basting, etc…

Simple Roast Chicken
  • One 3.5 - 4 lb. chicken
  • salt & pepper
  • 2 tsp. olive oil or butter
  1. Preheat The Oven Set the temp. @ 400 and set rack in the center of the oven.
  2. Prep The Chicken In the sink, remove the giblets (they should be inside the cavity) and either discard or save for another use. Hold the chicken up and let any juices run out. Pat the chicken dry with paper towels. Place chicken in baking dish, ovenproof skillet or roasting pan and rub the olive oil or butter evenly over the outside of the chicken. Salt and pepper the outside of the chicken generously (about 2 tsp. salt & pepper to taste).
  3. Roast The Chicken Slide the chicken in the oven with the legs facing the rear and roast for for 1 to 1¼ hours. If you have a kitchen thermometer you may insert it into the thickest part of the thigh (without touching the bone) until it registers 170 degrees. Frankly, I don't bother taking the temp. If I have any doubt about doneness I let the bird cook a few minutes longer. A good test for doneness is pricking the thigh with a knife to see if the juices run clear (done) or pink (not quite done). These Farmers To You chickens are so juicy that a little overcooking will not harm them. Also, you will have some drippings that you may spoon over the sliced chicken before serving.
  4. Rest And Carve After removing from the oven, carefully tilt the chicken/pan to allow the juices to run out into the roasting pan. Transfer the chicken to a clean plate, platter or carving board and let it rest for 10 to 20 minutes (yes, this does actually matter and it gives you time to finish prepping the rest of the meal).
  5. Serve You have a couple choices here; you may slice and serve the chicken as is, or you may use the drippings as a "sauce" for the chicken. If you choose to use the drippings, start by tilting the pan to spoon off the extra fat. Certainly leave a little layer of fat for flavor and richness. If there are any bits crusted onto the bottom of the pan use a wooden spoon to scrape them up and stir into the drippings. Another option is to warm the dish on the stovetop and add a little water, chicken stock, or white wine (about 2 Tablespoons) to help loosen the bits and enrich the sauce. The drippings may then be spooned over the carved chicken.
  6. Serves 3-4
  7. **A note about carving. For years I have not bothered to carve my chicken before serving. I simply use a sharp knife to slice off pieces of the breast, or to cut off a leg, wing or a thigh. I often do this in the kitchen and bypass bringing the bird to the table.
  8. **A note about rinsing chicken. The general rule has always been to rinse your chicken before cooking. However, if you think for a moment, what you're actually doing is spreading potential pathogens all around your sink. Any existing bacteria(which truthfully is far less of a concern with a FTY chicken because of how well the chickens are processed) will be killed during the cooking process. So you are better off not bothering to rinse. We can thank Julia Child and Molly Stevens (brilliant cookbook author and instructor) for this good advice.


~~~To round out the meal, try this side dish with a loaf of crusty bread & simple salad~~~

Creamed Corn With Garlic Spinach