When I moved into my new apartment, I went on a stock-up grocery trip as I always do. One thing that was on sale was whole chicken (90 cents a pound or something). Since I had already brined and roasted a whole pheasant, I figured a whole chicken shouldn’t be much more difficult. So I got one and stuck it in the freezer.
Then one day I decided it was starting to get cold enough to count as fall, and chicken soup is great fall weather food! Of course, I roasted the meat and just enjoyed some tasty baked chicken meat first. The carcass is in the crock pot today to make stock for chicken soup.
I took out the bird, made a nice brine*, and roasted it the next day. And it turned out tender and amazing!
*If you don’t want to brine it overnight first, don’t worry about it. Skip right to the roasting part.
Ingredients for brine:
- 1 cup salt
- 1 cup white sugar
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 1 cup pink moscato (because I had no open white wines)
- 5 bay leaves
- sprinkle garlic, sprinkle black pepper
- About a gallon of water
Step 1: Mix all ingredients in a pot large enough to hold the whole bird. Add water to the top (once bird is added, not before, or you’ll spill everywhere. Not that I’ve ever done that…).
Step 2: Stick it in the refrigerator overnight (or at least for 4 hours. You can put it in there in the morning, head off to work and finish roasting it later that night too). I had to put my milk sideways on the bottom shelf to make room for a day, but I feel it is well worth the space-hogging.
Ingredients for the bird:
- 1 whole frozen chicken, thawed overnight
- Several gobs of margerine or butter
- 1 whole apple, lemon, orange, and/or onion cut into quarters (I used one whole Gala apple)
- Salt, pepper, and paprika
Step 3*: Take the bird out of the liquid, and pour the brine down the sink. Wipe off any moisture with a paper towel and place in a large baking pan. Rub it down all over with margarine. I despise raw chicken, so this part is super disgusting for me, but it is a necessary evil of epicuriosity. (*IF you skip brining, this is where to start)
Shove some butter chunks under the skin if you can too. If there are bits and pieces inside the cavity, take those out and dispose of or cook separately. Then sprinkle it all over with spices, and shove the aromatics (apple, onion, lemon) up the butt. Sorry, inside the cavity…
Step 4: Put the bird breast-side down into an oven at 425 for 15-20 minutes covered with aluminum foil. Flip it over, take the foil off, and roast uncovered for another 10-15 minutes. This will lead to a nice crispy outside skin. Then lower the heat to 375 for about another hour, or until the temperature is at least 165 F.
Once it’s all nicely browned and roasted, it looks and smells divine!
Take the aromatics you stuffed it with out and discard (or compost it). Use the meat any way you like! It is tender and moist and super flavorful. Not bad for $5 a bird.
Now I think I also need to work on learning how to properly carve the thing rather than just stabbing and sawing until a piece falls off…