For years, I had this irrational fear of roasting a chicken. Ridiculous right? The problem is, I've always seemed to muck it up in the past. Either it's pale and anemic, burnt, or something in-between. It was incredibly embarrassing. Anyone can roast a chicken right? No, not really. I'm admitting this to you now, because the spell has finally been broken... and I know why. There's no secret ingredient I used, no amazing new process I discovered. Instead, for the first time, I didn't listen to anyone else's advice and I sure as hell didn't read a recipe.
Every roast chicken recipe I've tried has turned out disastrously for me. I'm always so terribly afraid of over cooking the thing, that the very second the meat is up to temperature, I pull it out, color be damned. Color equals flavor in a roast chicken - so not only is something pale not appetizing to the eyes, it's unappetizing to the palate, too.
So, I decided it was time to face the chicken. No recipes, no suggestions. I am incredibly happy to say it came out beautifully and was delicious. I feel almost silly posting the recipe since I've just gone on and on about not following one, but I'm going to post it with this little stipulation. Please feel free to never use this recipe, ever; and please feel free to make this recipe your own. When roast chicken is concerned, besides the correct temperatures for the meat, there are no rules.
1 4-5 lb Kosher chicken
1 small onion, quartered
1 large lemon, quartered
3 garlic cloves, split
fresh cracked pepper
-Preheat oven to 400.
-Make sure chicken is at room temperature. Thoroughly wash the skin and cavity, pat dry. Spray the bottom of an oven-safe pan with a little cooking spray, then place chicken in pan, un-trussed. (I used my all-clad saute pan). The only real tip here is, if you use a vessel that too big, the veggies will definitely burn.
-Because the chicken is Kosher, you don't need much salt, so salt the chicken sparingly. Pepper and thyme the chicken well, though. Scatter the onion, lemon, and garlic around the chicken in the pan.
-Cook for approximately an hour and fifteen minutes to an hour and a half. Dark meat should read 175, white meat 160-165.
-Turn off oven and open oven door for about 15-20 minutes, letting the chicken rest. Remove the pan and set chicken aside on craving board.
-Strain the onions, garlic, and lemon through a fine sieve over the pan, pressing lightly with a spoon to release liquid. Using a little chicken stock or white white, put the pan over high heat, and cook the au jus until boiling and thickened, scraping up any stuck bits with a wooden spoon.
-Cut up chicken and serve along side the warm au jus. Enjoy.