So many things can be done with roasted chicken — not just from the initial meal but the meals you can create with the leftovers afterwards! With back to school time right around the corner I will be focusing the next series of posts on making recipes that multi-function as a hearty dinner and can also be transformed into simple, delicious lunch ideas for the week ahead.
For this one, once you get your chicken from Relay Foods the process is really quite simple.
First, we are dealing with raw chicken here, so all of your ingredients should be out and within arms’ reach.
- 1 whole (I prefer organic) chicken, about 4 pounds
- 1 lemon, quartered
- Fresh Thyme sprigs
- Salt and pepper
- 3 feet of kitchen twine
If your chicken is frozen it will typically take 2 days to thaw in a refrigerator. Once thawed, rinse the chicken inside and out, removing the bag inside the cavity (this can be reserved for stock or gravy). Pat the chicken so that it is very dry on the outside. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees (we want it hot) with the rack in the lower third of the oven.
Salt and pepper the inside cavity of your bird generously.
With the chicken laying down as pictured above you can run your finger between the skin and the breast to form a little pocket. I tuck the fresh thyme right up under the skin for the roasting process — doing so adds such a savory essence to the flavor of the chicken.
Stuff the cavity with lemon and then the process that might take a little practice is trussing the chicken. You can certainly roast the chicken without this step, but trussing allows for all of the pieces of the chicken to hold closely together and cook evenly. If you sit a chicken down flat right out of the package, the legs and wings kind of fall to the side.
Start by tying the legs together then bring the string around to the front of the chicken and wrap them around the wings. Wrap back around to legs and cinch the string tying a knot. Cut off the excess string.
Sprinkle the breast of the chicken with 2 tablespoons of coarse salt. Place the chicken on a roasting rack and place in a pan. The chicken should not cook directly on the surface of a pan. Cook uncovered in the oven for 50-60 minutes. Rotate half way through the cooking process and that’s it!
This method will allow for a crispy skin and moist chicken. Any leftover chicken can be used for the perfect school lunch in the up and coming week. Stay tuned here on the Relay blog for the ultimate Back To School Chicken Salad recipe!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Virginia based food writer, Tim Vidra, authors the blog E.A.T. where he advocates the principles behind supporting a sustainable food system. Tim’s mission is in sharing his passion for the preparation and enjoyment of food in a way that everyone from beginners to long time foodies can get involved in. His ties to food are deep rooted — he fondly recalls his Hungarian grandmother citing “If you don’t kill it, pluck it or grow it, I’m not eating it” as he spent hours with her in their backyard garden. Now living in the city, Tim tries to maintain these basic principles as he tackles building his own lush urban garden. His recipes and advice have been featured across food publications and he’s led series’ of cooking demos and classes throughout the Richmond area. Learn more about Tim via E.A.T. and follow him on Twitter @TimVidraEats.