random recipe: roast chicken

Several people have asked me recently [in person or online] how I roast a chicken. I didn’t realize I was an expert on this, but apparently so. I do it a lot because it’s cheap, it gives us several meals, and it’s easy easy easy.

In detail, here’s my method:

*Rinse the chicken and pull out anything unseemly or gross from the cavity [God, I hate doing that].

* Put chicken in a roasting pan and rub it all over with garlic. Sprinkle it with salt and pepper. If I have lemons, I’ll juice a lemon over it and stuff the spent lemons into the cavity. Stuff in the garlic cloves too. I usually use my beloved Pampered Chef garlic press to squish some garlic to rub on the skin.

* Put it in the oven uncovered at about 375 degrees for 20 minutes.

* When it’s browning slightly after 20 minutes, I cover it [or tent it with foil if your roaster doesn’t have a lid] and then roast it until it’s done. That can take a few hours if it’s a big bird. I check it with a meat thermometer [180 is done].

* Take it out, let it rest for 10 minutes [or until it’s cool enough to touch]. Begin to carve it. Take advantage of your job to pick off more than your fair share of the crispy, delicious skin. This is your reward for being the person who does the cooking in your household. Alternatively, you can use the skin as a bribe to get your husband to pick all the meat off the chicken. I hate doing that so Conor does it 80% of the time.

* When all of the meat is off, throw the bones [ I make my life easier by only using the bones that are not “gross”–you know, none of the ones that have lots of fat hanging on hem or whatever–just because I have lots of bones and I don’t need the ones that make me have to skim it all day] into a stock pot of water. Add a couple of chunks of onion or celery if you want to and a cube of chicken buillion [yes, I cheat]. Boil for a few hours or until you are annoyed because you want to go to bed. Strain the broth into a container and either make soup or store it for the next day to make soup.

Ta da! At least three meals for my family if I buy a decent-sized bird, and we eat a lot [especially my husband, who loves roast chicken like some people love their children]. Another tip: while a huge turkey can be annoying to roast, a chicken is generally not going to be big enough to cause a problem. That being the case, I get the biggest bird I can, because it’s a better deal–you get more meat from one big bird than two small birds.

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