Sunday, November 6, 2011

Roasted Chicken Dinner

Crappy weather hit the Bay Area full force on Thursday. It was cold, windy and raining pretty much all day. On days like those, I like cooking homey, comfort food. I decided to make roasted chicken and vegetables simply because I love the smell of roasted chicken permeating the house. I'm not even the biggest fan of chicken, but I'm a sucker for whole roasted chicken. I didn't have time to brine it, an extra step that makes a world of difference. Typically, I combine sugar, salt, garlic, ginger, thyme and rosemary over heat until it reaches a boil and the sugar has dissolved. Then I cool it down and let the chicken soak in it overnight. This keeps the meat moist and seasons it from the inside out. To compensate, I marinated the chicken longer and a bit more aggressively. Cooked with some sweet potatoes and onions, this was a simple and healthy meal.


1 whole organic, free-range chicken
1 large spanish onion, cut into wedges
4 small sweet potatoes, cut into medium sized cubes
1 head garlic, cloves separated and lightly smashed
1 small bunch of thyme
2 sprigs rosemary
1 lemon, cut in half
1 thumb ginger, sliced
salt and pepper
soy sauce
extra virgin olive oil
butcher's twine

 1. Remove chicken from package and empty out the cavity. Run the chicken under cold water to wash, inside and out. Pat dry with a paper towel.
2. Season inside the cavity with salt, pepper, oil. Add a few pieces of onion, a few sprigs of thyme, rosemary, ginger, a few cloves garlic,  lemon halves.
3. Season the entire outside of the chicken, generously with salt, pepper, and soy sauce. Rub olive oil all over the chicken. Allow to marinate for at least half an hour.

4. Tie up the chicken with the butcher's twine. Start from the underside of the neck and bring both ends around to the front of the chicken so the wings get tucked into the body. Continue bringing the twine down the body and cross both legs over one another and secure with the twine. Bring the twine back around to the backside and tie tightly. This holds in the juices and cooks the chicken more evenly.
5. Season remaining onion and sweet potatoes with salt, pepper and olive oil. Mix in a few sprigs of thyme and cloves of garlic.
6. Lay out the vegetables on a roasting pan and lay chicken breast side up on top of the vegetables.
7. Roast chicken at 400 degrees for approximately 45-60 minutes. Rotate roasting pan halfway through. Baste chicken with it's own juices every 15 minutes. Remove vegetables once they are tender, approximately 35 minutes.

8. Check the temperature of the chicken at 45 minutes by inserting a thermometer horizontally into the breast from the neck end. At the same time, check the thigh temperature by inserting thermometer near the bone. Both should be at least 155 degrees before removing from the oven. The chicken will continue to cook another 5 degrees while it's resting. Chicken must be at 160-165 degrees to be safe to eat.

9. Allow chicken to rest a full 10 minutes before cutting into it. Serve with vegetables and remaining juices in the pan.

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