I'll be completely honest with you guys, I had never roasted a chicken in my life before Wednesday. I felt clueless the entire time and probably texted my mom 20 times just to be sure I was doing everything right. I remember my moms Thanksgiving turkey a few years back, it was the best she had ever made and it was while I was still eating vegetarian/vegan. Oddly enough, trying that turkey was what got me back into eating meat again.
I stuffed the chicken with lemons, rosemary, and thyme just like my moms Thanksgiving turkey. A classic yet simple combination of flavors that really sends this bird over the edge of ordinary into something truly amazing. It was juicy, tender, and flavorful. Best of all it was a one dish meal, complete with veggies.
- I used a 4.5 lb chicken, 4-7 lbs. is a good size for a roaster
- 2 lemons, quartered
- small bunch of rosemary
- small bunch of thyme
- butter or olive oil for rubbing the chicken
- potatoes or another veggie to scatter around the chicken
Remove the giblets from your chicken, then wash the chicken with cold water and pat dry with paper towels. Quarter the lemons and wash and spin dry the herbs. Salt and pepper the inside of the chicken, then stuff with half the lemon, and the herbs. I had a stick of garlic & herb Irish butter, so I rubbed a bit of the butter under the skin of the chicken. Use softened butter or olive oil (a couple tablespoons) to rub down the chicken. Season with salt and pepper, arrange the veggies and lemon wedges around the chicken as well as any extra herbs you have left over. It's not necessary to drizzle oil over the potatoes, the juices and fat from the chicken will create a nice sauce in the pan. Bake in a preheated 425 degree F oven for about an hour 15 minutes to an hour 30 minutes. I used a thermometer as well as making a small cut above the drummer to check if it was done. Cover with aluminum foil and let rest at least 10 minutes. The chicken will be cooked through when the juices run clear and the internal temperature is about 170-175 degrees. Be sure not to overcook the chicken, you can always put it in for longer but if you overcook the chicken it will be dry and disappointing.
I actually cooked this at 400 degrees but it took over an hour and a half, definitely crank the heat up to 425 and it should be ready in an hour 15 if you're using a 4.5 lb. chicken. It would also be delicious to roughly slice up a large white onion and lay that around the chicken with the potatoes. They should caramelize nicely and will go well with potatoes.
I didn't have kitchen twine to truss the chicken, I will probably get some for next time. It will help it cook evenly, faster.
Don't mind my awesome manicure . . . I cooked this after dark so I didn't get the best pictures! I recommend carving this at the dinner table if you're having people over, it's a wonderful presentation. Enjoy!