I was reading through some posts on Bon Appetit a few weeks ago and came across one of their posts that talked about the key skills that their interns have to show before getting hired. One of those skills was roasting a chicken. Could you pass a cooking test with your roasting skills?
Honestly, I've never oven roasted a whole chicken before. Lots of turkeys, and I've done rotisserie chicken on the grill but never in the oven. Well, I wasn't going to fail some test if someone from Bon Appetit ever showed up on my door step so I thought I better get moving.
I've also recently been introduced to Just BARE chicken, so I thought this would be a great combination. These chickens are completely natural with no added hormones or antibiotics, and they were recently humane certified. The coolest part though is that each package comes with a code that you can search on their site and it shows the family farm that your chicken came from. Both my little chickens came from a farm in Rice MN, not far from where we live. That was pretty cool.
I decided to do a simple rub with an herb compound butter to really focus on simple flavors and highlighting these great chickens. I used an herb blend from Savory Spice Shop that had pepper, red and green peppers, onion, garlic, shallots, thyme and basil. Throw in some carrots or other vegetables and then roast. Here are some tips for a great chicken that will impress your guests and help you pass any impromptu cooking exams (and Bon Appetit is welcome at my doorstep anytime...):
- If you're using a butter compound, don't just rub it on the outside of the chicken. You want the skin and the meat flavored. Carefully slide your fingers between the skin and the breast meat to separate the skin from the meat and then rub the butter under the skin as well.
- Start off by roasting at 475 degrees for 20 minutes and then reduce the heat to 400 degrees until it reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees.
- Use an oven safe thermometer that can stay in the chicken so that you can take it out as soon as it reaches 165 degrees. You don't want to ruin it by overcooking it.
- Let it rest for 10-15 minutes after cooking. You can tent it with foil, but don't let the foil touch the skin or it will lose its perfect crispiness!
- Don't ever throw away the bones after you're done carving! I made some amazing chicken stock afterwards. If you've never made it before, it' so easy and you'll never want store bought stock again. Follow the same procedure as this turkey stock.
Just BARE was nice enough to give me some additional coupons to share with some of you! If you're interested in trying some of this great chicken for yourself, first check to see if it's sold in your area by checking here, and then tell me what you'd do with it below in the comments and I'll pick a few winners!
Herb Roasted Chicken
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 tablespoon Mt. Evans Butcher's Rub or other spice blend
1 3-5lb whole chicken
Combine the butter and spice blend in a food processor and mix until combined.
Rub the compound butter liberally on the skin and under the skin of the chicken. Using kitchen twine, tie the legs together tightly. Place in a large roasting pan and add any additional vegetables to be cooked.
Cook in a 475 degree oven for 20 minutes. Reduce heat to 400 degrees and continue cooking until an instant thermometer reads 165 degrees in the thickest part of the thigh. Cover lightly with foil if the skin starts to become too dark.
Remove from the oven and let sit for 10 minutes.