There are really very few things as tasty, delicious and shockingly easy as a roast chicken.
Really. I promise.
I can guarantee that some of you, my sister included, are scoffing at this as she reads. My sister…doesn’t cook. I mean, scrambled eggs? Sure. But whole meats? Absolutely not. But I’m willing to bet that even the least experienced cooks can pull this off. Seriously.
So…we have a chicken.
This is a pretty small chicken, maybe 4 lbs? He’s thawed, rinsed and placed nicely in my beautiful 12” cast iron pan. Don’t have a cast iron pan? Go for a roasting pan. Don’t have a roasting pan? Try some Pyrex. Don’t have a Pyrex pan? You probably should, they’re gloriously useful. I’d recommend you go buy one. We’ll wait…
I’m a big fan of having everything ready before I start. Apparently people with more training than I call this mise en place. Yes, I did take 7 years of French and it means “everything in place”. If you don’t like French, think of it more as “having everything done so you don’t remember mid-way when your hands are covered in butter and flour that you forgot to open that one stupid little can with the annoying can opener”. ‘Cause that’s just a pain.
Now’s also a good time to turn on the oven. 375 ish. If your oven is possessed like mine, invest in an oven thermometer that tells you what temperature it actually is inside. Even if it’s not possessed, it’s still probably a good idea.
Anyway, celery and shallots. Like so.
The shallot in the corner is mostly for the purposes of showing you what an un-chopped shallot is. I didn’t know a few months ago, I don’t hold that against you. Note: I was making two chickens that day, so this is way more celery and shallot than you’ll need to make one.
Put everything inside the chicken.
Now salt and pepper. I have some schmancy salt and whole peppercorns and a mortar and pestle and occasionally I feel the need to grind them myself. If you aren’t as much of a dork as I am, just use kosher salt and regular pepper.
Rub the salt and pepper all over the outside of the chicken. Everywhere. Actually rub it in, don’t just sprinkle it on top. It does make a difference. And I put a tablespoon or two of butter just inside the opening of the chicken. I have no idea if that makes a difference, but whatever.
Put the whole thing, exactly like this, in the pre-heated oven. Bake until a meat thermometer comes out around 135 degrees. It should look something like this:
Let it stand for 10ish minutes, I promise it won’t get cold.
This recipe comes primarily from out of my brain and thus is not sourced.
1 medium shallot
1 stalk celery
1 tbs kosher salt
1 tbs whole peppercorns or 1/2 tbs pre-ground pepper
1 thawed, clean whole chicken (4lbsish)
2 tbs butter
pan (ideally 12” cast iron, but roasting pan will work great too)
mortar and pestle
1. Preheat oven to 375
2. Chop celery into 2-3” pieces and dice shallot
3. Stuff vegetables into chicken and place chicken in pan of choice
4. Grind pepper if whole peppercorns and mix in salt (or just mix)
5. Rub down chicken with salt and pepper mixture, add any leftover mix to the vegetables
6. Add butter to the opening of the chicken
7. Roast at 375 for 25-30 minutes or until a meat thermometer reaches 135 degrees
8. Remove, let stand 10 minutes, eat up!