Last night, something delicious happened.
Now, as someone who primarily tries to stick with a vegetarian diet, sometimes I still get severe cravings for meat…usually chicken. But not crappy chicken…like really good, really well cooked chicken. Add that to the fact I was having the company of a friend for dinner last night who is on a meat and vegetable diet – I knew it was time to try to repeat a delicious recipe I had used months before. I wanted chicken. I wanted good chicken.
After several attempts at finding the perfect recipe for a roasted chicken, I have finally discovered it. I used it on Thanksgiving, and it was so delicious, I thought it was a fluke. But last night, I tried it, and it was delicious…again!
This recipe is so moist, so juicy, so flavorful…but it’s SO simple!
The writer of the recipe claims two secrets to the perfect chicken. Foil, and celery.
The task is simply. Place your whole chicken in a roasting pan. Season it inside and out generously with black pepper and salt. I used finely ground…for a fuller flavour.
Next, do the same with a tablespoon (or more) of onion powder.
*Here is where I adjusted the recipe – I also added 2 teaspoons garlic powder – simply because I love garlic. I imagine this might also taste good with lemon pepper…
Next, get a stick of margarine out. The author of the recipe says margarine specifically, not butter, to be used for this recipe. However, I love the taste of butter, so I used organic salted sweet cream butter instead. The author says for a less fattening chicken, to use the margarine. (For an even healthier chicken, I’d personally recommend “Earth Balance” vegan butter)
Place three tablespoons (cut into individual slices) in the cavity of the chicken. Rub the chicken witht he remaining butter, top and bottom. A trick I learned from one of the comments on the recipe, is to pull back the skin and rub some of the butter under the skin. It helps the flavor to go directly into the meat. Any remaining dollops of butter I placed on the joints and the top of the chicken.
Lastly, cut up a stalk of celery (leaves removed) into three or four pieces and place them in the cavity.
*I also adjusted the recipe here – in addition to the celery, I slid a spear of rosemary and a clove of garlic inside the cavity as well.
Roast the chicken in the oven at 350 degrees for an 1hr and 15mins.
Now here is the 2nd half of the trick to the moistness. (The first part is the celery)
Remove the chicken from the oven (making sure of course the internal temp of the chicken is 180 degrees…I always have to actually cut into the chicken to find out because I my thermometer broke…so sad)
Place the pan with the chicken in it on the counter or somewhere safe for the hot pan to be. Baste the chicken with the juices at the bottom of the pan. Then, tent the chicken with aluminum foil for 30 minutes. This allows the steam from the heat to be absorbed by the meat, presenting you with an incredibly juicy, flavorful chicken.
(Also I highly recommend making a gravy with the remaining juices – boyfriend LOVED it on Thanksgiving – I didn’t do it last night because I was much too tired)
In addition to this recipe, I also threw sliced, parbaked potatoes into the bottom of the pan about 15-20 minutes before removing the chicken from the pan. The end result was buttery, delicious and slightly crunchy potatoes. Yummmm.
The end result is delicious. And its so easy! You’ll find the meat simply melts right off the bone with this recipe. And the leftovers the next day are just as good. (I made a chicken salad for dinner hehe)
Try it out and tell me what you think!
Also I supposed I should note we paired it with this very interesting wine. It’s a “vinho verde” (green wine?) from Portugal. I am an odd person when it comes to wine – I know what are my favourites but instead of being a “wine snob” I look for interesting wines – whether it’s a name I’ve never heard of or if the wine just has a really fascinating label, I give it a try. In this case I was interested in the fact that the bottle of wine looked like a bottle of water. I kid you not – this wine was totally transparent. Tim and I decided it was pretty nice. I prefer a dry wine – this one was not. But it wasn’t sweet either. It was tangy – and light. Quite nice with this simple chicken recipe.
I hope you’ll try this recipe (and maybe the wine too!) and enjoy it with something you love (broccoli, veggie mix, etc).
Tell me your chicken secrets in the comments below. I love trying new things.