Roasted Chicken is a staple in every kitchen for three reasons, it is inexpensive, it pleases nearly everyone, and it has a rustic and enticing presentation. As a young newlywed I found myself intimidated when faced with cooking a whole bird. Shortly after saying I do I took a job as a nanny for a British family, I was to prepare breakfast lunch and dinner five days a week. It was at this job that I learned how deliciously velvety poached eggs were, and that strawberries and a glass of heavy whipping cream was heaven. A week into my job I stared down the face of four quail, I begrudgingly forced my butcher knife through the birds neck and that’s when I realized, not only was I ten times their size, they were already dead so I had nothing to fear.
Our dinner recipe for this week is excellent for beginning cooks because it is easy as apple pie, which coincidentally would be a perfect dessert accompaniment. The only thing that we urge you to have in addition to the recipe ingredients is a Digital Read Probe Thermometer. This will ensure that your oven is the accurate temperature and that your bird is cooked to perfection because no one likes dry overcooked chicken and I doubt getting salmonella is on anyone’s bucket list either.
- 1 Whole Chicken (WOG without giblets) (Ours was a Grade A 5lb, no hormones or steroids added free range Chicken from Harvestland)
- 1 piece Cotton Cooking Twine (about 3 feet)
- 1 Butternut Squash (medium)
- 1 Red Pear (Very firm)
- 3 Celery Stalks (thoroughly washed)
- 1 Shallot (large)
- 1/4 Cup Olive Oil (we used Truchard Olive oil)
- Kosher Salt and White Pepper to taste
- 1/2 Cup Butter, unsalted (clarified)
- Bring your chicken out of refrigerator and let it raise to room temperature for abut an hour.
- In small sauce pot, melt butter on stove top. Bring to simmer until all butter is melted then carefully skim off the white milk solids.
- Preheat oven to 475 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Set roasting rack in roast pan or take a casserole dish and set aside.
- Remove giblet bag from the cavity of the chicken unless you have a WOG (without giblets).
- Pat your chicken dry with paper towel, do not rinse.
- Remove excess skin and fat from the neck opening.
- Salt the cavity of the Chicken.
- Tuck the wing tips around and under the bird.
- Truss the Chicken by wrapping cooking twine around both legs, flipping the bird over and securing the string around the neck bone. More about trussing here.
- Place Chicken on Roasting Rack breast side up.
- Wash cutting board, counter-top and hands before handling vegetables.
- Wash and dry Butternut Squash, Red Pear and Celery Stalks.
- Carefully chop the Squash into 1 inch cubes, removing the seeds and thick skin.
- Core the Red Pear, without peeling chop into 1 inch cubes, the pear must be firm or it will turn into mush in the oven.
- Chop the celery.
- Peel and chop the Shallot into 1/4 inch cubes.
- Combine the vegetables and pear and toss in Olive Oil and season with salt and pepper.
- Pour vegetable mix into the roast pan.
- Drizzle and massage the clarified butter over the chicken and season with salt and pepper. Clarified butter has the milk solids removed therefore It won’t burn in the oven.
- Insert the Probe into the chicken breast taking notice not to hit the bone.
- Place Roast pan in oven at 475 degrees for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes turn the oven off and leave the pan in the oven until the thermometer reads that the internal temperature of the Chicken is 161-165 (this can take 30-45 minutes depending on the size of your bird). (Don’t open the oven door or you will lose the heat necessary for the bird to cook.)
- Remove Roasting pan from oven and let rest, covered, for 20 minutes.
- Carve rested Chicken: Break off legs by popping the hip joints. Cut off the wings. Carve off the Brest by slicing down parallel to the rib cage.
- Serve and enjoy.