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Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Petah's First Chicken Dance!

Roast Chicken – Meat & Fowl, Pg. 134 – Violet D. Allen (Mrs. L)

It seems hard to believe, but Peter’s never roasted a whole bird. Chicken parts, slabs of beef, hunks of ham – not a problem, been there done that – but never a bird. Maybe it was watching his mom prepare the annual thanksgiving turkey and the day long process that made it appear too daunting. Perhaps it’s the fact that you can purchase a pre-roasted bird from the supermarket for the same price, without the work. Or maybe it’s a generational thing – although Jan’s tangoed with a turkey, she’s never cha cha'd with a chicken – turns out many of our other friends haven’t cooked a bird either. Who knows?! In any case, it turns out it’s not daunting at all and it’s much tastier than any store bought bird.

The DO recipe was pretty basic – S&P & Butter; so Peter Martha’d it up a bit. Here’s what you’ll need:


5-6 lb Chicken
1 Tbsp butter
Salt & Pepper
2 medium onions (peeled and sliced crosswise, ½ inch thick)
1 lemon (halved)
3 cloves garlic (peeled and slightly pressed to open)
4 Springs fresh thyme
1 Lemon


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Remove the giblets and/or organs from the cavity of the chicken (ick!). Wash bird thoroughly with cold water. The Dutch Oven suggests to singe the bird if necessary, but unless you’ve just freshly plucked your bird, hopefully this won’t be necessary. Dry thoroughly with paper towel. Sprinkle the cavity of chicken liberally with salt and pepper. Place sliced onions on the bottom of your roasting pan (Peter used a round cast iron dutch oven). Place lemon, garlic and thyme in the cavity of the chicken and place atop the layer of onions. Bring chicken legs forward and tie together. Spread the softened butter over the chicken and sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper. Suggested roasting time is 20 minutes per pound (or until the breast temperature reaches 180 degrees and the skin is golden brown). Occasionally baste chicken while roasting. When chicken is done let rest for 10 to 15 minutes to allow juices to settle before carving. Pan drippings can be reserved to prepare gravy.

This little chickie was tender and juicy. The aromatics of lemon, thyme and garlic gave this bird an edge over the competition (whoever that is). So if you've been on the fence about roasting a bird - get out of the coup, call on your inner chicken and DANCE!

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