I must say, I have loved the fancy kitchen shop wedding gift cards. Just yesterday, I drove over to Provisions/RSVP and bought myself a roasting pan (thank you, Dr. Baker!), and could not wait to try it out. I thought, what better to make than my very first roast chicken? The famous Thomas Keller, in Ad Hoc, says that every cook should know how to roast a chicken. It was about time.
Ina Garten has never led me astray, so I decided to go for her "perfect roast chicken". I was a little intimidated buying an entire chicken at the store, but after watching her cooking show the preparation was easy. I just had to stuff the chicken with garlic and lemons, rub it down with butter, and chop a few vegetables to go in the pan. The house smelled amazing, and Josh absolutely loved the chicken (and the mashed potatoes I served on the side). I had to take before and after shots!
Perfect Roast Chicken
from Ina at the Food Network
1 (5 to 6 pound) roasting chicken
Freshly ground black pepper
1 large bunch fresh thyme, plus 20 sprigs
1 lemon, halved
1 head garlic, cut in half crosswise
2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter, melted
1 large yellow onion, thickly sliced
4 carrots cut into 2-inch chunks
1 bulb of fennel, tops removed, and cut into wedges
Remove the chicken giblets. Rinse the chicken inside and out. Remove any excess fat and leftover pin feathers and pat the outside dry. Liberally salt and pepper the inside of the chicken. Stuff the cavity with the bunch of thyme, both halves of lemon, and all the garlic. Brush the outside of the chicken with the butter and sprinkle again with salt and pepper. Tie the legs together with kitchen string and tuck the wing tips under the body of the chicken. Place the onions, carrots, and fennel in a roasting pan. Toss with salt, pepper, 20 sprigs of thyme, and olive oil. Spread around the bottom of the roasting pan and place the chicken on top.
Roast the chicken for 1 1/2 hours, or until the juices run clear when you cut between a leg and thigh. Remove the chicken and vegetables to a platter and cover with aluminum foil for about 20 minutes. Slice the chicken onto a platter and serve it with the vegetables.