I don’t know if any of your parents ever had certain weekly routines when you were growing up but mine did. And the one weekly routine that I remember most about my life after my parents separated was my mom’s habit to pick up an already roasted chicken at the grocery store, you know the kind that smells so strong of delicious warmth that you can barely wait to get it from the store home, and cut it up and serve it for dinner to my sister and I.
Some may see this as cheating or cutting corners or not really cooking but I thoroughly enjoyed it. But the delicious, ready to eat dinner was not the best part of realizing what I was going to get to eat that night for dinner. No, the best part was how my mom would cut the leftover chicken and put it into tupperware and surprise us the next day for lunch. After sitting through 5 hours of classes in high school it was such a nice surprise to open the lunchbag and see a sandwich with the leftover roast chicken. It’s almost as good as day after thanksgiving turkey sandwiches.
It is simply the reminiscent feelings of opening that lunchbag to that leftover roast chicken sandwich that made me start thinking of roasting my own chicken. However I stopped that train of thought every time once I imagine the work that would go into the project of roasting a chicken. Yes, I would run across recipes in each of the cookbooks I got or the magazines I would glance through. But always skipped over them in search of other recipes.
But that all changed on my most recent trip to Trader Joes when I saw their whole chickens in the meat case. Who knows what came over me, but I bought one and decided that day I would roast it. Now, there are some recipes where the end product looks super impressive because it required the chef to slave over it and interpret a hard recipe. But, there are other recipes where the end product looks super impressive but its merely an illusion and the cooking labor was extremely easy. This roast chicken recipe happens to be the latter, and yes, I will have leftover roast chicken tomorrow to add to a sandwich or eat by itself.
Roast chicken with shallot-garlic butter
4 tbl butter at room temperature, 2 tbl minced shallot, 1 tbl chopped fresh parsley, 1 tsp minced garlic, salt and pepper to taste, 1 whole chicken (fat and giblets removed).
1. preheat oven to 450 degrees
2. combine the butter, shallots, parsley, and a little but of salt and pepper (more will be added later). Rub one tbl of mixture inside the cavity of the chicken.
3. with your fingers, loosen the skin from the meat on either side of the breast bone. Gently place 1/2 tbl of the butter mixture under the skin on the breast meat. reserve the rest of the mixture to brush on later.
4. With kitchen twine, tie the legs together and place the bird in a baking dish not much bigger than the chicken. cover the chicken with salt and pepper to taste. Place in oven for 20 min. Remove and baste with any liquid.
5. Place back into oven and bake another 15 min, then remove and baste with liquid again. ( this works well with a poultry baster but if you dont have one, as I don’t, you can use a spoon to place liquid back onto chicken). Place back in oven and cook another 15 min.
6. Remove from oven and place on a cutting board to sit for about 10 min. If you wish, brush the remaining butter mixture onto the chicken.
Instructions to cut the chicken:
1. cut the kitchen twine around legs. gently hold one leg out away from the chicken and slice knife around leg joint until you reach the bone, keep pulling the leg gently away from the body until the leg is removed from the socket, cut the rest of the way through. Repeat with other leg.
2. Cut vertically down the chicken on either side of the center breast bone. Carefully slide knife horizontally through chicken starting right above the wing. Repeat on other side until each breast piece is removed.
3. Cut through each wing to remove. Then visually cut off any extra meat pieces on the carcass.