We had snow last night, a rare occurrence for these parts. The colder weather puts a livelier spring in our dogs’ steps, and sparks a strong craving for comfort cooking. Preferably something that cooks long and slow in the oven, aromas permeating the house and tantalizing noses.
Tonight, it’s roast chicken. Roasting a chicken doesn’t have to be complicated, but it wasn’t until watching Heston Blumenthal’s “In Search of Perfection” series that I realized just how simple it should be. (Episodes of this incredible show are available on YouTube, and the accompanying cookbook should be on every kitchen witch’s shelf)
Here’s my interpretation.
Rinse chicken, including the cavity, with cold water. Make sure there’s no “goodie bag” of giblets inside.
Place chicken in shallow pan. Not tied, stuffed, or fussed with in any way. If you want stuffing, make and bake it separately–it’s easier and less risky food safety wise that way.
Now, get out your salt and pepper. Fresh cracked black pepper and fine sea salt is great if you have it, if now, whatever’s in your shakers will do. Liberally apply salt and pepper over the whole chicken–key word being liberally. Don’t be shy!
Put the chicken in a 350F oven, and roast until skin is golden brown and the internal temperature is 185F. (For roasting charts and more, he Chicken Farmers of Canada know their stuff, and all the info is here)
Let the chicken rest on a cutting board while you make your gravy, or reheat your vegetables, or set the table, or whatever other last minute thing you need to attend to. This resting period allows for the reabsorption of juices back into the meat. Carve, and eat!