It all started with a pot…I had been saving my Williams Sonoma gifts cards from my birthday this past April in order to buy a new blue LeCreuset stockpot. I walked into Williams Sonoma last week and saw they had 20% off select LeCreuset pots and low and behold the color I’d been saving up for was on sale! SCORE! I love my new LeCreuset stockpot as if it were a new car, I swear. It’s so ridiculous how excited I get with new cookware. If you can’t understand why then don’t spend the money on a fancy stockpot because you just won’t appreciate it’s beauty and complexity. No, I’m not being sarcastic. Anyway, I decided to roast a chicken in it to show how versatile this pot is and frankly, because I was DYING to use it! This recipe is the BEST ROASTED CHICKEN EVER! It’s simple and can really be a one pot dish if you want it to be. It’s an elegant meal and your guests will think you slaved over it in the kitchen or that you have serious culinary skills. Let them!
Start with fresh ingredients…when a dish is simple it’s important to use the best and freshest ingredients you can find. Trust me on this one.
Maria’s Best Roasted Chicken EVER:
- 1 (5-6 lb) fresh roasting chicken
- kosher salt
- freshly ground pepper
- 1 large bunch of thyme, plus a tablespoon of thyme to sprinkle on top
- 1 lemon, cut into 4ths
- 1 head of garlic, cut in half crosswise
- 1 yellow onion, cut into 4ths
- extra virgin olive oil
- 8 tbsp of unsalted butter (room temperature)
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
Remove the chicken giblets (throw away or keep for gravy if you are into that), rinse off chicken and pat it dry with a paper towel. Liberally salt and pepper the inside of the chicken. Stuff the cavity with a bunch of thyme, lemon, onion, and the garlic. Next is the secret to a juicy and flavorful chicken…slide your fingers between the breast meat and the skin of the breast (being careful not to tear the skin). The goal is to separate the skin from the meat to stuff it with the softened butter. Using your hands, take half of the stick of butter and work it under one side of the breast. Massage it as far back as you can to get the entire breast covered with butter.
Finally, rub the chicken with olive oil, salt, pepper and sprinkle liberally with the tablespoon of fresh thyme.
You can roast the chicken in a heavy stock pot (like my glorious new LeCruset pot), an aluminum pan from the grocery store (which is what I did recently on vacation), or a typical roasting pan. Roast the chicken for 1 1/2 hours or until the juices run clear. I like to loosely add aluminum foil on the chicken half way through roasting in case it’s browning too quickly.
In the winter, I like to roast onions, carrots, and fingerling potatoes in the same roasting pan. Since it’s summer, I sliced zucchini and summer squash and grilled it just until there were char marks. I add olive oil, salt & pepper to the veggies once they come off the grill. I had quinoa with my chicken and grilled veggies but have whatever your heart desires.
Again, this is a super easy dish to make for a family of 4. I made two chickens on vacation in a disposable aluminum roasting pan that I bought from the grocery store and it fed 10 people! It couldn’t have been easier.
Enjoy and remember —- if I can do then you can do it!