Learning As I Chop

Roast Chicken: The Easiest Dish You’ll Ever Make

Posted in Baking/Cooking, Food Philosophies by R @ Learning As I Chop on October 9, 2010

I remember when we first moved into this apartment about a year and a half ago. I loved it at first sight and we took it right away. The kitchen was gutted – there wasn’t even a refrigerator- but it was big-ish (at least for NYC standards) and had a lovely window. I was sold. Then our first dinner guest came over. She was someone I really wanted to impress, especially with my cooking prowess. So the day before she arrived, I polled my office for a neutral, yet delicious and impressive dish. “Roast chicken” was a popular response. The one caveat? I had never made one before. Lucky for me, as I’ve mentioned, my office is chock full of foodies. In fact, my boss has gone to culinary school.

Now I try not to get preachy so please indulge me. A little while ago, I mentioned Michael Pollan’s Food Tips. Here’s another:

“It’s Better to Pay the Grocer than the Doctor”

I feel kind of bad, since I have a nice amount of doctors in my family, however it’s really quite smart if you think about it: spend a good amount of money on food. Cheap food will lead to adverse effects. And I don’t mean you shouldn’t buy beans or rice –  things that are naturally inexpensive. Rather I’m saying you should focus on quality vs quantity, especially when buying animal products such as chicken

Is this chicken twice the price of Perdue? You betcha. But was the chicken raised more humanely? Was it fed antibiotics? Can you sleep at night, knowing that you’re supporting an ethical farmer? The answers are yes, no and yes. Now I’m not saying better food will prevent diseases. It’s impossible to predict the future. But will it give you a better chance? I believe so. And you’re treating your dinner with respect. Lastly, naturally raised chicken tastes better and has more flavor. Kind of like you get what you pay for? Ok, stepping off soap  box

Back to the chicken. I really cannot think of anything easier. I’ll spare you the recipe since basically it’s as easy as follows:

Clean the chicken and dry with papertowel

Cover with seasonings of choice – make sure to do this inside the cavity as well, or the chicken will come out bland

Stick some lemons inside, as this trick adds juice. Thank you “boss-chef.”

Put in oven at 350 per 20 minutes per pound. But start by preheating the oven to 450 and then lowering to 350 once the chicken enters. This will nicely brown the skin. If you pour paprika over the top, you’ll also get a nice red color that makes it look more professional.

Here are some items I used for success. Whisk everything together and pour over the bird. I especially like covering all of the chicken by way of my paintbrush. Makes me feel artistic. And don’t forget my olive oil plus butter method. Works every time.

(The label-less container is paprika.)

I took many pictures of my roasted chicken but none of them did it justice. So I’ll let you use your imagination. Next time you have someone over for dinner, serve said chicken with mashed potatoes and green beans. Sure to please the toughest of critics. Enjoy!




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