In pretty true-to-me fashion, I covered dessert first. When dessert is as good as the barmbrack I made for Samhain, it’s easy to skip right over dinner. We didn’t skip dinner on Samhain, and it’s fair to say that dinner was as delicious as dessert. For dinner, I made a simple roasted chicken, with garlic and rosemary. Rosemary is said to improve memory and as such, signifies remembrance, which is part of the importance of Samhain. Even if you don’t subscribe to that, rosemary is fantastic on roasted chicken and this was no exception.
I did say “simple roasted chicken,” you read that correctly. Roasting a chicken is actually a very simple thing to do. It’s also very cost-effective considering that you can typically get more than one meal out of a whole roasted chicken (depending on the number of guests and size of the chicken). I made chicken stock with the leftover chicken and carcass, and that stretches the savings even farther. To roast a chicken, all you really need to do is season it, start it at high heat to get a nice crispy skin, and cook it to an internal temperature between 165-170 degrees. Let it rest before slicing it so that the juices stay in the bird instead of running all over the cutting board. As far as seasoning the chicken goes, there are plenty of ways to do it. The way I’m sharing is one of my favorite, but I’ve also been known to just season it with some salt and pepper and toss it into the oven if I’m in a hurry. I don’t advocate basting a chicken during roasting (or anything you’re roasting, actually) because constantly opening the oven door lets out a considerable amount of heat and causes you to have to roast the chicken longer. This means that any benefit of basting is essentially cancelled out by the longer roasting time. I typically figure on one pound of chicken per guest, plus a little more. Anything that’s left over becomes another meal or goes into the stock pot.
Rosemary Garlic Roasted Chicken
- 6-8 lbs. whole oven roasting chicken
- 1/4 C. butter, melted
- 3 Tbsp. dried rosemary
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 1 large yellow onion, peeled and quartered
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
Remove the giblet bag (and neck, if not bagged with the giblets) from the cavity of the chicken.
Pat the chicken dry with paper towels.
Heat the oven to 450 degrees.
Place a rack into a roasting pan (this is the pan and rack I use) and place the chicken breast-side-down onto the rack.
Brush the chicken with melted butter, sprinkle with salt and pepper and half of the rosemary.
Insert the peeled quartered onion into the cavity of the chicken.
Lift the chicken and sprinkle salt and pepper into the cavity.
Turn the chicken so that it is breast-side-up on the rack.
Brush with the remaining butter, sprinkle with salt and pepper and garlic, and the remaining rosemary.
Place the chicken into the oven and roast at 450 for 15-20 minutes.
Turn the oven temperature down to 350 degrees and continue to roast the chicken until a thermometer inserted into the breast reads 165-170 degrees. This will take about 25 minutes per pound of chicken, but the best way to be sure is to use a meat thermometer.
Remove the chicken from the oven and place it on a large cutting board.
Cover the chicken with aluminum foil and allow it to rest on the cutting board for 15 minutes before carving.
Serves 6 to 8 people.
Source: Diana Dishes original