Today I thought I'd share with you what I like to refer to as Mark's Perfect Roast Chicken. He does it like his grandma used to and swears by this method. After tasting this chicken a few times myself... I swear by it, too. It is the BEST roast chicken I've ever had... really. And the great thing about it is, it's really easy to do. If you take the time to follow these steps, you should end up with a beautifully browned, herbed, crispy, juicy, flavorful chicken like this one.
The first step is to REMOVE THE ORGAN SACK FROM THE INSIDE OF THE CHICKEN! haha... I'm sure most people that are just learning to cook forget this part... I know I did when I was younger. Anyway, I'm sure you all already knew that, so moving on.
Next, you want to drizzle some olive oil into the cavity. Using your hand, make sure the entire cavity is coated. Then, season it with fresh ground sea salt, black pepper, and chopped rosemary leaves. Cut up some onion, a couple cloves of garlic, some carrots, and celery and stuff it all into the cavity.
Now it's time for the most important part: seasoning under the skin. SO important. This will create the best tasting chicken skin in the world (you know you all love it). Just gently lift up the skin so it detaches enough from the meat that you can get your hand in there and season it up. Again, you're seasoning it with olive oil, salt, pepper, minced garlic, and chopped rosemary.
Finally, you season the outside of the chicken. Lay the skin back down and in place, then season the entire outside of the chicken with all the same stuff: olive oil, salt, pepper, minced garlic, and chopped rosemary. Make sure you get the top and the bottom. If needed, tie the legs loosely closed. Make SURE it's loosely so that the heat and juices can get into the crevice where the legs meet the body so everything crisps up nicely.
This beauty is now ready to roast. Place your chicken into a roaster pan that has a rack so the juices can drip down into the pan without drowning the chicken. Roast the chicken in a 425 degree oven for about 45 minutes or until it starts to brown and gets a crispiness to it. Starting it out in a very hot oven seals in the juices, makes the skin crispier, and just produces a better chicken.
Now decrease the oven temperature to 350 degrees. This was an 8 lb. chicken, so the total cooking time will be about 2 1/2 hours. You'll need to gage this cooking time by how large your chicken is. As long as you have eyes to see the browning of the skin and a meat thermometer to check its temperature, you'll be fine.
After about an hour of the chicken roasting in the oven, pull it out and pour a dry white wine all over the chicken to baste it - about a 1/2 cup or so. Make sure the wine is DRY and not sweet.
Return the chicken back to the oven.
After about another 35 minutes or so, check the temperature of the chicken. The chicken is done when the skin is golden brown and the internal temperature of the meat is 175 degrees. You want to stick your thermometer in the middle of the breast and also between the leg and thigh right at the bone to get your best temperature.
Now you may be tempted to just tear into it immediately because its beauty is undeniable and you know it's calling your name, but don't you dare. Make a tent out of foil big enough to cover the chicken without touching the chicken. You want most of the steam to be able to escape, while still keeping the chicken hot. If you smother the chicken too much with the tent, the skin will get soft again and no one wants that. Let the chicken rest for at least 15 minutes before carving.
We served ours with some steamed green beans tossed with olive oil, salt, pepper, and almonds, and some roasted potatoes. I used Cooking For Engineers' technique on the potatoes and it worked like a charm. Very tasty, crispy on the outside and creamy inside.
Look at that skin. Oh yeah babe...
Oh, and Claudia...
I made stock! haha... (Well, Mark made it, and I watched...) It was very tasty and ended up producing a scrumptious chicken noodle soup the next night. Yum!
I don't really have a formal recipe to post for this one, however all the instruction you need is already in this post. This recipe isn't a measuring kind of recipe. This is one you eyeball. Like Mark's grandma used to say, "You cook it until it come 'a nice."