I am Roast Chicken challenged.
It seems like such a simple thing but I always manage to screw it up either by under or over cooking the poor bird. I also always break the rule of don't try something you haven't mastered when you are having people over for dinner, but since a 4lb chicken is just too big for 2 people I always invite someone over and I just love the image of carving the bird and serving all the fixings like mashed potatoes and stuffing & gravy. In my head a roast chicken is the perfect homey dinner party meal. I just haven't mastered it yet. Sigh.
But I will not give up! Especially now that I'm the mother of a big healthy baby boy who I envision as a teenage eating us out of house & home, for him alone I must learn how to roast the perfect chicken. So tonight I am once again roasting a chicken but its just for me & Ian so I have hope that I'll break free from my past failures and roast the perfect chicken. I have read dozens of recipes from all the pro chefs and homemakers and noted all their techniques. Tonight I am going simple.
I loosened the skin around the breast and mashed in 2 tbsp of butter. I greased the outside of the chicken with olive oil and liberally salt & peppered it. I quartered an onion and put half of it inside the chicken and the rest is lying in the roasting pan. I tossed in a handful of garlic cloves about the pan and half a dozen yukon gold potatoes. I'm going with the recommendation of 20 minutes per pound plus 30 minutes at 400F, so that should be 110 minutes or just shy of 2 hours. I'm going to roast it breast side down for 45 minutes and then flip it and roast it breast up for another 45 minutes and then I'll check it and see if it still needs another 20 minutes.
Wish me luck.
Here's what it looked like the first time I took it out of the oven, it looked promising but the under side wasn't done, it needed an additional 30 minutes to get the juices to run clear. I think my mistake was the bird wasn't at room temperature when I put it in the oven. It was tasty but we didn't get to eat it until 9:00. sigh. I'll try again. Next time, room temperature bird, 60 minutes breast side down before I turn it, then another 45 to 60 breast side up.