Confession: I used to hate all chicken. So much so, that I had completely ruled chicken out until I met my boyfriend. Chicken that actually tastes good and doesn't have a dry, saw-dust taste to it is very hard to find, and as a result, I'd just stopped eating it entirely.
About a year ago, my boyfriend decided that he was going to prove me wrong (as he is want to do) and make me a roasted chicken that was going to make me love chicken. So we went to his co-op in Sacramento, picked out a beautiful, organic, happy meat chicken from Mary's (read about them, they're super good to their animals), and he went to town roasting the most beautiful chicken for me. And, he proved me wrong. So if you know anyone else who claims to hate chicken, (unless they're a vegetarian) go ahead and make them this chicken. See if they don't change their mind.
Here's what we used:
- small, whole chicken
- whole onion ( cut into quarters)
- lemon (cut in half and zested)
- lots of rosemary
- olive oil
- 4 cloves of garlic, minced
- salt and pepper to taste
- chopped potatoes (we used purple and yukon, but use whatever you want)
- carrots (cut into sticks)
- parsnips (cut into sticks)
Here's what we did:
- Prepare the chicken by removing the giblets and rinsing. Pat dry.
- Stuff the cavity with half of the onion, and half of the lemon.
- Prepare a mixture with the lemon zest, rosemary, olive oil, salt and pepper. Rub this mixture onto the outside of the chicken.
- The, truss the chicken. This involves tying the legs together and then tucking the wings under the chicken (you can click here for better instructions).
- Then place the rest of the onion (separate the different layers), the potatoes the carrots and parsnips in the bottom of a cast iron dutch oven. Squeeze the lemon juice from the second half of the lemon over the vegetables and add in rosemary (if you have any leftover) and salt and pepper.
- Place a roasting tray on top of the cast iron pan (this is obviously in lieu of using a roasting sheet, if you have one of those, use that), and put the chicken on top of the tray.
- Bake the chicken at 350 degrees for 20 minutes per pound of chicken.
- Once the chicken is fully cooked, take it out of the oven and let rest for 10 minutes.
- Carve and enjoy!