Monday, March 18, 2013

Garlic and Citrus Roasted Chicken

 This chicken was AMAZING!  I'm so happy I finally decided to make a roasted chicken at home instead of buying one from the store.  Part of this decision was because the chicken was finally cheap enough to make it worth it for me to cook one at home.  So much of the time it costs more to buy a raw whole chicken than it does to buy one already roasted for me. 

So it was settled - I'm going to try roasting my own chicken.  I wanted the chicken to have a mojo flavor, from citrus and garlic.  My basting liquid was right on!  The best part of the meal was the pan sauce I made from the cooking juices, the rest of the basting liquid, and a little white wine.  The entire family loved the chicken.  I served it with roasted potatoes and asparagus, cooked one at a time while the chicken was roasting.  My toddler helped me make it (I have a box of surgical gloves that I use when handling raw meat or messy food prep so he was able to safely help out).  Highly recommend this recipe!  Enjoy!

Happy Cooking!
Garlic and Citrus Roasted Chicken
7 lb whole chicken
3 T olive oil
1 lemon, juiced, flesh & rind quartered and set aside for cavity
1/2 orange, juiced, flesh & rind quartered and set aside for cavity
2 T of parsley, chopped, plus a bunch to stuff in cavity
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
3 cloves of garlic, minced, plus 1 whole head of garlic cut in half for cavity
chicken broth or stock
2 T white wine

The seasonings for the chicken - the flavors in our basting liquid.
In a small bowl prepare the basting liquid by combining the lemon juice, orange juice, salt, pepper, parsley, and minced garlic. 
The basting liquid, after I plastered it all over the chicken
Then take the chicken (gizzards removed) and stuff the cavity with the orange and lemon wedges (left over after juicing them), the garlic head pieces, and some parsley (stems and all).  Pack the cavity as much as you can and then place the chicken in the roasting pan. 

I do not own a roasting pan, so I used my dutch oven.  I recommend using any pan that you can then use on the stove top afterwards to deglaze and create the most delicious pan sauce you've ever tasted.
Now take some of the basting liquid and rub it all over the outside of the chicken.  I even took the time to rub some under the skin, directly on the breast meat.  This makes a big difference in the flavor and moisture of the breast meat. 

The last step before roasting is to pour enough chicken stock in the pan so that the drippings don't burn on the bottom of the pan while cooking.  I poured enough around the chicken so that it came up about 1 inch high.  This will also catch all the flavors from the basting liquid and help us to build the sauce later.
After rubbing the chicken down and stuffing it with the aromatics
Bake the chicken at 350 degrees for 20 minutes per pound or until the internal temperature is 170. 
Base the chicken with more of the citrus/garlic concoction every 30 minutes while it cooks.  This keeps the chicken juicy while building layers of flavor.

My chicken had a thermometer that popped when the chicken was done, but I double checked with my meat thermometer.  Don't want any food poisoning!
After roasting at 350 for 20 minutes per pound
Remove the chicken from the pan and place on a cutting board.  Allow the chicken to rest for at least 10 minutes before carving.  Pour the cooking liquid and drippings into a fat separator, created to pour out the cooking liquid as the fat stays on the surface.  If you don't have one then use a clear measuring cup that you could easily see the fat to skim it off with a spoon. 
Fat separator - easy way to get the cooking liquid without all the fat drippings
Pour only the juices, not the fat, back into the cooking pot over medium-high heat on the stove.  Add 2 T of white wine and a pinch of salt.  Allow the sauce to come to a boil and reduce for about 3-5 minutes. 
The sauce made with the pan drippings - makes this dish really special!
Carve the chicken and serve with the pan sauce.  So incredibly delicious!!!  Restaurant quality for sure.  It really was perfectly cooked - the breast meat was juicy and the flavor was outstanding!

One of the best chicken's I've ever had!!!
Here are some pictures of the sides I served with the chicken.  Enjoy!
The roasted potatoes that my toddler was so proud about - he made them himself, well he tossed them with the olive oil, salt, pepper, dried thyme, and dried rosemary.  He wore rubber gloves and thought it was the coolest thing!
And the roasted asparagus - roasted on the same pan as the potatoes, after they came out of the oven.  Keep your sides warm by wrapping them in foil while you wait for the chicken to finish cooking.

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