Earlier this week I met with a friend.
We people-watched, she drank coffee from a paper cup & I listened to her every word.
She told me that cooking chickens cured her ailments. I enjoyed cooking but had never made a whole chicken.
Hadn't I already come to this conclusion, cooking was therapy?
In those moments between us, those sacred silences shared between kindred souls, I realized I was more like her, than myself. And when we parted I found myself in a grocery store and I bought one.
This is how I made my first roasted chicken, whole.
Who knew, cooking cures the soul.
First I went to Whole Foods and bought this 3lb-er:
I rinsed it with cold water inside and out (photographed it on this pretty plate and thank G-d I didn't have to deal with the intestines) ,
then began to prepare the rub.
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
To note: I'm not very good at measuring things when I'm cooking. Now baking is a different story.
Begin by patting the chicken dry with paper towels and putting it in the pan you want to roast it in. Must be at least 2" deep.
The Chicken Rub
1/2 cup olive oil
3 tbsp melted butter
1/2 tsp thyme
2 4" sprigs of fresh rosemary
1 lemon, (rind grated into olive oil mixture then entire lemon sliced, set aside)
1 tsp garlic powder (didn't have fresh garlic!)
salt and pepper
Dice and combine all of the above ingredients in a small bowl.
Lemon and olive oil and rosemary and garlic... it almost smells like a perfume...
Rub that ALL over the chicken, under the skin, over the skin. Take your time.
Then pour any remaining of the rub, inside of the chicken.
Now we get to the ingredients we shove inside of the chicken.
We want that chicken to roast and steam with some delectable aromas so,
To stuff inside the chicken:
3 tbsp cold butter (no need to cut it up, just shove it in!)
2 1/2" red onion slices (see below, i cut them in half again)
3 sprigs of fresh rosemary
Now shove those ingredients inside the chicken and tie that baby up to keep all of those goodies inside.
I sprinkled some more salt and pepper on top before covering it with foil.
I read somewhere that the reason chicken breasts are some times dry in a whole chicken is because the way the chicken is roasted. You want the chicken to cook upside-down the first half to let it seep in the juices, instead of letting it drain out...
I had a 3lb chicken. I roasted it at 325 degrees for one hour with the breast-side down (this is really important!) After an hour, uncover it, leave it in the oven and turn up the temp to 400, turn the chicken back over so the breast is now facing up and cook for around 30 more minutes.
It's done when the juices run clear and the top is crispy and bubbling!
In the fantastic intonation of Julia Child: