California Central Coast Recipes
When I was a little girl, chicken was relatively expensive so it was reserved for special meals like Sunday Dinner. Today, chicken is one of the most inexpensive and delicious meats, and roasted chicken especially is not only delicious but healthy too! Though it's easy to cook, most people nowadays don't think about cooking it themselves. Instead they buy an over-cooked dried out rotisserie baked chicken at the grocery store. Maybe not too bad in taste, but no where as good as one you cook yourself!
The secrets to roasting a perfect bird are first, use a nice plump fresh "Roasting" Chicken about 5 to 6 pounds (Chicken does not freeze well, it loses some of its flavor when frozen). Second truss your bird for uniform cooking and a nice presentation. Trussing is easy to do. Here is an article on how to do it How to Truss Poultry
And finally, do not overcook your chicken! When it is done remove form the oven immediately and let it stand for 10 to 15 minutes to allow the juices to redistribute themselves back into the meat.
Preparation time: 15 minutesCooking time: 2 hours and 30 minutes
1 Fresh Roasting Chicken
1/2 cup Melted Unsalted Butter
- Medium Orange, thickly sliced
- a couple Thick Onion Slices
- a few springs Fresh Rosmary
- Festive Dressing with Apples, Raisins, and Mushrooms
1 Preheat the oven to 325F
2 Rinse the bird with cold running water inside and out. Dry and season with salt and pepper inside and out.
3 The next step depends on your preferences. If you are not using a stuffing, place the aromatics you are using into the cavity of the bird. If you are stuffing the bird, loosely stuff the cavity of the bird with your favorite stuffing. (Left over stuffing can be baked in a covered baking dish).
4 Truss the bird and close up the cavity with cotton kitchen string. See How to Truss Poultry for directions on how to do this.
5 Place the bird on a rack in a medium height roasting pan and baste the bird with some of the melted butter. Pace the bird into the hot oven.
6 Depending upon weight, cook the bird for 2 to 3 hours (typically about 2 and one half hours for a 5 pound bird). Occasionally (about every 15 to 20 minutes) baste with the melted butter until it all used up. The bird may get to its perfect roasted color before the internal parts of the meat are cooked. So in this case, cover the poultry with a loose tent of tin foil. This will prevent burning of the skin.
7 The bird is done when a fork is inserted into the thickest part of the bird (usually the breast or thigh) and the juices that run are clear. It is cooked. Remove immediately! It'll continue to cook a little more while it sits on the counter or table.
8 If using an instant thermometer, it is cooked when the internal temperature at the thigh or breast reaches 165F degrees.
9 If using a regular thermometer, when the internal temperature at the thigh or breast reaches 160F, start watching its cooking process very closely. The last several degrees to 165F cook really fast once it's reached 160F or so.
10 After you remove the bird from the oven, allow several minutes for it to rest and take up the juices. After fifteen minutes or so, remove the trussing, carve or cut up the bird and serve.
A dry white wine works wonderfully with chicken. If you used citrus aromatics, serve an Alsatian style Riesling.
If you used a Rosemary or a sage stuffing, a Rhone style white like a Viognier or Roussanne would pair well.
Finally, for more daring red choice, a light Pinot Noir will pair very well especially with our Festive Dressing with Apples, Raisins, and Mushrooms.