So, now that you have seasoned your cast iron cookware, what to cook? Well I say you should roast a chicken! Why? Because it’s easy and very impressive. Now, as I quickly learned, I am in no place to tell you how to carve a chicken, but I can get you from raw to cooked, so let’s go!
Roasted Chicken with Vegetables
- Whole Chicken (I used a 3.8 lb chicken in a 5 quart dutch oven)
- Oil (I used canola because that’s what I had, but any oil will work just fine.)
- Various spices (I used garlic powder, salt, pepper, Old Bay, italian seasoning, basil, rosemary, and cumin.)
- Various vegetables for roasting (I used red onion, carrots, and Brussel sprouts)
- 1-2 potatoes
- 1-2 lemons
- 1 bulb of garlic
- VERY IMPORTANT NOTE: Before we jump into the cooking, please remember that you are messing with raw meat here. Every.Single.Time you switch from touching the chicken to anything else, you need to wash your hands. Throughly. With soap. Also, Every.Single.Thing that is touched by the chicken (cutting board, colander, knife, etc.) needs to be washed thoroughly with hot water after you are done using it. Okay, now back to our regularly scheduled program.
- Since you are not allowed to use your cutting board after it is touched by the chicken unless you wash it thoroughly (broken record? well, you’ll thank me when you’re not sick!) I strongly suggest that you begin but chopping all of your vegetables and potatoes into manageable pieces. There’s no right or wrong here, you just don’t want your pieces to be too large. One suggestion I do have is to only quarter (as opposed to slicing or dicing) the onion since it will shrink during roasting.
- In a large bowl, toss your vegetables and potaotes with 3-4 tbsp of oil and a healthy sprinkle of each of the spices you plan to use on your chicken. Set aside.
- Next, slice your lemons in half and set those aside.
- Preheat your oven to 425 degrees.
- Rinse off your chicken and dry it completely. Lift up the wings and the legs to dry off all the nooks and crannies. If your chicken is wet when it goes in the oven, you won’t get that nice crispy skin that everyone loves.
- Next, (and this was the worst part for me) stick your hand inside the chicken and pull out anything inside. Luckily, I did not have anything in there, but you don’t want to be like my mom who left the gizzard bag in a turkey one year and scared the mess out of everyone. Learn from our mistakes.
- In a small bowl, mix 1-2 tbsp of each of your chosen spices with 4-5 tbsp of your oil. Combine and spread over the entire chicken. Be liberal and don’t worry about getting oil on your counter. It will happen and you will clean. It is okay.
- Next, stuff your chicken with as many lemon halves as you can manage (but save one half for later), one quarter of your onion, and as many cloves of garlic as you like. You do not have to peel the cloves, just stick them in there. If you’ve never had roasted garlic, you’re in for a treat.
- Now, layer a small spoonful of vegetables in the bottom of your roasting pan (or dutch oven) so that the chicken will not just sit in it’s own juices during the cooking process.
- Put the chicken on top of the vegetables and spoon more vegetables around the chicken. Try to leave as much of the chicken showing as you can so that the skin can crisp. I actually ended up having to roast some of my vegetables in a skillet so that my chicken wasn’t covered.
- Put the chicken (and any extra vegetables) in the oven for 45 minutes. After 45 minutes remove the chicken and squeeze the lemon half that you saved over it. Squeeze hard so that you can get all of the juice out. I did this because I couldn’t reach the chicken juices to baste, but I think it added another (amazing) layer of flavor. Lower the oven temperature to 400 degrees and cook for another 45 minutes.
- Once the chicken is done, pull it out of the oven and walk away. Do not touch the chicken for ten minutes because if you touch, you’ll want to cut, and if you cut, all the delicious juices will run out and you’ll be left with a very dry (and sad) bird. After ten minutes, dig in!
Fianl Verdict: Delicious