Sunday, September 28, 2008

Renée's Roasted Chicken and Potatoes

Whole chicken was on sale and I was sick so I decided to make a roasted chicken and then turn the leftovers into chicken soup. This is the roasted chicken part of the plan. Unfortunately, my camera battery was dead from the French Toast Experiment so there are not too many pictures for you here. I will narrate to the best of my storytelling abilities.

First you unwrap your lovely lady (the chicken, not your girlfriend) and give her a lukewarm shower in the sink (make sure your sink is clean on the bottom). Rinse out all cavities and crevices, also remove the bag that has the gibblies in it and put it in the fridge for later use in chicken soup making. (I call them gibblies, you got a problem with that?)

Now this part is a little bit hard but you can do it. Put your girl on a cutting board and get a small, sharp knife. Starting by the neck end, you are going to pull the skin up in one solid piece, cutting underneath at the stringy parts that make it stick to the chicken until you have a big skin flap that you can see the whole naked lady under (if you are really good you should be able to get the legs uncovered too, but that takes practice and if you can't do it the first time, its ok). Do not cut it completely free of the chicken! it should still be attached at the opposite side.

Now wash your hands. If you are smart you have made your spice rub ahead of time and can just start applying, but I always forget and have to make it after the de-skinning step. I just mix whatever I feel like in a little bowl. This time I used about a tablespoon of each of the following: sea salt, pepper, thyme, oregano, rosemary and sage. Mix them together well.

If you want at this step you can use your meat tenderizer or a fork to poke some holes in your chicken. I recommend NOT going through the skin, but hold it up instead and work underneath it.

Now the fun part. You are going to give your lovely chicky a nice rub down. Get some of that yummy spice rub and rub it under the skin of the chicken. Make a nice coating under there. Now you are going to stretch the skin back in place (don't worry it will stay). If you have left over spice rub, put it on the outside of the skin.

I baked my chicken in a clay baker (with lid on!) at 350° for 20 min/lb. You will be tempted to take the lid off and look - DON'T! Just let it bake and all the juices and steam will collect on the bottom. After its done you can take the lid off for a few minutes and let the skin get crispy if you want to. You want to keep that juice and bones and leftover meat for the chicken soup.

On to potatoes!

This part is super easy. Wash and quarter about 2lbs of baby potatoes (I prefer red, but white is good too, this time I used both). Put them in a large bowl, season with salt and pepper and sprinkle on some dried rosemary. Enough so that every potato will get some. Add about 1/4c of Olive Oil and toss until evenly coated. Then turn out onto a baking sheet.
Make sure that one of the cut sides is facing down. Bake at 400° for about 35-45 min. (If you want you can bake them with the chicken at 350°, but they will take around an hour or so)

Sorry for the bad plate picture but the lighting was bad and the flash reflected off the plate and then the camera died and I was hungry and didn't want to wait until it charged to eat. Yum! Perfect moist chicken and yummy crisp but tender potatoes. Don't mind the icky pile of green stuff. That was our adventure in frozen artichoke hearts. All I can say is, 'DON'T.'

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