Roast chicken is one of those dishes that many people find fearful of tackling. Fear not! Roast chicken is a very easy dish to master. All you need are a couple of vegetables, a smattering of poultry herbs, aromatics, a bit of liquid of your choice and a simple technique.
In the simplest of terms, an easy recipe for chicken would be to season the bird with salt and pepper. Place chicken in preheated oven and cook to 160′ internal temperature. Allow bird to rest and serve. We’ve gussied up our roast chicken with a delicious glaze, but the steps are still the same.
Roast Chicken with Honey-Balsamic Glaze
For this recipe we chose to use thyme, rosemary, sage and parsley. Another alternative would be tarragon, which will give the chicken a slight mediterranean, licorice flavor. Using the same amounts, simply substitute the herbs and the balsamic for tarragon vinegar.
- 1 3 1/2 lb. chicken, washed and patted dry, both inside and out
- 1 lemon, peel removed, reserved and remainder of flesh cut into quarters
- 3 stalks celery, cut in 1/2
- 1 carrot, cut in large pieces
- 1 large onion, cut in large pieces, (4 smaller pieces reserved for chicken cavity)
- 1 shallot, peeled and cut in 1/4
- 3-4 cloves garlic, peel not necessary to remove (1 clove reserved for chicken cavity)
- 3 sprigs each of fresh thyme, rosemary, sage and parsley (1 sprig each reserved for cavity of chicken)
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1 tbs. orange juice concentrate or honey
- House Seasoning or Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
- Preheat oven to 425′. In a lined baking pan to ease cleanup, add celery, carrot, onion, lemon peel and the herbs. Season with house seasoning or salt and pepper and drizzle with olive oil.
- On a plate or board, season all the vegetables and aromatics separated for the chicken cavity, including the lemon wedges with house seasoning. It is easier than trying to hold the chicken up and doing it that way. Meanwhile, in a separate bowl, mix together oil, balsamic vinegar and orange juice concentrate. Add seasoned vegetables and lemon wedges to chicken cavity, sprinkle the outside of your dried chicken with house seasoning, and brush with the balsamic mixture all over. Place chicken on top of vegetables, breast side down.
- Place in the middle of your oven and cook for 45 minutes. Brush back of chicken once more with more glaze, turn chicken over and brush breast meat with glaze continuing to cook for approximately 45 minutes more or until the internal temperature of your chicken reaches 160′ when a thermometer is inserted in the thickest part of the thigh (making sure not to touch the bone). Remove chicken from oven. Take out vegetables from inner cavity and add to roasting pan along with the other vegetables. Place chicken on separate plate to rest, tenting with aluminum foil to keep warm. Place vegetables back in oven and allow to roast for 20 more minutes, caramelizing the onions a bit and reducing the liquid. Strain remaining liquid from vegetables using a fine mesh sieve and discard any grease that is accumulated.
- Cut chicken in half by wedging your knife through the backbone and then through the middle of the breast. Finish with a sprinkle salt and pepper. Plate with a little au jus gravy.
Holiday Tip: If you are making this for a gathering, look for smaller chickens (or even baby chickens or game hen, in which case, 1 per person). Using the same technique, simply adjust the time, but take the temperature to insure perfectly cooked meat. You may want to use 2-3 pans depending upon the size and quantity of chickens.