Country Style Roasted Chicken

This recipe is quite easy, even for those with little or no experience. Before we get started there are a few things I would like to cover… Poultry is eaten around the world in abundance, but for the purpose of this recipe it is more specifically tailored after the country side of Italian cuisine, however, it can be adapted to any whole roasted chicken dish. In Northern and Central regions of Italy poultry is eaten often where as Southern Regions (certain areas may not be suitable terrain to successfully raise poultry) like Sicily, Calabria, Apulia, and Sardinia, poultry is not consumed as often sometimes not at all. Seafood, pork, lamb, goat, and wild game meat is more likely consumed, however, some recipes have been changed over the years here in America due to a lack of quality meats; lamb, game, and goat are not as readily available in certain parts of the states so we have to make due. Also, depending on the region different types of fats are used, olive oils are used more often in Central and Southern Italy. Northern Italy uses butter and animal fats over olive oil. I am not saying that olive oil is not used in Northern Italy, it’s just not used as much.

***PLEASE READ*** This is very important. While working in kitchens and attending culinary school we did not wash poultry. By washing poultry it can produce bacteria and increase your risks of getting sick.

Be familiar with FDA Food Safety procedures and protocol.

Here are some help resources you may want to checkout:

https://www.fda.gov/Food/default.html

https://www.foodsafety.gov/keep/basics/index.html

https://www.fda.gov/Food/FoodborneIllnessContaminants/BuyStoreServeSafeFood/ucm255180.htm

https://www.fda.gov/Food/FoodborneIllnessContaminants/FoodborneIllnessesNeedToKnow/default.htm

Country Style Roasted Chicken:

  • 6 lb whole chicken
  • 1 small yellow onion, peeled and halved
  • 1 small apple or orange, halved
  • 2/3 cup olive oil or 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 celery stalk, cut in half crossways
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 tbsp dried oregano
  • 4 tbsp dried thyme
  • 4 tsp coarse sea salt
  • 1/8 tsp ground marjoram
  • 2 tbsp fresh cracked pepper
  • 2 tbsp + 1 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 1/2 cups Vegetable or Chicken stock

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  2. In a small mixing bowl, combine the oregano, thyme, salt, pepper, marjoram, and garlic powder. Set aside.
  3. On a cutting board, preferably a yellow color coded one (yellow for poultry), remove any gizzards  or packages from inside the cavity of the bird.
  4. With a parring knife, make a small incision at the top (where the cavity opening of the chicken is). Work your fingers underneath the skin, separating the skin from the meat; don’t go too far back but work it down the top and sides of the breast.
  5. Next, take 1/2 of the amount of butter or oil and massage it into the meat underneath the separated skin. This will help keep the meat moist not to mention it will add flavor.
  6. Take the apple/orange, onion, celery and bay leaves and place them inside the cavity of the bird.
  7. Using the remaining butter or oil and gently rub onto the skin. Be thorough and cover the entire chicken. Then sprinkle the herb and spice mixture all over the bird, covering every part you can (do not turn the chicken over to cover the bottom which is not necessary).
  8. Place the chicken in a deep roasting pan. Pour the stock into the pan. The stock should not be cover more than 1/4 of the chicken.
  9. Cover the pan with aluminum foil, making sure it is not touching the bird if at all possible. Place the pan in the oven and roast for 1 1/2 to 2 hours (ovens vary so time may be different). The internal temperature should be 165ºF (the temp must be holding steady for 15 seconds) at a minimum and I don’t recommend anything higher than 175ºF. When collecting the temperature on the whole chicken place the thermometer in the thickest part of the breast but be careful not to get a false reading (if the thermometer goes into the cavity of bird it will give a lower/ false temperature).
  10. Once the internal temperature reaches 165ºF, remove the chicken from the oven. Be very careful transferring the chicken from the pan to a serving dish, not only will it be extremely hot, but you don’t want it to fall apart as you pick it up. I usually use a pair of heavy duty two-prong forks to transfer it.
  11. Carve and serve! A nice merlot, cabernet or chianti pairs well with the roasted chicken.

*NOTE: There are many types of side dishes that can accompany roasted chicken. Potatoes, asparagus, carrots, parsnips, roasted tomatoes, etc… Keep an eye out for more of my blogs as will be starting to compile menus for your enjoyment!

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