Okay….you asked for it (you know who you are!!), so here it is! The easiest roasted chicken ever! So many people are afraid of chicken, especially the big, whole ones with everything still connected!!
But you don’t have to be afraid, because I am going to show you how in just a few quick steps, you can have an amazing tasting chicken dinner that puts any deli rotisserie chicken to shame!!
The bird above started out at about 4.5 lbs. Make sure to thaw it in the refrigerator, so it doesn’t catch any bacteria…..once thawed, remove any gizzards or neck bones that might be inside….don’t throw those away!!! (see note below!)….rinse it well with cool water, pat dry with a paper towel and set aside.
Meanwhile, pre-heat your oven to 400* and let’s make the garlic basil butter!! I always make extra…that way you can have it for other stuff like french bread!! Place 1 stick of room temperature, non-salted butter, 10-12 basil leaves and 4-5 whole cloves of garlic in a food processor or blender. Blend on high till garlic and basil are well incorporated into the butter. You can add more garlic and/or basil to your taste, but this will get you started. This stuff is great because any unused butter mixture can go into the freezer (just put it in an airtight container)
Get your chicken that has been patiently waiting….and place it in a baking dish. Slowly work your fingers under the skin and loosen as far as you can, being careful not to break through (you are going to want to keep all that yummy goodness trapped inside!!) Make sure to work that skin down on the legs too!! Once the skin is loosened, start stuffing that bird liberally with your butter mixture. So not to contaminate any extra mixture you have left…put some of the mixture into a different bowl…that way you aren’t touching the chicken and then touching the butter!! I use about half to 3/4 of what I made on this size of chicken.
Once the chicken is filled, rub the skin around, so the butter gets good and spread out. Rub some of the butter on the outside of the chicken as well.
Now, sprinkle your chicken lightly with olive oil and then with one of my FAVORITE seasonings….Montreal Steak Seasoning…it’s by McCormick and yes, I know it says steak seasoning, but take my word for it…it’s good on just about everything!!
Place the chicken in the pre-heated oven and let it go!! Check on it after about 25-30 minutes to make sure the skin is not getting too dark…if it is, place a piece of foil over the bird….don’t seal it, just lay it over the top, so the direct heat is not hitting it. Let the skin get very brown….you are going to want to eat that crunchy, seasoned skin!!! Also, every 15 minutes, baste the chicken with the buttery juices that should now be collecting in your pan!!
Cook for an hour. The internal temperature should be 165*….but, a good indication that your bird is done is to give the leg a wiggle and if it starts to come away from the bird without much pressure, you are good. Also, if you make a small slit in the breast portion and clear juices come out, you know it’s done!
So, there you go! I served mine with turnips au’gratin and Brussel sprouts….recipes will come later for those!!
**Place chicken neck, gizzards and any other innards that came in your chicken into a 2 qt. stock pot, add one sliced sweet, yellow onion, two chopped celery stocks and 3 skinned, chopped carrots and 3 cups of water. Add 2 tsp. salt, 1 tbs. pepper and 3 chicken bouillon cubes. Bring to a boil and then tun down heat and simmer, covered for 1 hour. I add the chicken drippings from the roasted chicken to this too. Let cool completely, skim off fat and store in freezer bag for up to 6 months. This is great for soups!!!