The roasted chicken is a very common and well known serving food. There are some folks who don’t want to cook turkey and there are others who simply just don’t like turkey. Turkeys are also pretty pricey this year and we may have to save our coins for holiday shopping and sprucing. If you fall under those categories of holiday cooks, then don’t cook a turkey this year. Make a delicious roasted chicken as an alternative and your guests will be just as satisfied.
Choosing the right sized chicken:
To be sure that you have the right sized bird fit for a large holiday gathering, b I would go for an 8-12 pound roaster chicken. I will always say choose an organically raised bird first, but the next best thing is hormone and antibiotic free birds. You can remove the legs and thighs for serving and slice the breast meat to serve multiple people.
Cleaning the chicken:
To clean the chicken properly, remove the extra skin and fat around the opening of the cavity. Remove extra hairs and feathers especially on the wings of the bird. Rinse the bird inside and out with cold running water. Keep the giblets for the roasting pan and discard them after making the gravy. Follow the same gravy method shared in the Cornish hen post.
For this bird I used different aromatics such as leeks, sage and thyme. Use what you have on hand or whatever you like. Be sure to cut the leeks and wash them thoroughly as they tend to be very sandy.
Covering the bird:
You can loosely tent the chicken about 20-30 minutes into the cook time. This will protect the legs and wings that will cook first, from browning too much faster than the rest of the chicken.
As the chicken roasts, be sure to baste it with the juices that run from the bird during cooking. You will also find a lot of these juices in the cavity of the bird as it cooks. Basting helps to develop the color of the bird and to distribute more flavor from the aromatics as the bird cooks.
As you plate your bird, be sure to use cranberries, sage, rosemary, parsley, lemon slices, etc to make the plate look great and festive!
- -10lb Roaster Chicken
- 1 leek
- 2 medium carrots
- 3 stems sage plus more for the cavity of the chicken and plating
- 5 sprigs thyme plus more for the cavity of the chicken and plating
- 6 cloves garlic
- 2 tbsp kosher salt
- 2 tsp paprika
- 2 tsp chicken seasoning
- 1/2 tsp ground sage
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1 tsp freshly cracked pepper
- 2 tbsp melted butter
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- Slice leeks and cut each slice in half. Rinse leeks with cold water and drain in a colander. Add fresh sage, garlic and thyme to a large roasting pan along with the leeks. (Reserve some of the sage and thyme for the cavity of the bird.) Season aromatics with olive oil, salt and pepper.
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
- Make a dry rub with all the powdered spices in a small bowl. Mix well to combine.
- Clean, rinse and pat dry chicken with paper towels on a large meat board. Season chicken liberally on both sides as well as the cavity with the powdered seasonings. Use the reserved herbs to stuff the cavity of the chicken. Place chicken on top of the aromatic bed. Brush the chicken with melted butter.
- Roast for 1 1/2 hours -2 hours or until the juices run clear when pierced between the leg and the thigh.
- Plate and garnish the bird with fresh herbs. Use the pan drippings to make a gravy. (Use the same steps from the cornish hen recipe post to help you with making a gravy)