Tuesday, September 20, 2011

My First Roasted Chicken

Next on the list of my late night cooking adventures: roasted chicken.

This was another first for me. Weird, right? What aspiring chef has never roasted a chicken before? Well, this aspiring chef, for one. And I figured it was about time to change that. The way I think about it, roasting a chicken is like boiling an egg... everyone should know how to do it.

So with blind ambition and a whole night ahead of me, I set out on a mission... to roast my first chicken.

I wasn't particularly picky about the kind of roasted chicken I wanted to make. I just wanted to make one! I remembered the recipe featured in Cristina Ferarre's Big Bowl of Love. She called it "Chicken Roasted to Perfection," so it had to be good, right?

Well, good was a freaking understatement.

I think what surprised me most about this chicken was how moist it was. I've had roasted chicken before that was dry and tough, but this was so tender and juicy it was damn near falling off the bone by the time it was done. And every bit of it had flavor. The Dijon mustard right on the skin was almost too much for me, but Dane really loved it. But even after picking off the skin I found that the meat below had retained the perfect meld of Dijon, thyme, and rosemary. It was heavenly.

And the leftovers even made for some great fajitas the next day.

So what do you guys think? Not bad for my first try, eh? :)

Mustard-Herbed Chicken
from Big Bowl of Love
yields 6-8 servings

3 cups chicken stock
6-pound whole chicken
3/4 cup Dijon mustard
3 tablespoons olive oil
juice from 1 fresh lemon; keep lemon rind for stuffing
1/3 cup light soy sauce
2 cloves garlic, crushed
several sprigs fresh parsley (or 1 tablespoon dried)
several sprigs fresh rosemary (or 1 tablespoon dried)
several sprigs fresh thyme (or 1 tablespoon dried)
1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsely

1. Remove the gizzards, heart, neck, and liver from the cavity of the chicken. Rinse the chicken well inside and out. Pat dry with paper towels and place in a heavy roasting pan.
2. To make the marinade, whisk together the Dijon mustard, olive oil, lemon juice, and soy sauce. Add the garlic and mix well.
3. Stuff the lemon rind into the chicken cavity along with half of the fresh parsley, rosemary, and thyme. Preheat the oven to 350F.
4. Wrap the tips of the drumsticks and the wings in small pieces of foil to protect them from burning while roasting. Pour the marinade over the bird and top with remaining fresh herbs, if using, or sprinkle the dried herbs on the chicken. Cover with a lid or with foil and seal tightly. If using foil, try to make sure it doesn't rest on top of the skin, or it will stick and come off when you remove it; leave an air pocket. Roast for 90 minutes with the foil on. Then remove the foil and continue to roast for an additional 30 minutes.
5. Add 2 cups of the chicken stock. Using a wooden spoon, scrape the bottom of the roasting pan to loosen the bits that have collected on the sides and bottom of the pan. Baste the chicken well. Continue roasting uncovered for 60 minutes, basting every 15 minutes. Add chicken stock if needed, one ladle-full at a time to keep the bottom of the pan from burning.
6. Remove the chicken from the oven. Remove the chicken from the roasting pan and place it on a carving board to rest for 10 minutes before carving. Cover lightly with foil.
7. Add 1/2 cup chicken stock to the roasting pan, and stir to release any crusty bits that have collected on the bottom and sides of the pan. Place a strainer over another pot, and pour the juices from the roasting pan through the strainer. Remove the strainer and discard its contents. Skim off any oil that has risen to the top of the pan juices.
8. Carve the chicken, pour the pan juices over the meat, and sprinkle with chopped parsley.


  1. Looks fantastic!!! Nicely done for your first...looks like you hit the head on the nail on this one!

  2. Looks wonderful! I've never made my own either, but it's on my list for things to try soon! So glad yours came out so perfectly!

  3. These looks incredible. Roast chicken is one of my fave things to make and eat. So good.

  4. Well done for a first time! It looks fantastic! I bet if you make it more often I will be out of this world =)

  5. Great job for your first time! You already look like a chicken roasting pro =)


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