This dish is probably the best chicken dish I make. It is a favorite in our house by all, even the littles. And I like the fact that it only takes about 20 minutes to put together. Then I can stick it in the oven and forget about it. Plus, it's great for company because who isn't impressed with a beautifully golden roasted bird on the table?!
Ingredients you'll need:
- a whole chicken - mine is usually about 4-4.5 lbs
- one lemon
- fresh rosemary
- garlic - both whole and minced
- sea salt or table salt (but sea salt is better!)
- fresh ground pepper
- olive oil
1.) First you want to clean up your bird. If it came with all of the giblets and yuckiness in the cavity, stick your hand in there and fish it all out (you can do it!) and toss. Now rinse your bird with cool water and pat dry with paper towels. This is important for crispy skin.
2.) Stuff the cavity of your bird with: - the lemon (sliced in half)
- a clove or two of garlic
(you don't even have to peel the skin off)
- a few sprigs of rosemary
3.) On the outside of the bird: - rub with olive oil
- sprinkle sea salt, ground pepper, minced garlic and rosemary over the entire bird and rub in. I pay close attention to every nook and cranny of the bird and even lift up the skin in places where it gives and stuff some seasoning underneath there for added flavor.
4.) Now your bird is ready to cook! I don't have a roasting pan, so I just stick it in an oval shaped corningware dish, drumsticks down. No need to cover. Cook your bird at 350 degrees for an hour and a half to two hours, depending on size of bird. Your house will fill with heavenly aromas! To make sure it's done use a cooking thermometer on the breast. It should read 160 degrees when done.
5.) Once done, take out of the oven and let it rest for 20 to 30 minutes to ensure moist, tender meat before you cut it up. Plus you will burn your fingers trying to cut that chicken up straight out of the oven!
6.) Now for the best part: While your chicken is resting use the drippings to make the best gravy ever! First drain the drippings, getting rid of big chunks of rosemary and garlic floating around. In a small saucepan, melt a tablespoon or more of butter (more is always better!). Add some flour as the gravy's thickening agent. Stir butter and flour together until mixed. Now take a whisk and slowly add drippings into the pot with butter and flour. Allow the mixture to slightly boil, whisking occasionally; then turn down to simmer. You're done. Serve the gravy over rice or mashed potatoes with some bread for dipping for best results.