really good (and easy) roasted chicken | part 1 chicken + veg pot pie

First of all, I have to apologize. 

It's probably not good to start out a blog post with an apology, but I'm doing it. 

I'm sorry if you don't eat meat because this post is all about how to make a really amazing roasted chicken. So if you're not a meat person, let's still be friends because I'm not a huge meat person either. 

In fact I'll never forget my first morning in a professional kitchen. The owner/chef had just hired me and was showing me around, introducing me to the other chefs that were busy prepping the meat for the evening chefs. 

I was a vegetarian at the time and not too excited about working with raw meat - especially working with raw meat at 4am in the morning - so I quickly requested to work in the pastry department. The smell of fresh bread and warm chocolate in the morning was much more my thing.... and it's been my thing ever since.

So! There you have it. Since then I've come in and out of vegetarianism - but I've always been sparse about my meat consumption. I'm also very choosey about the meat I buy and because of this, will spend the extra money on humanely raised meats whenever available. If you haven't already, I encourage you to educate yourself on where our meat comes from. Meat factories are one of the highest causes of air pollution and animal cruelty is real, so, it's really important to me that we eat it sparingly, and more importantly, are very particular about where it comes from. Farms over factories my friends. (Here's where to buy certified humane meats near you).

 I'm stepping off of my soap box now.  *clears throat*  Eh hem!

Okay, am I super good at making you lose your appetite? Do you need a break or shall we go back to chicken? 

This chicken is for the chicken veg-filled pie we're making this week for Fathers Day. Did you catch that post I shared on instagram? The one where I literally dropped a drool on the table as I shot that chicken pot pie? LOL

Am I doing it again? Making you lose your appetite? Okay let's just get on with my chicken tips: (Hey! if you're not into chicken, don't fret! You can still make this pie without meat no problem! I made sure of it! So just stay tuned for the next two upcoming posts)

tips and tricks for roasting a really stinking perfect chicken :

1. Think smaller. Don’t get any bigger than a 4 or 5 pound bird. 3-4 pounds is ideal.

2. Buy organic or preferably pasture raised. It makes a big difference.

3. Salt it a little more than you think you should. I always use kosher salt for my meats. The shape of the actual salt gets into the meat making it absorb the flavor and plump up with juiciness. 

4. High oven temperature ensure a crispy crust and a juicy, mouth-watering bird.  

5. All you need is good fat (butter, ghee, olive oil or coconut oil) and getting that fat underneath the skin to guarantee an unbelievable flavor and crispy, salty skin. 

I am of the belief that if I'm going to cook meat, it better be done pretty dang well or else it's not worth it. 

Amen? 

Okay, next post is how to make the perfect savory pie crust. Stay tuned. Or err, I mean go make a chicken! ;) 

ps. If you're still with me, and you're not into meat, again, don't fret. This Father's Day chicken veg-filled pie can easily be made without the chicken!  

 

really good (and easy) roasted chicken

Serves 4-6

by robyn holland | sweetish.co

I love this chicken because it makes me look good. All it takes is some butter and salt - and bam, you have a group full of people who love you and your chicken. It's so easy you wont want to talk about how easy it is. This is by far a staple in our family. Sidenote: If you're making this for the chicken veg pie for Father's Day, you only need one whole breast from this chicken. Enjoy the leftovers! 

baker's tips: I love all of the aforementioned fats for roasting chicken, but my top favorites are butter/ghee and coconut oil because they can withstand such high heat. Butter being my #1, because #imabaker. 

special equipment: Sharp kitchen sheers, twine

 

1 (3-4 pound) chicken organic, pasture raised if possible

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, ghee, coconut oil or olive oil, softened to room temperature

2 teaspoons of kosher salt, divided

freshly cracked pepper to taste

 

Let the chicken sit for 30 minutes to remove the chill.

Preheat oven to 400°F / 204°C and line a roasting pan or sheet pan with tin foil. 

Cut out the spine, and only the spine of the bird using extra sharp kitchen sheers. Just find the tail of the bird and cut down on either side of it.  You should be left with a space about 2-3 inches in diameter, backbone missing. Don’t skip this step! It’s important for juicy results.

Dab chicken with paper towels removing all natural wetness. Do not rinse your bird off with water.

Face your bird breast side up on your foil-lined sheet/roasting pan. Tie legs together using twine and clip the ends of the wings off (these always burn and look gross anyway, so just clip them off). 

Salt your bird using 1 teaspoon kosher salt, sprinkling with your hands, covering all nooks and crannies of the bird.

Rub softened butter (or fat of choice) all over and under the skin, taking the salt you just sprinkled with you as you rub. Break the skin away gently with your fingers messaging the butter in between the meat and the skin.

Crack as much fresh cracked pepper over the top as you desire. 

Bake for 60 minutes uncovered - but watch it. This baking time can very depending upon your oven. If you’re unsure about the doneness, stick a knife in the breast until it hits the bone, juices should run clear. Every oven is different, so if yours is running cold, it may take longer to cook, if its running hot, you may need to tent the chicken in foil to prevent burning before it's completely done cooking. 

Take the bird out of the oven, sprinkling with the remaining 1 tsp. kosher salt. 

tip! Let bird rest for at least 15 minutes before cutting so that those juices stay IN the bird.

Sometimes, if I'm serving this for Sunday dinner I stick a bunch of spinach underneath it to catch all the fat and warmth of the chicken and serve with lemon.