Thursday, November 1, 2012

31 Days of Comfort Food: Day the Last, Roast Chicken with Herbs

I've come full circle with my 31 days of comfort food. After making this roast chicken, I made chicken noodle soup with the leftovers, the very first recipe I posted in this series.
This is a great way to prepare a whole chicken. It makes a lovely dinner, but the leftovers are fantastic too. It's great warm or cold, on a picnic or at the family table; it is always crisp, moist and tender.
Roast Chicken with Herbs
1 3-lb. whole chicken
5 cloves garlic
1 bay leaf, coarsely crumbled
4 T. butter, melted
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp. each of thyme, marjoram, oregano, and basil
1/4 tsp. rubbed sage
Do not preheat oven. Split a clove of garlic and rub over chicken, inside and out. Place inside chicken, along with rest of garlic and crumbled bay leaf. I usually insert one or two of the cloves under the skin of the breast, too.
Combine remaining ingredients. Brush a tablespoon or so inside chicken. If you're feeling fancy, you could truss the chicken to hold legs and wings close to the body... but I usually skip that part.
Brush herb butter generously over outside of chicken. Set, breast side down in a shallow baking dish. 
Place in cold oven, then turn oven on 425. Roast 45 minutes without basting. Turn chicken over, and brush with herb butter. Roast another 40-45 minutes, brushing/basting periodically with remaining herb butter and pan drippings.
Remove chicken from oven and cover loosely with foil. Let it rest for about 15 minutes before carving. Or, you can cool completely, cover, and chill. 
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