Easy Roast Chicken

As the cool weather sets in, I have been itching to make some cozy dinners. Most days of the week I find myself sticking to the same dinner dishes, but I like to try to add a new meal to my repertoire at least once a week. On a normal weekday, I am out of the house for close to 10 hours and often don’t get home before 6:00. A busy work week makes cooking experimentation difficult!

One of my favorite weekend rituals is spending mornings watching The Food Network and The Cooking Channel.  I personally find it comforting to have cooking shows on in the background as I drink coffee and attend to other household chores. One of my favorite chefs to watch and learn from is Ina Garten. I have seen her “Roast Chicken” episode a few times and I finally decided to give her recipe a try.

Although I don’t think I could make this as a weeknight meal because of the extended cook time, I think it is a great dinner option for the weekend. Minimal time is needed for preparing the chicken, and following the recipe is fairly easy. My major recommendation is to make sure to generously season the chicken {about 7 lbs} and roast it for about 2 hours to least 165 degrees.

Whenever I prepare raw chicken, I wash and put away any other dishes in the sink or on the counters to spare them from contamination. I also use a separate cutting board strictly for raw chicken. After I put the chicken in the oven, I focus my attention to cleaning the countertops.  Although I have heard mixed reviews about using diluted white vinegar for cleaning granite counters, I have not had any problems. I mainly use Method brand cleaning products for cleaning the kitchen, but cleaning while cooking raw chicken is an exception.

I have a Samsung slide-in oven which has a convection roast setting. I pre-heated the oven to 425 degrees. Don’t forget to adjust your racks before your preheat your oven. First, I cut a lemon into quarters, followed by cutting an onion into thick slices and lastly cutting the potatoes into halves. To prepare the chicken I removed the innards {didn’t know they would be in a bag – how nice!}. Next, I rinsed the chicken under cool water and patted it dry. I then seasoned the cavity with salt, black pepper, Herb de Provence, fresh garlic cloves, onion and lemon wedges.

Unfortunately, as soon as I was ready to put the chicken in the oven, I realized I didn’t have kitchen twine. {Was I supposed to register for that for my bridal shower?} Twine is important because it helps the chicken cook evenly and prevents the legs from burning. I opted for dental floss {sorry, mom} and it worked out fine. It’s also important to prevent the wings from burning. I could have tucked the wings under the body of the chicken, but they seemed pretty snug as they were.

I have a roasting pan, but I opted for my wide Calphalon Dutch oven. I placed the potatoes and onions at the bottom of the pan. Looking back, I could have also added carrots and celery.  I tied the legs with “twine” I placed the chicken on top of the vegetables {this helps the air circulate around the chicken}. I seasoned the outside of the chicken with salt, pepper, garlic powder, paprika and basted it with melted butter.

I am happy and equally proud to check this recipe off my “to-try” list. I will definitely be making it again. Check back soon to see what yummy meal I made with the leftovers!

xo Miss Alyss

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