January 05, 2011

Baked Whole Chicken

Growing up I mostly remember my mama preparing whole chickens for dinner. We'd come home from school to open the door and have the aroma fill our nostrils. The window on the oven made it even worse having to wait the two hours before we were sitting down to eat and being tortured with the looks of it's golden brown skin. The crispy skin is my favorite part. With trying to eat healthier it is as close to that fried chicken taste as I can get with less fat. I don't feel guilty indulging on it.

I love baking whole chickens. I love chicken. Mr. Sideline Chef and itty bitty are not meat eaters unless it comes in cheeseburger form. Mr. Sideline Chef tolerates chicken. I love chicken not only for the versatility but also for the grocery budget factor. It is so economical to cook the whole chicken rather than buying the chicken pieces.

The process is really quite easy (except getting over the gagging when pulling out the neck, which to me looks like an anal tract, and the giblets) and you can easily feed a family of four off of one whole chicken (that is depending on the pounds).

I don't know what it is when it comes time to putting the chicken away after I've already ate dinner but I stand like a savage hovered over the bird tearing pieces off and dunking them into the pan juices. The juices drip down to my elbows and before I know it I've devoured another section of the chicken before snapping out of my craze and reminding myself of all the uses for leftovers. The taste is just that good.

Baked Whole Chicken

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Rinse the chicken and remove the neck and giblets from the inside cavity. After the bird is rinsed, pat it dry with paper towels. I like to use butter on and under the skin and then season my chicken. I normally just open the spice cabinets and just start pulling whatever I see first that sounds good together at the moment. For this bird I used salt, pepper, poultry seasoning, and onion powder. After seasoning the chicken I place it breast side up in a roasting pan (my mother always cooked hers breast side down to make the breast meat more moist and then she'd flip it the last 15 minutes and brown it uncovered). I added my veggies around the chicken and then added about a 1/4" of water to the bottom of my roasting pan. I covered the roasting pan with foil and baked the chicken for 20 minutes per pound plus an additional 15 minutes for browning. When browning I uncovered the chicken and raised the heat to 400 degrees. My bird had the little red popper thermometer inserted into the chicken breast and once it popped up I pulled it from the oven and let it rest for 15 minutes before carving. If your chicken does not have the popper inserted into it make sure that your meat thermometer reads 180 degrees into the breast before eating. Fall off the bone meat, pan juices, and vegetables makes for a delicious dinner that requires very little prep work and ease. Baking a whole chicken is great for any weeknight and get togethers.
Mr. Sideline Chef comfortably stuffed from dinner cuddling our Jack Russells, Samson (4 years old) and Maximus (1 1/2 years old).

5 comments:

Brenda said...

Your chicken looks incredibly yummy! Look at that gorgeous crispy skin. I tried making a roast chicken in my crock pot once but you just don't get the crispy skin so forget that - that's the best part! You did a great job, I could eat some of that now - at 7:15 in the morning, lol! Invite me over next time!

Anonymous said...

Gorgeous color on your chicken. Roast chicken is the ultimate comfort food. Great idea roasting the vegetables along with the chicken.

Pretend Chef said...

Brenda - If you are ever around the Houston area we can make that happen! I'd love to have you and your husband over for dinner!

Anonymous - Thank you! Roasting the veggies at the same time saves an extra dish you have to wash. Everything is ready all at once for a well balanced meal.

Cake Duchess said...

Gorgeous crispy skin! I love baking a whole chicken and experimenting with fun sauces. Your pooches are adorable!!

Pretend Chef said...

Lora - It's amazing how much meat baking a whole chicken gives. We've been picking off of it for three days now and I'm about to freeze what we haven't used for future use. Incredibly cheap! I love my fur babies! Haha! Thank you!

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