Suzanne Krowiak from indyfoodswappers.com teaches us how to make a roast chicken at home, and your meal time plan will get easier overnight. Although many people are afraid to make their own roast chicken, it’s one of the easiest and most economical meals to get on the family table. And one of the best reasons to make your own? Taste! Make it once, and you’ll realize grocery store versions pale in comparison to the flavor of one pulled directly out of your own oven. Once you’re finished, use the bones to make chicken stock that will transform your soups, and even up the flavor for things like rice and other grains. The easiest, most hands-off version of homemade stock you’ve ever seen.
• 1 whole chicken, 3 to 4 pounds, giblets removed and excess fat trimmed
• 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
• 1 tablespoon kosher salt
• ½ teaspoon fresh-ground pepper
1. Place the whole chicken in a large bowl or Dutch oven and cover with warm water (approximately 70 to 75 degrees). Soak for 20 minutes. This will bring the chicken to room temperature, resulting in faster and more even cooking.
2. While the chicken is soaking, place a 10 or 12-inch iron skillet in the oven, and turn the heat to 450°F. (Heating the pan in advance will help to brown the chicken.)
3. After the chicken has soaked for 20 minutes, remove it from the water and place it, breast side down, on a rimmed baking sheet. Dry the chicken all over with paper towels.
4. Using a small pairing knife, make 4 (1-inch) cuts along the backbone, two on each side.
5. Flip the chicken so it’s breast side up. Using your fingers, or the end of a wooden spoon, gently separate the skin from the breast and thighs.
6. Using a metal skewer, or the very tip of a sharp knife, poke approximately 10 – 15 holes in the fat pockets of the breast and thighs.
7. Rub the chicken all over with a generous amount of olive oil (approximately 2 tablespoons.)
8. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of kosher salt all over the chicken. Follow with ½ teaspoon fresh-ground pepper.
9. Remove the hot iron skillet from the oven and drizzle the bottom with one tablespoon of olive oil.
10. Place the chicken, breast side up, in the skillet, and return the pan to the oven. Cook for 20 minutes.
11. Remove the pan from oven and flip the chicken over, so it’s breast side down. (Use a wide spatula with one hand, and hold several paper towels in the other hand to assist in the flip.) Return to oven and cook for 10 minutes.
12. Flip the chicken back over so it’s breast side up again, and finish cooking until the thickest part of the thigh reaches 175°F, and the breast reaches 160°F. This should take approximately 40 minutes in total, or about 10 minutes per pound.
13. Remove the chicken from the oven and let it rest for at least 20 minutes, uncovered, before carving.
Oven-Cooked Chicken Stock
• Bones of your roast chicken. (The more meat on the bones, the more flavor your broth will have.)
• 1 medium onion, halved. (no peeling necessary)
• 3 large carrots, roughly chopped (no peeling necessary)
• 3 celery stalks, roughly chopped
• 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
• Bay leaf
1. Place all chicken bones in large pot or Dutch oven with the onion, carrots, celery, peppercorns, and bay leaf. Cover with water, 1 to 2 inches above contents. (You can break apart the bones if it’s easier to fit the carcass in the pot.)
2. Bring to simmer on stovetop over medium heat.
3. Once broth reaches a simmer, place in an oven heated to 180°F. (Or 200°F if you oven doesn’t go as low as 180°). Put the lid on the pot before you place it in the oven, but place it ajar. You want steam to be able to escape during the cooking process.
4. Cook 8 to 12 hours. (It’s nearly impossible to overcook stock. So, leaving it in overnight while you sleep is fine. You don’t have to be really diligent about the time.)
5. Strain all solids out of the broth and discard. Use broth to cook rice, soups, etc.
6. Store for up to 3 days, or freeze for up to six months.
For more great ideas visit their website at indyfoodswappers.com