Episode 50 Roast Chicken – A Great Dinner for Busy Weeknights
Roast Chicken can be intimidating, but I am here to tell you that it can be one of the best dinners for busy weeknights. It is great for the kind of days where your kids have piano from 3:45-4:45, soccer from 5:00-6:00 and you have a meeting at 7:00, roast chicken can be a great dinner. My recipe for roast chicken actually takes 3 days, but please don’t let that scare you. I promise it only take a few minutes each day and you have cooked chicken and chicken broth for quick dinners in the future.
The full recipe is in my cookbook, but this is a general guide for my process.
Day 1 (I like to do this when I’m cleaning up dinner dishes, but you can do it earlier in the day too.)
- Get your sink full of soapy water and add a Tablespoon of bleach if you wish.
- Set out your roasting pan with rack or a rimmed baking sheet with cooling rack
- Cut 1 12 inch piece of kitchen twine per chicken (optional)
- Mix 1 Tablespoon Sea Salt, ¼ teaspoon black pepper, and 1 ½ teaspoons poultry seasoning per chicken in a small bowl
- Open the chicken packaging over the drain in your sink or a bowl to catch any liquid that will leak out when you open the package. (I always look for chickens without any salt added.)
- Remove the giblets from the cavity. Some chickens will not have giblets. You can roast these or discard.
- Place the chicken on the roasting rack and repeat with the second chicken.
- Lift the skin and rub the salt mixture directly on the meat under the skin. I like to cut a slit on the back of the thigh to make it easier to rub with salt. You may have to break apart the connective fascia to separate the skin from the meat.
- Place seasoned chickens breast side up on the roasting rack and tie the drumsticks together with kitchen twine if you have it.
- Place the roasting pan uncovered in the refrigerator overnight. The air will circulate and dry out the surface of the skin and the salt will penetrate deeply into the meat yielding chickens with crisp skin and juicy meat.
- Preheat oven to 425
- Place roasting pan in oven and bake for 1 ½ hours.
- Remove chickens from oven and let rest 20 minutes.
- Serve the first chicken for dinner.
- Remove all meat from the bones of the chickens and place in a bowl.
- Place bones in a slow cooker with an onion, carrot, celery, garlic and 6 whole cloves (optional, do not use ground cloves.)
- Add any drippings from the pan or cutting board to the slow cooker.
- OR- Roast the bones for 30 minutes at 450 degrees Fahrenheit before adding to the slow cooker.
- Cover the bones with water and place the slow cooker on low.
- Place the meat in labeled zip bags or containers in meal-size portions for your family.
- Freeze the chicken meat.
- I like to do this when I am cleaning up dinner dishes.
- Remove most of the bones and veggies from the broth with tongs and discard.
- Place a fine mesh strainer over a large bowl and strain out any remaining bones or veggies and discard.
- Cool the broth in the bowl with frozen broth or ice cubes.
- Pour the broth into containers and label.
- If you are using glass jars, leave several inches of room at the top and wide-mouth jars work much better for freezing liquids.
- Freeze the broth.