I love the Food Network. Most of you probably do too. Every weekend it's my mindless, somewhat guilty pleasure to watch a couple hours of my favorite shows, which by now you probably know include At Home with Giada and Barefoot Contessa at #1 and 2, not necessarily in that order - it just depends on what kind of mood I'm in! One thing that is consistent with Barefoot Contessa is Ina's countless recipes for chicken. She's a self-proclaimed chicken fanatic and makes it every weekend for her husband. Now I do not ever anticipate making a roast chicken every Friday night for John - but I did want to give it a shot after seeing I don't know how many versions of Ina's on her show.
So I searched the Food Network's site for Roast Chicken recipes and when I came across a recipe called Perfect Roast Chicken, I thought that had to be the one to try - why would I want to test any of the other recipes for my first roast chicken ever if this one's Perfect? So with a few modifications (as usual), I made this recipe and I think it really was almost perfect. I'd definitely make it again - and would make it for company too! I think next time I'd use less thyme and more lemon though.
I'd also like to point out that this was a 100% organic chicken and when you buy the chicken whole, the cost of organic (per pound) is equal to buying non-organic boneless skinless breasts. Yes, you have to put more work into it, but for those who complain about the high price tag that comes with organic food, there are ways to beat the system - and I've found this one of the easiest. (Organic boneless, skinless chicken breasts are pricey - so next time buy the whole chicken and you'll be back down in the $2ish range per pound).
Perfect Roast Chicken
Recipe Source: From Food Network's website: Barefoot Contessa Cookbook
1 5 pound organic chicken
salt & pepper
1 lemon, halved
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1/4 stick butter, melted
1 large onion, thickly sliced
4 carrots, peeled and cut (large pieces)
4 celery stalks, cut (large pieces)
Remove the giblets and rinse the chicken inside and out. Pat outside dry. Heavily salt and pepper the inside of the chicken. Stuff the cavity with a handful of thyme, both halves of the lemon, and all the garlic. Brush the outside of the chicken with the butter and coat with lots of salt and pepper.
Place the veggies in a roasting pan and toss, with salt, pepper, thyme, and olive oil. Place the chicken on top.
Roast for 1 1/2 hours at 425 degrees. (I had John test this with a meat thermometer at the end to make sure it was 170 degrees - that's what you want it to be). Remove the chicken from oven and cover with aluminum foil and let it sit for 15 - 20 minutes. Slice the chicken and serve with roasted veggies.