Dinner prep ran a little late tonight (as I spent the afternoon watching the magnificent Brooklyn with my daughter instead of cooking). So at about 7:30 (late for us), I was perched up on a stool taking pictures of this lovely roast chicken while my hungry family circled, saying helpful things like: “Could we eat the chicken and take pictures of something else?”
I fended them off long enough to get a couple of shots. And then they descended upon the bird.
I do realize it’s not normal behavior to fight off a hungry family while on a quest for a perfect photo of a roasted piece of meat. Such is the odd, odd life of a food blogger.
While contemplating this oddness, you might also wonder: “How on earth did you roast a chicken if you spent half the afternoon at the movies?”
My mom texted the other day looking for this recipe, as I had served this dish one evening over the holidays. I sent her a link, but then had to send half-a-dozen texts clarifying all the ways I had tweaked it.
Seemed time for a blog post to put all those tweaks in one handy location.
Barbara’s version is quite simple.
I had a need to make it into a citrusy one-pot wonder.
I sliced up a lemon, a blood orange and half a red onion, and popped as many of the slices as I could in the cavity of the chicken with a few cloves of garlic. I then tossed the bird into my beloved cast-iron skillet. Chopped carrots and halved baby potatoes joined the rest of the oranges, lemons and onions surrounding the chicken, swimming in a happy combination of chicken broth and white wine. You might note the lovely thyme in the photo above – I thought it would be a nice touch, but in reality, I thyme at 500 degrees pretty much turns black. I suspect I was lucky it didn’t burst into a little thyme bundle of flames.
Learn from my mistakes.
While my husband carved the chicken, I pulled out the veggies to serve, and made a quick gravy with the pan juices… because, well, gravy is awesome.
Not than anyone let me pause to actually photograph it… by that point they had hidden the camera so we (they) could eat dinner.
I’m going to share this awesome chicken with the crew on Fiesta Friday this week.
- 5- to 6-pound chicken at room temperature, wing tips removed
- 1 lemon, sliced lengthwise into 8 slices
- 1 blood orange, sliced lengthwise into 8 slices
- ½ large red onion, slivered
- 4 whole garlic cloves
- 2 tablespoons melted butter
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Kosher salt, to taste
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 4 carrots, sliced into 2-inch chunks
- 1 lb baby potatoes, halved
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 1 cup white wine
- For the optional gravy
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- ½ cup chicken broth
- Place rack on second level from bottom of oven. Heat oven to 500°F (or for convection, reduce to 450°F).
- Mix the olive oil and melted butter together and brush it onto the skin of the bird. Season generously with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
- Stuff the cavity of the chicken with all of the garlic, a few slices of lemon, blood orange, slivered onions.
- Place the chicken in a cast-iron skillet breast side up.
- Arrange the remaining lemon and orange slices, the slivered onions, and the carrots and potatoes around the edges of the bird.
- Put in the oven legs first and roast 50 to 70 minutes depending on the size of the bird. Estimate 20 minutes plus 10 minutes per pound. To check, place an instant-read thermometer into the meat near the inner thigh (between the leg and the breast, but make sure you’re not hitting bone). If the thermometer reads between 160° and 165°, it’s done. If the temperature is lower, it needs more time in the oven; much higher, and it’s overcooked. Don’t panic—just use the pan juices to help moisten any dry meat. (h/t Food and Wine.)
- After about 50 minutes, start to check the bird, and if it's browning too much, pop a piece of aluminum foil over the top while it finishes up.
- Remove the chicken to a platter by placing a large wooden spoon into the tail end and balancing the chicken with a kitchen spoon pressed against the crop end. As you lift the chicken, carefully tilt it over the roasting pan so that all the juices run out and into the pan.
- Optional: In a measuring cup, combine 1 tablespoon of melted butter, with 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour. Add a few ladles of the pan juices and whisk to combine. Pour the mixture back into the remaining pan juices on the stove, and whisk constantly, over medium heat until combined. Cook for a few minutes until the mixture begins to thicken a bit. If necessary, pour an extra ½ cup chicken stock into the gravy.
- Serve the sauce over the chicken or, for crisp skin, in a sauceboat.