Let’s talk chicken. Sure, we are all familiar with the boneless, skinless variety, but can I be frank?
Those can be a bit, um… boring.
This week, I’m going to help you to break you out of that chicken rut. Let’s start by embracing the whole bird, shall we?
Um… not like that.
Want to feel like a hero in the kitchen? Put this on the dinner table:
I made this dish for dinner last night. My family raved over it, and gave me enough praise to fill my little middle-child heart with glee. What they don’t know it this: roast chicken ranks right up there with spaghetti and baked potatoes on the cooking difficulty scale. This is one dish where the outcome far outweighs what you put into it.
Want to make things really easy? Throw some potatoes in the oven to bake while the chicken is roasting. If you round things out with salad, making it will be the most difficult part of the meal.
- One whole fryer
- Olive oil
- Spice rub for poultry (mine has sage, thyme, salt, pepper, paprika, garlic and parsley in it), season salt, or salt and pepper
- ¼ cup apple jelly
- ¼ cup honey
- ½ – 1 tsp fresh grated or jarred ginger
- ¼ – ½ tsp cayenne pepper
- Preheat oven to 375°.
- Begin by preparing your chicken. Remove from packaging and reach your hand in the cavity (trust me, this dish is worth it). Pull out any giblets, large fat deposits and/or neck. Set aside for another dish or discard.
- Trim any loose skin and tail, if desired. (The tail question comes down to aesthetics. I usually leave it, because I am a lazy cook.)
- Rinse chicken, inside and out with cold water. Pat dry with paper towel.
- Place chicken on a rack in a baking pan, breast side up.
- Rub entire bird with olive oil. Liberally sprinkle on spice rub, season salt, or salt and pepper and lightly rub in.
- Place chicken on lower-middle rack in oven and roast for about 25 minutes, to start.
- While chicken is roasting, prepare glaze: Combine apple jelly, honey in a small dish. Stir. If jelly does not break down and combine well, microwave mixture for 30 seconds to melt.
- Add ½ teaspoon of ginger and ¼ teaspoon of cayenne. Taste, then add more of each, if desired.
- After cooking chicken for about 40 minutes, remove from oven and spoon half of the glaze over the bird, taking care to cover legs and wings.
- Return chicken to the oven for another 15 minutes. Remove and cover with the remaining glaze. If wing tips are beginning to look overly brown, cover them with foil.
- Place chicken back in the oven and cook until juices run clear and thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the thigh reaches 165°. Take care not to touch the bone with the thermometer; that would give a false reading.
- Total cooking time should be between 1 and 1½ hours, depending on the size of bird.
Tomorrow, I’ll show you what to do with the leftovers, if there are any.