Raise your hand if roasting an entire chicken or turkey is intimidating to you. I don’t know if you can see it through the screen, but I actually have both hands and a foot raised. At almost 9 months pregnant, I’m quite a spectacle.
For some reason, roasting a chicken seems so much harder than it is. Is it cooked through? Are there going to be cold spots inside? Where do I put the meat thermometer? Did I overcook it? Is it going to be dry? Bleh.
That’s why “Roast a chicken” made our 101 Things to Do in 1001 Days list. I feel like it’s a skill I want to develop. Plus, roasting whole chickens can be really economical. I wanted to really–really–give it a try. And guess what? It was a fantastic (delicious!) success!
I got a subscription to Martha Stewart Living for Christmas from Michael (magazines make GREAT Christmas gifts), and the January issue tackled several different ways to roast chicken. Michael saw a recipe for roasting a pair of paprika-rubbed chickens, and said that THAT was the one he wanted to try.
Well, two people don’t really need a pair of chickens. Especially when organic chicken doesn’t go on sale that often. So, I just kind of sat on the idea, waiting until the right time, whenever that may be. With organic roasting chickens on sale for $1.99 per pound last week, I thought it had better be the right time.
I ended up combining methods from several different recipes, adapted the paprika rub to our tastes, and then sat and waited anxiously while the chicken roasted. I was SURE I had blown it (my chicken ended up needing to cook almost 15 minutes longer than most recipes said it should have to), but the results were fantastic! The chicken was tender, juicy, not dried out at all, and made for great leftovers.
I can’t wait for chickens to go on sale again!
A few notes on the recipe: I don’t own a proper roasting pan, so most recipes I looked at recommended using a bed of vegetables to lift up the chicken the way a roasting pan with a rack inside would. Since you’re not going to eat the roasted vegetables (they mostly just lend flavor), feel free to use a bit of this or that–whatever you have in your refrigerator. Have some limp celery on it’s way out? Perfect!Print