2 min read

Roast Chicken: The Classy Meal for the Classy Family

The time-honored Continental European chicken dinner.

Travel to any Continental European bistro, and chances are you’ll find a roast chicken on the menu. It’s cheap and easy to prepare, tasty, and—most importantly, from a restaurant perspective—smells delicious. Even those who don’t care for fowl find the scent appetizing. (Explaining why supermarket delis pump fake roast chicken odors into their stores, but more about that some other time.)

Most of us may not have a rotisserie at home, but roasting a chicken in the oven is a quick way to make a deceivingly elegant meal.

Chicken on cutting board
A roasted chicken, up close and personal.

Well, elegant when properly staged, at least—consider my picture a gritty, naturalistic take on the subject. This roast chicken pairs well with garlic mashed potatoes—recipe coming soon. For now:

The Recipe
  • ½ cup salt (optional, for brine)
  • ½ cup sugar (optional, for brine)
  • 1 whole chicken (giblets discarded/prepared for the dog)
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • Pepper
  1. Optional (but recommended) brine: Stir salt and water in 2 quarts of water, and submerge chicken into it. Refrigerate for an hour, then remove the chicken from the brine and pat dry with a paper towel.
  2. Adjust oven rack to middle-lower position and place roasting pan on rack. Heat to 400 degrees. Coat the v-rack with cooking spray and set aside.
  3. Loosely insert your fingers into the center positions of each breast’s skin. Place butter on meat in the center of each breast, and gently massage the butter evenly over the breasts.
  4. Rub skin with oil and place chicken wing side up on v-rack. Place v-rack in preheated pan and roast for 15 minutes.
  5. Rotate the chicken, so the opposite wing side faces up. Return pan to oven and roast for 15 minutes.
  6. Rotate the chicken, so the breast side faces up, and roast until the breast registers 160 degrees,= and the thighs 175 degrees. Right around 25 minutes.
  7. Transfer the chicken to a carving board and let it rest for 10 minutes. Carve and serve.

My sincerest apologies for step three.

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