I wasn't actually planning to follow a recipe, as I had basic knowledge of cooking a chicken as well as countless tips and methods gathered from years of watching the Food Network and reading magazines and cookbooks. Plus, I always just cook with my gut and nose! I did, however, stumble upon a recipe from The Barefoot Contessa Ina Garten that was similar to what I had planned on doing, so I used it for reassurance.
After a long day of running errands, I didn't get home until 8, which meant a VERY late dinner. But I was determined. So, off I went chopping vegetables, rinsing and seasoning the chicken. My biggest concern was achieving rich flavor and a crisp, golden skin. I decided to use a trick I picked up a while back of using an herb butter mixture to slather under the skin and on top, to ensure both rich flavor and a buttery crisp skin.
I stuffed the cavity with a half of the lemon, a bunch of thyme and a few sprigs of rosemary, a chunk of onion, a few garlic cloves and ...of course, a hunk of butter (is this starting to sound like a Paula Dean recipe?). I tied up the legs (with some decorative gold floral wire, since I didn't have any kitchen string), placed the cute little bird on top of the seasoned vegetables in my ceramic baking dish, and in the preheated oven it went for about an hour and a half. After letting the chicken rest, dinner was served at about 11:30. A very late dinner indeed!
The results: a moist chicken with good flavor and a gorgeous crisp skin! And the vegetables, soft and buttery and fresh with lemon and herbs yet still retaining some of their crispness and natural flavor.
Stay tuned to TrocTalk to read about how I used the leftover chicken later in the week! Truly a dish that keeps on giving.