Thursday, December 15, 2011

Jamie Oliver's Roast Chicken

I don't do a turkey or ham for Christmas. Why not, you say. Seriously. Are you even asking that? (Of course, you're not; I'm asking it and pretending to be you. Hopefully, this isn't offensive.) Well, I'll answer you/me anyway. It's because I'm so dang tired by then, that's why, but not quite tired enough to want another chocolate Santa for dinner.  Thus, I do a crock pot meal. The kind of crock pot meal where everything gets thrown into the crock pot so that, come dinner, there's really nothing for me to do if I don't want to. Because this is Christmas, baby, this is Christmas. Now pass me some of that non-alcoholic eggnog. Uh-huh.

Jamie Oliver's Roast Chicken
Adapted from Jamie Oliver and Mostly Food and Crafts
Makes 1 three-four pound bird
Prep time:
Cook time:
Cost: $8.10
(humanely raised chicken: 6.00, herbs: free for me so I'm not sure, but fresh they'll cost a bit; onions: .30, potatoes: .50, squash: 1.30)

Confessional Note: I made this over a month ago. I remembered it as a crock pot meal. It was actually a Dutch oven meal. (I mean how could I possibly be expected to remember something clearly that happened over a month ago.) I bet it would still make a great crock pot meal and intend to prove it come Christmas Day. For now, I'll give you instructions for both options. P.S. The Dutch oven method is pretty darn easy itself, though it is a little more lacking in the fix it and forget it ideology.

1 three-four lb chicken, thawed
salt and ground pepper (about 1 1/2-t tsp salt--sounds like a lot)
3 handfuls fresh herbs (I used basil and oregano when I made it over a month ago. Now I'd use, rosemary, sage, and maybe some oregano)
1/4 C olive oil
1 lemon, halved
4 bay leaves
2 springs fresh rosemary
2 onions, diced
8 small potatoes, chunked
1 small butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and chunked

To roast:

Preheat oven and roasting vessel (I used a Dutch oven) to 425. Rinse chicken inside and out and pat dry with paper towels. Rub cavity with salt.

Separate skin from breast meat and salt. Combine those handfuls of herbs (I gave them a rough chop) with a bit of the olive oil and stuff into that place you've made between the breast meat and breast skin (leave a little bit for the legs). It's a grody job, but you'll thank yourself later.

Stuff bird with lemon, bay leaves, and rosemary sprigs.

Slash each thigh 2-3 times and rub with remaining herbs.

Over entire chicken, drizzle olive oil and sprinkle with salt.

Remove Dutch oven from oven, drizzle pan with a bit of olive oil (don't skip that), and lay chicken breast side down, and cook for 10 minutes.

Take Dutch oven out. Flip the chicken (add a bit more olive oil to pan first if necessary). Add onions, potatoes, and squash to pan. Give a sprinkle of salt, pepper, and olive oil to the lot. Cook for 1 hour and 20 minutes or until breast is at 165 and thighs are higher than that--hopefully 175, though mine were higher and I kind of like them like that.

Tent with foil and let rest 10 minutes.

Now, for the yet-untried crock pot method:

Pat chicken dry, and follow directions above. Only go ahead and put it in breast side up and then surround it with vegetables right from the get go. You shouldn't need water. Also, you can skip drizzling the olive oil and salt over the whole thing, or at least drizzle/salt less. Cover and cook on high for 5-6 hours or until 165 is reached in breast, 175 in the thigh. It most likely won't have a perfect crispy skin like your roast bird will, but otherwise should be just as good. Plenty of water and juices should have leaked into the crock pot as well, so you can still have a gravy if that's your thing.

Not eager to try a yet-untried method on Christmas Day, have a look at this crock pot chicken which I have made and which is great.


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