Friday, February 15, 2013

Whole Roasted Chicken with Garlic Herb Butter

Since we will be raising chickens for meat this summer, and they will obviously not process themselves for us, we have been practicing cooking whole chicken.  This way we will learn how to butcher the chicken into it's respective cuts, and get the most out of our chicken.  Here's the recipe we have come to use as our special dinner, dinner. 

Doesn't it look yummy!

Roasted Chicken with Garlic Herb Butter

Total time about 1 hour 15 mins, Serves 2-4


-1  Whole Chicken ~ 3-4 lbs.
-2 tablespoons chopped parsley
-2 cloves Garlic smashed
-8 tablespoons/1 stick butter
-1/2 cup water

Firstly don't be intimidated by the thought of dealing with a whole chicken!  It is much easier than that Thanksgiving Day turkey.

1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit

 2. To begin you will need to combine half the butter, 4 tablespoons, and the parsley leaves and minced garlic in a bowl or food processor.
It should smell delicious!
3. Then give the chicken a good rinse under some cool water making sure that it is clean inside and out.  Remove any gizzards etc that may be in the inside cavity depending on where you get your chicken.  You'll also want to begin separating the skin from the chicken breast.

 4. After you have the skin separated from the breasts you will stuff and rub about half of the butter between the skin and meat.  Also rub down the outside of the chicken all over with butter.  Lastly rub and place some of the butter inside the chicken cavity. 
Feel free to get a lot in there most 
of it will run out into the pan.
The skin should just pull off

Your hands should look like this when you finish.

5. You will then place the remaining 4 tablespoons of butter and the remaining herb butter in a small roasting pan, or our favorite, our cast-iron dutch oven.  Place the pan in the oven with the butter till all the butter has melted and the foam has subsided. 

6. After the butter has melted and just before you add the chicken, add a 1/2 cup of water to the pan.

7. Place the chicken, breast-side down, in the pan and cook 20 minutes.  

8. Baste the chicken,  and now we are ready to flip!  I do this by using a pair of sturdy tongs, and placing them inside the chest cavity and flipping.  Baste this side of the chicken and roast for 10 more minutes.

  9. Baste, and roast another 10 minutes. At this point your chicken should begin to be golden.

10. Turn the oven down to 325F and roast for ~20 more minutes or until the temperature of the chicken with a meat thermometer placed in it's thigh, reads 170F degrees.  A last check is to let the juices run out of the inside of the chicken and they should be clear.

11. If chicken is done remove from oven to a platter and allow to rest for 5-10 minutes before attempting to carve.  
yum yum almost there.
12. Now to carve! You'll be able to tell that chicken is done if the bones pop right out as you pull them.

Step 1: Cut straight down on each of the breastbone, following the shape of the carcass. 

Step 2: Continue to cut down toward the back until you reach the joints holding the thigh and wing to the carcass.

Step 3: Cut through those joints to free the entire half of the bird.

Step 4: Separate the leg and breast sections be cutting through the skin that holds them together, hold the knife almost parallel to the cutting board, cut from the breast toward the leg, and you will easily find the right spot.

Step 5: Separate the wing from the breast if you like.

Cut into wing, leg and thigh, and breast
Step 6: Separate leg and thigh; the joint the joint will offer little resistance once you find it.

Serve, Eat, Enjoy!

To make the most with your chicken, save the carcass and bones and make stock! 

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