The many lives of roast chicken

There are few things better than a roast chicken. For guests on Sunday, I roasted two in my usual manner: Squeeze lemon juice over the exterior, put the lemon halves inside the chicken with some garlic cloves and rosemary, then rub the skin with olive oil and sprinkle with salt, pepper and paprika. I roast them at 425 degrees for 15 minutes, then reduce the heat to 350 degrees and cook another hour and a half or so, until they’re done.

First, you get the homey aroma as it cooks. I don’t know why no one has produced roast chicken-scented candles, because they would beat the leaves off green tea.

The birds arrived juicy and fragrant. The guests tore into them, but about two cups were left at the end of the meal. Mixed with a few chopped carrots and onions, just enough for a chicken pie for dinner.

Today, the final act in the chicken show: The bones and water long-simmered with carrots, celery, onion, garlic and a few peppercorns for broth to fill my freezer. And the perfume lingers.


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One Response to “The many lives of roast chicken”


  • Comment from Beth K.

    I guess good ol’ NC gals think alike – I roasted a chicken on Sunday too, and you’re right – the aroma is heavenly. (I used Ina Garten’s recipe which is very similar to yours, but she calls for rubbing the bird with melted butter!) I always look at roasted chicken as the gift that keeps on giving….with just two of us to feed, we can eat several meals from it and then we get the broth – so I always feel very virtuous and frugal when I cook one!


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