Before tonight, the last time I cooked a whole chicken was a good 15 to 20 years ago. It must have been a horrendous experience because I have always shied away from cooking a whole bird ever since; aside from the dreaded Christmas turkey that is. This year, being a year of conquering my “cooking Himalayas”, I decided to give it another go.
I purchased the bird just before Christmas and promptly put it in the freezer and forgot about it. Don’t know why I bought it, it’s the same price as a rotisserie chicken and ten times the work but I bought it anyway. As I was cleaning out the fridge and freezer this weekend, I found the poor bird just begging me to give it a chance; it was calling me!
Yesterday I put it in the fridge to defrost and psyched myself all day to cook the darn thing. Of course I was busy all day so I had all of 5 minutes to search the net and figure out how to cook it. I figured out the basics quickly, bed of veggies, clean and dry the bird, butter and season.
After picking up my baby girl from school I headed straight for the supermarket where I purchased the following:
Fennel – because it was on sale AND it’s not something I ever purchase
Sweet potatoe – because they are good for you
Idahoe potatoes – just because
Rutabaga – because I LOVE the way they taste
Thyme – because I know I saw it somewhere online
I got home and while the princess did her homework I cleaned peeled and diced the aforementioned items PLUS:
1 lemon (halved)
In a deep oven dish I put all the veggies and splashed a generous helping of EVOO, 2 or 3 pinches of fleur de sel, and turmeric (tastes awesome and benefits are endless) and massaged the whole thing making sure they were all covered. I added a few sprigs of thyme; made for a beautiful bed for my chicken.
I then rinsed the chicken well and pat it dry with paper towel. Olivia helped salt and pepper the inside and outside of the chicken and I stuffed it with the halved lemon. Before popping in the oven (440 degrees), I poured some melted butter over the bird and dressed it with more thyme.
It cooked for an hour and 15 minutes and came out PERFECT! I was thrilled to see even my fussy little man eat his chicken and veggies! Even though it is more effort than the ready-to-go rotisserie chicken you find in every supermarket, it is so worth the effort!
I am no longer afraid of THE BIRD and might even try cooking quail next!