I know I don’t post dinner recipes very often… okay, never… but even “never” deserves an exception once in a while, right? I made this super yummy roast chicken the other day, and found myself wishing I had taken pictures of it. Then I told myself how weird it was that I really regretted not photographing my dinner. Then I went to the store and bought another chicken so I could do it all over again, with my camera at the ready.
Let me first whet your appetite by telling you that this is the easiest dinner you will ever make. I. Exaggerate. Not. It’s also one of my family’s favorite things to eat. And…? It makes enough leftovers for sandwiches the following day. It’s basically the perfect meal.
I decided to prove my point by having my 10 year old daughter make the meal. (Exploiting my children for my own gain? Or teaching them responsibility and life skills? Tomayto-Tomahto.) I was totally hands-off. Well, almost totally. I was standing around taking pictures, and giving her some direction, but she was extremely irritated at me. ”I know how to do it, Mom.” Which is frankly fine with me. As far as I’m concerned, she can make dinner every night.
STEP ONE: Buy a small whole chicken, and remove it from the packaging. Something around 5 pounds is the perfect size. I guess it goes without saying that it should be thawed if you have something frozen. But I’ll say it anyway. Because that’s the kind of friend I am. When your bird is all ready, cut a lemon into quarters.
STEP TWO: Stuff the lemon inside the chicken cavity. I usually get two lemon quarters in there. You can also use limes, if you’re so inclined.
STEP THREE: Add veggies. Use whatever you like. I prefer potatoes, carrots, and onions. Dice them up and throw them right into your roasting pan with the chicken. They get all chicken-flavored and soft and delicious with lovely roasted edges. Mmmm. You can also season the bird with a little butter (optional) and some dried thyme. Because thyme is the tastiest herb known to man. It’s fantastic on chicken… and just about everything else.
STEP FOUR: Cover and bake. I set the oven to 450 degrees and bake for 90 minutes.
FINAL AND MOST IMPORTANT STEP: Let it rest. This step is critical. It makes all the juices settle back in the bird so it won’t turn to chicken crackers. SERIOUSLY. Listen to me on this one. Give it 10-15 minutes of just sitting undisturbed before you carve it. You can thank me later.
I should be honest by telling you that there is one downside to this meal, and that is removing the meat from the bones. Usually, we eat at least half the meat during dinner, and then I have to pick the rest of it off the bones. But, a few minutes of work is totally worth it, because this lovely, juicy, tasty chicken makes the best chicken salad ever. Put it on a nice fresh hoagie roll for full effect.
I was going to wait until lunchtime, but on second thought, I think I will eat my chicken salad sandwich now.