We eat out a lot. I love eating out. I like to try different places and different foods, plus there's no mess to cleanup at home. But I also cook a lot. And certainly we eat at home far more than we eat out.
I'm the designated cook in the house. I do 95% of the cooking. When I first got into cooking about a decade ago, I was into making complicated, fancy dishes. Dishes that require prep time and lots of ingredients. "I'm a good cook and I'm going to show off dammit!"
That didn't last.
I still enjoy making fancy dishes, but doing that everyday just doesn't fly. Who has the time? Or who has the cash to invest in all kinds of ingredients that may get used only once and then sit around? I've learned that day in and day out, simple, but tasty, and wholsome dishes are the way to go. See my quick sauce recipe for a good example of that.
Today I want to share my roast chicken method. I guess you could call it a recipe, but it's more a method than a recipe. It's super simple, and oven time aside, it's quick.
You just need a 5-6 lb chicken, kitchen twine and salt and pepper.
There are recipes that have you rub butter under the skin, or you stuff the bird with herbs and lemon, or some other such things. You can do that, but it takes time and effort, and the end product isn't hugely better than my simple method.
Regarding tying up the chicken. I've seen TV shows where the cook will 'truss' up the chicken with some fancy twists and knots. I don't do that, it's hard to learn and it takes more time. My method is quick and dirty. I cut 2 pieces of twine about 12" long each. I then wrap one around where the wings are to hold them in place and just knot it. I do the same for the drumsticks, pulling them together so they don't over cook. Quick, simple.
I then sprinkle salt and pepper over the whole chicken, place it in a roasting pan, and pop it in a 375 degree oven uncovered. At around the 75 minute mark I start checking it with a meat thermometer and pull it when it reaches 165 degrees, and then let it rest for 10 minutes before serving.
The time it takes to prep the chicken and get it in the oven is about 3 minutes. It comes out of the oven a beautiful golden brown, with a crispy skin. The meat is tender and juicy. I always serve it with a quick gravy, and mashed potatoes or scratch made biscuits (I plan to post my simple methods for those, too, stay tuned).