Who doesn't love roast chicken? What's not to love?
The best thing about this roast chicken recipe is that the vegetables roast in the chicken juices, and the skin gets nice and crispy while the meat is incredibly tender.
See, here's the trick: you slide softened butter in between the skin and and the meat before roasting. The butter helps keep the meat tender, but also makes the skin papery-crisp.
Personal confession time. I have an unnatural fear of birds. I have really avoided being in close proximity to birds (of any kind) since I was a kid. That proved difficult at the restaurant, which was located at the edge of a duck pond.
I am not afraid to eat poultry, or most anything (with some noted exceptions), but handling a raw chicken for prep has always completely freaked me out. Although I've had this recipe for ages, I am ashamed to admit that every time I make roast chicken it requires a pair of gloves, two sets of tongs (for maneuvering) and several loud shouts and shudders from yours truly.
Except this last time. Maybe it's because of the blog, maybe because I'm just sick of being (pardon the pun) a chicken, but I trussed and prepped this chicken for this post without having to perform marionette-style lathroscopic surgery on the damned thing in order to prep it.
After so many years, this "simple" recipe finally is just that.
The Simplest Roast Chicken
One 2-3 lb. raw fryer chicken (gizzards, etc. removed, but nowadays they just come like that)
1/2 stick of butter, cut into small slices/pats and slightly softened
3-4 whole shallots, peeled
6 oz of fresh herbs: I used oregano and thyme
Salt & pepper
Roasting vegetables: I used mushrooms, carrots, baby heirloom tomatoes and shallots
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Prep the chicken: pat all over with paper towels to dry. Gently lift the skin up from the breast and slide pats of butter between skin and meat. Smooth the butter by rubbing the skin gently. Add more butter to cavity and between wings. Season well with salt and pepper. Fill the cavity with shallots, then use kitchen string to truss the chicken. You can fancy-truss (if you know how) or simply tie the string around the chicken to keep the wings and legs in tight to the body. Trussing ensures that your roast chicken won't look like a nude sunbather when you take it out of the oven.
Line a roasting pan or deep baking pan with aluminum foil, and lay your fresh herbs down as a bed for the chicken. Place chicken in pan, breast-side up, and add your raw roasting vegetables. The juices from the bird with keep the vegetables moist during roasting, so don't worry. Roast chicken for 45 minutes at 425 degrees, then cover with a pan-sprayed aluminum foil sheet and lower to 350 degrees, cooking for an additional 30-45 minutes, or until the juices run clear from the bird when pierced. That's it!