Thursday, November 3, 2011

Herb-Roasted Whole Chicken

Sunday dinners are special.  Think about the crazy week you've had and try to remember how hard is was to have dinner as a family (no, leaving a pizza on the counter to . With everyone's busy lives, it can be difficult to find the time for the entire family to sit down together, but Sunday afternoon is usually the best option.

My Herb-Roasted Whole Chicken is a great centerpiece for the meal.  You can use the herbs I have listed below, or you can leave out anything you don't like or add to the spice mixture to suit your tastes.  The important thing to remember, though, is to make sure you thaw the bird thoroughly and remove the giblets before roasting the chicken (you can use the giblets to make gravy if you wish, mine usually just end up in the trash).  I usually try to give the bird at least 48 (but no more than 72) hours in the fridge to thaw before cooking.  If not thawed completely, some parts of the chicken will be fully cooked while others will be cold and undercooked.  I don't know about you, but spending the rest of the day at the hospital with Salmonella poisoning just doesn't sound near as much fun as watching Sunday Night Football.

For ideas of what to serve with the chicken, head over to my Meal Ideas page.

Herb-Roasted Whole Chicken

1 3-1/2 to 4 lb whole chicken, giblets removed
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
1/2 onion, cut into 4 pieces
1 stalk celery, cut into 2-inch lengths
1 carrot, peeled, cut into 2-inch lengths
1 Tbsp kosher salt, divided
1 tsp ground black pepper, divided
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp celery flakes
1 tsp dried parsley
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp garlic powder

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.  Rinse chicken and pat dry with paper towels.  Rub outside of chicken all over with oil.  Season inside of chicken with 1/2 Tbsp of salt and 1/2 tsp pepper.  Stuff onion, celery, and carrot into chicken.  In small bowl, mix together remaining salt and pepper, basil, celery flakes, parsley, oregano, and garlic powder.  Sprinkle over skin of chicken and rub to ensure herbs stick to chicken.  Place chicken in roasting pan and cover with aluminum foil.

Roast chicken, covered for 1 hour and 10 minutes.  Remove foil and roast another 30-45 minutes, or until temperature of thigh reads 180 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer (make sure tip of thermometer does not touch bone).  Discard vegetables in cavity of chicken.  Cover chicken with aluminum foil and let rest for 10 minutes before carving.

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