When I think of winter, among other things (like hot cocoa, twinkling lights, and unapologetically tucking my jeans into my Ugg boots) I think of hearty, satisfying food that warms me from the inside out. For me, the quintessential winter meal (one of them at least…) has got to have a whole cooked bird. I did the turkey for Thanksgiving last year, so I figured I’d write about something on a smaller scale: a whole roasted chicken.
On a chilly day after Thanksgiving, Tyler suggested that we treat ourselves to a holiday feast for two. I was excited at this thought because… let’s be honest… anything food-related gets me excited. But even better, we’d get to use Tyler’s new Le Crueset French oven! Bam bam bam.
Alright yum-seekers. This is how we did it.
Whole Roasted Chicken
(brine) 15 cups of water
½ c salt
3 sprigs of rosemary
2 tbs whole peppercorns
2 cloves of garlic
4 sprigs of rosemary
1 whole chicken (3-4 lbs) innards removed
5 red potatoes, cut into quarters
6 sprigs of rosemary
2 cloves of garlic
1 small onion, quartered
1 stick of salted butter, room temperature
salt and pepper
First, you gotta brine that bird!
Warm 2 cups of water and stir in the salt and sugar until dissolved. Then, in a large bucket (or bowl, or pot, or whatever) combine the salty-sugar water with the 13 remaining cups. Cut the lemon in half, squeeze the juice into the water mixture, and just plop the two squeezed halves in there. Add the remaining brine ingredients, rinse the chicken with cold water, and submerge that birdie in there! We brined our chicken for about an hour and a half (we started this meal fairly late in the day… so if you have more time to brine, by all means, brine for longer!).
Next, toss the quartered potatoes in olive oil until they evenly coated. Take two rosemary sprigs, remove the tough stems, and finely chop. Sprinkle in with the potatoes and give those babies a lil’ toss. Put your potatoes on the bottom of the French Oven, lift the chicken out of the brine, lightly pat dry, and lay the chicken down breast up on top of the potatoes. Take the softened butter and spread evenly over the entire chicken. Then salt and pepper the outside and inside, stick the onion, garlic cloves, and remaining rosemary inside the crevice and put the lid on it! Roast that sucker in the oven at 425º until the internal temperature of reaches 165º (ours took just over an hour).
When it’s done, you should have yourself a perfectly moist, perfectly seasoned, perfectly yum-tastic roasted chicken.
Only one thing left to do: