Okay, here's what I typically do to make a whole roasted chicken.
Diane's Simple Roasted Chicken
(all measurements are approximate, use all organic ingredients when possible)
1 Whole, Organic Free-Range Chicken
(be sure to remove any spare parts that are inside- keep them aside for making stock later)
1 Large Onion, chopped into 1″ pieces
2 Large Carrots, chopped into 1″ pieces
2 Stalks of Celery, chopped into 1″ pieces
1 Lemon or Orange, cut into pieces (any shape is ok- keep them larger for easier removal after roasting)
1 Sprig of Fresh Rosemary (leave it whole or chop up the needles, you may substitute sage or thyme if you prefer, or combine them)
4-6 Cloves of Garlic, smashed
4 Tbsp Butter, Melted (you may not end up using all of this)
* 2 Cups Home-Made Chicken Stock
Sea Salt (Redmond's Real Salt is my favorite!), to taste
Pepper, to taste
Paprika, to taste
* If you don't have any homemade chicken or vegetable stock, look for one without MSG in it- in any form or under any name. Remember that “Natural Flavors” often means MSG. I think you'll find that making your own is the ONLY way to guarantee you're getting an MSG-free product. MSG is a dangerous excitotoxin and is not something that we should be consuming when hidden in food products. If it was safe and healthy to consume, why would it be hidden?
- Pre- heat the oven to 425 degrees. (You may roast it lower at around 375, but it will take longer)
- Chop all veggies and fruit first. Rinse the chicken and remove any extra parts that are inside of it.
- Melt the butter in a small saucepan and drop in 2 cloves of the smashed garlic, 1/2 of the herbs, paprika, salt and pepper. (You'll use this mixture to brush over the bird before you place it into the oven as well as to baste it while it's roasting.)
- Place 2 cloves of garlic, some onions and some citrus pieces inside of the bird until it's stuffed. Place the remaining veggies and fruit into the bottom of the roasting pan. Pour stock into the roasting pan. It should moisten all of the contents of the pan. If you need more, use more. You may also use some lemon or orange juice if you need more liquid, or water if you have no other options. Tie the legs of the bird together and also tie a large piece of string around the bird to hold the wings against the body.
- Brush the chicken with the butter mixture and place breast side down onto the rack over a roasting pan. Insert an oven-safe thermometer into the bird at it's thickest point, try not to get too close to a bone or too close to the surface. It should read approximately 40 degrees initially.
- Ensure that the bird has been brushed with the butter mixture on any exposed areas and that the pan veggies are coated with liquid. Loosely cover the bird with a tin foil tent. Take care to extend the foil to the edges of the pan so that the veggies don't burn. Place the chicken in the oven
- Set the thermometer to 120 degrees. You may check on the chicken before it hits 100 to baste, but doing so too often will prolong cooking time by lowering the temperature of the oven. Once your chicken has reached 120 degrees, remove it from the oven and carefully flip it over so that the breast side is now on top. (The legs you tied will now also be on top). Baste with pan drippings, then brush with the butter mixture.
- Replace the foil tent and reset the thermometer for 120 degrees. Baste with pan drippings and brush with butter mixture again.
- Replace the foil tent and reset the thermometer for 140 degrees. Baste with pan drippings and brush with butter mixture again. You may want to add extra paprika to the top of the chicken at this point just to ensure a pretty color on the skin. Leave the foil tent OFF this time, and replace the chicken into the oven.
- Set the thermometer for the last time to 165 degrees. When you have hit 165- you're done! Take the chicken out of the oven and LET IT REST for at least 10-15 minutes before eating!