Tuesday, May 24, 2011

God's Chicken

Today is Tuesday. Which means yesterday was Monday...ugh. I've had a rocky relationship with that particular day of the week as long as I can remember. In my youth, it was because I had to be dragged from my warm, comfortable bed to face the harsh reality of yet another school week. Although I don't have to be dragged out of bed anymore, I invariably have way more to do on a Monday morning than time permits. Chaos ensues. Yesterday was no exception. I got up, combed my hair, put on my makeup, ironed my clothes (OK...I smoothed them out with my hands and hoped nobody at work would notice the wrinkles), made banana nut oatmeal (you know me...not the "instant" kind), packed hubby's luch, played with baby boy, packed baby boy's lunch, fed the cat, and then realized I had to deal with two beautiful chickens I was planning to roast that night. In the immortal words of Winnie the Pooh, "Oh, bother." I had such plans for those chickens. I had envisioned slathering them with clarified butter and stuffing the skin with fresh herbs, garlic and chives from my garden. Alas, there was no time.

So I settled. I quickly rinsed them and set them free from their packaging. Then I plopped them in a Pyrex dish (no time for trussing) and threw a handful of sea salt in each cavity. I rummaged through my fridge and managed to find a rind from a lemon I had squeezed the night before, so I stuffed half in each chicken. Then I generously sprinkled more sea salt over the chickens, hit 'em with a few turns of the pepper grinder, globbed on some olive oil, threw them in the oven and uttered a prayer to bless my hastily-prepared chickens. How's that for a recipe?

Let. Me. Testify. Those chickens were divine! Hands down, the best I've ever roasted. If this recipe doesn't work out for you, we'll know you left out the last step (the prayer). I can't tell you how many times I've made dodgy decisions in the kitchen and just prayed everything would turn out well. I can't think of a time the Lord said "No" to that. So, here's my official recipe for God's Chicken:

2 small-medium roasting chickens (preferably pastured, organic)
1 large lemon
1/3 cup good olive oil
2 Tbs finely ground sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  1. Remove chickens from packaging, rinse and pat dry
  2. Place side-by-side in a 9x13 Pyrex baking dish
  3. Season the cavity of each chicken with about 1/2 Tbs of sea salt
  4. Stuff each cavity with half the lemon (If you're not using leftover lemon, you could squeeze the juice over the chickens. I didn't, so if you do that, let us know how it turns out!)
  5. Season each chicken with the remaining sea salt and black pepper
  6. Drizzle the oil over the chickens
  7. Bake at 375 F for 1 hour and 15 minutes

Be certain to let the chickens come to room temperature before placing them in the oven. This will "relax" the meat and yeild a more tender, juicy result.

Also let the chickens "rest" for 15-30 minutes after removing them from the oven before carving. Carving fresh out of the oven will cause the juices to flow out of the chicken and leave you with a tougher, drier bird.

Photo Credit:
Herman Saksano, Flickr

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