February 24, 2008

Roasted Lemon Chicken for Pete

Last week my friend Pete called Kmac, (of previous pie fame) to ask her about chicken. When she answered the phone he didn’t even say hello, the first words out of his mouth were, “Do I bake or broil chicken?” You see, Pete wanted to put his chicken in the oven and go to the gym but decided he should ask Kmac about the proper way to go about doing this. K recommended that he not broil the chicken and strongly advised against him leaving it in the oven while going to the gym as she feared for the safety of his apartment. Pete, however, is stubborn and was insisting that he could leave the chicken in the oven while going to the gym because his girlfriend’s mom leaves chicken in the oven when she goes to church. Basically, Pete had it in his head that no matter what, he was putting the chicken in the oven and going to the gym. He only called Kmac to get someone else to support his decision to do so but when K didn’t go along with his plan he decided to forgo the second opinion and went ahead and left for the gym. A couple days later when K hadn’t heard back from Pete she feared that his apartment had burned down and sent him a message asking about the chicken. In typical Pete fashion, he responded with the following smart alec remark:


“The chicken was as sweet and succulent as my pristine ass. And my apartment wasn't even on fire when I came home, which is nice.”


Classic Pete. If you want to read more of Pete’s smart alec remarks I encourage you to visit his website where you’ll find his Word on the Street column which he writes for The Homer Index, (of which he is the news editor).

The following is my letter to said editor, regarding his phone call to Kmac.


Dear Pete.


When Kmac told me you called her to ask about how to cook chicken I was hurt. You said she was the first person you thought to call when you were standing in your kitchen in need of poulet help. Granted Kmac is talented in all areas, (that’s why I’ve put her in charge of my life) so I could see how you might think to call her, but come on! K has only made a few appearances on my food blog, she hasn’t written it! In the future I expect to be first on your speed dial for all food inquiries. To show you there’s no hard feelings, here’s my advice on how to roast a simple chicken:


Preheat your oven to 350F.


Take your chicken, pat it dry and make sure there are no innards tucked inside, (if there are, remove them). Then, get a lemon and cut it into slices, you might need two, depending on how big your chicken is. Now you’re going to have to get your hands dirty: start at the back and slide your hand between the skin and the body of the chicken, it should separate fairly easily. Then, slip the lemon slices into the space you’ve made, laying them flat against the chicken. Rub some salt and pepper over the entire chicken.

Next, you need a pan to roast your chicken in. Pretty much anything will do, so long as it has some sides so the chicken juices don’t escape. If you have a roasting rack, put your chicken on the roasting rack, in the pan. But don’t panic if you don’t have one, so long as you’ve got carrots, you can make your own. Wash and peel your carrots and slice them in two lengthwise so that you can lay them flat on the bottom of your pan as a makeshift rack and put your chicken on top of the carrots, (make sure to tuck in the chicken wings so they’re not flapping everywhere). That’s all there is to it.

Put your chicken in the preheated oven and let the oven go to work. A 5 lbs chicken will take approximately 1 ½-2 hours. To determine if the chicken is done you can use a thermometer, which should register 180F, (180F is the FDA safe temperature, but other sources will tell you the chicken is done by the time it hits 170F) or you can pierce the chicken and check to see that the juices run clear. When you take the chicken out of the oven, remove it from the pan and let it ‘rest’ for 10 minutes with a piece of aluminum foil over it to seal in the juices before carving.

There you have it, a simple lemon roasted chicken. If you happen to have any leftovers, I suggest making chicken salad sandwiches, (sprouts optional).


Good luck Pete.


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30 comments:

michelle @ Us vs. Food said...

pristine ass. heh.

simple roast chicken is one of my all-time favorite foods. in fact, i think it's tonight's dinner. i like to throw some parsnips and onions in the pan as well, and let them get all brown and yummy in the chicken drippings.

drool.

Karina said...

A carrot roasting rack is a phenomenal idea! I will have to try that the next time I make my favorite roast chicken. I am also a big fan of roasting vegetables in the chicken drippings, I usually go with potatoes, carrots, and parsnips and/or turnips.

RecipeGirl said...

I loved your story :)

I've actually never, ever roasted my own chicken! You described it in such a way that I'm now motivated to do so!

SteamyKitchen said...

now that is one MAMA chicken leg!

Rachel@fairycakeheaven said...

The best Sunday dinner in history!! Nothing beats roast chicken at all!!! DIVINEip

Cookie baker Lynn said...

Thanks for the great roasting instructions. I'm useless at roasting a chicken. Mine always come out underdone. I'll try it the Jumbo way and I'm sure they will be as succulent and delicious as....yours.

Madam Chow said...

Lordie, that sandwich does look good. I have bread coming out of my ears - roasted chicken sandwich? Hhm.

Cakespy said...

Lucky Pete! Mmm. This sounds lovely.

Peabody said...

Pristine ass is not how I usually talk about chicken but it works for him. :)

KJ said...

I am hopeless at roasting chicken. No matter what I do, it comes out dry. Yours looks fab.

Mike of Mike's Table said...

A roast chicken never fails (although I too would be a bit frightened leaving a bird roasting unattended...)! The photos look great. I do one at least once every two weeks and shred up the meat for sandwiches--rub a little dijon on the skin with a few other spices, and I'm a happy camper.

Cheryl said...

I'm sorry I can't get past "as sweet and succulent as my pristine ass". Sounds like my kinda guy.

Fantastic chicken you made. I would go to you if I had food questions.

Deborah said...

What a funny post! I've actually never roasted a chicken, but it's one thing I'm gonna do soon. If I need any advice, I'll make sure and come to you first!

K & S said...

That's one thing I want to try doing this year, roasting a chicken :) Looks wonderful!

Irene said...

Hehehe. That was awesome.

I actually use a simple apricot/balsamic glaze on the chicken to give it a nice color and a little bit of sweetness. About half way through roasting, heat two tbsp of apricot jam in a small sauce pot or microwave, add two tsp balsamic vinegar and stir together. Then brush over the chicken. It's a great low-fat alternative to glazing with butter. Mmmmm... that makes me want roast chicken now... with carrots and onions... oooohh.

Kelly-Jane said...

He should have thought of you first... I may never think of a beautiful roast chicken in the same light again ;)

Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) said...

A great roast chicken is one of the best treats, but I always laugh when Ina Garten says she makes a roast chicken for her husband every Friday night.

Karen said...

Nothing beats a good roasted chicken, and adding lemon only makes it better!

Manggy said...

I sure hope Pete contacted you! :p I love the touch of slipping flavors under the skin (something I learned from Jamie Oliver too). Now I've yet to try it but you've convinced me!

Emiline said...

Mmm, I love sandwiches with chicken. Or salad.

I'd be too scared to leave a chicken in the oven, and go work out. Can you imagine if he broiled it?! AHH!

LyB said...

Roasted chicken is my favorite! These days I make it with lemon too, but as a kid when my mom would roast a chicken, I would immediately ask her for a sandwich. There's just something about warm chicken and crunchy salad together between two slices of bread! Gorgeous looking roasted chicken, Brilynn!

Quellia said...

You tell him!

Warda said...

This is the third Lemon roasted chicken I've seen today!
I would have your phone number on speed dial anytime!
Shame on you Pete!

Flanboyant Eats said...

Lemonicious chicken! LOL! Love it!

love how it's sitting atop carrots! :)

Suzana said...

Too funny! Great post, Brylinn. And really cool step by step of how to roast chicken. Brilliant!

Dhanggit said...

oh i love this post :-)

i was a bit like pete one time but i will never dare do it again..i burnt the chicken :-(

btw, very nice tips..maybe we should put it up in wikipedia's poulet problem step by step guide :-)

Annie said...

I'm with Emiline, I'm afraid to leave anything in the oven when I'm not home. Forget broiling-that could be a serious disaster!

Great carrot rack!!!

Nan said...

Roast chicken...so amazing. Although I don't think I would compare it to ass, even though mine is pretty sweet ;).

Frantic Home Cook said...

Brilynn,

I tagged you and your deliciousness in my blog. www.frantichomecook.com.

Fracie

Annemarie said...

Those are the BIGGEST chicken legs I've ever seen - it's the Arnold Shwarzenegger of chickens!