This dish is totally delicious and juicy, just like it’s name. The secret is in the basting. Gigi used to say, “Yeah, its mommy’s juicy chicken for dinner!” and that’s how it got it’s name. Back then I took the whole chicken and cut it into parts and that added an additional hour to my work. Now my kids are big enough to eat half a chicken each, so no need to do all that carving of raw chicken – unless I’m catering for a friend’s kid birthday party, then it tends to look more like this:
- 1 tablespoon each of fresh rosemary, sage, thyme and basil, chopped
- juice of two lemons (save the skins for the cavity of the chicken)
- 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
- half a stick of butter cut into tablespoons
- 1 large clove of garlic or 3 small cloves
- ½ teaspoon turmeric
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper
- sea salt and black crushed pepper
- ½ yellow onion
- 1 celery stalk cut into quarters
- Salt and pepper chicken and cover in the refrigerator for about an hour while mixing marinade.
- Mix all herbs and spices with olive oil, lemon juice and 2 tablespoons of butter in glass bowl or measuring cup. Let melt to room temperature or melt in the microwave a few seconds. Let stand.
- Roast garlic in a wrap of tin foil at 400 in the oven with a dash of olive oil. Add to the olive oil, herb mixture and smash. Take chicken out of the refrigerator and pour marinade over chicken.
- Take the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter and insert under the skin of the chicken breast.
- Take onion, celery and the lemon halves and stuff inside the cavity of the chicken.
- Cover in plastic and return to fridge for at least an hour or overnight.
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C) and cook whole (thawed) chicken for 10-15 minutes.
- Then reduce the temperature to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) and roast for 20 minutes per pound. Today’s chicken is 7 pounds!
Here are some little personal preferences I do:
- I usually cover my chicken with aluminum foil and baste every 20-30 minutes for extra juicy chicken but then you’re doing a dance between crispy and not crispy enough skin.
- If you cover your chicken during cooking, remove foil for the last hour (at least) and turn the broiler on at the end and cook for about 3-5 minutes, keeping a careful eye on it. Also, you can never baste too much, in my opinion.
Other tips for my girls I snagged from the All Recipe’s website Roast Chicken Tips:
How to Tell When Your Chicken Is Done
Regardless of the method used, a whole chicken is ready when a meat thermometer inserted into the inner thigh (close to but not touching the thigh bone) reads at least 165 degrees F (74 degrees C).
- The temperature of the meat will continue to rise slightly when you pull it out of the oven (this is called “carryover cooking”), so if the thermometer shows a few degrees below the target, give it a few minutes–the internal temperature might still rise to at least 165 degrees F (74 degrees C).
- When you remove the chicken from the oven, cover it loosely with a doubled sheet of aluminum foil, and let it rest for 10 minutes before slicing. This redistributes the juices and results in moister chicken.
Now that my chicken is done, I’m going to head out to the airport and pick that little girl in an adolescence body up from the airport. She’s home for the holidays after a stressful two weeks of finals at BU! I hope she still loves “Mommy’s Juicy Chicken!”