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A Chicken in Every Garage July 27, 2010

Posted by Toy Lady in Cooking, Eating Down the Fridge, random stuff.
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And a car in every pot.

That’s it, right?  I mean, we’ve certainly got the car thing covered, anyway, don’t we?

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So, during the course of our trying-to-clear-out-the-freezer, we found a roasting chicken.  In fact, Peeps is pretty sure we have yet another oven-stuffer-roaster in there . . . somewhere.

So we defrosted the first one we laid hands on and I decided to roast it.

Yes, I know it’s July, and I know it was hot and humid and icky, but I started first thing in the morning,  and it was done well before noon.

I wanted some fresh summer flavors, and to me, fresh summer flavors start with citrus and end with tarragon.

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This tarragon is out of control, I’m telling you.

Don’t get me wrong – tarragon and chicken are like, well, chicken and tarragon.  And I love the combination – so much so that I dedicated an entire bird to it!

I even sliced a couple of orange slices – real thin – wrapped them in tarragon sprigs, and stuffed them up under the skin of the chicken.

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The rest  of the orange (and the 2-foot sprig of tarragon), I stuffed in the cavity  of the bird – I stuck it all up in there.

Then I trussed it.

And I didn’t even buy it dinner first.

Now it should be noted that I didn’t just cram stuff in the cavity of the bird in lieu of composting it – I stuff and truss the chicken to help ensure a moist, juicy breast.

And we like that.

But trussing the bird certainly sounds medieval, doesn’t it?  It’s really not that dramatic.

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And that’s the hard part.  Let’s review.  First we removed the bag of “innards” from the cavity of the bird, then I rinsed and patted the bird dry.

Loosen the skin from the breast and insert the seasoning of your choice – in this case, it was a slice of orange and a sprig of tarragon.  It could be lemon or lime slices, garlic cloves, sage or rosemary – whatever works with chicken – for you.

I also like to rub some olive oil (or melted butter) all over the outside of the bird, then sprinkle with a hearty amount of kosher salt – it will season and help crisp up the skin.

PhotobucketThen it’s a simple matter of roasting – start in a hot – 450° – oven for about half an hour, just enough to get a good start on browning the bird.  Then, we back the heat down to 325° until a thermometer inserted into the meaty part of the thigh registers 170° – in the case of a 7-pound bird, about another 90 minutes.

Let the chicken rest about 20 minutes, then you’re ready to serve.

In our case, we let it get thoroughly cold and enjoyed cold chicken on a hot evening. . .

PhotobucketAnd since there are just the two of us, we’ll also enjoy another chicken dinner again later in the week, and possibly some leftovers and  maybe a chicken salad, and then probably a batch of chicken stock. . .

So what I’m saying is this.

Sure, your boneless, skinless chicken breasts are easy – and versatile, sort of.  But there’s a price you pay for that, and I’m not just talking about money.

You miss out on the heavenly scent of roasting chicken, and you miss the crispy skin, not to mention the moist, flavorful meat pulled right off the bones.

A whole chicken is  – it’s like a ponytail.  You can jazz it up, or you can dress it down, but whatever you choose to do with it, it’ll work.

It’s simple, but it’s a classic for a reason.

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