Cooking a whole chicken can be really satisfying. I find it more satisfying than buying the precut breasts and pieces for some reason. Maybe it is because I feel like I am really cooking when I get the whole shabang ready for the oven. One of my favorite and easiest recipes is a simple French roasted chicken based off a Julia Child recipe. All you need are some basic vegetables, a whole chicken and about 30 min prep with about 1 1/2 hour to roast it.
First I always try to buy organic. I know that sometimes money can be tight but I do really enjoy eating as clean as possible especially if I am going to make a nice dinner. So the first step for me always when I buy any meat is look for organic free range with no antibiotics. I really do believe in this. If you can’t buy organic vegetables then fine but I really feel if you are going to eat meat buy organic.
I also like to prep all my ingredients ahead of time so that I am not scrambling to chop vegetables or find something in the pantry while I am cooking.
Here you will see that all you really need for this lovely chicken is about 2 tablespoons butter, salt, pepper and fresh rosemary. For the vegetables inside the chicken you will need 1/3 cup diced carrots, 1/3 cup onions and 1/3 cup celery, celery leaves and rosemary. For the vegetables outside of the chicken for the roasting pan you will need a 1/2 cup of sliced onion and1/2 cup chopped carrots.
Preheat your oven to 450 degrees. Next you will use about on tablespoon in a skillet on medium high. Once that is warm add in your celery, carrot and onions and cook until soft.
While this is sautéing take your whole chicken and rinse it out thoroughly with warm to hot water. Don’t forget to not only do the cavity but under the wings and drumsticks. Once it is washed pat the whole chicken dry.
Salt and pepper and let it sit for a bit.
Once your veggies are soft you will need to add your rosemary to the skillet and let sauté for just a moment then take off the heat. It is very important to get your veggies soft as you will not want crunchy carrots inside the bird.
Next go back to your chicken and truss it. *Warning* I am the worst trusser in the world. I have tried every trick and every Youtube video but for some reason trussing a chicken is not my forte! So I am sure you will be better at it than me but if you need help Google away my friend.
Once your chicken is trussed you will need to use the rest of your butter and pat it all over the top of the hen.
Next get your soft veggies and insert these into the chicken cavity. Insert your celery leaves and some rosemary as well. With the rest of the sliced onion and cut carrots lay those around the chicken. I like to lay rosemary over the top of it but that is up to you.
Cook the bird for about 40 min and then baste the chicken with the fat from the roasting pan. Cook for about 15 more min till the temperature reaches 165 degrees with a meat thermometer.
It is important to not over cook it as you want it the meat to stay juicy.
Once it is done, remove it from the roasting pan and place it on a cutting board so the meat can rest about 15 min. You can cover it will tin foil and a tea towel to keep warm.
Next, use the baster and get all but about a tablespoon of the fat broth from the roasting pan and put in a small saucepan with 1/2 cup chicken stock and boil about 5 min. This will be your au jus for the cut pieces on the plate.
Once you finish plate it and enjoy!