Everyone has their own way of making roast 🐔. I go with a garlic, thyme, lemon and rosemary compound butter under the skin & through the cooking process I baste the chicken with white wine and lemon juice 👌 This method makes the MOST AMAZING chicken gravy which is perfect for David’s roast potatoes.
Step One – Compound Butter
Compound butter is a flavor punch and perfect for a roast and helps create the epic gravy. When I make the butter for chicken or turkey, l typically go with this recipe:
– 1/2 stick of butter (check out my link on how to make your own butter)
– 5 cloves of garlic
– Couple springs of thyme
– Couple springs of rosemary
– Zest from 1 lemon
– Little salt
– Little pepper
Mix all the ingredients together and transfer to plastic wrap. Roll the compound butter into a log and place into the fridge (I typically do this the night before to ensure it all comes together and forms into a solid log).
Step Two – Prepare Chicken
First prepare your ingredients for the cavity and pan.
For the cavity:
- 1/2 stick of Celery
- 1/2 stick of Carrot
- 1/2 of an Onion
- 1 clove of garlic
- Couple springs of Thyme and Rosemary
- 1 spring of sage
- 1/2 of the lemon rinds after you squeeze
For the pan:
- 1/2 of a bottle of white wine
- The other 1/2 stick of Celery
- The other 1/2 stick of Carrot
- The other 1/2 of the Onion
- 2 cloves of garlic
- The other 1/2 of lemon rind
Also cut the compound butter into little disks.
Now get ready to prep the chicken. Over the sink, pull the chicken out of the plastic wrapper and pull the giblets from the cavity and set aside in a ziploc baggie (I’ll make chicken stock with the giblets and bones). I know many posts mention cleaning the chicken in the sink and I will admit I am not a fan of that. Yes, chicken bacteria is very dangerous, but it will be fine without a rinse because you’re cooking the chicken and you avoid spraying the bacteria around your sink and contaminating your kitchen👌
Now place your chicken on a wire rack on a meat safe cutting board and grab some cooking gloves and start loosening the chicken skin to make room for the compound butter (don’t worry about getting under the skin because you have protection with the gloves 👍). Place the butter disks under the skin in various spots. After that’s done, I massage the chicken and butter together (any extra butter can be used to create the gravy roux later).
Now add your ingredients to the cavity and tie the legs together breast up. Transfer the wire rack to your baking pan and finish preparing the chicken. This includes squeezing the lemon over the chicken and adding 1/2 the lemon rind to the cavity and other one to the baking dish. Now salt and pepper the chicken and finish with a final butter disk.
Step Three: Cooking the Chicken
I like the method of cooking on high heat, 450, for 20 minutes because this begins to dry out the skin. After the 20 minutes, continue cooking at 350 for 2 hours (I have a 6lb chicken and the recommendation is 20mins per pound). Throughout the cooking process, I baste the chicken with wine from the baking pan. At the 90min point, check the internal temperature of the chicken (you’re target is 165). I would suggest inserting into the thickest part of the thigh and be careful not to hit the bone. Once the chicken is ready, place on a meat safe cutting board.
Step Four: Epic Chicken Gravy
What makes my gravy so epic is all that goodness we put into the cavity, pan and THAT compound butter. Now that the chicken is resting, strain the liquids from the baking pan into a heat resistant bowl and set aside. Using the butter I reserved earlier, I create a roux for the gravy. The butter is melted in small sauce pan and I whisk some flour into the butter to create a paste. Once the flour has cooked a bit, add the chicken liquid you set aside earlier. Continue whisking until you have a gravy. Note: If you add too much flour and it’s too thick, add some water, wine or chicken stock to thin it out. If it’s not thick enough, add some cornstarch to water, wine or chicken stock.
Step Five: Carving
Tonight’s chicken was inspired by Kiefer Sutherland’s Chicken and Stuffing video from YouTube (you ask why Kiefer Sutherland 😉 because we’re engrossed with Designated Survivor right now and YouTube has suggested his cooking programs knowing we like cooking programs, it’s scary how well YouTube knows us). In his video he talked about carving the chicken and I will admit I’m not a fan of craving, but he made it look so easy with scissors and a serrated knife. I used his method and it was brilliant, thank you Kiefer Sutherland for the confidence 👍
First I cut off the wings and legs using the scissors which loosened them so I could use the knife to cut through. Once that’s done it is incredible easy to get to the breast following along the breastbone using a serrated knife. Last step, cut the remaining bits and pieces and don’t forget those oysters underneath the chicken. And of course hold onto the bones if you want to make chicken broth later.
I hope you enjoyed this post and don’t forget to share your roast chicken method below!