It had been one of those weeks: over committed schedules, lack of sleep, too much rain, and colds all around. I won’t admit how many meals involved grilled cheese or “breakfast for dinner”…okay, at least three. I knew the family needed a frying pan-free meal. And after a week that left me weak, I needed easy yet impressive, and simple yet scrumptious.
So as I flipped through Chatelaine’s Holiday 100+ best recipes cookbook, I quickly scanned the mains for a fitting meal – one with fewer than five steps and one I could make with my mini sous chef underfoot. Enter Perfect Roast Chicken. When I saw “Preheat. Sprinkle. Set. Roast. Transfer,” I knew I’d found my recipe. My kitchen is not new to roast chicken, but this was by far the simplest recipe I’ve tried. All you need is a whole chicken, one lemon, garlic, salt, and butter…and about an hour and a half to cook the bird.
With the three-year-old supervising I prepped the chicken, making sure to cut the lemon in advance so the kiddo’s curious hands had something to play with. We only had to take one hand disinfection break! Once the chicken was snug in the roasting pan, I sprinkled in the salt and chopped garlic, and then cut up another lemon when I realized my sous chef was using the pre-cut wedges as citrus “smiles.” I stuffed in the quartered lemon, gave the chicken a quick rub down with butter, tried (unsuccessfully) to tuck under the wings as per the directions, and then popped the roasting pan in the oven.
While the chicken roasted, I made another batch of the baked harvest pumpkin and sage risotto with my frozen pumpkin, and then set the table. Our house smelled amazing…if I could only bottle the roasting chicken scent, I’m sure it would be a top seller. The chicken came out crispy-skinned yet super moist inside, with a hint of lemon and garlic. The family appreciated the effort, and I was happy to break free of grilled cheese.