It was a cold winter day so the timing seemed right to make the aptly named “Perfect roast chicken.” Or, as our 18-year old sister-in-law/student/housemate called it, “Crazy good chicken.” I wish I had started roasting chickens a long time ago. I only started doing it on my maternity leave with our son (less than two years ago!) and was surprised to find what a stress-free meal it is to make. It’s simple, tasty, and while it’s in the oven, your hands are free to make side dishes. Plus, nothing pleases the nasal passages more than the aroma of a roasting chicken in the house.
Prepping the chicken for this recipe was really fast. I was even able to hold a conversation at the same time (which I usually find difficult to do when I’m cooking), although I did forget to ‘tuck wings underneath bird’ as you’ll notice in my photo below. I am always confused as to which way to tuck the wings: behind the back in an elbows up suntanning on the beach kind of way or behind the back in an elbows out recently incarcerated and handcuffed kind of way.
I must remember to turn on the range hood fan when I’m roasting future chickens. When I pulled the chicken out of the oven to baste it, the smoke alarm went off: the tell-tale sign to my neighbours that a) we’re home and b) Melanie is in the kitchen. Our helpful housemate opened the door to the backyard and fanned it until the alarm was silenced. I turned on the range hood fan. It’s comforting to know that we live in safe home with a well-functioning smoke alarm. If you ever need someone to test your smoke detectors, just invite me over to cook your dinner.
I was a little concerned with how little basting juice there was in the pan but it was enough to baste the bird and not char the roasting pan. Perfect. This particular recipe is easily the best roast chicken I have ever made. Within five minutes of placing this bird in the oven, the lemon and garlic aroma filled the kitchen. We knew we were going to have a tasty dinner tonight. What we didn’t expect was how evenly and completely the garlic and lemon flavoured the meat. And from inside the cavity, no less! Even our toddler was begging “More. Chicken. Please.” The coarse salt on the outside of the chicken had us all fighting over the skin because it was so delicious. I have to admit that the ‘generous pinches of coarse salt’ as directed in the recipe were likely more ‘tweaks’ than ‘pinches.” Mm-good!
I still have difficulty carving the meat without making it look like a complete hatchet job, though. Oh well, my family loved it anyway!