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4-5 pound chicken, brined* and patted dry
2 sprigs of thyme
3 stalks celery, one of them roughly chopped
3 medium carrots, peeled, one of them roughly chopped
2 small yellow onions, cut into wedges
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 tsp salt
1 tsp freshly cracked black pepper
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
Preheat oven to 500F. Yes - 500F. Place the bird on a rack in a roasting pan. Place the thyme, one carrot, one celery stalk and an onion in the body and neck cavities.
If you don't have a rack lay down a couple each of carrots and celery, and a cut up onion. You simply want the chicken to not rest on the pan - as the juices drain you want him up off them so he'll stay crispy. (See Roast Chicken video for Help with this). You can also add a lemon or lime or orange to the interior if you wish - the citrus is really nice.
Truss the wings and legs close to the bird. If the bird is small, you can simply tuck the wings under the back and forget the legs - it'll be fine, although not as pretty.
Rub him down really well so that all the skin is oiled. Whisk together the salt, pepper, garlic powder and onion powder. Sprinkle it evenly and liberally over the oiled skin, patting it down. Insert a meat thermometer into the thick part of the thigh, aiming for
Place pan in very hot oven - and set a timer for 30 minutes. This initial high heat will seal the outside of the bird, sealing moisture inside where you want it, and insuring you end up with lovely, crispy skin.
After thirty minutes turn the oven down to 350F. The bird will need approximately another hour. Maybe more, maybe less depending on the size of the bird. This is where a thermometer is so fabulous. It tells you exactly when the bird is done perfectly.
The thermometer should read 160F, and the juices will be running clear. Once the bird reaches 160, pull the roasting pan from the oven and allow the bird to rest - don't touch it! - for at least ten to fifteen minutes. Leave the probe for the thermometer in place as well - otherwise you'll have a juice-escape hole. Don't pierce the skin anywhere else either. Go do something else - make a sauce, walk the dog, call your mom - but don't touch the chicken. This resting period allows for the juices to redistribute through the meat - oven heat pulled them to the surface. Don't allow them to escape!
So that's it - this is a wonderful dish - simple and easy. Remember the techniques and it's elevated to heavenly.
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- The Thrillbilly Gourmet
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