Roasting a Chicken
If you’re like me, it’s sometimes easier to pick up a cooked chicken from the supermarket. But those can be higher in sodium. I’ve cooked turkeys before so I decided it was time to roast a chicken. I am simplifying this to give you just the basics.
Remove giblets and neck in cavity (discard if you are not making gravy). Rinse cavity well, as well as the rest of the chicken. Pat dry with a paper towel.
Cut an orange in quarters and stuff in the cavity.
Cross legs and tie them with kitchen twine. Tuck wings under the bird.
Rub olive oil on the flesh and sprinkle on your favorite seasonings. (I like thyme and lemon pepper on mine).
Place chicken, breast side up, on a rack that fits into a roasting pan.
Cook at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.
Leave in the oven and increase heat to 450 degrees. Cook another 10-15 minutes.
Test doneness by inserting a meat thermometer into thigh (don’t let tip of thermometer touch touch the bone). It should register 165 degrees.
Remove pan and let it stand for 10 minutes before cutting.
Tips to avoid cross contamination: I place waxed paper on my counter top and work from there when I am seasoning my chicken. Always wash your hands with soapy water immediately after you have touched the bird and dry your hands with with paper towels.
Now that you have the chicken made, you can use the carcass to make soup! You can boil your carcass for an hour or so and make your own stock or use the following recipe with thighs. I use the ones with skins because they add more flavor to the stock. You can skim the top of fat when cool.
8 cups of water
8-10 chicken thighs, with skins
2 celery stalks
1 onion, peeled and quartered
Bring water, vegetables, and chicken to a boil and then reduce heat and simmer for about an hour, skimming off foam.
Once cool, take off the meat, cut it up and save for the soup.
Strain the stock through a sieve or cheesecloth and put back in a clean pot.
While the stock is cooking, prep your vegetables. You can put any vegetables in the soup but here is a traditional recipe:
4-5 large carrots, peeled and diced into coin pieces
2-3 celery stalks, peeled and cut horizontally
1-2 medium onions, peeled and cut into 1⁄4 inch slices
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
Bring stock to a boil and add in cut-up vegetables. Cook until tender, about 15 minutes.