Perfect Roast Chicken & Stock

Now at the Mercantile, Mary’s Organic Whole Chickens, humanely raised and without hormones, antibiotics, or any other junk. To learn more about them, check out this video.

If you’ve never roasted a chicken before, here’s the basics on how we do it. I’ll write a more detailed post when I roast a chicken later this week.

Roasting a chicken is one of the easiest things you can do, and one of the most satisfying. We roast at a high temperature which results in a crispy skin and perfectly moist chicken.

Prepping the Chicken

Pre-heat your oven to 425 degrees.

Make sure there’s nothing in the cavity (like the package of livers or gizzards) then rinse the chicken. Next, pat the whole thing dry with paper towels. The drier the chicken, the crispier the skin.

We slip butter under the skin and a bit in the cavity then make a mixture of coarse salt, pepper, and rosemary that we liberally pat all over the skin and inside the cavity. I never measure, but will next time. It may look like a lot of salt, but much of it cooks off into the juice. Squeeze half a lemon over the bird then put it in the cavity with a couple cloves of garlic. Next pour olive oil over the whole chicken and stick it in the oven uncovered for an hour and a half. After an hour, baste the chicken.

Seriously. That’s it. Told you it was easy.

To really up the game and make the best roast potatoes ever, first line the roasting pan with uniformly cubed potatoes and garlic cloves, pour a bit of olive oil over, then put the raw chicken on top. These potatoes are SO stinkin’ good. The salty rosemary juices from the chicken saturate the potatoes and make them caramelized on the outside and soft on the inside.

Chicken Stock

After you strip the meat off the carcass, put the bones and skin back in the same roasting pan you cooked it in, with all the awesome drippings and cracklings from the roast chicken. We add bay leaves, salt and pepper, a quartered onion with skin on, poultry seasoning, carrots, celery… really whatever leftover veggies and scraps you have. I keep a bag in the freezer with veggie scraps (like onion tops and skin) for stock. Put water in the roasting pan to cover all the stuff and put it in a low temperature oven (200 degrees) OVERNIGHT! When you wake up in the morning, you’ll have the most delicious flavorful stock. You can also do this overnight in an instapot, although you lose all the good cracklings from the roasting pan.

Get a big colander and strain all the chunks out so you have just the broth. Throw all the rest away. I store my stock in large mason jars and stick a couple in the freezer. You can also freeze them in ice cube trays so you have tablespoon size broth cubes when you need small amounts.

If you ever have questions, ask! We are happy to share any tips.

Happy cooking!

Lori and Brian Law

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