This past weekend I visited my mom, and was greeted by these:
She had a plan. And it involved multiples of two.
I thought I was seeing double.
But then there was only one cat, so I knew I was doing alright.
She thought it was time for me to learn how to roast a turkey (in time for Thanksgiving) so she bought two smaller chickens to be our practice fowl – one for her to demonstrate and one for me to do on my own. She specifically bought six-pound chickens. Why? I was a six pound baby. I think she’s sending signals to my reproductive organs.
The recipe that we used to roast our chickens is my grandmother’s recipe. Every family has a way of cooking their Thanksgiving turkey (which is better than the way your family does it) so it was my turn to learn the way. We started with fresh herbs from the garden, which is probably the last we will get from the garden this season.
We chopped the herbs to make a garlic-herb butter (secret ingredient spoiler).
The secret family weapon… stuffing butter pads under the skin, and nesting one on top of each chicken breast. We only make well-endowed birds.
About an hour and a half later, we pulled this gorgeous creature out of the oven. The whole house smelled amazing – a mix of garlic, herbs, chicken, and all the vegetables we had been roasting and cooking in the meantime. At one point we ran outside and took a deep breath of fresh air, just so that we could come inside to smell everything more intensely.
This was, in all honesty, the moistest chicken I have ever eaten. I couldn’t believe how little effort (sorry grandma) went into this recipe, and yet how juicy and tender it turned out. Check out this spread:
Now, check out The Man’s spread… not too bad for my first faux-Thanksgiving!
- 6-lb chicken
- 1 stick butter (softened)
- handful of sage, rosemary, thyme
- 8 cloves garlic
- salt & pepper
- olive oil
Set your oven to 375 degrees. Roughly chop your herbs, slice your garlic, and mix both with your stick of room-temp butter. Take half the herb butter and form it into a patty, then take the other half and make a second patty. Be sure not to handle the butter too much or it will melt and be difficult to work with. At this point you can put your butter in the fridge to make sure it is hardened.
Remove your chicken from any wrapping, and discard bag of giblets. Rinse the bird thoroughly, and make sure to pluck any remaining feathers. Using a wooden spoon, separate the skin from the breast on each side, leaving the skin attached down the middle of the bird. Insert one butter patty under the skin on each side. Place the bird in a baking dish, and drizzle with olive oil. Using your hands, spread the oil evenly the top, and then liberally salt and pepper. When your oven is heated, place the bird in a middle rack and let cook for about an hour and a half.
When done, look to see if the wings and legs have relaxed, instead of being tight to the sides as they were when the chicken was raw. We could tell ours were done because the meat was falling off the bone. Let stand for at least 20 minutes before serving.