This is better than the colonel’s chicken.
Earlier this semester I decided it was time for me to expand my meat repertoire. I had the boneless skinless chicken breast and chicken thigh recipes down, and I was ready for a challenge. Bring on the whole chicken. Of course, I did not proceed further without some serious guidance from my mom.
The process: Defrost the whole chicken, run under lukewarm water, and take out the bag of giblets. I choose to throw these away, but some people really like them; to each his own. Zest an entire lemon, and put the zest in a small bowl. To the bowl add one nice big handful of chopped parsley, 2 minced cloves of garlic, a dash of salt and pepper, ¼ teaspoon of red pepper flakes, and some olive oil. You want to make a nice paste. This is where things get slimy, literally. Lift the skin, take your paste, and rub it all over under the skin of the chicken. Next, take that zested lemon and cut it into quarters. Squeeze and stuff each lemon quarter and a handful or two of fresh parsley into the cavity (where the giblets bag was). Put chicken on a 9×13 baking pan. A lot of juice comes out during baking, so these deeper pans are perfect. Make sure your oven is at 375°. Cook chicken in oven until the thickest part reads 180°. Yes, you need to get a meat thermometer (available at most grocery stores), unless you enjoy getting salmonella. Cook time averages around 2 hours.
When I made this dish I paired the roast chicken with a big salad. There are countless other sides that would also work well: mashed potatoes, roast potatoes, rice, steamed broccoli, pasta, etc. The best part of this dish is… LEFTOVERS. In the spirit of “Love Food Hate Waste” I took the leftover chicken and made TWO more main dishes with it, a creamy chicken and potato soup and a homemade chicken salad. With a $6.00 whole chicken, I made 3 dishes and ate many meals. It does not get much better than that!
Now, go wow your guests with one of my mom’s Sunday best :)