And Then I Roasted a Whole Chicken!

by Rachel on December 29, 2009

You may recall, I had just one goal for December: to roast a whole chicken! And…I did it!!

If you’ve never roasted a chicken before, I highly recommend you give it a try. First, it is incredibly cheap. I bought an organic, free-range chicken for just $6. SIX DOLLARS FOR A WHOLE CHICKEN!? That is just crazy to me. Second, once you roast the chicken, you have food for quite a few days! You can plan to do many things with the leftovers: put it on sandwiches, shred it up for BBQ, top salads, put in in quesadillas, make chicken noodle soup…the possibilities are pretty much endless. For $6!!!!

There are many ways to roast a chicken, but I went with a recipe I saw on my Giada DVD. I liked it because none of the ingredients were too wild and crazy. Garlic citrus chicken….seriously, it doesn’t get much better or back-to-basics than this!


1 (5 to 6-pound) whole roasting chicken, neck and giblets discarded (Not that big of a deal; I was seriously dreading this, but you just pull out the bag and toss it.)

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 orange, quartered

1 lemon, quartered

1 head garlic, halved crosswise, plus 3 garlic cloves, chopped

7 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth

1/4 cup frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano leaves

Kitchen string or butcher twine

I also had to buy a baster for this; the entire time I felt like I was doing something really inappropriate. I was so self-conscious.

I mean, this is why I order sex toys online.

This is How We Do It

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Pat the chicken dry and sprinkle the cavity with salt and pepper. Stuff the cavity with the orange, lemon, and garlic halves. Tie the chicken legs together with kitchen string to help hold its shape. Rub the chicken with lots of salt and pepper.

Place a rack in a large roasting pan. Place the chicken, breast side up, on the rack in the pan. Roast the chicken for 1 hour, basting occasionally and adding some chicken broth to the pan, if necessary, to prevent the pan drippings from burning.

While the chicken was roasting, I prepared butternut squash: toss cubed butternut squash with one tablespoon of olive oil and two teaspoons of herbes de Provence. You can put the squash in the oven to roast for the last 45 minutes the chicken is cooking.

Meanwhile whisk the orange juice, lemon juice, oil, oregano, and chopped garlic in a medium bowl to blend.

Brush some of the juice mixture over the chicken, after it has baked 1 hour. Continue roasting the chicken until an instant-read meat thermometer inserted into the innermost part of the thigh registers 170 degrees F, basting occasionally with the juice mixture and adding broth to the pan, about 45 minutes longer.

Transfer the chicken to a platter and tent with foil while making the sauce. Do not clean the pan. Place the same roasting pan over medium-low heat. Whisk in any remaining broth and simmer until the sauce is reduced to 1 cup, stirring often, about 3 minutes.

Strain into a 2-cup glass measuring cup and discard the solids. Spoon the fat from the top of the sauce.

Get that chicken ready…

Carve it up!

Garnish with some sliced citrus…

And EAT!!! It’s just so moist and juicy! It’s flavorful, but the garlic and citrus isn’t really overpowering.

This was great, but at the same, not a huge deal. I mean, I am proud of it, and it’s fab for entertaining, but at the same time, there’s no reason you can’t do this on a weeknight!

Also, once you have chicken bones, you might as well make chicken stock, so that’s what I did! After dinner, I simmered the bones with a bunch of veggies, herbs, and a bay leaf for a few hours.

It looked like what I referred to as “Twig Soup,” but hey…now I have chicken stock in the freezer, ready to go! Pretty damn sweet, I must say.

And when all was said and done, the meal cost less than $20 and fed three people for days. Sorry but your McNuggets can’t do that! And here was something so exciting about using every part of the chicken and building this meal of all whole, simple foods.

Goal achieved!

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Nicci@NiftyEats December 29, 2009 at 6:45 pm

Congrats on the roasted chicken, it looks so delicious.


2 Anne December 30, 2009 at 10:33 am

We have free range chickens, but have decided to just procure the eggs instead of eating the birds [and you thought removing the neck and giblets was fun]. I do keep some whole [store bought] chickens in the freezer since this is a simple and great meal for the family. We usually go the lemon pepper route, but like a simple herb chicken, too. I wonder if the kids would go for garlic and citrus. Hmmm
.-= Anne´s last blog ..Sledding, Bunny Tracks, & Lost Roosters or What I Did On My Winter Vacation =-.


3 Rachel December 30, 2009 at 11:21 am

The garlic and citrus was SO mild, I am sure your kids would be fine with it!! That’s great that you can get your own eggs though!! Very jealous!


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