Did I ever tell you about that one time in college that I forgot to dethaw the turkey for Thanksgiving? Well I didn’t forget per say but I didn’t take into account that it would take more than 6 hours to dethaw an 18 pound bird. Needless to say, we had a hearty meal of sides and hot dogs that year.
Whether it because of poor planning (me), a need to serve a small number of guests or you simply don’t like turkey (I know a few peeps like that), then may I suggest an alternative…. roast chicken. That Sunday dinner standard has the potential to really shine at your Thanksgiving table. Think about it — it’s flavors can be dialed up or down depending on your guests tastes. It pairs beautifully with all the traditional Thanksgiving sides. And it is WAY less work than a turkey. Added bonus that you aren’t stuck trying to figure out how to fit a turkey carcass into your fridge at the end of dinner.
This recipe is super simple but results in some of the best roast chicken I have EVER had. So may I introduce to you to the ……
Best Roast Chicken ……
…that you will ever have on Thanksgiving!
- 1 (5 to 6 pound) roasting chicken
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 4 stalks of rosemary
- 1 lemon, cut into wedges
- 1 head garlic, cut in half crosswise
- 2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter, melted
- 1 large yellow onion, cut into quarters
- Olive oil
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
Check inside the chicken and remove giblets and neck. Thoroughly rinse the chicken inside and out. Check the body for any leftover pin feathers and pat the outside dry. Liberally salt and pepper the inside of the chicken. Stuff the cavity with the rosemary lemon, garlic and onion. Brush the outside of the chicken with the butter and sprinkle again with salt and pepper. Tie the legs together with kitchen string and tuck the wing tips under the body of the chicken.
Roast the chicken for 1 1/2 hours, or until the juices run clear when you cut between a leg and thigh. Remove the chicken from oven and cover with aluminum foil for about 20 minutes.
– I like to use a cookie sheet with a baking rack to roast my chicken. Using a roasting pan I find that the skin doesn’t get as crisp. With this method, the chicken roasts on all sides and doesn’t steam.
– Feel free to mix it up with your spices. Sprinkle smoked paprika over the onions to give the chicken a wonderful smokey flavor. Or substitute an orange in lieu of the lemon. The options are endless!
[photo credit: photo by adza//recipe & food styling: courtney lake]