“Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Many chefs frown upon the use and/or consumption of chicken. Perhaps this is an un-known truth, but to many culinary professionals chicken is thought to be flavorless, bland and worst of all boring. I, however, disagree. In doing so I might subject myself to a fair amount of hazing from any self-proclaimed foodie! I like chicken because it is moderately priced, accessible and can be quiet tasty when prepared correctly. The following is my recipe (if you can even call it that) for what I consider to be The Perfect Roasted Chicken. Rather than complicating a simple process I prefer to bring out the natural flavors of the meat. All you need to prepare this feast for five is one whole 3-4 pound chicken, olive oil, kosher salt, and fresh cracked pepper.
Rinse chicken then prop it on a pan lined with foil (I like to also use a wire rack). Coat chicken with about 3 tablespoons of olive oil – your hands are the best tool for this. Next, sprinkle the bird with a liberal amount of Kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper.
Preheat oven to 375 (my oven has a setting called Convention Roast- that is perfect for this). Cook chicken for 45-50 minutes (be sure that a thermometer reaches 150-155 degrees when placed in the thickest part of the meat). Let chicken rest for about 5 minutes before cutting.
You will need a sharp, flexible boning knife and a pair of tongs to break down the cooked chicken. Begin by removing the leg/thigh pieces as shown below.
Next, if you want to cut your chicken the old-fashioned southern way, remove the “wishbone piece” by cutting the end of the breast at the top of the chicken. This piece, I believe was created so that the youngest kid in a large family would not feel left out-Ah, the coveted 9th piece.
Next remove the wings at the base of the “shoulder”. I like to de-bone the breast meat before serving (this is the piece I eat… and this step makes table manners so much easier!). Remove the breast by following the rib bones and peeling back the meat.
Serve immediately, and reserve any juices in the bottom of the pan to add to gravies and sauces before serving.