Roast chicken is the one meal prepared at our house that all 4 of us get equally excited for!
Tonight was no exception, and the kids wouldn’t leave the kitchen while I was cooking and I totally blame the chicken for this. Seriously. It really does make the kitchen smell so darn amazing.
See what I’m dealing with here??? ; )
The good news is, this really is a no stress meal, even with the kids practicing their splits and cartwheels and running around like wild animals. This dinner can be prepped and popped in the oven quickly leaving time for lunches, clean up and homework while it cooks!
When I started surveying families a few months ago I asked them what type of chicken they regularly purchase and I was surprised how many people rarely or never purchased whole roasters. This surprised me because roasters are budget friendly, come in many sizes, and are soooo good. Plus, they are just too darn easy to prepare!
SImple Roast Chicken with Lemon & Thyme
- 1- 4.5lb chicken ( this is enough to serve our fam. of 4 and give us plenty of leftovers for lunches tomorrow)
- fresh thyme & parsley (dried works too)
- 1-2 tsp. of oil ( I use Avocado oil)
- 1 lemon quartered
- 1/2 an onion, cut into large chunks
- 1 stalk of celery – cut in half
- 2 carrots- cut in half
- 2-3 garlic cloves
- 1 heaping tsp of grainy mustard
- salt & pepper
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Stuff the cavity of the chicken with lemon wedges ( I got three wedges in but whatever works, this step depends on the size of your bird) , onion, celery, carrots, garlic cloves (whole), 5 sprigs of thyme leaves, and some parsley ( small handful).
Now we need to dress up the outside of the chicken! Drizzle it with avocado oil ( or your preference of oil/melted butter) , squeeze 1 lemon wedge over entire bird (1/4 of a lemon…I would have used another wedge or two likely but I only had the one lemon in the house tonight…it still turned out great!), add 1 heaping tsp of grainy mustard, and then a generous helping of S&P, don’t be shy with your salt and pepper, we want to season our chicken well. Sprinkle some thyme leaves and chopped parsley over the chicken. I used roughly 2 tsp of thyme leaves and 1 tsp of chopped parsley. Dry herbs would work well too, feel free to mix it up with different herbs. I really like lemon and thyme together which is why I used these herbs tonight, but there are so many awesome and easy combo’s!
Using your hands, rub everything all over the chicken really well, making sure to coat it completely.
I decided to use up most of my carrots so I threw them in the roasting pan surrounding the chicken. I drizzled them with the oil and S&P.
Pop the chicken in the preheated oven. (375 degrees)
My bird was 4.5 lbs and I cooked it for 1 hour at 375 degrees.
I took it out of the oven halfway through cooking ( 30 min) and basted it with the juices in the bottom of the roasting pan then popped it back in.
This was about the time that the kitchen was smelling pretty amazing and I was being bombarded with the “Is it ready yet?..” question from all 3 of them…hahaha. I suggested they watch cartoons but apparently they prefer to sit in the middle of the kitchen and repeatedly ask me the same question. It’s really not annoying at all! ; )
When checking a whole chicken’s internal temperature with a meat thermometer, check the temperature in the breast and the inside of the thigh. Your chicken is done at 165 degrees. My chicken’s temp was 160 degrees when I removed it after the hour but I tented it with aluminum foil and let it rest on the stove top for another 15-20 minutes. Your chicken will actually continue to cook and all the juices will stay inside your bird making it so juicy.
I made my asparagus while the meat rested.
Super easy, right?!?
Roast chicken is also great for Sunday dinners, or when you have company coming over because it looks so pretty, makes your house smell great, and gives the illusion of a fancy pants meal but is actually easy breezy!
It was gobbled up in a hurry and, of course, the girls had to have their chicken with honey, and then decided asparagus was delicious with honey too! I don’t know if I agree with them but whatever gets them to eat their asparagus, right?
Regardless, I really do have a happy & full family tonight! : )
Now…….do you have 10 minutes after dinner? If you do you should definitely make some broth, it will only take a few minutes…I promise! It’s so delicious, simple, and is so much better for you than the store bought powder, or broth packed with sodium and preservatives.
If you are going to make some yummy broth then don’t throw out that carcass! ( P.S….I really, really wish I could get through life never saying the word ‘carcass’…it’s one of my least favourite words…ever…) Anyhow…once you have put away all your leftovers just place your carcass,with all the vegetables & herbs still in the cavity, into your slow cooker. Pour all the remaining juices left in the roasting pan into the slow cooker and then add whatever you need to get rid of in your fridge. Tonight I added a chunk of ginger, half an onion, my last 3 cloves of garlic, 2 lonely carrots, 2 celery sticks, some leftover thyme & parsley, 1 bay leaf, & S & P.
Cover everything with water.
Put the lid on, set to low, and let it simmer overnight!
In the morning, it will be smelling pretty great.
Strain it and let it sit for 10 minutes, the fat will separate and it will be really simple to skim it off the top with a spoon.
That’s it, now you have some delicious, healthy chicken broth!
I froze mine in 4 small Tupperware containers so I can easily defrost it next time I need some broth.