One of the family favorites in our house is roasted chicken. I make it several different ways, but this is the easiest and least complicated. I usually serve it with some kind of potato and a veggie. Tonight it was crispy skin baked potatoes and creamy bacon/mushroom spinach.
The ingredient list is at the bottom of the page. This is how I put it together.
I dug an old 5 lb roasting chicken out of the freezer, and it didn’t look that fresh, so I put it in a sink of salt water (1 cup water to the sink full of water) and let it thaw that way for a few hours. The salt will take away any “old” flavor, and to me it tenderizes the meat on older birds. While I was in the freezer, I found a big package of bacon ends. I had two bunches of fresh spinach in the fridge, so thought that would be good, too. Oh, and some mushrooms. Love the mushrooms.
While the chicken was thawing, I chopped up about 1/2 lb bacon into bits and fried them. Drained off about 1/2 the fat and sauteed a few finely sliced mushrooms and about 1 Tbls minced garlic in the grease.
When the chicken is ready, I put it on a rack in a 9x13x2 baking pan, pat it dry, then drizzle with olive oil. Then I sprinkle on a liberal amount of poultry seasoning and smoked paprika – the smoked paprika helps give it a lovely browned color and a wonderful smokey flavor – and massage it into the skin. I peel a medium sized onion and pop it in the cavity. I think this gives the chicken a nice little boost of flavor.
To make a crispy skinned potato, wash and dry a few russet potatoes. I use potato nails to cook them faster (you can pick these up at any cooking store, or in most grocery stores in the cookware aisle). Once the nail is through, using it to turn the potato, I drizzle with vegetable oil (you can use olive oil, but it doesn’t crisp up as well) and then sprinkle with your choice of seasoning. I use Red Robin season salt. Place on a separate pan or with the chicken if there’s room. Try not to touch the chicken because the chicken juices will keep them from getting nice and crisp.
Put about 1/2 inch water in the bottom of the chicken pan and put in preheated 375 degree oven. My 5 lb chicken took about 90 min to cook. I start checking with the thermometer at about an hour. I hate overcooked chicken. The potatoes finished nicely at the same time.
While the chicken is cooking, I reheated my bacon/mushroom mixture in a deep 12 inch fry pan and put in my freshly washed spinach, put on a lid, and let the leaves wilt. Once they’ve wilted (chop them up some if they’re very large leaves) I mix in 4 oz cream cheese and 1/2 cup crumbled feta and 1/4 cup mayo. Mix well, then let simmer for a bit to reduce into a nice thick sauce. At the end I used my pepper mill and added some fresh cracked pepper to it.
Make sure to let your chicken rest at least 10 minutes before cutting into it.
The drippings from the chicken in the bottom of the pan make a wonderful gravy. Put it in a small pot on the stove and whisk in either a couple tablespoons flour or 1/4 tsp guar gum or xanthan gum (for carb free).
- 1 large roaster chicken
- 1 cup salt (for brine)
- 3-4 Tblsp olive oil
- Poultry seasoning
- Smoked paprika
- 1 medium onion
Creamy Bacon Mushroom Spinach: (makes 4 large servings)
- 1/2 lb bacon
- 5 large white mushrooms
- 1 Tblsp minced garlic
- 4 oz cream cheese
- 1/2 cup feta
- 1/4 cup mayo
- fresh ground pepper to taste
- Large russet potatoes
- 1 Tblsp vegetable oil for each
- Seasoning of your choice