This weekend marks the end of my 24th year, or as a friend puts it “The end of saying ‘I didn’t know any better.'” I know that adulthood is upon me, Yet I know there is still so much to learn in my life. It is a pretty strange feeling.
In honor of my friend’s sage advice, and also in honor of finally starting culinary school (more on that later), I want to share a dish I don’t think any person should enter their 25th year without knowing how to cook: simply roasted chicken.
There is something so wonderful and simple about this dish, but I feel like a lot of my peers don’t tackle it because of how easy it is to under or over cook the chicken. My method has yet to have any complaints, and is simple: butter, and lots of it.
Start by heating the oven to 425. Get your ingredients together:
Add a little salt and pepper and that’s…pretty much it. The ingredients don’t usually go over $10, and I got a huge bird. I live with my family, and there’s five of us. My brothers are 15 year old twins. We need a lot of food. Smaller birds (even Cornish game hens for those cooking for one) are even cheaper.
So, wash the bird, and grab some of the softened butter in your hands. Now comes the fun part.
That’s right. Rub him all over. Don’t be shy.
Make sure to get butter in the cavity and under the skin. This helps the bird stay juicy.
I also like to add a sage leaf under the skin and in the cavity. Totally optional.
Sprinkle with salt and pepper, then throw this guy in the oven. The story doesn’t end here, however. The bird must still be watched.
I like to take my bird out every 20-30 minutes and brush it with more butter. It helps the skin crisp up and the meat moist.
For me, an average chicken takes about an hour to an hour and a half to cook, so I’ll take it out and baste it at least three or four times. I think it really makes a difference. When the skin is nice and brown, the bird is usually done. A thermometer reading 165 when inserted in the thigh usually can confirm this.
Simple roasted chicken is one of my favorite things to enjoy on a fall day, with some roasted potatoes or squash and a salad. When the time comes that I am living on my own again, I know I will never want for a easy meal, and I hope sharing it can help all the other new adults out there do the same.