I have had two chicken in my freezer for months. One that I processed last summer and the other one I got at the co-op late last summer. Buying local meat can get expensive. Buying whole chickens makes more sense than buying a cut up chicken or chicken breasts. But then you are left with a whole chicken you need to cut up or cook. Let’s face it: The more an animal is processed the easier it is to eat. If I had to cut those short ribs off a cow carcass last week there is no way I would have enjoyed them.
When planning this meal I knew I had all the ingredients. One of the cool things about eating locally is that your pantry, freezer and frig fills up with local food. I didn’t have to make my lovely trip to the co-op to make this meal.
Roast Chicken! That’s where I started. I know you need a chicken, a oven, a pan of some sort, some butchers twine and some spices. But how long does the chicken cook and at what temperature? That’s where my idol, Anthony Bourdain comes in. He made a ‘Techniques Special’ for No Reservations. I did a youtube search and found the roast chicken clip. Thomas Keller walked me through how to simply roast a chicken. Then I went to my kitchen to put it to practice.
I did it a little different than Thomas Keller did. I cut up some veggies to roast with the bird. I cut up a carrot, two onions, and three potatoes…all local. I added them to my cast iron cooking pan. Then I added some butter and a drizzle of sunflower oil. Then I went to cut the wishbone out of my chicken and found it was already gone. I rinsed it out and seasoned it generously with salt and pepper.
I plopped the chicken on top of the veggies and went to find my butchers twine. No luck! I have three young daughters that like to make girly things, such as necklaces and bracelets. Stuff I don’t understand being a raised with no siblings. So somewhere a pretty little doll is wearing my butchers twine. I use the butchers twine to truss the chicken so the bird evenly cooks. You basically tie the legs and the wings into the body. Finally I tossed it in my oven at 400… without being trussed!
I took the wonderful-ness out of the oven and set in on the counter. It cooked for about 45 minutes. It smelled and looked done. I put a thermometer in it and it was at 180, so it was plenty done. I picked at a few potatoes while letting the chicken set for 10 minutes. I cut off a breast and plated some veggies. At this point is when you are happy you took out that wishbone. Taking the wishbone out helps get those wonderful breasts off the bird easier.
I sat down at the table and gave out nothing but grunts of approval. It was very good. It was up there with the braised short ribs. What made it so good was the quality of the local free range chicken and the butter I put over the veggies.