The Gastrokid High Heat Roasted Chicken

Img_9076_2While I’m fully aware that skinless boneless chicken breast is perhaps the most flavorless, ill-textured animal protein on the planet, I’m a sucker for its convenience. But it seems half the recipes for anything involving chicken breast require the reloading of flavor, the reintroduction of fat. Which means more ingredients, more steps, and, in the end, more time. I thought: let’s get more elemental. Let’s get in touch with that most old fashioned family protein: a roasted whole chicken.

The scenario: The day was winding to a close. The kids were tired. We were tired. I’d bought a whole chicken at whole foods. All the recipes in my books took too long. I did a “high heat roast chicken” google search. 500 degrees for 50 minutes sounded good, except for the smoky house problem. 450 for 15 minutes, followed by another hour or so at 375 sounded too long. I compromised: 450 for 40 minutes. 20 at 375. It was a slam dunk, helped along by the butter and salt I smeared under the skin, and by the copious grey sea salt and pepper I rubbed on the outside. Oh yeah, the half a lemon and fresh thyme, sage, and rosemary sprigs in the cavity certainly added some flavor.

1 4 pound whole organic, free range chicken
3 tablespoons of butter
4 sprigs each rosemary, sage, and thyme
half a lemon
tons of salt
a little less pepper

Preheat oven to 450. Rinse the chicken and pat it dry. Rub butter under the skin of the breast, throw some salt in there. Salt and pepper the whole thing on the outside. stuff the cavity with herbs and the cut lemon. Put in a roasting pan and roast it at 450 for 30-40 minutes. If the oven starts smoking and your exhaust fan can’t handle it, drop the temp to 375. Roast for another 20 minutes or so, or until an instant read thermometer shows the breast is 165 and the thigh 180. Let rest 15 minutes before serving.

We served ours with a grilled caesar:
romaine or frisee/green leaf hybrid
grilled bread
dressing of anchovies, lemon juice, garlic, olive oil, pepper
shaved parm

marinate greens in dressing, reserve a bit. grill greens. grill bread. chop it all up. toss it with reserved dressing. garnish with parm.
—Hugh

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4 Responses to The Gastrokid High Heat Roasted Chicken

  1. Sharon says:

    Hugh, my rule of thumb is 15 minutes per pound plus 15 minutes additional “for the oven” at 375. Then crank up the broiler for that delectable crisp skin for maybe another 10 – 15. We’re fortunate enough to have a rotisserie in our oven that ensures even cooking. It’s pretty foolproof. And oh, the lunches that can feed the Gastrokids for days after . . . . Truly a family favorite.

  2. tiny morsels says:

    Mmm! I roasted a chicken recently too, and was amazed and how easy and delicious it was. Will definitely try your “quick/high heat” method next time.

  3. Paige says:

    Hi Hugh! I roast chicken for dinner all the time–at least once a week, and sometimes I do two at a time so we have extra meat to make enchiladas the next day…usually I just leave it out for an hour before hand to dry a bit, rub it inside and out with Maldon and freshly ground pepper, and if I’m really motivated, chop up whatever fresh herbs I have, stir in some Maldon, pepper, evov and grated lemon zest, shove that mixture under the breast skin, and then I do the Julia roast: 375, 20 minutes on each side, 20 minutes breast up, 20 minutes breast down. Perfect chicken every time. You can shove the zested lemon and a parmesan rind or two into the cavity, if you’re so inclined…the hot lemon juice squeezed over the meat when you’re done is awesome. Hope you are all so well–love to A & kids.

  4. Hugh says:

    Thanks for the recipes, all, (and lucky you with the rotisserie). And howdy Paige, I love your 2 for idea. While you’re getting all messy, why not roast up two at a time? I always feel cheated by having one measly drumstick leftover the next day (plus, 2 at a time has its carbon footprint upsides too; but that’s another post).
    And love to you and yours, Paige. I hope you’re enjoying the land where Fall deserves its moniker!
    H

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