Sunday, February 26, 2012

Sunday Roast Chicken

What could be more classic than roast chicken for a Sunday family dinner? 

Being a doctor's wife, there is a certain stigma attached with being the perfect hostess and cook.  Maybe that was what I thought when I was growing up when we went to a dear family friend's place for dinner on numerous occasions.  Their family dinners were always so warm with wonderful food and great company. 

Maybe subconsciously, I am trying to relive the good childhood memories and give my children a piece of that warmth and comfort.  Living here in 100 Mile House, we are away from my large Chinese family, where a family dinner consists of at least 15 people that included my cousins, aunts, uncles and grandma.  Our dear family friend has passed on but never forgotten.

Roast chicken has always been a great family favourite.  About 10 years ago, I discovered this amazing roast chicken recipe and it has been my signature dish for entertaining visiting doctors and simple family suppers. 

As a busy mom of three, there is nothing more gratifying than an easy dish that can be prepped in minutes, roasted in the oven for several hours, and then devoured by children and savoured by company alike.  The house smells amazing too. 

Now is the time to look forward and make more wonderful memories with great family and friends.  Tonight is no exception, especially with a yummy dinner! 

First, I made the spice mix.  The original recipe included cayenne, black and white pepper.  I toned it down for the sake of the kiddies and only used black pepper. 

I defrosted my 4.5lb organic chicken yesterday.  I usually buy 2 smaller chickens (whatever they sell at the store) and roast them at the same time.  Better use of the oven and the leftovers are very good the next day.

Butcher's twine/cord is also a great tool in the kitchen!  I was able to stuff the chicken with the onion and use butcher's twine to tie up the legs to keep everything together.  I think it cooks more evenly and looks nicer tied up. 

I drizzled the chicken with a bit of extra virgin olive oil and then rubbed it around to help the spice rub stick a little better.  I held the chicken by the legs and sprinkled lightly the back first and then the front, drumsticks and wings.  Make sure there is an even coat.  The recipe says to rub the mixture into the the bird, but it was just plain messy.  Sprinkling the mixture turned out quicker and cleaner.   

The chicken was placed in a preheated oven 325F for about 2 hours.  After 1 1/2 hours, I basted the bird with pan juices.  About 1/2 hour later, I checked the internal temperature with a meat thermometer and it was almost 180F, so I took it out.  I tented it with a glass lid from my casserole dish and left some space to vent the steam.  The glass lid worked just as well, as I didn't feel like wasting a sheet of aluminum foil. 

Tonight's dinner was a success!   Easy, moist and flavourful chicken!  We had a nice and simple Asian-style meal paired with jasmine rice and stir-fried garlic & ginger baby bok choy.  

Roast Sticky Chicken - Rotisserie Style

Spice rub per chicken:
1-2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons salt (1 1/2 tsp for 3lb chicken)
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 onions, quartered
1 (4-5 pound) whole chicken

In a small bowl, mix together salt, paprika, onion powder, thyme,  black pepper, and garlic powder. Remove and discard giblets from chicken. Rinse chicken cavity, and pat dry with paper towel.

Drizzle and rub chicken with extra virgin oil.  Sprinkle spice rub inside and out with spice mixture. Place 1 onion into the cavity of each chicken.

Place chicken in a resealable bag or double wrap with plastic wrap. Refrigerate overnight, or at least 4 to 6 hours. (I usually skip this step and it goes straight into the oven.)

Preheat oven to 325 F.

Place chicken in a roasting pan. Bake uncovered for 2 hours, to a minimum internal temperature of 180F.  Let the chickens stand for 10 minutes before carving.               

- Adapted from - Roast Sticky Chicken - Rotisserie Style
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