Free Union Grass Farm Roasted Chicken
It was a dinner designed around the bird.
And what a bird it was. Fresh from the farm – Free Union Grass Farm, for those in the area, and in the know – and begging to be eaten; plump and chickeny. Just begging me to break my rule and mess with a whole chicken again. (I fooled it – we cooked this one first, and then we cut it up.) This chicken grew up happily in the field next to my parents-in-law’s house, pecking for bugs and clucking in the tall grass. I watched it out there, having the time of its little poultry life. I knew it had a good run (har har har) and was ready to be The Dinner.
Calin wanted to roast a chicken. So when this one showed up on our doorstep one night (carefully in hand and definitely already dead, brought by my aforementioned parents-in-law – I don’t think I could cook a bird who flew to my house and rang the doorbell), he was raring to go. Epicurious provided the basic recipe; YouTube provided the detailed trussing instructions, and we took it from there.
The recipe was actually rather chatty. I don’t remember that part, so I was probably just following instructions or making things up at the time. Reading it over now, I can definitely tell you that we didn’t exactly follow the whole recipe…
First, you need a bird. A washed bird. A salted and peppered washed bird.
We added this part: stuff said bird with thyme.
Salt said bird. We did not pepper the bird, but reading the recipe again now we were apparently supposed to. But “to taste”, and since you can’t taste raw chicken, I think “none” might be “to taste”.
Also, truss said bird. Here, YouTube was very helpful. I don’t remember which video, but there were many.
We added potatoes. It seemed like a shame to leave the pan so empty. And besides, we like potatoes. They go with chicken.
We also added rosemary. Because we can. Because we have to, or it will take over the world. Or maybe just the garden.
One hour later, golden grown, crispy roast chicken. In retrospect, the rosemary would probably have done better tossed with the potatoes, and the potatoes would have done better tossed with olive oil and salted. But no matter…
Potatoes removed for ease of serving.
Chicken, basted, thymed, and sat.
Served, honors performed by F.I.L Michael.
Side salad lovingly concocted by M.I.L. Charlotte, tomatoes considerately on the side for the sake of the tomato-allergic.
- one 2- to 3-pound farm-raised chicken
- kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
- 2 teaspoons minced thyme (optional)
- unsalted butter (optional)
- dijon mustard (optional)
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
- Rinse the chicken, then dry it well with paper towels, inside and out. (The less it steams, the drier the heat, the better.)
- Salt and pepper the cavity, then truss the bird. (We watched a YouTube video to learn how.)
- Salt the chicken, sprinkling salt over the outside – about 1 Tablespoon. Sprinkle with pepper.
- Place the chicken in a sauté pan or roasting pan and put into preheated oven.
- Roast until done, about 50-60 minutes.
- Remove from oven and add thyme to the pan.
- Baste the chicken with the juices and thyme and let it rest for 15 minutes on a cutting board.
- Remove the twine, then cut and serve the chicken slathered with butter or with mustard on the side.
We added rosemary, and roasted the chicken with potatoes in the pan. We skipped both butter and mustard. Essentially, all you need is a chicken and salt and pepper. It really is that simple.
Of course, we also added Dark and Stormies. And don’t forget the rhino salad servers…