One of my favorite things to do on the weekends when I have time is to roast my own chicken. It takes time but when it is done I have dinners for a whole week!
You have to start with a whole chicken, I like foster farms, but then again....I'm not very picky :)
The first thing you do after removing the plastic wrap, is remove all the organs from inside the chicken. There is a neck, a heart, lungs, a liver, and something else (I'm not quite sure what!).
I have a dog, so I like to throw all of these things into a pot of water and boil them. It makes a nice chicken stock and I chop up all of the organs and the meat from the chicken neck and feed it to my dog. He loves it!
I added some of my fresh herb spread to the stock to flavor it.
and some pepper.
Let it boil for at least an hour or longer until you have a nice and flavorful stock.
Remove the meat from the stock and if you have a dog, chop it up and give him or her a yummy snack!
I reserved the stock for later use by putting it in a container and freezing it. This is great for all kinds of different soups! I know it looks a little green and yucky but that is because of the herb spread I put into it and I promise it tastes absolutely Yummy!
Now for the chicken...preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
Place the chicken in a roasting pan. (I absolutely love my roasting pan!)
Using your hand, separate the skin from the breasts.
I'm using the fresh herb spread that I made to season my chicken but I also love to mix a bunch of different dry herbs together with some minced garlic and olive oil and use this as a rub for chicken. It always turns out very good no matter what herbs you use! I put a spoonful of herb spread in between the skin and breast.
Make sure you spread it around with your hands so it is evenly distributed.
Then spread a couple more spoonfuls of herb spread all over the chicken. Doesn't it look so yummy already!
Add some salt...
and some pepper.
Don't forget your meat thermometer so you know when the chicken is done. It says that poultry is done when it reaches 185 degrees but I usually pull it out when it reaches 160. It usually keeps cooking after you take it out of the oven and it always turns out fully cooked but still moist and juicy when I pull it out at 160 degrees.
Place the meat thermometer deep in the upper part of the thigh like in the picture.
Then I cover the whole thing with foil so the skin doesn't burn. Bake at 450 degrees for 30 minutes.
Then reduce the heat to 350 degrees and bake for another hour. Remove the foil and bake for another 20 minutes. The chicken should be a nice golden color by now and the thermometer should read about 160 degrees or more.
Mmmmmm.....doesn't that look so yummy!
Now to carve a chicken. I always start with the legs. With the chicken breast side up I use a knife to cut the skin at the hips, separating the whole thigh and leg from the body. To completely separate it you have to dig your knife into the joint and sever it...this takes some practice and some strength.
Next you remove the wings. I flip the bird onto it's back for this and remove the wings in the same fashion as the legs. I cut the skin and flesh around the joint with a sharp knife then sever the joint with the knife.
Then I flip the bird back onto it's back so the breast is right side up again. And using a strong knife or scissors I cut right through the breast bone to split the breast into two.
I remove the skin from the breast and separate the breasts from the breast bone.
Then all your left with is a bony carcass.
And some yummy yummy chicken meat!
Don't forget to remove the wish bone, on the breast right at the top where the neck used to be.
Find someone to make a wish with and pull...
look I won! Yippee!
The first night I roast a whole chicken I usually roast some veggies and potatoes with it and we eat that for dinner.
With the leftovers I make pizzas...
barbeque chicken sandwiches...pastas....there are so many easy dinners you can make with leftover roasted chicken that are healthy and yummy! We usually have dinner at least three days. I also use the stock to make a yummy soup. If you have the time during the weekend, roasting a chicken can help you cook healthy meals during the week in no time!