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Roasted Chicken: A Classic Dish Everyone should Know How to Prepare

This is a slightly fancy version of a basic roasted chicken. A simple roasted chicken is an easy, cheap main course to serve any day or night of the week. A basic rub of salt, pepper, and splash of olive oil will do, but this recipe adds a few extra flavors to make a classic dish special.

Garlic Compound Butter

Another fun part of this recipe is making the garlic herb compound butter.Compound butter is basically flavored butter–you allow the butter to come to room temperature,add your favorite herbs and spices (in this case 2 cloves minced garlic), and stir to combine thoroughly. You can use the flavored butter immediately or store in an airtight container for future use. A common use for such flavored butters is to top a warm steak to add an extra layer of richness. In this case, I smear the butter underneath the skin of the chicken before roasting to give the chicken rich flavor of garlic in the meat as well as help the skin to turn out brown, crispy, and full of flavor.

Ingredients:

1 whole roasting chicken

1/4 cup garlic compound butter (see note above)

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

2 whole lemons (1 quartered, 1 left whole)

salt & pepper to taste

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Wash and rinse the chicken; let drain for about 2 minutes. Pat chicken dry. Rub the compound butter underneath the skin (this is kind of a gross process–but it is worth it) all over the main meat areas of the chicken (breasts, thighs, drumsticks–but these are hard to get too without tearing the skin too much) and inside the cavity. Pour lemon juice on outside of chicken and inside cavity–coating fully. Rub salt and pepper along outside of chicken and inside cavity as well (to your taste preference). Lastly, stuff the lemon quarters inside the chicken cavity; rub the whole lemon on a solid surface to loosen up the juices and puncture skin with a fork–stuff the whole lemon on the outside of the cavity (if it is sticking out a bit that is ok). Tie the chicken legs together with twine and tuck the wings under the chicken to promote even cooking. Lay the chicken breast side down on a roasting rack in a roasting pan and cook for 15 minutes, uncovered. After this initial 15 minutes lower the oven temperature to 350 degrees. Remove the chicken and flip so that it is breast side up. Continue to roast the chicken until done (meat thermometer reaches 165 in the dark meat (thigh)). This is usually about 20 minutes per pound. Remove the chicken from the oven and let sit for 10 minutes before carving.

Save the chicken pan drippings to drizzle over the sliced chicken–this will rev up the delicious garlic, lemon flavor to the roasted chicken.

Use leftover cooked chicken to top salads, make sandwiches, or chicken pie!

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