Comfort Food: Simplest Roast Chicken

Comfort Food: Simplest Roast Chicken

I don't need any help in working my imagination to a frightened frenzy. So, I stay away from horror movies.

That's why it irritates me when a non-horror genre is able to niggle some new seed of terror into my brain. It happened last night when I watched episode 5 of season 5's Doctor Who. It's about statues. The kind of statues you see in regular life; angels with arms spread at their sides at grave sites or in old churches.

When you've had a night that's been filled with constantly checking the shadows, keeping arms and legs from hanging over the edge of the bed and listening for the creaking of floorboards, the day needs to be filled with comfort. Hot, cinnamon brown sugar oatmeal is required at breakfast. Soothing grilled cheese and tomato soup is necessary at lunch.

And for dinner, the familiarity and homey pleasure of roast chicken.

The Process

Easy; yes. This is easy. It really is a matter of sprinkling salt and pepper on the bird, then popping it in the oven.

Except then you need to pull out the pan to make the sauce. That doubles the clean-up. I know it's just one pan, but a pan is a pan is a pan, especially when the dishwasher fills quickly and you hate washing by hand.

Another unusual instruction was to start roasting the chicken breast-side down and then to flip it after thirty minutes. When I did that, most of the breasts' skin stayed on the bottom of the pan, which ends up looking very unappealing if you're serving guests. Ok, it looks unappealing when you're serving family too, but that's a bit different, isn't it.

Since I was able to choose which herbs to use for the sauce, I got a huge smile out of being able to walk out, and pick chives, rosemary and oregano to add to the sauce. You really can use whatever you want so use your imagination or whatever you have on hand.

The Verdict

The chicken is very tasty, as proven by the fact that the family picked the bird clean. Regarding living up to the title, however, I wouldn't call this the simplest ever. Having to create the sauce takes more time than stuffing quartered lemons, onion and garlic in the cavity.

The sauce is delicious, though. I was a bit surprised at how much butter was used. My regular roasted chicken doesn't use any since I just do a light cooking spray coating, so for us, the sauce was very rich. Hubby thought it had vinegar in it, which told me that it was a bit tangy for his taste buds.

I am also a fan of the way stuffing a bird infuses it with flavor from the inside. While the sauce coats the outside of the meat, the inside tasted just of chicken.

Final word. Is this tasty? Yes, very much so. Will I make it again? Maybe. Probably.

What I'd Do Different Next Time

I most definitely would not start the chicken breast-side-down and then flip it. Having the skin left on the roasting pan and the meat exposed to the hot air dried it out too much. And frankly, it just doesn't look very attractive. I'd also stuff my bird with onions, lemon, garlic and rosemary (and still call it simple).

Learn how to make this Simplest Roast Chicken from Cooking Light's Real Family Food Cookbook.

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