The first thing I teach my clients to cook is a roasted chicken because it seems hard to do, but is actually one of the easiest "gourmet" dishes you can make.
If you ever want to "wow" someone special, make my Whole Roasted Lemon-Thyme Chicken.
A few words of wisdom: Gentleman, make this for your new chick-en...She will instantly fall in love with you. Women, the way to a man's belly is though is stomach.
A couple of tricks to make sure your chicken comes out perfect.
1. Use coconut or grape seed oil instead of olive oil on your chicken so it does not burn. The coconut or grape seeds oil will leave your chicken skin nice and golden.
2. First, cook the bird at 450 degrees for 20 minutes to crisp up the skin and give it some color. Then reduce the heat to 350 degrees and slowly cook the bird for another hour to keep it moist.
3. Set a 20-minute timer so that when the bird goes in the oven at 450 degrees you do not leave it cooking in the high heat for too long. If you do, your bird will be burnt and dry.
When the timer goes off, reduce the heat to 350 and set another timer for 30 minutes. When that timer goes off, check the bird to make sure it isn’t burning then set another timer for the last 30 minutes.
4. Take the bird out of the oven after it is done cooking and let it rest for 20 minutes. That means, do not cut it, touch it, pick at it, etc. LEAVE THE BIRD ALONE. It needs to rest so the juices get absorbed into the meat, which will leave you with a nice moist bird. If you cut into it too early, the juices will run out, leaving you with a dry, roasted chicken and trust me.... NOBODY likes a dry chicken or a dry anything as a matter of fact.
Lemon Thyme Roasted Chicken
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 60 minutes, plus 20 to let the chicken rest
1 Large red onion, peeled and cut into quarters
1 Apple, cut into quarters
4 Lemons, halved
½ Cup Coconut oil, melted
1 (4-5 pound) Small roasting chicken
Freshly ground black pepper
1 bunch Fresh thyme
1 head Garlic, cut in half crosswise
Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
Melt ½ cup coconut oil.
Place the ¾ of the onions, all the carrots, ¾ of the apple and ½ the garlic in a roasting pan. Toss with salt, pepper, ½ of the thyme, and ½ of the melted coconut oil. Spread around the bottom of the roasting pan
To prepare the chicken:
Remove the chicken giblets found inside the bird. Remove any excess fat, leftover pin feathers and pat the outside dry. Liberally salt and pepper the chicken on the skin and under the skin. Makes sure to salt and pepper under the bird.
Squeeze juice from the lemons over the bird. Place one of the lemon halves in the cavity and add the rest of the juiced lemon halves to the roasting pan. Pour the remaining melted coconut oil over the bird.
Stuff the cavity with remaining thyme, remaining apple and the garlic. Tie the legs together with kitchen string and tuck the wing tips under the body of the chicken so they do not burn.
Place the bird over the bed of vegetables and herbs in the roasting pan.
Roast the chicken for 20 minutes at 450 degrees. Then reduce the heat to 350 and cook for another hour or until the juices from the thigh run clear.
Make sure to set a timer for 20 minutes while the chicken is roasting at 450 degrees. Once that timer goes off and you reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees, set another timer for 30 minutes. When that timer goes off, check the bird to make sure it isn’t burning. Then set the timer for the last 30 minutes of cooking time.
Remove the bird from the oven and let it rest for 20 minutes before you cut into it.
You can use a meat thermometer to check if the bird is done. The internal temp should be 165 for the breast and 165-175 for the thigh.