Roasted Chicken has got to be my all time favorite meal. It is so simple and yet, so complex. I have roasted a chicken many different ways; with truffle butter under the skin, stuffed with sausage, or simply dressed with herbs. There are a ton of ways to roast a chicken, but this is how I do it.
1: Clean your bird in cold water, check the skin for any leftover feathers or abnormalities and remove them.
2: Remove the innards of the bird; you can keep them and roast them along side the bird or toss them.
3: Dry your bird completely dry. Moisture on the skin of the bird will prevent a nice crisp finished product.
4: Using your fingers, gently slide underneath the skin of the breast of the bird and loosen it, creating a cavity between the breast and the skin. Here you can place butter, herbs, any kind of flavorings you wish to impart on the chicken.
5: Cover the bird in freshly ground black pepper, a liberal amount of kosher salt, and drizzle olive oil all over it. Massage the seasoning into the bird.
6: Place the bird on a roasting rack or sheet pan. I like to make a bed of aromatics; carrots, onions, garlic, celery, thyme.. and place the chicken on top so the chicken is not directly touching the metal and the aromatics cook along with it.
7: Place the bird in a 400° oven for 20 minutes.
8: After 20 minutes, rotate the pan, lower the heat to 375°, and place the time for 1 hour. (This will be perfect for a 3 pound chicken, add an additional 20 minutes per pound for large birds)
9: Remove the chicken and let it rest for 10 minutes.
10: I like to remove the breasts and slice them, then cut the chicken into pieces: thighs, legs, and wings.
11: Use the drippings from the chicken to create a flavorful sauce.
With this roast chicken, I caramelized one onion, a few sliced mushrooms, and chopped up the aromatics that roasted with the chicken. I then adds the drippings from the roast chicken to create a sauce. Served over a bed of whole wheat couscous and some delicious fresh pea shoots, this is a fantastic, healthy, easy, and delicious meal.
Every time you roast a chicken there is leftovers. With that leftover chicken I usually make soup or shred the chicken for many different dishes.. salads, enchiladas, tacos.. and so on.
In NYC I once ate a chicken salad that used avocado instead of mayonnaise, which for me was heaven because nothing in the world disturbs me more than that god-forsaken product! Here is a quick and delicious recipe to utilize left over chicken.
Avocado Chicken Salad
2 cups leftover roasted chicken, shredded or chopped
2 large avocados
1 lime juiced
2 T chopped fresh cilantro
2 T sour cream
1 t kosher salt
fresh ground black pepper
Corn or wheat tortillas
dash of hot sauce
1: Shred your leftover chicken, make sure there is no cartilage or bones. If you want to make this and don’t have leftover roasted chicken you can use a rotisserie chicken from the grocery, or roast chicken thighs and pull the meat.
2: Mash the avocados separately with lime juice, sour cream, and cilantro. Season with salt and pepper and mix well. Mix in chicken and stir well to combine.
3: Toast whole wheat tortillas, serve the chicken salad cold on the tortillas with a squeeze of fresh lime and a dash of hot sauce.
This dish couldn’t be easier and is delicious, a much healthier alternative to traditional chicken salad.
Sean Patrick Gallagher