The chicken I bought this weekend to roast was a 5-pounder. There are lots of roast chicken recipes on the Internet, particularly Thomas Keller's and Mark Bittman's, which both use really high heat and relatively small birds. Ina Garten, however, had : 425F oven for 1 1/2 hours. It meant I had to start on dinner at 4:00, but this chicken is going to last at least 3 meals, so it as worth it. Roast it on the weekend if you don't have 2 hours on a weeknight, and you'll find you have a head-start on dinner for a good part of the week.
First I unwrapped the chicken and patted it dry, inside and out. I cut up 3 stalks of celery, 2 carrots and 1/2 big onion; you can see that they're very big chunks. I put the vegetables in my big cast-iron skillet (you could use any casserole dish or oven-safe skillet that the chicken will fit into). I put the chicken on top of the vegetables, brushed it with oil and salted liberally, inside and out. Then I preheated the oven to 425F. (This allows the chicken time to get closer to room temperature, while it waits for the oven to come up to temperature.) When the oven had reached 425F, I put the chicken and vegetables in. Roasted for 90 minutes, then checked to make sure the thigh had reached 170F.
We gnawed on drumsticks and sliced up one of the breasts for dinner that night, alongside a salad of sliced cooked beets, crumbled goat cheese, arugula, drizzles of olive oil and balsamic vinegar and a sprinkle of salt. The chicken skin was crisp and salty; the meat was moist and falling-off-the-bone. We all enjoyed dinner that night, and we have plenty of leftovers, too!
What are you going to do with the leftover chicken?