My new favorite thing is roasting a whole chicken. Parents magazine included the how-to (along with great recipes for both the whole chicken and its leftovers) which gave me the confidence to try it myself. Because a 5lb chicken is $5. That’s meat for two meals for $5. Plus, I use the carcass and drippings to make my own chicken broth, which I freeze in 2-cup portions. I will never buy broth again. Just think of the savings!
Today, C joined me in making the honey mustard sauce used to baste the chicken. He still loves measuring the ingredients when he has the time to stand still and help. (He turned 3 in May and really hasn’t stopped moving since.) I went ahead and included him in the “yes this is a chicken’s body” part too.
Barely adapted from Simple and Delicious
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1/4 cup prepared mustard
- 1 envelope ranch salad dressing mix
- 1 tablespoon dried parsley flakes
- 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
- 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
I measured the honey and mustard and C poured them into a small mixing bowl. He loves watching the bubble come up in the honey. And also eating it. He poured in the ranch seasoning, and I reminded him to do it slowly so even the “dust” got into the bowl. He scooped and dumped the parsley with a tablespoon. I gave him a half teaspoon for the rest of the measurements so that when he had to do a 1/4 teaspoon he had to fill it only halfway. (Kind of a lesson in self-control.) By the time all the ingredients were added, he had lost interest, so I mixed.
I grabbed his interest right back by suggesting that he baste the chicken with the basting brush – by far his favorite kitchen utensil. (We have a silicone one.) First, though, the chicken needed patted dry, so he helped me with his own paper towel. Gingerly. Basting didn’t last too long either. (I pulled up the skin and put the sauce directly on the meat, he basted on top of the skin.) He said the chicken was “silly,” but never acted grossed out. But I’m pretty sure he was! So he headed upstairs to play with K while I finished the chicken. There was a lot of sauce, so I kept pulling the skin away from the meat (snipping it with kitchen scissors as little as possible) to stuff more under.
The chicken is to be placed breast side down, drumsticks tucked under, in a roasting pan. In a 400 degree oven, it took an hour. I wish I’d have put foil over it at 30 minutes, as the skin was really brown instead of golden brown. (Still tasted great, though!) If you want to add vegetables, do so at 30 minutes. Once it was done, I let the chicken sit while I prepared salads. Carving it is my job too (the hubby did it the first time, then I realized I could certainly figure out how to do it myself!), and I looked to Ina for help.
For dinner, the four of us ate the 2 breasts as well as a wing or two. After the boys were bathed and in bed I went through the carcass with my hands and pulled off the rest of the good meat; enough for two lunches of leftovers. Usually I make broth using some carrots, onions, celery, salt, pepper, all the drippings, and enough water to cover the carcass (all boiled for an hour), but this one has such a distinct flavor that I opted to skip it.