This week's cooking experiment was incredibly successful. If I knew someone who never cooked because they were nervous about it, this is the recipe I would suggest they try. Not hard at all, and the result is so stunning that even my mediocre photography skills are pretty amazing. It turned out that well.
The first step was to mix up a bunch of herbs to rub on the outside of the bird. Here's the thing though, I don't really believe in mincing thyme. The leaves are already so tiny that, really, what's the point. I'm sure most of you know the trick to getting the thyme leaves off the stick part, but just in case you don't here's a little photo montage of how I do it.
First, you rip a single stick off the bunch.
Then, you gently hold the tip end of the sprig and pull your fingers down opposite the direction of growth. They come off like a dream.
The next thing in the herb mix was garlic. I also don't really like mincing garlic, it's sticky and little and hard to do evenly. Lucky for me, the ear doctor was watching Alton Brown the other day. Alton, from Good Eats, said that making a garlic paste by banging your knife down on top of a clove of garlic will work just as well as mincing it up. Cool, the ear doctor gets to pummel something.
Last, but not least comes the lemon peel. If you don't have a microplane, stop messing around and go get one. I love my little guy.
Next, I tied the legs together and placed it on the rack in my roasting pan. Now, the recipe wasn't super clear about how to roast a chicken, so if someone had never done this before it might be a little confusing. Make sure to put your bird on your rack like this:
1 hour and 20 minutes later we pulled our guy out and he looked so beautiful I almost wept. This is where you stick your instant read thermometer to check done-ness. This picture was taken before the thermometer stopped at 180, don't worry, we didn't eat undercooked chicken.
Oh, isn't he lovely!
We put our bird on the cutting board and tented with foil to let him rest. You let meat rest so that all the juices get redistributed evenly. Always do this with thick meat. However, you should also make sure you do this on a cutting board with a juice collecting trough because, man oh man, this bird was juicy when it came out. Ours dripped all over the counter and down onto the floor. GROSS.
Next step, make the pan sauce. I've never actually make the sauce in the roasting pan before but that is a GREAT idea because you end up deglazing the pan, making it really easy to clean later.
My sauce came out really thin, but I was afraid to cook it more (and at this point my house smelled so good I was about to pass out from anticipation). Sorry I didn't strain out the brown bits....I think they taste really good.
I whipped up a little bean, bacon and mushroom topping for some roast asparagus and we were ready to eat!
Reminder: If you want to join the club feel free! This link has a list of all the different recipes from Bonappetit's top 100 dishes that we're going to try. Leave a comment with your suggestion for next week's dish on this post. Friday afternoons I post the recipe for the following week and I review them on Wednesdays.