Stop right here. You may be missing out on a freshly-released original song about my roast chicken. Please click over here to head back to Part One before continuing on. This post will make a lot more sense once I introduce the story.
Long story short: in December of 1985, my parents picked up this incredibly petite, smiling blue-eyed baby, decided to take her home and love her for the rest of everyone’s lives. There were lots of things they couldn’t have imagined about her—the places she would go, the gazillion recitals she would perform, and the chicken nuggets she simply refused.
Earlier in 1985, there was a man named Bob. A kind, hard working mid-forties fellow living his life in New York when—surprise surprise—I managed to pop into the picture. Not that it was this simple, but everyone decided it would be best to give me to a couple really ready for an extra Christmas present that year. And that’s pretty much how I ended up home.
Curiosity + a bit of life experience and maturity + supportive family and Andrew + a court order led me to meet Bob two years ago. Last night, he stopped in for dinner.
And onto the story of Tweety.
Easy Impress-Your-Guests Roast Chicken
with endless gratitude to Ina Garten
for the gravy:
Preheat the oven to 425F. Remove the chicken giblets (thank goodness Tweety was clean, I got off the hook). Then rinse the chicken inside and out. Remove any excess fat and leftover pinfeathers and pat the outside dry. Place the chicken in a large roasting pan (or, if it’s a small bird like Tweets, a ceramic 9×13 casserole works just fine). Liberally salt and pepper the inside of the chicken—ensuring you’re using large kosher salt and fresh pepper here.
Stuff the cavity with the thyme (reserving enough thyme to garnish the dish) 1 lemon, halved, and 2 halves of the garlic. Now since Tweety was small, I had to cut the lemon in quarters. Know, too, that you simply keep the peels on; the lemon rind will caramelize to become edible, and the garlic skin will simply slip off upon roasting.
Tie the legs together with kitchen string and tuck the wing tips under the body of the chicken. Cut 2 of the lemons in quarters and scatter the quarters and remaining garlic around the chicken. If you’re including onion, carrots, potatoes, or fennel, drizzle the veggies with a little olive oil and salt them, too.
Roast the chicken for 1 hour (longer for a bird over 4lb.) until your meat thermometer reads 180F, or until the juices run clear when you cut between a leg and thigh.
Remove to a platter and cover with aluminum foil while you prepare the gravy. (Am I fooling you yet, Lindsey The Chicken Expert?)
We interrupt here to bring you this amusing quote of the night:
Lindsey: What do I use to transfer this hot bird to a plate?? I’ve got a pancake spatula. Tongs?
Bob: Well, you could usually use a meat fork.
Lindsey: I didn’t register for a meat fork.
Thank you for your patience. We now return you back to your regularly scheduled recipe.
Remove all but 2 tablespoons of the fat from the bottom of the pan. To the juices in the bottom of the pan, add the wine (or a tablespoon of red wine vinegar) and chicken stock and bring it to a boil. If you’re using a casserole you don’t want to put over the burner, be sure to scrape up all the lovely brown bits with hot chicken stock so it transfers to the saucepan for the gravy.
Reduce the heat, and simmer for 5 minutes, or until reduced by half.
Garnish the chicken platter with the roasted garlic, reserved thyme and 1 lemon, sliced. Serve with the gravy.
Tweety McCluck Part Three: The Last Stand comes soon to a blog near you. Stay Tuned!