Thursday, September 8, 2011

Roast Chicken with Mustard Butter

Roasting a whole chicken always seems like such a production that I'm reluctant to do it, but once I get into it I remember it's not actually all that much work!  Sure, raw chicken is pretty gross, but the end product is so much yummier than boring skinless boneless breasts (the other usual go-to chicken) that it's totally worth it.  To make this chicken, you spread butter flavored with herbs, lemon, Dijon mustard, and other yummy stuff under the chicken skin, which makes the meat super moist and flavorful.  This is a great method since the flavor doesn't just stay on top of the skin but goes all the way through the meat without having to plan ahead and marinate or brine the chicken.  (I'm terrible at planning ahead, so that's important for me!)  Do be sure to use a meat thermometer since different sizes of chicken will cook at different rates. 

Roast Chicken with Mustard Butter (adapted from a Bird in the Oven and Then Some)
Serves 4

4 pound whole chicken
4 T room-temperature butter
2 T finely chopped red onion
2 T Dijon mustard
Scant T Woody's Gourmet Fresh Rosemary and Sage Herb Sea Salt (or another herb salt, or some fresh herbs cut up and mixed with kosher salt)
2 tsp minced fresh garlic  
1-2 Meyer lemons
Flakey coarse sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper

1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees with a rack in the middle.  Remove the giblets if present.  Pull off excess fat around cavities of chicken and discard, then rinse chicken and pat very dry inside and out.  Loosen skin under each breast and thigh with a finger.
2. Combine the butter, red onion, mustard, herb salt, and garlic in a bowl, and then zest one lemon into the bowl (reserving the zested lemon).  Stir to combine.
3. Work the butter mixture under the chicken skin using your hands, about 1 T at a time.  Gently rub hands over outside of chicken to smooth out the butter and work it into parts of the meat where your hands don’t reach
4. Cut the lemon into quarters and stuff into the cavity of the chicken. If there is any more room, quarter the second lemon and stuff it inside too.  Tie the legs together with kitchen string, and then season all over with salt and pepper.
5. Place the chicken in a lightly oiled roasting pan, breast side-up.  Roast 35 minutes, and then rotate the pan and reduce heat to 375 degrees.  Continue roasting, basting occasionally, until the until juices from the thigh run clear or when a thermometer in the thigh reads 165 degrees, about 25 to 35 minutes more.
6. Remove chicken from the oven and let rest 15 minutes in the pan. Baste with juices.
7. Transfer the chicken to a cutting board and let rest 5 minutes.  Carve and serve with the pan juices and extra salt for sprinkling.

Come join the fun at the My Baking Addiction and GoodLife Eats Holiday Recipe Swap sponsored by Kerrygold.

1 comment:

  1. I love a good roasted chicken (well a good roasted, anything) because it marinates in its own juices and just comes out lovely. Your bird turned out lovely!