I think it was Julia Child who once said that everyone sholuld learn how to prepare a roast chicken dinner. When I'm having friends over and wanted a casual dinner, roast chicken is fairly quick to make and delicious. As long as you are using fresh unfrozen chicken, and assuming it's not a huge bird, you can certainly make without much hassle. Plus, while the chicken is in the oven, you'll have time to make a nice dessert. Or if you're like most people I know, you and your friends can gather around the kitchen table chatting and drinking while you wait.
Preheat the oven to 425° F.
Pat the chicken dry using a paper towel. Make sure to check the cavities for any packaged innards (I know people who have left them in!). Rub the chicken throughly with butter, inside and out. Carefully nsert a finger between the skin and the flesh and push some of the butter in between. Season throughly with salt and pepper.
Cut your vegetables in large pieces but small enough to fit in the cavity. You can use aromatics like rosemary and thyme, too, if you like. If you wish you may tie the legs together with a kitchen string as well.
Place chicken bresat side up in a roaster. If the wings are browning too much, place a foil tent over them. Roast until meat thermometer when inserted in the innermost, thickets portion of the thigh (but not touching the bone) reads 165°F.
You can throw in potatoes, brussel sprouts, onions and carrots to serve with your roast chicken. Just drizzle them with olive oil, and season with salt and pepper and place in the bottom of the roasting pan before adding your chicken.
One of my favorites is roasted celery. Using a vegetable peeler, remove the tough layer of the stalk, especially towards the end, before oiling and seasoning. Then roast as you would any vegetable. The first time I've had roasted celery was at a prominent Michellin starred restaurant. I can't remember what else I had that evening, but I never forgot the celery.
1 stick of butter
1 medium onion
1 stick of celery
Salt & Pepper
In Case You Want to Know
As I've said on my previoous posts, I don't think one can improve Alex Guarnaschelli's cornbread recipe.