I try to only buy locally raised, organic chickens. My thinking on meat is to buy better quality and eat less. Your overall meat costs will be close to the same and you’ll be healthier for it, especially if you use the extra room on your plate for vegetables.
My sister likes to stuff her birds with grapefruit, so I follow suit and use whatever citrus I have on hand. Lately, I’ve been into brining my chickens. It produces a juicy chicken and imparts a nice flavor throughout the meat.
Whole chicken about 2- to 3- pounds
1/4 cup salt
1 tablespoon brown sugar
2 garlic cloves minced (for the brine)
1 orange (or half of a grapefruit or 2 lemons)
3-4 garlic cloves slices (for roasting)
1 Tablespoon olive oil or butter
- The night or morning before you plan to roast a chicken, place chicken in a large bowl or pot and cover with water.
- Mix salt, minced garlic, brown sugar in about two cups of water and add to the pot/bowl with the chicken.
- Refrigerate and soak for 6-12 hours.
- After brining, rinse the chicken in cold, running water. Pat dry.
- Heat the oven to 400°F with rack in middle.
- Place chicken in a pan, breast-side up. I used a roasting pan with a rack but you can set the bird in a regular oven pan.
- Brush olive oil (or butter) over the bird
- Stuff the cavity with citrus, quartered. Place many garlic clove slices under the skin.
- Pepper all sides and the cavity.
- Place chicken in the oven. Roast it until internal temperature of the thigh reaches 170°F (About 50-60 minutes). If you don’t have a meat thermometer, cook until the juices run clear.
Let it rest for 15 minutes. This will lock in the juices. Serve chicken with roasted vegetables and mashed potatoes (skins on for extra nutrition). Save the dripping for gravy.
Note on trussing:
I never bother to truss my chickens. If you want to be fancy (and some say have the chicken cook more evenly) get some kitchen twine and tie the legs together. If you are serving to guest, be sure they see the nicely trussed bird so they can be duly impressed.