22 April 2014

Foodie Tuesday | Simply the BEST Roasted Chicken

Roasted chicken is a staple in our house. I always make two, for a few reasons: 1) our local supermarket sells packages of two fryer chickens for a better price than they sell them individually, so it makes economic sense; 2) my family eats a lot, and 3) leftovers are hugely handy, and factor heavily into our weekly meal plans.

Also, we plain love chicken. We're a white meat kind of family.

It's only been in the last two years or so that I've really mastered the art of to-die-for roasted chicken, but we really turned a corner last November when our fryer chicken called up our pound of bacon and made a date. A sizzling hot date. It was love at first bite.

Since then, we haven't turned back. Is it the healthiest way to cook a chicken? Umm.... NO. But the bacon cooks up so crispy, and the chicken skin takes on the bacon flavor and is crispy and delicious, too. And then there's the actual meat: the bacon wrap not only adds flavor to what can otherwise be a pretty bland bird, but it keeps all the juices inside and makes it the moistest (is that a word?) meat you'll ever have.

Like, in the entire history of ever.

It's that good.

Preparation: 10 minutes | Cooking Time: 1.5 - 2 hours | Serves: 6 (or 4, if you're my family)
  • 1 2-3 lb. fryer chicken
  • 8-12 strips bacon
  • olive oil
  • coarse sea salt
  • freshly cracked black pepper
  • cooking spray
Cooking Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Grease a 9" x 12" high-sided baking (jelly roll) pan with cooking spray. Place chicken in the centre.
  3. Drizzle lightly with olive oil - about one tablespoon, splashed over the whole chicken. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Starting in centre of the bird (just above the drumsticks) lay a strip of bacon horizontally around the bird, like a belt. Tuck the ends of the bacon strip underneath. Place the next strip across the chicken, touching the first, and proceed with additional slices to the top/neck.
  5. To secure the loose ends of bacon, use turkey skewers through the bird to pin them into place. No need to get fancy: just straight in like a push pin will keep everything where it should be.
  6. Once the top portion of the bird is wrapped in bacon, move to the legs. Using one strip of bacon per leg, start from the outside of the chicken and wrap the bacon through the centre and around the drumstick. You can use skewers here, too, to keep everything tucked in.
  7. Roast uncovered in a preheated oven for 1 to 1.5 hours until bacon is crispy and a meat thermometer inserted into the meatiest part of the breast registers 175 degrees.
  8. Let rest for 5 to 10 minutes before slicing and serving. Those minutes are really important: if you slice too soon, the juices will run out and leave your meat dry (not as noticeable on the first night, but any leftovers will be affected.)
The chicken freezes up beautifully but the bacon isn't great the next day so we usually split all the bacon/skin between us (except the Boy, who doesn't eat bacon; he doesn't like it - he's a mutant. Whatevs. More for us.)

Honestly, you guys? Tina Turner called and said this is Simply the Best roasted chicken - you're going to love it.

Shout out to my friend Patty, who turned me on to this idea. Thanks Patty! We love this recipe and will never look back!