One of my most favorite meals has to be a roast chicken. It’s got so many redeeming qualities. It’s moist and flavorful, and can feed an army if needed. But the best part of all, is that a whole roasting chicken isn’t that expensive. The one I used for these pictures was one of the largest ones I’ve bought, nearly 8 pounds, and it only cost $7.80. As a matter of fact, when Hubs and I were both grad students, chicken dinner was always a go-to meal that was not only inexpensive, but it was guaranteed to leave enough left overs for meals throughout the rest of the week as well. This plan worked so well, we would end up having roast chicken every other week.
Back then though, we didn’t roast chicken in the oven. I didn’t trust the oven in our apartment to do much of anything. It was a hole in the wall oven that, after opening the door abour 3 inches, you had to tip the door to the left 2 inches so you could open the oven door the remainder of the way without hitting the porch door framing. It was awesome.
Our stove at that apartment was pretty awesome too. It was the first time I had seen a countertop stove, and only half of it worked; the other half had a huge fireball shoot up out of it the first time we turned it on. And my roasting pan? That was the only thing that was the correct dimensions to catch any water that decided to leak from the awesome plumbing we had under the kitchen sink. Yeah… that apartment rocked. We didn’t stay there long.
But since we had 2 burners, an unreliable stove, and a roasting pan that was delegated other duties, Hubs’ mom bought us a small Nesco. We made every single chicken dinner we ever had in that thing during our grad school years. Then we moved up in the world of culinary eats when I was gifted a Dutch oven for Christmas one year. It was love at first roast.
It keeps the temperature even. It keeps the chicken moist. To me, roast chicken in a Dutch oven is pure perfection. The only way it could get even better is if it could put itself into the oven.
- 1 whole roasting chicken, 5 – 7 lbs
- 1-2 medium onions, chopped in quarters
- 3 stalks celery, rough chopped
- 3 carrots, rough chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, smashed
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1/2 tablespoon dried parsley
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon thyme
- olive oil
- Preheat oven to 350*. In a small bowl, combine the salt, pepper, parsley, paprika and thyme. Set aside.
- Remove giblets from chicken. Pat dry.
- In the bottom of your Dutch oven, add the olive oil and some of the chopped vegetables.
- Place the chicken on top of the vegetables. Drizzle with some more olive oil. Coat with mixture from step 1.
- Place the remainder of the vegetables between the chicken and the sides of the dutch oven.
- Cook uncovered for 2 – 2 1/2 hours, or until chicken registers 180*. Remove chicken from oven, cover with aluminium foil and the lid. Allow to rest before serving.
- Reserve roasted vegetables and bones for chicken broth.